Practical Information

We believe that to truly make a change in your life, you owe yourself a transformative vacation in an environment of peace, where you can relax, move, learn, be challenged, dine on great healthy cuisine, enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded new and old friends, feel secure and absorb the tranquility of nature and a healthy climate.

Packing List

 
Rancho La Puerta is casual and informal.
We suggest you bring:

For Fitness Classes

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  • Aerobic, walking, running or cross-training shoes are needed for most classes
  • Workout clothes
  • Warm-up suits and cotton-blend T-shirts and shorts
  • Bathing suit
  • Tennis shoes with non-marking soles (if you play)
  • Tennis racket (loaners are available)
  • Avid birdwatchers should bring their own binoculars for bird walks and general birdwatching (we provide loaners for bird walks only)

For Walks and Guided Hikes

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  • Well broken-in hiking boots or shoes with aggressive lugged tread are REQUIRED for mountain hikes.
  • Walking or running shoes with good soles are fine for other hikes.
  • Bring several pairs of synthetic or light wool hiking socks, and liners. No cotton socks, please (they cause blisters).
  • Warm-up suit or other lightweight-but-warm “layered” clothing system (i.e. shirt plus fleece vest) that allows you to be warm, or cool down, as needed.
  • Windbreaker
  • Water bottle: If possible, bring your own to help us use less manufactured resources (the Ranch provides a personal water bottle for your use if needed…)
  • Hiking poles are not available at the Ranch. You may bring your own if you are experience with these hiking aids, but in general few guests use them.
  • Fanny pack or small lightweight daypack (capable of carrying a water bottle and snack on hikes). Or…these and other hiking items are sold in our small store. (We provide an over-the shoulder tote bag for your water bottle and other items you wish to keep with you)

For hikes in late fall (nov.), winter (dec-feb), and early spring (mar-april)


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  • Rain gear (we don’t get much—perhaps 10 inches a year—but it can happen, usually in Feb. and March)
  • Warm, light-weight jacket (i.e. synthetic fleece)
  • Long, loose-fitting pants (warm up or hiking pants)
  • Scarf or cap
  • Gloves

For classes at La Cocina Que Canta

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  • Please remember to bring closed-toe shoes to wear to all hands-on cooking classes at La Cocina Que Canta

For Evening

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  • Casual pants or skirts
  • Shirts or blouses
  • Sweater or jacket for cool evenings
  • Low heeled shoes

Don’t forget…

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  • Warm lightweight jacket (i.e. fleece). True, you may not need it in late spring, summer and fall, but even when days are warm (which can be any time of year) nights can be cool. Early mornings any time of year can be cool or cold until an hour or two after sunrise.
  • Camera
  • Cosmetics
  • Underclothes
  • Sleepwear
  • Toiletries
  • Shaving gear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat (with brim or visor)
  • Wristwatch
  • Over-the-counter and/or prescription medications
  • Favorite music CDs (each room has a CD player/music system)

No need to bring…

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  • Plug adapters (the Ranch’s electrical current and outlets are U.S. standard)
  • Hair dryer
  • Robes
  • Alarm clocks
  • Umbrella
  • Large towels
  • Reading material (we have a VERY large lending library)
  • Laptop (we have a free internet access center)
  • Spanish dictionary (everyone speaks English!)
  • Tote bag
  • Jewelry and perfume are best left at home. Instead, enjoy the natural aromas of our herb gardens.

Climate

SS_184x184_11What’s the weather like? 

Rancho La Puerta is blessed with a mild, Mediterranean climate characterized by cool, moist winters and warm-to-hot, dry summers. Most of the gardens lie at 1,600 to 1,800 feet. This allows for some winter frost, which is a requirement for many fruit trees, but is mild enough for citrus and olives. Brief winters are followed by a long, gentle spring. Summers begin warm and end hot, with our inland valley receiving cooling afternoon breezes from the coast, and occasional drying Santa Ana winds from the desert. Autumn brings warm days and chilly nights. Average yearly rainfall is 12 inches, and water is the garden’s most precious resource.

Summer days are usually in the upper 80s (thank you, ocean!) or sometimes 90s, but our very low humidity makes the air feel dry (thank you, desert!). Rooms are cooled by fans, and insulated by naturally thick masonry walls. All rooms also have air conditioners. Our women’s and men’s health centers, indoor gyms, Main Lounge and Mercado (gift shop) are air-conditioned.

Average temperatures (F) and rainfall

High

Low

Rainfall

January

65

43

3.49″

February

66

44

3.44″

March

67

45

3.92″

April

72

47

1.26″

May

75

51

0.47″

June

83

56

0.20″

July

89

61

0.16″

August

89

62

0.27″

September

86

61

0.42″

October

79

54

0.85″

November

71

47

1.72″

December

65

43

1.99″

 

Traveling to Mexico

 

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Mexico is a wonderful, convivial country that millions of people visit annually. Rancho La Puerta is just across the U.S.-Mexico border in Tecate, a town in the mountains east of San Diego.

Getting to the Ranch is simple: Take a plane to San Diego, hop on one of our shuttle buses or vans throughout Saturday, and whisk…you’re at the Ranch in about 1.5 hours, all but 3.3 miles of the trip on U.S. roads.

