Post ride tips on Baja

Discussion in 'Americas' started by tallpaul63, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. jazzer

    jazzer Lost again... Yeah!

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    Hi TallPaul,

    Would you recommend just crossing at Mexicali, or going down to Ensenada and taking highway 3? We love scenery and don't mind taking it slow, but I'm not great in the dirt. How long will it take on 3 and do we need to carry extra petro (KLR)?

    Thanks again.

    Ken
    #21
  2. Stonewall

    Stonewall The Wild

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    Gathering Intel.:lurk :deal
    #22
  3. tallpaul63

    tallpaul63 Been here awhile

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    If you're leaving from home, and planning to cross the border into Baja on the same day, AND make it down to Ensenada, that sounds pretty ambitious to me. You will do well to cross at Tecate, and the road to Ensenada is nice, passing through one of baja's wine growing regions, quite pretty. I would plan on staying close to the border in Ca the first night, and leaving plenty of time after crossing the border to get yourself oriented, and south of the border towns on your second day. But the important thing is that you are going; have fun!

    You may like more saddle time than I do, but you will find that your mileage expectations need to be altered in Baja. Average speeds will be slower, and the days are pretty short this time of year. Most folks will tell you to avoid riding at night. I agree.

    Buena Suerte!
    #23
  4. tallpaul63

    tallpaul63 Been here awhile

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    I don't like to travel the same road twice, so I think you can travel southbound from Tecate (easy border crossing) toward Ensenada on the way south. Passes through some nice vineyard country, maybe 2 hours to Ensenada from the border. Cross the peninsula somewhere, and return home via Coco's corner, Alfonsina's, Puertocito through to San Felipe. Or do this in reverse.

    I also hear that the toll road to La Rumarosa from Tecate is nice, but I haven't ridden it. Check it out if it works for you- I don't think you need to hang in Mexicali except in transit.

    Good luck!
    #24
  5. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    From the border you can make San Felipe in a day without problems. I've done this a couple times and I goof around a lot.

    I overnighted at Rancho El Coyote without a reservation. Very cool place, Highly recommended, especially with a sweety. It was $60US with two meals. This is on the road into the National Park, south of Ensenada. About 50-60 mi of twisty pavement into the park. When I was there, no motos were allowed, but the ride was still worth it. Not for acrophobs. 1000ft cliffs at the fog line. Sandy corners, sluffed road edges. Stunning scenery. Melling Ranch and El Coyote (part of Melling) are on the road in. This was a day to the border, for me. You can see the spot in my Baja ride report, in my sig.

    Catavina to the Park was a days ride. From the Park to a couple hours across the border was a day.

    I took it really slow on the washboards around Coco's Corner. I enjoyed the people and spent three days from Coco's to San Felipe.

    Don't ride at night is a good rule, although I have done it at very reduced speeds (30mph) Very risky. Don't drink the water. Don't camp on unoccupied/unknown beaches. Drug trafficing on the east side of Baja where the road gets close to the ocean.

    If you get to San Ignacio, Nano Fongs was a nice little motel. Cheap and really great food. At the intersection to the town plaza, off of hwy 1.

    I like staying at the small motels and renting palapas on the beaches.

    Gas stations are far apart on hwy 1, but barrel gas at Catavina and the turn into Bay of LA.

    You will have a great time. I wish I was going south.
    #25
  6. tbarstow

    tbarstow Two-wheelin' Fool

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    Northern Baja is pretty wet right now, lots of standing water. The road is good from Alfonsina's to Coco's, muddy and wet from Coco's out to the highway.

    The weather is great here in Todos Santos today.
    #26
  7. GalacticGS

    GalacticGS 1200 GS Rider

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    Thanks for the update Tim!

    Hopefully the north will dry out a bit by the time we get there late next week.

    Hope your trip continues to go great! Happy Holidays!!!
    #27
  8. mtncrawler

    mtncrawler Long timer

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    Not the beach but an optional northern destination with your short window..

    http://guadalupecanyonoasis.com/

    My last night in Baja last March..fun little ride out and back off Hwy 2. Couple of entrances (sets of tracks). I found the eastern most, right across the dry lake bed the easiest. The more "formal" road was washboarded and sandy at the time. Do a search here - I'm sure you'll find great advice and even tracks.. Have fun!:freaky
    #28
  9. jazzer

    jazzer Lost again... Yeah!

