Baja California, Mexico, is fortunate to have arguably some of the best weather anywhere. It is often sunny and dry throughout the year with cloudless skies. The average high daily temperature in June for example, is 89 degrees F/ 31 degrees C and 77 degrees F / 25 degrees C in December. Due to the low humidity of the region it seldom feels very hot or very cold. Check out the weather in a corresponding area with Weather Underground.
Baja is naturally short for Baja California, also sometimes referred to as Lower California or the other California. It is the second longest peninsula in the world and is part of Mexico. With water on 3 sides, it is connected by land to the U.S. State of California.
Due to it's location and distance from the mainland of Mexico it has developed a unique culture. For many years it was thought to be an island. Because of it's sparse population it is known for spectacular uninhabited beaches, beautiful wildlife and is still considered to be undiscovered by tourism standards even though it is easy to reach by crossing the Border from the U.S. State of California. For more information on Baja please visit our Baja Facts page.
Don't fret. You will seldom encounter a situation where you will need extensive Spanish language skills. Many people in Baja have a solid grasp of English and are willing to help out the traveler. Of course, a willingness to learn and experiment never hurts! We encourage you to look beyond linguistic and cultural boundaries and join us in the search for common ground. Hand gestures work in a pinch, too!
You should bring along a backpack or duffel packed with such travel basics as shorts, pants, long and short sleeved shirts, a pullover hoodie, a jacket, a swimsuit, a tent, a sleeping pad, and a sleeping bag. If you don't have a sleeping bag or tent you should purchase or borrow one before the Trek. Since we often travel to wilderness areas, it's always good to bring a flashlight, games, a good book, and a portable music player if you can't live without tunes.
No. There are no required immunizations or vaccinations to enter Baja California. As always when you travel, you should ensure that you are up to date on your vaccines such as tetanus, hepatitis, and rabies. In general, Baja has a reputation for being more hygenic than the mainland. A great travel health resource for all countries is Mdtravelhealth.com. In general, tap water is not guaranteed to be potable, so you should always drink the bottled and purified water we always carry on board. We also travel with an extensive first aid kit. Since we travel to wilderness areas, please bring any prescriptions or medications you need to stay healthy and don't count on having access to a pharmacy on short notice.
Not to worry. You may like it more than sleeping at home! Bring your sleeping bag, pad and tent, and we'll help you set up and get comfortable. We've got a bunch of spare, used gear on board too, like extra tarps, which are available for use on a first-come, first-serve basis. After a few nights under the stars with beautiful morning sunrises, don't be surprised to find yourself camping frequently once you're back home. We'll show you how to enjoy the experience. And, with your meals taken care of, this will be a great introduction to camping.
Glad you asked! We think we have four things going for us that make the experience special and low cost.
All of us at Baja Trek pride ourselves on offering a safe, comfortable journey for our Trekkers. Though Mexico City and many mainland border towns have a bad rap in terms of crime and safety standards, we feel that Baja is a safe and risk-free place to travel. Unfortunately, stereotypes still persist, and American press media often reports violence in Mexico as a pervasive and dramatic thing.
A recent edition of the Moon Travel Handbook for Baja states: "Statistics clearly show that violent crime is overall less common in Mexico than anywhere in the United States. In Baja California, crime statistics are many times lower than the United States national average." We believe that the current violence in Mexico touches almost exclusively those connected with the drug industry. This does not affect us. Further, we believe that our level of experience, knowledge and comfort with living, traveling, and guiding tours in Baja, as well as the presence of people on board who know the areas we travel and the local customs well, assures our Trekkers of a safe and enlightening experience.
Absent a few scraped knees, safety has never been an issue on any of our Treks. Experience more than anything has taught us to trust in our community and support network here in Baja.
No visa is needed for treks to Northern Baja California, Mexico (B.C.N.). On trips into Southern Baja (B.C.S.) a simple Tourist permit will be obtained when you cross the border. These visa cards are very easy to obtain and inexpensive and are issued in the space of a few minutes. They may be purchased at the border or from a Consulate office. Canadian and U.S. Citizens returning home to the States only need a passport or proof of citizenship to enter back into the U.S. For Trekkers other than Canadian or U.S. citizens, please check with customs to ensure you have the correct visas or documents.
Yes, specials and discounts are offered from time to time. Please see the discount page or call our office for more details.
Nope, nada. There are no hidden charges, fuel levies or local payments of any kind. What you see is what you pay.