Passports

passportGuests MUST have a passport to enter and leave Mexico. Visitors from countries other than the U.S. or Canada via San Diego (and returning to San Diego) must also bring a passport and any necessary and current visas that allow re-entry into the U.S. Also, they should check with their country’s Mexican Consulate to obtain a visa or to find out whether citizens qualify under a visa waiver.

On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government implemented the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry must have a passport, passport card, or other travel document approved by the Department of Homeland Security. For more information, visit http://www.getyouhome.gov/html/eng_map.html 

Tourist Tax

Mexican Tourist Tax will be collected by a Rancho La Puerta representative during your arrival if you come via our buses from the San Diego Airport. You will need to bring $30 U.S. Dollars in cash (small denominations to ensure you have the exact amount).

Safety

We can assure you that throughout the last four years of the Mexican government’s focus on organized crime and cartel-related violence, 100 to 125 guests each week from the United States and other countries have enjoyed their stay at Rancho La Puerta in complete safety.

If you’d like to talk with any former guest of Rancho La Puerta to verify this, we would be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of those who happen to live near you.

Or, just look at our weekly Activities calendar to discover that many of America’s top authors, thinkers, scientists, entertainers, media and others choose to vacation at Rancho La Puerta every week — and they are vacationers just like you.
Consider, also, our location. We are only 3.3 miles from the U.S. We transport our guests from the San Diego Airport to Rancho La Puerta entirely over U.S. roads in San Diego, except for the last 3.3 miles.

We do not drive through Tijuana or anywhere near it. We live in a time of heightened media focus on the challenges Mexico faces. Even the United States Department of State, in our opinion, has issued travel warnings about Mexico with too broad a brush. In fact, most of Mexico’s hot spots are more than 1,000 miles from the Ranch.

We received a letter dated November 16, 2011, from Hugo F. Rodriguez, chief of Western Hemisphere Affairs Division, U.S. Dept. of State, stating in part, “We…note that most resort areas do not see the types of incidents we are warning about, such as organized crime or cartel-related violence.”

Read letter from Hugo F. Rodriguez, chief of Western Hemisphere Affairs Division, U.S. Dept. of State

travel-warnings

 

All travel is inherently an adventure, but we assure you that Mexico and Rancho La Puerta will welcome you with the utmost care and conviviality, as we have all our guests since 1940.

 

Location

 
map-to-tecate

Founders Edmond and Deborah Szekely discovered our location in 1940 during Edmond’s worldwide search for what he considered an ideal year-round climate. Rancho La Puerta is located in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico:  45 road miles inland from downtown San Diego and the San Diego Airport (SAN). All but the last 3.3 miles of the drive are on U.S. roads. Elevation is 1,700 feet (note: we are not in the desert). The terrain is mountainous, with sacred Mt. Kuchumaa the dominant landmark above our valley of oak groves, grasslands, and a seasonal stream. In all, Rancho La Puerta owns 3,000 acres here—2,000 of which we declared a permanent Nature Preserve and home to our extensive hiking program.

While At The Ranch

Check In/Out times

Check-in after 2 p.m. Check-out before 11 a.m. If you arrive before check-in time you are welcome to take full advantage of our programs and facilities. Luggage storage is available for early arrivals, as well as those who may be departing an hour or two after check-out time.

Contact at The Ranch

FRONT DESK OPERATOR

By telephone: 858-925-1214 or (011) 52-665-654-9155
By Facsimile: (011) 52-665-654-1108

CONCIERGE*
concierge@rancholapuerta.com

*Please use the concierge email to contact a guest, inquire about lost items, etc. Please do not send advertising and/or marketing proposals to this address.

Mailing to a Guest

SENDING AN OVERNIGHT LETTER OR PACKAGE (I.E. BIRTHDAY GIFT OR FORGOTTEN ITEM) TO A GUEST

Guest or Staff member’s name
Rancho La Puerta
c/o R.L. Jones
476 Tecate Road
Tecate, CA 91980
Phone number: (619) 478-5324

Please note: Most large packages/boxes (not overnight letters) must be picked up in person by a guest on the U.S. side of the border in Tecate, U.S.A., so your recipient will have to leave the Ranch with one of our drivers, return to the border, and cross into the U.S. –a time-consuming process that interrupts the Ranch experience.

Hence, you may wish to consider this difficulty when shipping a packaged or boxed item to a guest at Rancho La Puerta. Our shop sells most essential items that a guest may have forgotten to bring, or our concierge can arrange for almost any other purchasing needs in town —unless it’s something quite unique to your needs. Some commonly shipped items include hiking boots, books, cameras, and medicine.

Don’t hesitate to call our Concierge if you wish to surprise a guest with a gift or flowers; they can make all arrangements and personalize your present without you having to ship anything.

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Current Weather

November 28, 2014, 10:17 am
Sunny
Sunny
75°F
real feel: 69°F
humidity: 11%
wind speed: 0 mph N
Forecast November 29, 2014
day
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
74°F
night
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
43°F
 
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