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Author: Subject: First Timers with Dogs, Snorkel Gear, and Surfboards
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 12:34 PM
First Timers with Dogs, Snorkel Gear, and Surfboards


Hey everyone,

Planning our first trip to Baja. I'm in Quartzsite AZ right now at the Library. We printed our dogs rabies vacc certificates here. Anything else we should know about bringing our dogs in?

I've read about getting auto insurance so I will be contacted the right folks on that shortly.

We are traveling in this 2WD van on all terrains and a LS Differential. We can't go very far offroad but we can go offroad. We weight around 8000 lbs me and my GF. We have several months at our disposal. I am kinda in a hurry to get into Baja and be on the coast, she is a little nervous I think and saying things like, let's go to Joshua Tree and I"m like... we've already been there twice. Let's go to Baja. Anyway, I am looking for tips on:

-will there be places to refill our water jugs with clean water? Preferably reverse osmosis (pay by the gallon/liter type deal?) We have three 7 gallon water jugs.
-where to snorkel
-where to surf (i'm a novice with a longboard)
-we will be camping in the van the whole time so any advice there
-where to cross the border - I am read about all the differences between Mexicali/Tijuana/Tecate. I am leaning towards Tecate or Mexicali. I just want to get through the easiest and no trouble with our dogs (have nothing to hide but I just don't want any attention)

-Best places to see sea creatures - whale sharks or any type of whales. We are open to doing whale watching tours but I like to be in the water with them when possible. Most of the time this means being on a scuba diving boat but just checking with y'all.

Thanks in advance!

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tobias
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 12:46 PM


Water is no problem, purificadas are in most small towns.
Curious to see how your lsd does in sand. Remember to air down tires to 20 lbs or so before you try to drive on the beach.
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 12:52 PM


We've driven on sand in Oregon but just on the packed damp stuff. Copy that on airing down.

I also am carrying x-bull recovery traction boards

Do most people get full coverage insurance? I guess this is a personal decision obviously. I am really confident in my ability to not run into anything. Do most other motorists have insurance if they run into you? I am guessing that most mexican residents get away without it.
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 01:04 PM


"Curious to see how your lsd does in sand. Remember to air down tires to 20 lbs or so before you try to drive on the beach."

Don't even think about driving on sand. A limited slip differential in a 2WD vehicle adds little capability. It's not even remotely close to having a locking differential. With an 8,000 lb. rig, you would need 4WD and preferably at least one locking diff for driving on sand.
And my advice is to never drive below the high tide line.
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 01:08 PM


Whale tours are in Guerrero Negro and San Ignacio lagoons. You can not swim them but you can observe them from a panga. Sometimes at a distance of about 6 inches from the boat. Probably closer than you could ever get to them by diving!

Whale shark snorkel tours are in La Paz. Just went a week ago. 40 ft visibility and a 25 ft shark. Hung out with that shark for over two hours. Must go with a licensed tour.

Snorkel/diving with sea creatures. Loreto or Cabo Pulmo Marine Parks. Outside of the parks there are fish on just about every rock pile but every rock pile also gets netted fairly frequently. Inside the parks - an incredible variety of fish.

Purified water stores are in every town. Most are the R.O. method.

Oregon has very firm sand beaches. Baja, not so much. Use caution in the sand.

Enjoy the trip. It won't be your last …..
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 01:10 PM


There is clear water for snorkling in the Sea of Cortez, Baja Sur, eg Bahia Concepcion, Loreto, on down south. For surfable waves, head to the Pacific side. Remember that climate on opposite coasts can be radically different.



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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 01:16 PM


I bet your girlfriend falls in love with Baja!

If this is your first time, be aware that there are military checkpoints every so often. Take all docs and cash with you as you step out of the vehicle. Watch the guys searching very carefully. If they ask for your passport, it is to see how your name is spelled.

As you head south, fill up in el Rosario for it is really far to the next gas station!

There must be some surfer sites that will give you the lowdown on where to camp. In my opinion, seek those sites out.

Driving at night is pretty much considered unsafe. Cows love the warm roads and whamming into them is not fun!

Have a fun trip!!




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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 01:44 PM


You can drive that to Agua Verde no problems. Beautiful bay below Loreto. Your girl will love it.

For about $80-90 you can have a panga take you out to Isla Coronado from Loreto. Most beautiful water in all of the sea of cortez.

