Read up on these tips to ensure you have a smooth, successful weekend in Mexico’s Baja California!
Getting From California to Baja Mexico:
- Driving to Mexico is super easy- you just drive right through the border. You don’t even have to stop. (I know, crazy!)
- Take the toll roads the whole time, it’s scenic, safer, and an easier route
- Don’t forget to buy Mexican car insurance before you go, just in case. You can buy it to cover just the few days you are down there. You can purchase it here.
Tips for Driving Back From Mexico to California:
- If you go to a local pharmacy, they can sell you a FastPass if you spend about $20 at the store, and then pay $15 for the FastPass (only 1 pass needed per car). This 1-time-use pass lets you in the fast lane for crossing back over the US border. Even with the FastPass, it still took us 2 hours to cross the border (I can’t imagine how long it takes without it!).
- I would recommend crossing back on a Monday instead of a Sunday if you can, as I imagine there would be less traffic getting through.
- There will be people everywhere walking up to your car window to sell you souvenirs, or food/drinks (including some tasty churros) which makes your time sitting in the line of cars a little more entertaining.
- La Misión/ Valle de Guadelupe is not a super touristy area, so we had to try to use Spanish a few times. The locals are all very friendly and helpful, though! Check out my blog post “The Best Baja California Mexican Roadtrip” for tips to plan your trip!
- You do not need Pesos, as most places accept USD. But definitely bring a lot of cash, as lots of places don’t accept cards.
- Current exchange rate: $1 USD = $19.4 Pesos (as of September 2019)
- We felt very safe the whole time, so I do not think safety is a big issue as long as you are being smart. However, it is recommended to drive on the toll roads, especially if you are driving at night.
- Besides driving on the toll roads whenever possible, see below for a few other things to note for driving:
- The green lights at stop lights will start blinking before they turn yellow
- Some cars do not have brake lights, so drive carefully!
- The merge lanes happen very fast
- Call your phone provider before you go to check, but mine (AT&T) confirmed that I could use my phone as I do in the states with no additional charges
Enjoy your trip!!