DARREN SKILTON has made a permanent lifestyle out of what most would call a “once in a lifetime” adventure. He has turned his passions for racing cars and experiencing world cultures into a global, professional driving career for over 20 years. His father was a famous British drag racer. His mother was a fearless traveler and successful British drag racer in her own right. One Grandfather was a classically trained chef/pub owner, and the other an accomplished musician and Spanish speaker. It's no wonder that Darren, who grew up in both in England and Southern California, has built his life around cultural, adrenaline-filled adventures highlighted by great food, music and history. His racing and tour company, Baja Automotive Adventures, was created in 1992, focusing on unique JEEP adventures throughout the Baja peninsula and South America. In the following years, as a professional race car driver, he won his class six times in the Baja 1000 and twice in the prestigious Dakar Rally. Darren was the North American Representative for the Dakar Rally for 10 years and has raced the rally 7 times both across Africa and throughout South America. He is currently the co-founder and organizer of the SONORA RALLY, a "Dakar-style", 5 day navigation rally, held in Sonora, Mexico. (www.SonoraRally.com)
ERIN-LEE SKILTON comes from a Hollywood entertainment background and has spent 15 years as a theater actress and producer, casting director and most recently the producer of "Alta Cocina by Aventura", a private pop-up dinner series, held in unique spaces, featuring some of Baja and Alta California's finest chefs. She is the casting director for Bravo's hit television show TOP CHEF and curates unique food experiences to touch emotions, as well as awaken all 5 senses. Back in the day, her mother was a swanky TWA ground hostess, and growing up, instilled in her a passion for travel and appreciation for other cultures. Little Erin would experience world-themed cultural dinners and a mom who encouraged her to choose excitement over despair when her lunch box contained hummus, tabbouleh and Persian cucumbers while the other kids had bologna.
Erin-lee is fortunate to have traveled throughout Europe, South America and Morocco and has been traveling throughout Mexico since she was 5, when her father first brought her on a dune buggy / deep sea fishing adventure.She has traveled as part of the Skilton "chase crew" in the prestigious Dakar Rally as well as the Baja 1000, and has followed the NORRA MEXICAN 1000 from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas, as a producer on the up coming documentary film BAJA SOCIAL CLUB. She has curated dining experiences for both the NORRA MEXICAN 1000 as well as the SONORA RALLY, where she built a desert camp (bivouac) complete with a bar, lounge space and dining area for 100+ racers and families deep in the heart of the Mexican desert sand dunes. (www.Sonorarally.com).
Erin-lee and Darren are married and share a home in Sonora, Mexico, as well as Long Beach, Ca.
LOCAL TEAM While in Mexico, (and all countries), we rely heavily on the relationships and close friendships we have cultivated over the past 20 years. These friends do not work for us, but with us, to provide you with the most genuine of experiences in their local areas of expertise. Each person you meet, from the wineries to the hotels to the chefs to the guides, are like family to us, and our hope is that once you experience one of our adventures, you will feel the same, and return to Mexico and your new friends, many times over.
Baja Automotive has also specialized in Off- Road Driver Training, International logistics, Race Car Construction and Adventure tours for people who share his enthusiasm for unique and exciting experiences. He has been a guide for off road tours throughout Mexico, South America, Europe and Africa. Through racing and guiding, Darren has visited over 50 countries. He is fluent in French, Spanish, snotty British-English and can also rap out some Snoop Dogg on occasion, as his residence of choice for the past 20 years, has been Long Beach, CA.
For more about Darren see WWW.DARRENSKILTON.COM.
Our tours are for those who like to view the world from a unique perspective. We incorporate history, culture and local friends into our adventures and sometimes this includes remote back roads and exciting surprises. Our adventures are for those who are in good physical condition, have healthy and varied appetites for food and drink, and who are understanding of the true definition of the word "Adventure". This doesn't always include perfect situations, but it does always include natural beauty, fantastic fare and great people. We understand and appreciate that some of you are fearful or sensitive to certain foods, allergic or may not like being out of their comfort zone.. if this is your case, these adventures may not be right for you. However, we will do our best to accommodate certain restrictions and welcome any questions.