Hi I'm Fred,
Me and tree of my friends are heading down Baja California. I would like to know what are the advices for Canadian travelling in a canadian car in Mexico?
Also if there are places we shall not miss please give me a hint.
That's it for now!
The only thing I would recommend is leaving your car on the american side! If you must take the car, make sure you stop and get Mexico insurance before you head over the border.
Here is one of many insurance sites..http://www.mexadventure.com/
I am not sure how bad it is in Baja, but in Nogalas...the cops can stop you for anything and make you pay a fine ON the spot if you don't have the insurance. Shady? Yes, but it saves a ton of headaches! Usually the farther into Mexico you go, the nicer it is, but bodertowns are a whole different world.
I brought my car across the first time I went to Mexico...NOT worth the hassle in my opinion. I waited almost 5 hours while they took my car apart on the way back
PM me if you need more info.
Cupcake's advice is spot on.
Here's my advice on what to see the first part of the way down.
In Tijuana--go to the Jai alai center in the old part of town--do your shopping in the newer section just South-Southeast of where you cross over the border. If you want to see a bullfight (not my cup of tea), it's south through town about 4-5 miles down.
Or skip Tijuana entirely and head straight down to Rosarita Beach (25 miles south). Lots of fun places, and the Fox Studios is here. (where they filmed Titanic)--they have an amusement park that shows you lots of stuff, including the original sets from that film and stuff from Master and Commander. You might even see a celebrity of two in town to do filming.
South of here is a place called Puerto Nuevo (35 miles down) where there are about 16 restaurants--all of which specialize in spiny lobster lunches and dinners. Naturally a makeshift shopping center has grown up nearby, plus a few local hotels sprouted up to handle the tourist trade.
Farther down is Ensenada (70 miles down) where the cruise boats dock. This is the fishing excursion capital. Lots of boats take tourists out to fish for a variety of species. In town, there are lots of places with a party atmosphere, and mexican shows. Best known are "Hussong's" and "Papas and Beer". To say this town gets wild at night is like saying Las Vegas allows gambling. It can get totally crazy here every weekend during the summer months.
A little ways down past Ensenada (around 82 miles down or so) is "La Bufadora" a natural blowhole on the coast that is really impressive. Once again you have to park, walk past about a mile of makeshift shops and restaurants to get to the natural phenomenon. But it's worth it--the blowhole shoots water up around 300 to 400 feet in the air on a regular 30 second cycle or so.
Since I haven't driven past here, you'll have to get the rest from someone else.
Myself and two friends drove from BC to Baja about three-four years ago. It was great. no problems at all with the car or police although I have heard about the "instant fine" occurences from other friends. It's usually very cheap and if you just consider it a road tax you're all good.
Make sure your car is dependable as I'm sure the mechanics down there would love to gouge a Gringo on fixing your car.
We had one dodgy incident at a toll booth. They are staffed by military personel (read: 18 year olds with AK-47s!). Anyway, these guys checked our truck and, conveniently, found a roach in the back seat. It was obviously planted on the vehicle as we made sure to clean the truck thouroughly before leaving Canada and never touched marijuanna the whole trip (we were in fear of getting busted! lol). Anyway, we played it cool like we had no idea what it was and they pushed us through. A mexican friend later told me it is a common practice used to unnerve those who are actually carrying. Moral of the story? Don't bring any weed!
Coming back through the border was surprisingly easy. They checked our passports, looked through the truck for a few minutes and let us go.
email me if you want more help. Have a good one, Mike