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Advice crossing US / Mexico border and Baja touring

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Advice crossing US / Mexico border and Baja touring

Hi

In the first week of July I'm planning on crossing from San Diego into Mexico (continuing my tour down the Pacific Coast). Does anyone have any advice on whether crossing at Tijuana is the best route or if it's better to cross slightly further inland. Also, any advice on camping in Baja would be appreciated. Thanks, Ant

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Tj crossing...

Ant,
I crossed that way myself... I think that it is a fine crossing point, but I used to live right on that border and know the streets of Tj so navigation wasn't a problem.

Tips... Start early in the morning. 3-4 AM! This will avoid 95% of the traffic! Also be ready to ride through broken glass, and lots of it! Ride the motorway out of Tj towards Ensenada, even though it is posted "no bikes" it is the best (Only) road.

Have fun! Once you are past Ensenada Baja highway 1 is wonderful! Just keep an eye on your rear view mirror for Americans in huge RVs! They are the worst drivers!

Camping...

Baja is a stealth camper's dream!! Once you are south of Ensenada just make sure you have plenty of water and pick any random dirt road (There are plenty don't worry!) and ride until you are out of sight and set up! Look at the tracks in the dirt to see if it is frequently used. I would always pick dirt roads that hadn't been driven on for at least a day and never had any problems.

I recently ended a 20,000km bike tour and by far Baja was the best for stealth camping!

Victor W.

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crossing USA Mexico

Hi there,

we crossed the border in TJ in january. Tijuana by day is fine, it's not such a big place. You're through it within 30 minutes really.
It is wise to cross early, about 8 am.
We stayed with an awesome warmshowers host in San Diego, Merle Borg. He will drop you at the border with his car, just so you can get an early start. Send our love if you meet him.
We have friends who crossed in Tecate, and were picked up by highway patrol and dropped back in TJ, but we also have other friends who were fine on that road.
Between TJ and Ensenada you have the option of cuota and libre. The cuota is illegal, but has a wide shoulder. We had no problems riding it. (Later on in the mainland we got taken off once). The libre is actually quieter on the first stretch. It's possible to hop from one to the other a bit and decide for yourself which you like best. The roads between Ensenada and El Rosario are pretty crazy, take care. After that Baja is a blast.
cheers

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I crossed at San Luis a bit

I crossed at San Luis a bit further east. There's no US exit control, but if you entered the USA on a visa waiver you might want to find them to hand in the green card. I've still got mine, and in theory that could mean problems entering the USA in future. It's also worth getting your Mexican tourist card (about 20USD) immediately. The immigration office will tell you where to pay and get the paperwork. You can pay by credit card or in US or Mexican currency.

The last comment about camping reflects my experience. You will need to carry plenty of drinking water, and forget about washing at most camping places. Most of Baja is very quiet, and the majority of people are friendly and honest, so the chances of any problems are minimal. I was not disturbed anywhere I camped.

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Thanks for the advice

Thanks for the advice all.

Cheers
Ant