Show the video in my sig to her and she'll forget all about Joshua Tree.




See Baja California in 4K: https://youtu.be/4VNTIhRa6q0

Ever wanted to camp on a deserted island in the Sea of Cortez? https://youtu.be/g3ThXCm3XSA

Come along for a ride of the famous Seven Sisters https://youtu.be/hrdzmTWPUQs



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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 01:45 PM


Is it best to get pesos at a bank near the border on the US side before going in? Or just get pesos as soon as you cross?

Should I keep US cash on hand while in Baja?

How much cash do y'all like to carry? I have several good hiding spots in my rig that I don't think anyone can find but me.

On the stateside, I mostly use my credit card for everything. I am imagining credit cards are not as widely accepted in Baja - what's the case?
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 01:51 PM


Better to get at a bank on the US side. Avoids ATM fees and you can only take so much out of MX ATMs at once.

We take $2-3K for a 10-14 day trip. Better to use pesos than dollars.

At hotels and some restaurants we pay with CC. Make sure it doesn't charge for international fees.




See Baja California in 4K: https://youtu.be/4VNTIhRa6q0

Ever wanted to camp on a deserted island in the Sea of Cortez? https://youtu.be/g3ThXCm3XSA

Come along for a ride of the famous Seven Sisters https://youtu.be/hrdzmTWPUQs



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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 01:51 PM


Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
You can drive that to Agua Verde no problems. Beautiful bay below Loreto. Your girl will love it.

For about $80-90 you can have a panga take you out to Isla Coronado from Loreto. Most beautiful water in all of the sea of cortez.

Show the video in my sig to her and she'll forget all about Joshua Tree.


Awesome videos. I'm getting pretty excited! I think we are going to shoot to cross over Wed or Thurs this week.
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 01:54 PM


Quote: Originally posted by JZ  
Better to get at a bank on the US side. Avoids ATM fees and you can only take so much out of MX ATMs at once.

We take $2-3K for a 10-14 day trip. Better to use pesos than dollars.

At hotels and some restaurants we pay with CC. Make sure it doesn't charge for international fees.


Great info, thanks. I did sign up for CapitalOne Venture Visa - no annual fee the first year, no foreign transaction fees, and 50k points if you do xyz in the first three months. I forgot about foreign transaction fees when we just did Canada and wasted some hard earned money! Learned from that mistake :)
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 01:56 PM


ATM for cash , always use one at a bank during business hours in case the machine tries to eat your card.
Credit cards are hit and miss but most larger grocery stores and some gas stations will take them.
I never carry USD . Always use pesos for many reasons.
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 02:04 PM


We are thinking to head right over to Ensenada and then following highway 1 stopping wherever and whenever we see interesting things. We will probably do highway 5 on the way back.

Agua Verde is now on the list as a stop for sure.

I am bad at planning things out I just like to figure it out as we go, but any other "must" see places are welcome. I would like to rent a side by side or if I find a place I can leave my girl so she can work on the internet while I go ride dirt bike that would be sweet too - but I am without any motorcycle gear right now. Anyway - I am very appreciating and grateful for all your help so far :)

We have bikes in our van and I do like offroad bicycling. I will be checking Trail Forks for options around that.

[Edited on 11-19-2018 by Truck]
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 02:05 PM


Must see places:

Gonzaga Bay - Alfonsinas is starting to get a little pricey for what it is, but they have a million $ spot on the beach.

Bahia de Los Angeles - whale sharks and snorkeling; 16 islands; take a panga out to the islands and/or to a really nice beach at Rincon. Drive out to La Gringa just North of town. Costa del Sol, is a decent, modestly priced hotel there. Very good restaurant.

Conception Bay - just amazing, lots of spots

Bahia San Jaunico - postcard bay 20 miles above Loreto; 10 easy dirt miles off Hwy 1). Great camping on the beach. We've anchoraged in the bay many times on our boat. Good day/night trip up from Loreto.

