Driving to east cape baja
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Dec 10, 2012 9:26 AM Last Post By: bajadude
Dec 9, 2012 12:33 PM
Driving to east cape bajaHi all, looking for advice, one on safety but also route. I have been planning a trip to see a friend in Los Barriles in Baja. We have from the 20th dec. to 3rd january. I have a 2010 tundra with a camper on top and would like to bring our sups. I keep hearing mixed reviews on safety. What are your thoughts on traveling in a newer truck with a family of 4. I know once down on east cape we will have a blast. It's just getting there.
We are leaving from Denver Colorado, that's where our adventure begins
Dec 9, 2012 1:05 PM
1Driving Baja is here. Safety in Mexico is here. Just about the only way from the border to Los Barilles and Cabo is via Mex 1.
Routing, driving and safety in New Mexico, Arizona, and California are in the U.S. forum. Watch out for DUI roadblocks, I hear they really rip off out-of-state drivers. The So Cal freeways are a disaster, and watch out for road-rage and drive-by shootings!
Dec 9, 2012 1:52 PM
2Lots of trucks and campers from the States on the road here in Baja right now. Ryon is right, there is only highway 1. When you get to La Paz you can loop through Todo Santos and Los Cabos and back up to Los Barriles which would be longer in miles but perhaps a bit faster because of the four-lane road most of the way. I would go straight south from La Paz, however, and wind through the old mining towns and right into Barriles. The only safety issues I can think of would be some areas of road construction, and south of Mulege, some rough temporary repair work on washouts from Hurricane Paul. The road is narrow in places. Be careful passing semis. Travelers occassionally are stopped by cops in Tecate and Constitucion for various traffic violations. The holidays are a prime time for this because the cops are looking for a little extra Christmas money. My guess is that crossing early in Tecate will ensure that no one is paying attention yet and then in Constitucion just be sure to stop completely at all the stop lights and stop signs and you'll cruise on through town. From Colorado I would definitely cross the border at Tecate. There is a comfortable campground at the Potrero County park just a few miles before the border, which makes a great overnight stop just before crossing. When you cross early in the morning the guards seem totally uninterested in who is crossing. You'll hit highway 1 at Ensenada.
It should be 3 comfortable days from Tecate to Los Barriles.
Just looked at your time frame. This isn't going to give you much time on the beach! You should ask your friend in Los Barriles how long he/she thinks the trip would take you.
Dec 9, 2012 2:10 PM
3That's a helluva drive for 4 persons in a truck. I assume "sups" means the family? I'm not familiar with that term.
Your drive time in Mexico will be hampered because you should only drive during daylight hours, not at night. Animals and pedestrians on the road, commercial trucks barreling down the middle of the road, stuff in the road, and the possibility of bad people hanging around isolated places, and fake cop schemes.
Dec 10, 2012 3:54 AM
4"Sups" = Supplies?
No worries about taking the Tundra or (for the most part) about safety. Don't drive at night; in Baja California, I wouldn't camp off road or alone; in Baja California Sur you can probably camp about anywhere.
For route, I'd recommend heading south to Phoenix, then taking I-8 west and cross at Calexico/Mexicali. Mex 2 is a 4-lane Hwy heading west. Take the Mex 3 turnoff near Tecate, then south through the Baja wine country to Hwy 1.
Paloblanco is right to worry about time constraints: Denver to Mexicali is 1000 miles and the drive (driving time only) is 17-20 hours. And Mexicali to Los Barriles is 1100 miles and the driving time, (again, without ANY stops) is 22 hours. When you add in sleep, pit stops for gas, food, etc., clearing customs, getting documents, insurance, car permit, and the occasional stop by the Mexican army looking for drugs, the danger (insanity) of driving at night in Mexico, then as many as 10 of your 14 days will be spent just getting there and back, leaving four days or so "on the beach."
Is there any chance you could afford flying to Los Cabos and then renting a car? That would be clearly a better plan. And there's SO MUCH to see in Baja. Just blowing throught Baja without stopping to see anything seems a terrible waste. But whatever you wind up doing, I hope you and your family have a great time and remember your trip fondly.
BTW: Calculating driving distances, times, and gas costs in Mexico can be found at this government website:
Dec 10, 2012 9:26 AM
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