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Baja road trip, 2017 edition

Baja road trip, 2017 edition

Old May 22, 17, 8:37 pm
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Baja road trip, 2017 edition

I am moving back to the US mainland in the middle of next June, and I am considering a foray into Baja to explore. Much of the information/research I have come across is years out of date (the most recent relevant thread is 08). Since on-the-ground political/economic/social conditions in developing countries can change rapidly, I thought I'd ask again.

The traveler(s): Me, 27, gringo, man. Possibly an Australian friend. Nonexistent Spanish barring food/beverage words, please/thanks, and avoiding things with Cuidado! on them.

Interests: Wineries, fish tacos, beach/surf spots, and definitely history. Not a tequila drinker or clubber, so I am not interested in a booze-soaked bro-cation.

Car: '03 Jaguar XJ, well-maintained/low mileage (under 70k). I took it on a three month 15k mile trip around the US and Canada last summer.

Insurance: I'd priced out $500k liability/super duper insurance with mega-coverage for myself/others + legal assistance. The declared value of the car would cover replacement and a small "nuisance premium" in the event of theft/destruction/etc. Prices seem fair. Lewis and Lewis offers a Baja (all territories) + Sonora 6 mo policy for $245 up to $280 for a year. Sanborn offers a similar policy (all of Mexico) for $413 for 6mo or circa $500 for a year. I welcome commentary.

I am interested in a leisurely ramble down/up the coast(s), so shorter daytime drives are going to be the order of the day, rather than a marathon race to Cabo.

I understand that security problems are fairly minimal if one isn't actively looking for it (ie trying to score drugs or prostitutes; visibly drunk at night).

Cops: I've read varying reports about the Policia and la Mordida - ranging from "don't do it lest you rot in prison" to "$10 and they'll leave you be." In prior travels, I have found the police-bribery issue to be grossly overstated.

I know that military checkpoints are a non-issue.

Gas: I would require premium (US 91+ octane) and preferably of the sort that doesn't have me replacing the fuel filter. The advice to never go below half a tank just seems good sense.

Money: My default gut instinct would be US$200 split between MXN and USD in cash at all times, preferable in smaller divisible notes. Aside: that exchange rate Good time to visit, it seems.

Telecom: Adding unlimited access to Mexican data/calling/messaging on my Tmobile account will be no problem and cheap.

Currently, I am to a trip of anywhere from 5-21 days.

Anything I've forgotten? Apologies for the extremely basic questions, but information is spotty and unreliable due to (frankly put) American paranoia that drug cartels and crooked Federales will rob/kidnap/murder you the moment you cross the border.

Last edited by Amelorn; May 22, 17 at 8:43 pm
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