LOGO  

 

Baja Hotbox

 
   

"DON'T DRIVE AT NIGHT "
" DON'T CAMP ALONE"

Click Here For Current Peso Exchange Rate

 
 

Visit Us On
   
VagabundosdelMar Facebook
 
VagabundosdMar Twitter


Fuel Price in El Rosario as of October 1, 2018
Magna 20.07 pesos/liter, $4.06 gal
Premium 21.41 pesos/liter, $4.33 gal
Diesel 21.01 pesos/liter $4.25 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

Current Information

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.

9/21/18 Road Report - Highway 5 We are recommending not to take this road south of San Felipe
- Two members have reported yesterday not to take this road. South of San Felipe the road goes from bad to worse and the dirt section after Coco's is horrible. Rick Dyer

Road conditions as of 9/18/2018 My wife and I just traveled from San Felipe down Mexico 5 towards Coco's corner over to Hwy 1 North. Lots of road construction starting just south of South Beach all the way to Puertecitos. There is a detour as the road is being completely replaced with culverts under the road eliminating all the dips for water runoff. You will travel right next to the construction but it is very bumpy and dusty. The road south is nice once you pass Puertecitos and then is really bad again as you cross from Coco's to Hwy 1. Seems like they just stopped the construction of the new bridges. Driving south of San Felipe in a Motor-home or car is not recommended. Scott and Patti Harmier

8/12/18 Just returned from San Quintin. On the way down, south of Ensenada just passed the first military inspection point there must have been a landslide. About 1 mile or so past the military check point there is a giant scene of construction on the hills area. About 1 to 2 miles long. Big delays of 1 hour or more on this road. Going southbound past the major construction is all new paved highway. The newest is just north of San Quintin just north of Drisdol’s Berry’s. It continues south until the turnoff for Jardines .Thanks Rick Dyer

Ambassador-at-large Mike Trible - 7/23/18 The roads are good from Loreto north except around Santa Rosalia. The potholes around Catavina have been filled. The road is new north of Catavina. We would not recommend the Desert Inn in San Ignacio it has become rundown. The Desert Inn in Catavina has been updated but was the most expensive hotel. The Desert Inn is no longer accepting the La Pinta travel club card. Hotel Santa Maria in Santo Tomas was the cheapest and was nice.

WARNING: When exiting Mexico out of Tecate the last right turn there is a stop light. A stop sign has been placed at the stop light and everyone must stop at the stop sign even if the stop light is green. I received a ticket for not stopping at the stop sign even when the stop light was green.

Director Freddie Washington - 7/17/18 - South of Loreto be cautious there are steep drop-offs on both side of the road for 2km. South of Ciudad Constitucion at 194km, there is a small amount of road construction. North of La Paz the first sign of major road construction beginning at 62km. At this point slow down (dirt road detour) to 56km marker. (road widening and repaving) At 56km to 52km the highway has been repaved, be careful because road driving lines have not been painted. La Paz to Los Barriles No road construction and the road is in good condition.

7/3/18 Fishing and Road Report - Freddie Washington entered Baja at Tijuana on June 26, 2018. He passed the check points with ease. He had the Vagabundos sticker displayed on his truck and was waved through.

There were potholes and road construction between Rosario and Catavina, about five miles north of Catavina. This was the worst section of road. Between Catavina and Chapala potholes have been repaired for the most part. Some road construction still underway.

Bay of LA
Fishing is amazing, yellowtail are hitting left and right. Anything and everything you put in the water catches fish. Average fish weighted 15lb with a few 30lb mixed in.

7/6/18

Alaska Round trip nonstop

Los Angeles - Loreto 10/13/18 - 10/20/18 $440.95
Los Angeles - Loreto 11/9/18 - 11/22/18 $383.95

Alaska Round trip nonstop
Los Angeles - Cabo 10/12/18 - 10/19/18 $310.99
Los Angeles - Cabo 11/5/18 - 11/21/18 $259.99

Southwest Round trip nonstop
San Diego - Cabo 10/1/18 - 10/9/18 $307.99
San Diego - Cabo 10/29/18 - 11/7/18 $227.99
San Diego - Cabo 11/13/18 - 11/29/18 $227.99

Southwest
Sacramento - Cabo 10/2/18 - 10/9/18 $34.59
Sacramento - Cabo 11/13/18 - 11/29/18 $346.59

5/5/18 Just drove from Loreto Bay north. Went through customs at Tecate, Mexico. Stopped by the police for doing an illegal right hand turn, which I didn't and not having a red flag on the back of my kayak on top of my car . Threatened to lead us to the courthouse to pay a 2,000 peso fine. Opened my wallet showing I only had 200 pesos, and was allowed to proceed to the border. Same exact thing happened to friends that were an hour behind us. Frank Pinelli on Facebook.

5/2/18 2018 MOTORCYCLE TOUR - April 11 - 20 -
It was windy but the roads were good. About 30 miles south of Catavina the roads were a little rough. It was easy for them on their bikes to bypass the potholes. The road to L.A Bay was also great. Hotel Mission San Quintin had been remodeled and was very nice. They spent 2 days in Loreto at Hotel Santa Fe and the Hotel was really nice. Hotel Caracol in Guerrero Negro we would not recommend. Hotel Catavina was very nice. Across the street they built a good size store which was nice to have close by. They are also building a gas station and word is they should have fuel there in about 6 months. There is a new road that bypasses the town of Todos Santos. They were wanting to drive through the town but got on the wrong HWY and ended up going around the town instead.

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

LINKS

BAJA ON THE FLY

GRINGO GAZETTE

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

WEATHER.COM

Travel Information

Temporary Import Permits:

Vehicle Permits

  • The new fee is $44 plus tax. People going to Baja north & south and part of Sonora do not need to have one.

  • Everyone is required to leave a deposit (if you pay by cash or credit card); the deposit is based on the vehicle year. If anyone fails to return their vehicle prior to the expiration date the deposit will be kept.

  • Banjercito will run a check on the vehicle before issuing the permit, if there is any theft report on the vehicle or if it is restricted or prohibited to operate in the US or Canada, the vehicle cannot be temporarily imported.

  • The temporary permit time is based on the person's immigration status i.e. 180 days for tourist.

  • People traveling in the eastern part of Sonora need to have a Sonora Only Permit.

Boat Permits

  • Temporary Boat Importation Permits (TIP) are required if you are towing a boat of more than 15 feet. Marinas in Mexico have an obligation by law to keep a copy of a tourist visa, vessel TIP, insurance and certificate of documentation on file. The TIP is for recreational or sport boats for all people legally residing outside of Mexico no matter what your immigration status. TIP application click here.

Prepaid FMM's and Fishing Licenses

PREPAID FMM'S (VISITOR CARDS)
FMM Application

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 500 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. Immigration requires that this service be provided only to Members. 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
FISHING LICENSE APPLICATION

CURRENT RATES (subject to change without notice)

Weekly*   $23.20*
Monthly*
  $34.80*
Yearly   $46.40*
*Plus a handling fee

PROHIBITED AND PERMITTED ITEMS

PROHIBITED ITEMS

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.

PERMITTED ITEMS

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.