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Trip of the Week

Tecate: A Taste of the Real Mexico

March 01, 1987|MICHELE GRIMM and TOM GRIMM | The Grimms of Laguna Beach are authors of "Away for the Weekend," a travel guide to Southern California.

The secluded 150-acre retreat recently has been updated with new cottage accommodations, gyms, dining room and other facilities. Guests sign up for weeklong stays to take part in activities for the body, mind and spirit, but overnight visitors are welcome when space is available.

You'll pay a per diem portion of the full program price, which varies according to lodging but includes all meals, classes and evening activities. Daily rates range from about $150 to $225 per person, double-occupancy. To check on availability, call (619) 294-8504. (Tecate's two other lodgings are not recommended.)

If you decide to continue west on Mexico 2 to return to the United States via Tijuana, be advised that the road is narrow and crowded with hot-rodding truck drivers. Buy Mexican car insurance at the office on Calle Cardenas just inside the border at Tecate.

Otherwise, return to California by recrossing at Tecate. The border gate is open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Follow California 94 back to San Diego for the trip home. An alternative is to go east on California 94 to join San Diego county road S1 north to Interstate 8, then head west to pick up Interstate 5. (Two motels are near the I-8 Pine Valley exit.)

Round trip from Los Angeles to explore the atypical border town of Tecate is 320 miles.

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