"DON'T DRIVE AT NIGHT "
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Fuel Price in El Rosario as of January 3, 2018
Magna 20.14 pesos/liter, $3.93 gal
Premium 21.70 pesos/liter, $4.24 gal
Diesel 21.24 pesos/liter $4.15 gal
El Chaparral Border Crossing into Tijauna Mexico Video
Mexico Customs Law - List of items - customs list
For breakdowns, flat tires or general assistance in Baja Norte call Department of Tourism by dialing 078
As of January 10, 2018, the US State Department has changed their travel warning system. They now have level 1-4 advisories. You can view Mexico’s current advisory level at travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Mexico.html. An updated travel advisory was released November 15, 2018.
Don't leave your vehicle unattended during check point inspections. Displaying Vagabundos decals and magnetic signs has benefitted Members when passing through check points. Request free decals with your renewal or visit our ship store to purchase a set of magnetic signs.
Roads up and down Baja 1 are in the best shape they have been in for quite a while. Potholes have been filled, but take extra care on new pavement, the driving lines have not been painted. We recommend not taking Highway 5 south of San Felipe - From Mexicali to San Felipe the road is in good condition. South of San Felipe the road goes from bad to worse. Several bridges south of San Felipe are washed out and the detours are steep and rocky. South of Puertecitos the road is nice. As you cross from Coco's to Highway 1 the road gets bad again. Driving south of San Felipe with a towed unit, Motor-home or car is not recommended.
12/18/18 Fishing Licenses - In the Loreto area, Members have reported that annual, monthly and weekly fishing licenses are not available. As of December 13th only daily fishing licenses were available online. Don Eddie's confirmed fishing licenses were available in San Quintin. We have a limited supply of weekly fishing licenses in our office. We are currently out of annual and monthly licenses.
11/28/18 Road Report - We crossed at Tijuana early in the morning with no problems. South of Santa Rosalia there was a bad section of road. Before La Paz there was construction with a 20 minute delay. The left turn after the dove leaving La Paz going to Los Barriles, the road had a washout. We took a detour and ended up in a residential neighborhood. A nice local man asked us where we were going. He tried to explain directions to us but once he realized we did not understand he offered to show us. We followed him out of the neighborhood to the road we were supposed to be on. We offered to pay him, but he did not accept.
10/2/18 Road Report - Tourism in San Felipe just informed us MX 5 from Mexicali to San Felipe is passable. South of San Felipe at km123 the bridge is washed out and is not passable. Don Eddie’s in San Quintin informed us that they are only letting heavy vehicle through at Catavina on MX 1.
12/15/17 Greeting Michelle from San Carlos. We crossed at Nogales and Km 21 yesterday the 15th. At km 21 if you say you are staying in the free zone the personnel will assume you are in a car or truck unless you make a point of stating you are pulling a trailer or driving a motorhome. We showed a picture of our truck hauling our 5th wheel and immediately he stated the truck was OK but the "motorhome" would have to be imported. We clarified that our trailer was not a motorhome but he said it did not matter. My guess is a bunch of people hauling 5th wheels are simply not bringing the subject up and are proceeding without importing. We did this last year and had no problem even being inspected on our return North at the major truck inspection point South of Santa Anna. I am not sure what would happen if you encountered an inspection in the free zone and they demanded to see your importation documents....impounding? We are in Totanaka RV park in San Carlos for a month or so....I will do a little informal canvas to see what other people have done and let you know. Bob J
Friday, December 08, 2017 Gary Graham Western Outdoor News - Mex 1 road trip conquered with common sense, coupled with modern technology. After three solid weeks covering back-to-back tournaments - Los Cabos Billfish, Bisbee Offshore - the Black & Blue, and finishing up with the 19th Annual Western Outdoor News/Yamaha Los Cabo Tuna Jackpot Tournament - I left Cabo early on a Friday morning heading north on Mex 1.
I usually take the "Roadtrek" south in the spring, leaving the van in storage, and fly back and forth monthly until early November. This year was no different. Last year I managed to take a wrong turn out of Cabo and it had taken more than an hour to sort it out. What was different this year, was that I used the Google Maps app on my cell and zipped right through the outskirts of Cabo and onto the highway north. Making it through La Paz before the usual early morning traffic, I was soon rolling past the first inspection point north of La Paz with little more than a "Buenos Dias" from the Officer on duty. Caution: There is still some roadwork just beyond that point and it's in rough condition. Expect detours and drive with caution.
Expect additional roadwork south of Ciudad Constitucion with dirt detours as they are widening the road, followed by the 20+ stop signs in town that are a favorite hangout of local police. Be careful! NO ROLLING STOPS!
Past Ciudad Insurgentes, the next road work is approximately 30 miles north where there are dirt detours around bridge construction projects.
Mid-morning, I pulled into Puerto Escondido at the invitation of Gregory Nash Rhew, manager of the Puerto Escondido Marine facility. The marina is owned by a new group that has changed the face of the area. Rhew gave me a brief tour on his Marine facility... a full-service boat yard equipped with a cement ramp and a travel lift for larger boats. This is a welcome addition for the Loreto boating community as well as for cruising yachts.