It's easy! Check out our Trek Schedule page to decide which Trek you want to come on. Then fill out a Booking Form and submit it. Once we receive your form, we will email you letting you know how to proceed. We'll ask you to pay a small Trek Deposit to hold you spot. Once your deposit has been paid, your spot will be firmly held for you through thick and thin. If you need more personalized help, you can reach us at the following email address to place your reservations or just to ask questions. We'll be happy to help.
It usually depends on the trek and the time of year but you can expect about 22 fellow travelers on the Baja Vibe excursions while the Baja Adventurer has up to 12 Trekkers. We have travelers of all age. Nobody is too old or too different to be on board. Most are traveling solo with an equal amount of females and males on board. The oldest Trekker to date has been 82 year old John from Arizona. The youngest Trekker award goes to 3 year old Jack from Australia.
While you are in the Baja Trek vehicles, you are insured as a passenger. The insurance does not cover you while you are not in the vehicle, so traveler's insurance is recommended.
All treks begin and end at the border in San Ysidro/Tijuana, just south of San Diego. The meeting location is accessible by public transit from San Diego. Specific instructions for meeting up are sent to each Trekker once the Trek Deposit has been paid. If you have any specific questions please contact the Trek office.
Thanks for asking! We aspire to be as ecologically responsible as possible. Please see our carbon neutral eco-page here. We are always open to new ideas, so if you have a suggestion for how we can improve, please do let us know.
While we hang out at the meeting spot there is Wi-Fi access near the Baja Beach Bus. This is a hotspot and in the area for passengers. However, once we are away from the border, you will have to visit internet cafes, which can be found in most towns and are quite inexpensive. Since we often travel to wilderness areas, our trips are not necessarily designed to keep you connected to the outside world at all times. You may have to live without internet or cell phone access for a few days. It just means you'll have to put aside all those pressing to-do items and focus on the adventure!
We don't have bathrooms on board the bus. Fortunately, you can count on frequent stops that are made when needed or asked for. We usually carry portable solar showers on board, especially on our longer trips (over 3 days). They are subject to the availability of fresh water. For our trips that include hostel stays, hot showers are included in your stay.
We recommend staying in one of San Diego's downtown hostels. These are easily accessible and right near the Blue Line Trolley, which goes straight to our meetup location at the border. Specifically, we recommend Lucky D's or USA Hostels SD. Mention that you're headed on a Baja Trek!
Certainly a very good question. We do recommend that you carry a passport to return back to the United States from Mexico. If you don't have one, the folks at the border have outlined two options for you:
This information came from Federal Form 0644. If you don't have a passport than the second option would probably be the easiest. Also, these rules sometimes change without our knowing, so make sure you do your research as well, especially if you have special circumstances. Nobody enjoys a stressful border crossing!
Check out our Trek Schedule. We have treks criss-crossing Baja every month. Hopefully, there's one that fits into your schedule. If not, drop us a line and we'll see if we can't accomodate you.
The Food Fund portion of the Trek Fee is intended to cover meals prepared in camp by the group. Because we're in the land of delicious Mexican food, it doesn't seem fit to cook you every meal. We like to patronize our favorite local restaurants and taco stands. This is why we only charge you for 70% of meals. The other 30% will be stops en route. This helps support our local economy and gets you in touch with real-life, delicious Mexican cuisine. While your Food Fund also covers water, it doesn't cover alcoholic beverages of any kind.
We usually stop to camp at predetermined camping areas for the night on the way to our destination. People can either sleep on board Gus or pitch a tent for a little more privacy outside for the night. Many people also sleep in just a sleeping bag under the stars or around the campfire, since nights are usually very mild.
Each Trek has 1-2 Trek Volunteers aboard who are in charge of facilitating the group in the cooking of meals and doing chores. Beyond that, however, we think camp duties should ultimately be a community effort. You are expected to pitch in. Each Trek has a pre-prepared menu as a guide to help Volunteers, but you ultimately have the liberty to cook as you see fit, so suggestions are always welcome!
You may notice that we're sometimes a bit sluggish to respond to phone calls! Since we're often on the road in Baja, either on Treks, scouting out new territory, or preparing ourselves for the next Trek, we may have slipped out of cell phone range or be short-staffed in the office. We're a tiny team with a lot of tasks on our plates, but we really care about answering your questions. If you can't get a call through, please do us a huge favor and send us an email too! We're often faster at responding to queries by email than by phone and this way we'll be sure not to miss you in the mayhem of voice-mail. Thanks for your patience!
"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move." - Robert Louis Stevenson