Final Thoughts on Baja

After spending a month in Baja, Laughlin and I thought we would do a quick post with some final information we thought would be helpful for someone planning a trip here. The following are mostly random thoughts in no particular order.

  1. Baja can be fairly cool and windy during winter months. We experienced temperatures as low as 50 degrees, as high as 95 degrees, but typically in the 60s up north and mid 70s towards the south.
  2. The Pacific Ocean water is cold and has larger waves than the warmer (relatively) Sea of Cortes.
  3. You will see dozens of other campers everyday in Baja as it is well known for camping. This is different from our experience so far in the mainland.
  4. There are many places to camp for free and many places to pay to camp. We camped about 10 nights for free and paid probably 20 nights. Most will charge about $5-10 for dry camping and the most we paid was $30 in downtown Cabo.
  5. If you are camped in a semi public place, people WILL park right next to you at 2am and crank their music for hours! We had this happen nearly five times. Most of the time it was a bit obnoxious but we will never forget the guy who was obviously drinking, by himself, and began to sing to some terrible ballad, out of tune and at the top of his lungs! It was hilarious.
  6. DO NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT! There are many unmarked corners, potholes, dangerous shoulders, cows and horses, etc. that make driving during the day a challenge let alone at night.
  7. The roads in Baja for the most part weren’t too bad. There was a great deal of road construction going on while we passed through improving the roads.
  8. Finding fuel in Baja was probably easier than finding it in the US. Almost every town, large and small, have modern PEMEX stations. The drive from El Rosario to Bahia de Los Angeles was probably the biggest stretch without fuel and was probably less than 100 miles. Some stations don’t sell diesel and those stations are primarily near the center of the city, but on the edges it is easy to find.
  9. There are tire shops (llanteras) everywhere so if you do happen to get a flat or have a blowout, you won’t have to look hard the get back on the road.
  10. Baja is mostly desert so don’t be expecting a tropical paradise!
  11. Cash is king in Baja as many places do not accept credit cards. ATMs are plentiful in larger cities.
  12. The exchange rate during our visit was about 20 pesos to $1USD. We always paid in pesos as the exchange rate charged by restaurants, vendors, etc. was usually less than the 20:1.
  13. Street food was good, cheap and didn’t make us sick once.
  14. Purified water stations are fairly plentiful in larger towns. We paid anywhere from 9 to 17 pesos for 5 gallons of water. It is cheaper if you drive to the station to fill up but you can’t beat the convenience of having it delivered as is the case with many campgrounds. Our tank holds 15 gallons and we have two 2.5 gallon jugs for driving water. Usually for 20 gallons of purified water, we pay about 50 pesos or $2.50 USD. This is a lot cheaper than buying 5 gallon jugs from stores such as Walmart.
  15. Aside from being freaked out by the guy in the dually truck indicating he had guns pulled on him, we felt very safe our entire time in Baja. In fact, we frequently say that there were some parts of California that made us more nervous than anywhere in Baja.
  16. Our Spanish is improving every day but you can easily get by with little or no Spanish in Baja. That said, try to speak the language first as you will get free lessons and it makes the people more happy to help once they see you are trying.

2 comments

  1. great info! We will begin our journey next week..will most likely be using you guys as our guide..super sweet of you to share your experience….

Leave a Reply