Back on Mex 1, I continued my journey homeward. Santa Rosalia is a mess with the main road north of town along the waterfront under repair until the road turns inland. There had been chatter about several police cars equipped with radar stopping travelers in both directions beyond San Ignacio after the Military Inspection point. Sure enough a few miles before the Abreojos turn-off, several south-bound Baja 1000 support vehicles were pulled over. With the Baja 1000 scheduled for the following week, from that point north the southbound traffic increased.
Beyond Guerrero Negro, the reports of more potholes mentioned frequently on the various forums were confirmed. The number and severity definitely demanded a reduction of speed going northward. It was almost dark by the time I arrived at Punta Prieta where the road to Bahia de Los Angeles heads east. I stopped at a small Cafe where there were a handful of big rigs. I inquired about parking for the night, and a rancher visiting with the truck drivers volunteered that I could park on his small ranch on the other side of the road for 60 pesos.
By all reports, Mex 1 was in very rough condition with pot holes and worn roads from where I was parked to Km. 133 north of Catavina.
When I awoke at 2-am, the surrounding desert was brightly lit by a full moon. Although I do not normally drive at night, I was back on Mex 1 heading north. I wasn't alone that early Saturday morning as big rigs streamed south. By the time I reached the Laguna Chapala Mex 5 turnoff, the number of potholes combined with the increased traffic, convinced me that with the bright moon the Mex 5 option made sense.
Until the Coco's Corner turnoff, the only traffic in either direction was a 3-car group headed south. The road lived up to its reputation of being rough and rocky but well-marked. I drove slow and resisted the impulse to speed up on the straight stretches. I was back on the paved road heading north in about an hour and a half. From Gonzaga Bay to Puertecitos is 30-kilometers, paved and in great condition; from there to San Felipe, it is in rough condition. The paved road has eroded in many areas and there are potholes. If you are driving it, go very slow as there are numerous vados that can sneak up on you.
Arriving in Mexicali, once again I depended on Google Maps to lead me through the maze to the border, which it did perfectly... even though at the last few minutes I was sure the directions were wrong. However, modern technology prevailed, and as I made the left turn it instructed, not only was I at the crossing, but I was at the Sentry entrance.
Once again, common sense, coupled with modern technology, brought me home safely!
For current travel, we advise:
Travel with another vehicle in order to have assistance in case of a flat tire or mechanical breakdown. This way you will have someone who can find a tow truck or roadside assistance if necessary. Before leaving home have your local mechanic go over your vehicle and replace anything that looks worn - belts, hoses, headlights, etc. Bring at least basic spare parts.
Don't drive at night. It's not safe, if for no other reason than cows are often in or alongside the highway. You might not see one until it becomes a hood ornament. Also, a breakdown may leave you on the pavement if there is nowhere to pull off to avoid a semi or bus coming at high speed. They do drive all night. There was a big problem for us one time getting on the road late because we were having too much fun at the beach and we thought we knew the road well. Then we found the road we had traveled fairly recently had been repaved but not yet marked. It was a very dark, moonless night with lots of black cows at the edge of the road. That was real white-knuckle driving.
Don't drive too fast. We may hit 60 mph when we can see a long way ahead but 50 mph is our usual speed, especially when driving an RV or towing and many of us have been doing that for a long time without any problem. This will give you an edge in reacting to unforeseen hazards. Looking far ahead at oncoming traffic, if you can judge when you will cross paths and estimate speed, it's better to slow or increase speed and cross paths on a straightaway rather than on a curve or curve and hill.
Drive with your lights on. It's easier to be seen in a passing situation!
Take extra care on blind hills and curves. A tank truck might be half in your lane and you have to move over as far as you can to the right.
Fill up with fuel when your gauge indicates half empty. Between El Rosario and Jesus Maria on Baja 1, the distance is about 150 miles and there are no gas stations in between.
Carry collapsible red cones and a red flag. We use a water ski red flag and it has saved us big time in hazardous situations - including on US roads. Keep it where you can reach it in case your vehicle suddenly becomes disabled; set your hazard lights and get away from the vehicle. These days there seems to be more vehicles and people stalled by the side of the road being hit by traffic coming behind them.
Be extra cautious around Mulege, La Paz and around the Cape areas- southern Baja Sur. More accidents seem to be happening there. It might be due to most roads are now four-lane highways and traffic is moving faster. Another area where extra care is needed is through and south of San Quintin. There is a lot of agriculture traffic and the lanes are narrower.
But above all, realize that we have been sending caravans down Baja and all over the Mexican mainland for many years and have never had a problem with anyone else on the highway. We plan our trips to be in an RV park or motel before the sun goes down. We have trailer boat cruises every year and our fishing tournaments continue to be popular. Also, as mentioned, most of our Officers, Directors, Ambassadors-at-Large and many Members regularly drive the Baja Peninsula with no problems.