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    Hi Mtcrawler,

    Did you stay there? It looks like something my wife might like. What did you think of the place?

    Thanks
    Ken
    #29
  10. Nomadador

    Nomadador ...

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    Does anyone know if the San Ysidro crossing customs office/bank is open 24 hours? I think I read that somewhere...trying to cross really early morning and take care of the tourist card at the border.
    #30
  11. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

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    A suggestion if you havent been to baja and want to take bikes+ camp.If you are hauling your bike down just stay in a beach campground like Kiki's,Ruben's or Club de Pesca and take day rides out of your camp.The weather in San Felipe is awesome this time of year.Watching the sun come up over the Sea of Cortez then riding into town for fresh shrimp cocktails for breakfast is the best way to start a day.from San Felipe you can take day rides or 1 or 2 overnight rides to Mike's Sky Ranch,Alphonsina's in Gonzaga bay or a trip to see Coco.There are lots of local roads + beach riding south of town.Its very easy to run 500-600 miles a week of just day rides there.You dont need a street legal bike there.1 thing I do if going to San Felipe is cross the border at Mexicali early-like 6am.Easy traffic flow Baja really doesnt start untill you are south of Ensenada or San Felipe.Both areas are about %50 retired americans.The bank atm's will give you pesos with your american atm card and you wont get ripped for an exchange fee..The campgrounds are gated at night but when I go riding I keep my stuff locked inside my van.[​IMG]
    #31
  12. mtncrawler

    mtncrawler Long timer

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    I liked it. Wished I had planned more time (and food) there - only spent one night. If you like campsites with there own hot pools, you'll like it. Some nice hiking up canyon from the campground with nice natural swimming holes too. It was a little pricey, like $30/night, but i think worth it. Great stars out there too..

    PM me if you have any other questions, otherwise you might do some searches here. Enjoy...:D
    #32
  13. stoney4vida

    stoney4vida Semper Fidelis

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    I think the Tecate border crossing is best. always lots faster, Way less traffic.
    #33
  14. Riggerdan

    Riggerdan Orange Noob

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    +1
    #34
  15. Riggerdan

    Riggerdan Orange Noob

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    They will let motorcycles through no problem / minimal wait
    drive all the way up and there is a break in the concrete barriers by entrance
    #35
  16. YAHBO

    YAHBO Grip and rip since 1983

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    I am gearing up for a winter 2013 rip down Baja and what is required for paperwork? Insurance? Is a passport all that is needed or is there more travel docs to gather?

    Thanks for a great thread, tallpaul.

    Subscribed and I'm sure I will be chiming in here and there.

    YAHBO
    #36
  17. Bato

    Bato Been here awhile

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    Subscribed :ear Never been to Baja
    #37
  18. tallpaul63

    tallpaul63 Been here awhile

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    You will need a passport. A visa is not required, but you are supposed to purchase a tourist permit, something like 25 bucks at the border. In Tecate, it only took a few minutes to take care of this. I don't think that they really check it, but I don't begrudge them a few bucks for the local economy. Better to be on the up and up, in case you get involved with the authorities.

    Insurance is not required, or more accurately I should say that they won't check this as at the border as a condition of entry, but you may wish to purchase it. A personal decision.

    You won't need a temporary vehicle import permit, unless you intend to leave Baja for the mainland, like taking the ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan.

    All in all, it's pretty simple.
    #38
  19. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    Anyone know if it's possible to get a temp vehicle import permit AFTER you've been in Baja for awhile. Our plans are a little open ended, but if we don't get the permit upon our border crossing are we screwed?
    #39
  20. tallpaul63

    tallpaul63 Been here awhile

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    Questions for Banjercito If you have questions, e-mail this bi-lingual answer man: Erik Fernandez Carranza <efernandez@banjercito.com.mx>



    Try emailing this fellow to see if you can make arrangements in La Paz. I suspect it can be done. Otherwise, you may look into making arrangements online, but the documents will have to be shipped to you, and I'd have concerns about that happening reliably,on your schedule. Probably easy to do from home with plenty of lead time though.


    Paul
    #40