Five Reasons to Visit Baja California's "Magical" La Chinesca Neighborhood

Five Reasons to Visit Baja California's "Magical" La Chinesca Neighborhood

In the heart of Mexicali, the state's capital, an underground world reveals a fusion of two cultures

BAJA CALIFORNIA, Mexico, Dec. 21, 2023 Baja California, the northern half of the Baja California peninsula, is home to some of Mexico's most significant cultural sites including La Chinesca in Mexicali, the state's capital city. In August 2023, La Chinesca was designated as the state's first "Magical Neighborhood," for its cultural, adventure and gastronomic significance, but the underground world's conception was originally developed for utilitarian purposes.

In the early 20th century, Chinese immigrants arrived in Mexicali in search of work, and with the city's close proximity to the U.S. border, it was an attractive getaway during Prohibition for thirsty Americans. To serve these travelers, many Chinese immigrants opened bars, restaurants and shops, but Mexicali's relentless summer heat was difficult to withstand. As a solution, they designed an intricate underground city connected via a network of tunnels that housed subterranean cantinas, restaurants, schools, hospitals, a casino and even a jail.

As Chinese New Year approaches, these are five reasons to visit La Chinesca and discover more about this unique era in Chinese history.

Today, La Chinesca is a vibrant touristic destination that pays tribute to the culture and lifestyle of those who lived there. It is also home to some of the best Chinese food in the country, and Mexicali itself has the largest collection of Chinese restaurants per capita than any other place in Mexico. As Chinese New Year approaches, here are five reasons to visit La Chinesca and discover more about this unique era in Chinese history:

Located near the U.S. border, Mexicali is often referred to as "the city that captured the Sun," and is known to be one of the hottest locations in Mexico with record high temperatures during summer months (July and August). Drawing adventure enthusiasts to its diverse landscape, Mexicali has witnessed the rise of sandboarding as one of the most popular sports in recent years, attracting enthusiasts to compete in national and international competitions in Los Algodones. Also a lush agricultural region, Mexicali is the only area in Mexico that dates are produced, and is a leader in the highest date production with export quality.

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About Baja California

The State of Baja California occupies the northern half of the Baja California peninsula, providing some of Mexico's most dramatic sea and landscapes in seven tourist destinations, including its capital, Mexicali, along with Tijuana, Ensenada, San Felipe, Rosarito, San Quintin and Tecate. From remote deserts and beaches to lush forests, the region is known for an array of outdoor activities, including spectacular camping, hiking, world-class surfing, sailing, deep sea fishing, and more. Baja California is also home to a growing culinary movement, with world-class restaurants and chefs, along with wineries and craft breweries that produce 70 percent of wine and 20 percent of craft beer annually in Mexico.

Exceptional hospitality and wellness-fused accommodations can be experienced at globally recognized resorts including Rancho La Puerta, a Tecate-based fitness and spa retreat boasting unmatched views of the sacred Mt. Kuchumaa, as well as Montevalle Resort, a luxury all-inclusive, adults-only resort in Valle de Guadalupe focusing on holistic therapies and innovative treatments. In 2024, Banyan Tree Group will welcome its first spa & wellness resort and winery in the region with Banyan Tree Veya Valle de Guadalupe. For more information on Baja California, please visit