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Trekking through La Rumorosa and El Vallecito

Tecate, the Magical Town at the border that calmly awaits intrepid travelers who really want to see the beauty of northern Mexico. Check it out!


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What Is the Next Great Adventure
I Want to Have?

  It was this very question that got us designing a breathtaking getaway way up north. And as lovers of the unknown and unheard of, it all started because of a famous northern highway legend.

The legend tells of a ghost trailer truck driver from Baja California who lost his life on that very road, and a number of locals swear that his spirit still wanders the road he drove so often.

La Rumorosa is the name of an emblematic place in the municipality of Tecate, Baja California. La Rumorosa is known as the vacation center par excellence for cachanillas or people from Mexicali.

On the one hand, it is a great place to go to escape the summer heat, and when the seasons change it turns into a winter wonderland, as the ground gets covered with a thick layer of snow.

In fact, this area in the extreme north of the Sierra de Juárez is one of the most talked about destinations in the state of Baja California. La Rumorosa is part of Federal Road 2 and runs in two directions (one going uphill and the other downhill), with two lanes in each direction.

We’re talking about 12.5 miles of curves and steep slopes at an altitude of around 4,000 feet above sea level. There’s no question it’s a place worth hiking, to see all of the treasures and secrets hidden in the area.

Wonders amidst the sighs
harbored by La Rumorosa

It is well known that eating properly is a key to successfully undertaking a long hike, which is why we decided to make a stop in town before heading out on our first adventure.

There we were able to have a delicious breakfast of burritos made by local cooks, a lip-smacking joy not to pass up!

After that, we did, indeed, start off on our trip on La Rumorosa road and came upon the entrance to the Geo Parque Casa de Piedra, a third of a mile or so after the first tollbooth on the Tecate-Mexicali toll road.

We realized that it was a spectacular place to do scrambling and zip lining, so we took note of the location, to come back after hiking the official La Rumorosa trail. A lovely place where history abounds, the park is perfect for resting, since the stone house for which it is named has an outdoor pool made of stone.

Though not meant for diving into, it is impressive that it was made with materials from the area: large rocks, concrete and picture windows.

And now, to really begin our adventure, we went into town on the toll-free TecateMexicali road, just where the colorful letters appear spelling out La Rumorosa, beside the local fire station.

After leaving our car in the parking lot for 50 pesos, our guide took us to an unpaved road that leads to the hall belonging to the ejido (communal land) Cordillera Molina, the spot where the trail we were to take begins and ends.

The guide explained that an approximately 3 and 3.2-mile trail led out from where we stood. A loop with three variations, each of which would lead us to a spectacular overlook: either El Borrego, De Llanos or La Ventana.

We chose to hike De Llanos, a 2.5-mile route to the overlook, perfect for learning the lay of the land and organizing a schedule that would allow us to see other local treasures like the Museo de Sitio Campo Alaska; an old federal barracks-turned-museum displaying several pieces from native ethnicities such as the Kumiai, Paipai and Cucapá.

We were, however, also offered a more daring option that would afford us more spectacular places to take breathtaking pictures.

If you want a more challenging experience, options include the approximately 22-mile Cañón del Tajo path. A treat for adventure lovers.

The hike around this canyon is recommended for experienced climbers.he hike around this canyon is recommended for experienced climbers.

For safety reasons, the climb should only be done with a tour agency: Baja Excursion, Mule Outdoor, Club Kuchuma or Adixxion Tour. While it is a challenge we really wanted to accept, we also wanted to have time to get deeper into the heart of the Magical Town of Tecate, so we listened to what the local folks had to say about it.

An important place that some of the locals recommended we visit really took our breath away. On the northern edge of town is an archeological site with rock paintings called Vallecitos and protected by Mexico’s anthropology and history institute, INAH.

Ancestors of the Kumiai ethnic group once lived here, and their territory stretched from Santo Tomás, in Baja California, to the coasts of San Diego, California.

Inland to the east, the region encompassed from the area around Escondido, California to the mountains and deserts of northern Baja California, including the Laguna Salada zone and part of the Sierra Juárez known as La Rumorosa.

Piedra Yumana is a fantastic archeological attraction worthy of a photo session of the pictographic details engraved by the ancient inhabitants of the zone, such as the iconic figures “El diablito” (The Devil) and “El hombre enraizado” (The Rooted Man).

Vallecitos is well worth spending a half day to see the area, and we topped the fascinating and amazing day off with a flourish by having a traditional aperitif.

Beyond a doubt, Tecate is magical, and there is still so much more to discover. We look forward to the day we can come back and get lost in this paradise of enigmatic rocks called La Rumorosa, a stunning labyrinth that absolutely captured our hearts.

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