Discover Baja California with Confidence

Your FaQs Answered below

When planning an adventure to Baja California, there’s a lot of things to consider before you go. Here, you’ll find answers to the most commonly asked questions below. Still have questions? Reach out, and we’ll answer every one of your  questions.

Baja Trip Prep

  • Bring most everything you normally would bring on a camping or overlanding trip.
  • Packing suggestion list will be provided to you for each trip.
  • Any prescription medications in the original container. We highly suggest having a written copy of the prescription with you before traveling into Baja California.
  • Do not bring gasoline across the border in any container. On most trips we will not need gas containers for extra gas. If we do, we can fill empty gas containers once we are in Baja.
  • Illegal drugs, including cannabis. Cannabis is NOT legal in Mexico.
  • Weapons of any kind, including guns, ammunition, and fireworks.

We do not recommend drinking tap water without filtering. We recommend bringing at least one gallon per person per day. When you need more water, we can get water containers filled at a water purification store. Everyone in Mexico drinks water from the water purification stores.

Call your US cell service provider before the trip and verify your international coverage. Know your service contract and understand if there are any international roaming and service charges. There will be times when we will not have any cell coverage or Wi-Fi while camping in remote areas. On future trips we hope to offer satellite internet service.

  • Bring US dollars as we will stop at a cambio (money exchange) to exchange USD for pesos. With pesos, it’s easier to purchase souvenirs, food and gas in smaller villages.
  • Bring small US dollar bills (ones, fives and tens) small stores cannot make change on bigger bills. Most of the time, if you try to pay with US $20 bill, expect to receive change in pesos.
  • Always pay in one currency, don’t mix US dollars with pesos. Paying in pesos removes all the confusion.
  • Most gas stations in Baja California will take credit cards, however if a station does not have internet, be prepared to pay in pesos. Each driver must be prepared for this situation.
  • We suggest using credit cards with no foreign transaction fees outside of the USA. Inform your banks of the dates you will be out of the country.
  • ATM cards – verify that your bank ATM card will work in Mexico. ATM’s output local currency which in Mexico is pesos.
  • Most large supermarkets will take credit cards. Small mom and pop shops or souvenir stores will take pesos or small denominations of USD. Be cognizant of exchange rates. Install XE on your cell phone.

Tipping wait staff in local restaurants is very appreciated and based on your satisfaction with the service. There might be additional opportunities to tip gas station attendants, parking attendants, or helpful locals along the way.

Tipping your trip leader is appreciated but not required. All tips go directly to your chef, camp staff and guide. As always, let your tip reflect your satisfaction with the service.

Let us know. We have a solution for everything. We have some gear items you could borrow or rent from TopoTerra, REI San Diego or other online rental options.

Vehicle & Driving info

Our trips are open to every skill level of driving. Let us know if this is your first off-road overlanding adventure. Driving in Baja California, Mexico IS different. Please follow your trip leader’s guidelines and tips to ensure a safe trip.

We will travel as a group and camp in the same area. You will be given a two-way radio to be in constant contact with the trip leaders and others in our group. Our trip leaders will be with you every step of the way, including getting your tourist visas, getting through military checkpoints and providing Mexico driving advice. On the return trip, we will guide you through the border crossing.

Driving off road in Baja California can be demanding on any vehicle. Therefore, for the good of the group and yourself, check the mechanical condition of your vehicle. Before the trip, verify that your vehicle is in top mechanical condition, including tires, spare tire, jack, lights, wires, belts, battery and fluid levels. Do not come with a vehicle that is in poor condition. If you are not sure of its condition, have an qualified mechanic inspect it for any potential problems and have them fixed well in advance of the trip. Peace of mind is a great thing.

If your rig becomes disabled for any reason, we will do our best to help you get your rig rolling again. If your vehicle needs professional repairs or towed, we will assist you in contacting professional services. Any costs associated with the recovery or repair will be up to the vehicle owner. Backcountry towing can be very expensive and the vehicle owner may need to pay in cash or credit card to start the process. Understand that the trip must continue and it may be necessary for the group to move on to the next destination. However, we will not leave you in an unsafe situation.