8/10/17 MEMBERS SPEAK - Trailer tires seldom wear out. So, people see good tread and take off. Wrong. Rubber degrades over time. A five-year-old tire with perfect tread will delaminate in the heat and potholes of Mex 1. The flapping tread will damage your wheel well, and you may destroy the rim as you limp half a mile to the next spot with any room to pull off. If you don't know the age of your tires, look for minute sidewall cracking. Tire experts can help. Invest in good rubber, including at least one spare. Carry wood blocks and jack equipment that will work in a rocky dirt environment. If Baja hasn't tested your best preparations, it's just waiting for the perfect opportunity. - Thank you Barry - There's a 10-11 numbers and letters after it says DOT. The last 4 numbers tell you the age. For example 3416 would mean the tire was built the 34th week of 2016 -Alan Montgomery Birse
6/23/17 Beginning July 1st, the Port Captain's office will no longer be doing the safety inspections of the boats. The Port Captain will be doing the communications and registering of boats and the military will be doing the safety inspections. It may be a good idea to check your boat for safety equipment and make sure all paperwork is in order prior to launching in any tournament. It may save you a lot of inconvenience at the ramp. Reported by: Juan at the FONAMAR office. Submitted by: Randy Hamman Loreto_Community Yahoo Group
Travel Buddies Calendar
In keeping with today's internet reliance and the Vagabundos code to travel with a buddy, our Travel Buddies Calendar is now online - a great tool to find a buddy to caravan with. Members traveling to Mexico can post trips, find other members who are traveling, find Vag sponsored events, and use the interactive map. Regardless of your driving experience the easy-to-use calendar will allow you to find a buddy. For more information and to login click on http://www.vagabundos.com/TBC.html
Temporary Import Permits:
PREPAID FMM'S (VISITOR CARDS)
Vagabundos members can obtain an FMM from our office, saving you from having to wait in line at a bank. We now process FMM's online and are now able to email you your FMM. Payment by debit or credit cards only. Card will be charged by Mexican Immigration.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO GET YOUR FMM TOURIST CARD VALIDATED AT THE BORDER WHEN YOU ENTER MEXICO. If you fail to get a valid FMM at the border you will be fined, Mexico Immigration will issue a letter giving you 7 days to exit the country and you will need to return to the US.
If you do not get the prepaid FMM from the Vagabundos office and you plan on getting it at the border, do not ask for a Visa because it is not a Visa, it is a TOURIST CARD. US and Canadian citizens do not need a Visa to get into Mexico, they need a TOURIST CARD.
10/30/13 A meeting was held Thursday, October 17, in San Diego regarding FMMs required for fishing on boats in Mexican waters in the 12 mile zone from land. We received information from the CONAPESCA Office in San Diego as to the new procedure for these FMMs. Mexican officials presented a website in Spanish to process FMMs online at http://www.inm.gob.mx/index.php/page/Pesca_Deportiva_Turismo_Nautico. With this new system in place fishermen will have access to an FMM confirmation without having to stop at any border to validate their FMM. This will not take the place for land or air entries.
The price is 558 pesos and it is valid for 180 days, single entry. The website is in Spanish. Land entry FMMs for Baja crossings can be purchased through the Vagabundos Office. A copy of a valid passport is required.
FMM's AT TECATE: It is easier to park on the U.S. side, walk across to Immigration in the building on your right.
FISHING LICENSE APPLICATION
CURRENT RATES (subject to change without notice)
Agricultural items are prohibited If they can carry plant pests or animal diseases.
Fruits and Vegetables All fruit not on the permitted list below is prohibited. Sugarcane is prohibited. Potatoes are prohibited, including Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams. (Exceptions: Cooked potatoes are permitted. Avocados without seeds are permitted, except in California.)
Plants, Seeds, and Soil. Plants and seeds require special permits. Soil and some plants are prohibited. Check in advance with agricultural inspectors. (Exception: Some dried plant parts, such as for medicinal purposes, are permitted.)
Meat and Game Pork-raw and cooked, including sausages, cold cuts, skins, and pork tacos, is prohibited. (Exceptions: Shelf-stable, canned pork and hard cooked pork skins [cracklings] are permitted.) Poultry-raw meat from both domesticated and game fowl is prohibited. (Exception: Thoroughly cooked poultry is permitted.) Game - Check with agricultural inspectors in advance. Other restrictions may apply; check in advance with agricultural inspectors.
Eggs Prohibited. (Exceptions: Boiled and cooked eggs are permitted.)
Live Birds Wild and domesticated birds, including poultry, are prohibited.
To import personally owned pet birds, contact agricultural inspectors in advance.
Straw Generally prohibited. This includes wheat straw, seeds, animal feed, and all articles made from this material.
In addition to the excepted items listed above, many agricultural items are permitted if they pass inspection to be sure they are free of pests, soil and sand.
Fruits and Vegetables Permitted fruits are bananas, blackberries, cactus fruits, dates, dewberries, grapes, lemons, limes (sour), lychees, melons, papayas, pineapples, and strawberries. Vegetables are permitted, except for those on the prohibited list above. Okra, however, is subject to certain restrictions.
Nuts Permitted items are atoms, almonds, cocoa beans, chestnuts, coconuts (without husks or milk}, peanuts, pecans, pinons (pine nuts), tamarind beans, walnuts, and water nuts.