MAKE IT HAP­PEN

Lonely Planet Magazine (US) - - Great Escape -

GET­TING THERE

There are six o cial bor­der cross­ings from the U.S. state of Cal­i­for­nia to Baja. U.S., Mex­i­can main­land and in­ter­na­tional flights leave from and ar­rive at La Paz, Loreto, San José del Cabo and Tuana. Fer­ries from Santa Ros­alía and Pichilingue (near La Paz) con­nect Baja Cal­i­for­nia to the main­land by sea. U.S. cit­i­zens trav­el­ing by land or sea can en­ter Mex­ico and re­turn to the U.S. with a pass­port card, but if trav­el­ing by air will need a pass­port. All tourists must have a tourist per­mit, avail­able on ar­rival.

GET­TING AROUND

Public trans­porta­tion is very lim­ited within Baja Cal­i­for­nia. The best way to ac­cess re­mote ar­eas is to drive; var­i­ous rental agen­cies rent ve­hi­cles (from about $145 per week). If you’re driv­ing in to Baja, you must have a valid U.S. or Cana­dian driver’s li­cense. For travel within the Baja Cal­i­for­nia penin­sula you do not need to process a tem­po­rary im­por­ta­tion per­mit for your ve­hi­cle. If you drive to main­land Mex­ico, how­ever, you will need to ap­ply for a tem­po­rary ve­hi­cle per­mit (for more in­for­ma­tion, see

ba­janorte.com). Most towns have Pe­mex gas sta­tions, but there are long stretches of road with­out them, so it’s wise to re­fuel when­ever pos­si­ble. When driv­ing in Baja you’ll en­counter var­i­ous mil­i­tary check­points where you may be asked to dis­play your pass­port and tourist card.

HOW LONG TO STAY

This itin­er­ary could be com­pleted in as lit­tle as two weeks; how­ever, a longer trip would al­low more time to break up the lengthy stretches of driv­ing re­quired to travel from the top of the penin­sula right down to the tip. More time would be needed if you de­cide to spend a cou­ple of days staying on Espíritu Santo is­land as well as in La Paz.

WHAT TO BUD­GET

Gas through­out Baja Cal­i­for­nia costs around $1 per liter (¼ gal­lon). Din­ing out can be done very cheaply, with road­side tacos and bur­ri­tos avail­able for around $1.50 each. Ac­com­mo­da­tions – the most ex­pen­sive and vari­able fac­tor – range from less than

$30 per night for bud­get rooms up to more than $550 per night for first-rate ho­tels and pic­turesque glamp­ing lo­ca­tions.

WHEN TO GO

Baja Cal­i­for­nia is a year-round des­ti­na­tion, though sum­mers are se­ri­ously hot. The av­er­age daily tem­per­a­ture hov­ers around 85°F from June to Novem­ber, but can drop to 70°F in Fe­bru­ary be­fore reach­ing highs ap­proach­ing 100°F in May. Large-scale marine life can be seen at var­i­ous times through­out the year. The best time to see gray whales in the la­goons is Fe­bru­ary through April, though the o cial whale-watch­ing sea­son be­gins in mid-De­cem­ber.

SAFETY

The U.S.Depart­ment of State urges U.S. cit­i­zens to ex­er­cise in­creased caution when vis­it­ing Baja Cal­i­for­nia due to crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in the state. See travel

.state.gov, for more in­for­ma­tion.

WHO CAN HELP

There are nu­mer­ous wine tour com­pa­nies that can as­sist with trips around the Valle de Guadalupe, in­clud­ing Baja Vino Tours, Baja Wine Tours and Baja Win­ery Tours.

Baja Div­ing Ad­ven­tures can pro­vide scuba equip­ment for both guided and pri­vate tours (from $970 for two tanks; ba­jadiv­ing ad­ven­tures.com).

LA GUERRERENSE FOOD TRUCK IN ENSE­NADA SERVES A GREAT VA­RI­ETY OF FISHY TOSTADAS; IN­GRE­DI­ENTS IN­CLUDE SEA URCHIN AND PISMO CLAM.

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