Loreto - best town in Baja; take a panga out to Isla Coronado, about 20 mins); if you want to do a hotel for a couple day, go to La Mission, awesome hotel

San Javier - most beautiful mission in Baja, about 40 mins from Loreto, cool drive on a paved road

Agua Verde - must see bay, but the drive is even better, dirt road, but not a problem for 2 wheel drive; awesome mountain drive, it's at the beginning of my video, as are most of the places I'm mentioning

La Paz - tons and tons of stuff to do; go up to the beaches near
Tecolote to make a fire on the beach; take a panga from Tecolote to the islands; best islands in the Sea Cortez; best sushi in Baja is out near Costa Baja; really nice hotel

If you are adventurous; drive on a dirt road 3hrs from La Paz to San Evaristo; not a better coastal drive in Baja; only one or two spots are a little tricky, but you can do it with your truck; my 14 yo kid drove it a couple times; from there you can pay a panga to take you 8 miles out to Isla San Fransisco; if you do this San Evaristo trip it will blow your mind and you'd be hooked on offroading in Baja forever.

In Ensenada, stay a Hotel Marina Corral, a first class hotel with a view of the ocean.

Get through San Felipe as fast as possible. MX party town mixed in with redneck desert rats. If you like fireworks, there is a big stand on the left as you enter town. Awesome bottle rockets. That and the SF brewery are about the only good things in the town.

The Seven Sisters are amazing on the Pacific coast, but all but the most Southern spots would be too much for your truck. Punta Lobos would be accessible, and is maybe the best of all bays in the SS, but too far out of the way for you I'd think.

There are suppose to be great beaches due West of Jesus Maria about 10 miles, but I haven't checked them out yet. I'm guessing you can get in them with your truck. Not sure if safe for camping or not. Video I've seen is spectacular. Might be worth checking out for a few hours.




[Edited on 11-20-2018 by JZ]




See Baja California in 4K: https://youtu.be/4VNTIhRa6q0

Ever wanted to camp on a deserted island in the Sea of Cortez? https://youtu.be/g3ThXCm3XSA

Come along for a ride of the famous Seven Sisters https://youtu.be/hrdzmTWPUQs



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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 04:14 PM
About the dogs....


They will have a ball running on the beaches, but I doubt they will be allowed on any panga rides.

In addition to the shot records, they are supposed to have a health certificate from a vet, and it should include recent and ongoing parasite protection (I have my dog on Sentinel) I have never been asked for anything other than proof of rabies (by the US border) but it could happen.

Even on a dead run on the beach, the hound in my girl will detect dead things on the beach, and some of them are toxic! A puffer can kill your dog if they eat one!

Most of the areas you are considering support a population of coyotes. They are not aggressive, but they are bold. Your dogs could become injured by thorns, spines, barbed wire, or the coyotes if they give chase.

If you need a veterinarian, don't rush back to the border, there are capable vets in most communities, and they are a bargin!

Your first aid kit should include pliers or something to pull cactus spines. Speaking of first aid, in the unlikely event that you get nailed by a sting ray, heat is your best friend. A compress as hot as you can stand it, as soon as possible and seek medical attention for follow up.

I like your loop plan for riving both hwy 1 and 5, but I would head south on five and return on one for a more gradual immersion into driving Baja.

One last point, your targeted crossing date coincides with a full moon! You have my permission to drive at night (with caution) especially through a boring stretch like the one between Mexicalli and San Felipe!




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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 04:20 PM


I've traveled the entire peninsula of Baja several times. It is much easier traveling with a dog if the dog is SMALL (less than 20 lbs.) esp. if you find yourself needing to stay in a motel/hotel. Some places will take a small dog whereas a large dog is refused. So you should be prepared for that. Probably can find the more expensive hotels ($80+) will take dogs with an extra fee. Much less choices once you get out of the cities esp. with a big dog.
I trust the veterinarians here in Mexico/Baja more than the U.S. and they are just as good and much less expensive.
Availability of drinking water depends on how far out of civilization you go so I'd bring water purification tabs just in case.
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 04:22 PM


If you find yourself needing accommodations, AirBnB usually is cheaper than English-speaking hotels and more likely to accept dogs. I rarely use motels/hotels anymore unless I am in a secluded area.
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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 04:33 PM


Quote: Originally posted by AKgringo  
.... I doubt they will be allowed on any panga rides.



What?




See Baja California in 4K: https://youtu.be/4VNTIhRa6q0

Ever wanted to camp on a deserted island in the Sea of Cortez? https://youtu.be/g3ThXCm3XSA

Come along for a ride of the famous Seven Sisters https://youtu.be/hrdzmTWPUQs



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[*] posted on 11-19-2018 at 04:42 PM


Check you U2U in the upper right corner.



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