Does One Get To Southern Baja?
By JOHN M. DERBY
March 29, 2018
Like traveling anywhere in the world,
traveling to southern Baja, Mexico, is easy once you know
how to do it.
For those going to Cabo, the flight is simple and cheap,
however, if you don’t wish to be put through a tourist
wringer, then there are other ways.
We live two thirds the way down the Baja peninsula and there
is a simple way to get here. Just drive to the airport at
Los Angeles and book a flight on Alaska Airlines to Loreto,
Mexico. The flight takes about 2.5 hours.
While this is the quickest, it is not the least expensive
and if one were to book a flight during the Easter vacation,
then expect to pay a premium price. ( $700 to $800 round
Why so expensive? Well Alaska Airlines is the only US airline
which flies direct to this area. But there is now an alternative
way to fly, and you can fly a Mexican airline called Califia
from Tijuana which is only $300 round trip.
Many people who are coming south fly or drive to San Diego
and take a shuttle across the border to the Tijuana airport
for the flight south. It takes about the same time, 2.5
hours, however, the flights are less frequent.
We live 600 miles south of the border south of the US border,
so driving here is a real possibility and more people are
driving south then ever. The hitch is that you have to have
the time. It takes about two days to drive from the border
to our area.
Roads in Mexico vary from time to time. If the hurricanes
hit Baja in late summer, and they do regularly, then expect
potholes and washed out roads. These problems seem to take
forever to fix.
The government in Baja does spend time and money on its
roads because it is concerned about losing tourist dollars
if the roads are too bad. Right now the main road from Tijuana
is not good, which means a lot of pot holes.
There is an alternative route which a lot of people are
using. Visitors are now taking a new route which starts
at Mexicali and goes through San Felipe. It is a better
road and actually cuts a half day’s travel time off
the trip south.
It has one problem and that is 22 miles of road construction
just before Mex. 5 meets Mex. 1
On our last trip south, we took the new road and while the
part under construction was slow going, the remainder of
the road was without pot holes and cut our travel time by
almost a day.
Some people fear the “banditos,” but we have
never met any. Every 100 miles there is a federal check
point and these are manned by the military enlisted men.
We have never been held up at any of these check points.
They are very serious about the threat of bringing guns,
ammunition and drugs down to Mexico.
Other than that, it is smooth driving and the best hotels
on the way are only $50 a night. Once again, people who
travel south in Baja, Mexico, know where to stop on the
way down to get the most value for the American dollar which
at this time is about 18.5 pesos to 1 dollar. Changing money
from dollars to pesos is smart and it can be done at the
border towns which have money change offices and these are
regulated so they can be trusted.