Tuesday, March 17, 2015

K-38, Baja, Mexico

K-38 may not mean much to you, but mention the words to any surfer and they will know exactly what you are talking about.  K-38 is nothing less than a famous surf break located in Baja, Mexico.   The K stands for kilometer and the 38 means that you have traveled 38 kilometers from the U.S.-Mexican border.  Code deciphered. 

Most travelers enter the Baja Peninsula in Tijuana, by way of San Diego.  As you navigate the maze that has been created to enter the country, one well marked exit is the Trans-Peninsula Highway #1.  Signs direct you south, towards the cities of Rosarito and Ensenada.  The road by passes the very crowded city that is Tijuana, and corals you on to a two lane divided toll road.  Currently the toll is $2.40 U.S. per automobile.  Heavier trucks pay more, while motorcycles pay a bit less.  There is an option to drive along the frontage road for free, however it is time consuming and more fraught with stop signs, jaywalkers and pot holes to make it worth it.

From the border it will take you only about 30 minutes to reach K-38.  If the distance indicators along the highway are not enough to guide you, once you get with in a couple of kilometers you will see an extremely tall statue of Jesus Christ.  With outstretched arms the Savior stands at least 150 feet high and welcomes you to this surf Mecca.

You do not need to be a surfer to enjoy the area.  A small outdoor grassy area overlooks the surf break.  Sit for a while and watch the surfers ride the waves.  From this vantage point you may also be treated to the sights of dolphins and sea lions at play in the water.  California Grey Whales may also be spotted on their annual migration during the months of December through March.

Due to the rocky shore, the size and strength of the waves I would not recommend surfing if you are new to the sport.  Lessons are available at the surf shop, but there are certainly less dangerous places to paddle out for the first time.

Where to Stay:  If you are a surfer, Robert’s K-38 Surf Motel is the only place you want to stay.  The accommodations range from a 2 bedroom suite, to hostel type bedding.  Count on meeting surfers from around the world, here to enjoy the famous right break that has made K-38 famous.  If you are not a surfer, my recommendation would be to retreat a few miles back north to the famous Rosarito Beach Hotel, or continue south 15 minutes to La Fonda Hotel and Spa.  Both of these facilities are more upscale with rates $100 per night and below.

Where to Eat:  If this is your first trip to Northern Baja, then Puerto Nueva is required eating.  This once small fishing village has blossomed into a town full of restaurants.  All serve Mexican Lobster.  Understand this is a tourist trap and know that the food is overpriced and not very good.  Surfers tend to have a taco at the K-38 taco stand or go a few blocks to “Teresa’s” for authentic Mexican faire.

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