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spoon_the_geezer
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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 10:58 AM
border crossing ?


currently in palm springs after the drive down from Canada, which border crossing for newbies, tecate or Tijuana.

thanks for the replies, and its a 5 month stay. in SJDC.
WOOHOO.

[Edited on 11-6-2017 by spoon_the_geezer]
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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 11:04 AM


Doesn't matter, but Tecate requires some hilly driving to reach. It has a smaller border crossing (not open after 11 pm) and then some city traffic to cross, but not bad. I do return north always at Tecate, however.

Tijuana is a breeze, follow the signs to Ensenada. Remember in either case, you must stop at the border to get the FMM Tourist card or get your card stamped if you obtained it before entering Mexico.



[Edited on 11-6-2017 by David K]




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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 11:04 AM


TJ much easier to get south. Tecate can be confusing to get through.



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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 11:07 AM


I just made that drive from Borrego Springs which is sort of just south of Pam Springs. I have done both crossings and much prefer going through Tecate. A nicer slower drive to get to the border and you don't have to deal with the TJ crossing (it's easy) and the toll roads.
You cant go wrong with either way but I for one prefer the Tecate crossing.




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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 11:47 AM


You will ONLY need a FMM ( tourist card ) if you plan to be in Mexico longer that 7 days.

Also IF you do take the Tijuana crossing to Ensenada you will need Pesos for the toll road if you go that route.
Although you could take the libre road ( slow going ) but also vary nice...

If you've never taken the coastal route it is a vary scenic one...

[Edited on 11-6-2017 by Paco Facullo]
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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 11:59 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Paco Facullo  
You will ONLY need a FMM ( tourist card ) if you plan to be in Mexico longer that 7 days.

Also IF you do take the Tijuana crossing to Ensenada you will need Pesos for the toll road if you go that route.
Although you could take the libre road ( slow going ) but also vary nice...

If you've never taken the coastal route it is a vary scenic one...

[Edited on 11-6-2017 by Paco Facullo]


This is now false (for the past couple of years).
An FMM is FREE if you stay less than 7 nights in Mexico is the only difference. You also must have a passport (not expired) to get the FMM.

What is true is that they do not stop all vehicles traveling south to see if they have the FMM, so it is semi-voluntary and you may never need to show it during your trip. But it is the rule that all non-Mexicans must have one. There is no longer a 'border zone' exemption from needing a Tourist Card if you are only in Mexico for 3 days, as before a couple years ago.

ALSO: U.S. dollars are accepted at toll booths... I did so this past year, as always. Bring small bills, however, the tolls are under $2. Pesos would be easier to get and use.


[Edited on 11-6-2017 by David K]




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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 12:14 PM


David,
Thanks for the corrections,

Am I at least right about the scenic drive ????
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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 12:14 PM


It is hard to concive that someone would drive down from Canada, and spend less than seven days!



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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 12:16 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Paco Facullo  
David,
Thanks for the corrections,

Am I at least right about the scenic drive ????
.


You bet amigo! Sorry if I came off too harsh!!
I am working on the road guide and was just editing the introduction pages which cover the FMM ordeal.

Have a nice week!




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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 02:10 PM


Tecate is easy.

After you clear Aduana (Customs) and obtaining your FMM, proceed straight to the second stoplight. Turn left. At the next intersection, turn right......easy squeezy. Follow the "Ensenada" signs

There will be a McDonalds on your left and you will cross the railroad tracks and proceed under the toll road (Mex 2), can't get lost after that. You will enter Hwy 1 just north of Ensenada in El Sauzal

Drive at or below the speed limit and stop at all intersections.....the stop signs are on either side of the road and sometimes hard to see.

Have a fun and safe trip

Quote: Originally posted by MMc  
TJ much easier to get south. Tecate can be confusing to get through.


[Edited on 11-6-2017 by bajaguy]
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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 05:35 PM


The Tecate-Ensenada road is now a dream drive, compared to the rest of Baja roads.
MEXTRANS did a superb job of straightening out the curves. My last drive, which was two days ago, took 10 minutes less to drive to Ensenada from Otay crossing south. It is pretty much worth the 110 Pesos fee for the toll road from Otay to Tecate and then West to Ensenada area.:bounce:


Quote: Originally posted by David K  
Doesn't matter, but Tecate requires some hilly driving to reach. It has a smaller border crossing (not open after 11 pm) and then some city traffic to cross, but not bad. I do return north always at Tecate, however.

Tijuana is a breeze, follow the signs to Ensenada. Remember in either case, you must stop at the border to get the FMM Tourist card or get your card stamped if you obtained it before entering Mexico.



[Edited on 11-6-2017 by David K]




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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 06:14 PM


From Palm Springs I'd cross at Mexicali and head on down Mx5



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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 06:16 PM


traveling all the way down from Canada you'll have seen your share of nice roads, I'd come thru tijuana and take the coast route, see the sights and stop at some of the numerous cantinas along the way for refreshments ;)
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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 07:01 PM


I agree with Tijuana and the toll road. Have fun in Baja -5 months is a lot of beachtime! Welcome to BajaNomad.



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[*] posted on 11-6-2017 at 07:52 PM


I second the idea of crossing at Tecate.... easy.... bajaguy has the directions nailed.
A slight addition: Your FMM can be issued for up to 180 days, BUT, if you passport expires before the 180 day mark, you'll not get the full 180 days.... only up to the day your passport expires. You also run the risk of them denying you an FMM.
Second addition: You'll need Mexican auto insurance. You can get it online (I use BajaBound... no affiliation).

If you were to cross at Mexicali and continue on Hwy 5, you'll run into Baja 1000 pre run race traffic. Tecate is better in my mind.....
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