Have some basic tools specific to your vehicle (wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, etc.) to do minor repairs. Bring your vehicle specific spare fuses and a spare serpentine belt. If your mechanic installs new belts, ask for the old ones to bring with you as a backup. Be prepared – there are no auto parts stores just down the street.

You MUST have Mexican Auto Insurance by law. We suggest Bajabound. You cannot go on our Baja California adventure trips without Mexican auto insurance. PRINT two copies of your policy. Keep one copy in the car and carry the top sheet with you.

Do you and your amigos want to do a taco run with us in Baja California but don’t own a 4×4 overlanding vehicle? No problem, you could rent one through TopoTerra for your Baja overlanding trip.

Read more FAQs below

FAQ's Continued

There is a lot of information that you should know before you go. We've done our best to break it down into bite-sized chunks to make it easier to read. Still have questions? Reach out, and we'll answer every one of your  questions.
Adventurers enjoying Baja California

Border Crossings

  1. Valid passport for everyone in your vehicle. NOTE: If your passport document is set to expire in 180 days or less from the time you APPLY for a Mexican Tourist Permit (FMM), you will not be able to obtain a FMM and be part of the trip.
  2. If you’re a US or Canadian citizen, you do not need a visa to visit Mexico. However, you do need a Mexican tourist permit (FMM). A Mexican Tourist permit (FMM) is available for approximately $32 USD at the border crossing into Mexico. The bank accepts credit cards.
  3. Current vehicle registration
  4. Valid driver’s license for all drivers.

USA to Mexico

It could take from 20 minutes to an hour depending on how busy the Mexican immigration office (INM) is on that day and the vehicle line crossing into Mexico.

Mexico to USA

Crossing north into USA can be challenging depending on time of day, number of lanes open, or border crossing location. Expect a two or more-hour border wait if crossing north in the Standard lanes on weekdays. However, don’t be surprised if the border wait is 2-6+ hours depending on a variety of factors out of our control. We avoid crossing north on weekends since weekends are the busiest days of the week to cross.

Permitted:

Souvenirs, blankets, t-shirts, etc. Ask your trip leader.

Prohibited:

Fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, Cuban cigars, or more than one liter of alcohol per person over 21.

More info: CBP Requirements

Crossing south into Baja California, Mexico

Some overlanding vehicles have a lot of gear on them and are sometimes stopped & searched. Mexican Border agents are checking to ensure you’re not bringing guns, drugs, or items to resell. Be polite, follow instructions and they will send you on your way.

Crossing north into United States

Customs Border Protection will ask you a minimum of three specific questions. You might get pulled to secondary to be searched. No big deal because you won’t have anything illegal. Your trip leader will fill you in on all those details well ahead of crossing the border.

Mexican Military Checkpoints

Yes – our vehicles may get searched. It’s not a big deal. Your trip leader will teach you all about this on the trip so you will be a pro! No worries.

Additional Trip Information

Our mantra is “We travel with a firm policy of flexibility, subject to change at a moment’s notice.”

Shrimp happens. Baja California conditions can change rapidly. Perfect Adventures trips can be subject to bad weather, trail washouts, road construction, and other unforeseen local conditions. Each trip participant must come with a flexible mindset. We will do our best to follow the trip plan as advertised, however, there may be times for the safety of the group, the trip leader may have to modify the itinerary. We will always keep you informed.

Dogs may be allowed on some trips if very friendly to other dogs AND people. Know that there are many other Baja dogs, sick strays and critters in Mexico so pet owners must be in control of their pets at all times. Pet owners must be responsible to pick up their dog poop in all areas, even in the wilderness. Good idea to bring your pet’s proof of ownership and vaccination records. Although not a requirement, it may come in handy. See the USDA’s website.

Most of our trips are designed for adults. Minimum 16 years or older are allowed on our trips. A responsible adult must accompany and supervise all minors under the age of 18 at all times while on a trip. We can create custom family friendly trips to kid friendly destinations.

Refunds for trip reservations canceled by the guest will be issued in accordance with the following terms and conditions (unless specified otherwise under trip specific terms & conditions):

For most trips you may cancel your reservation up to 31 days prior to the trip’s departure date to receive a full refund (credit card fees and trip fee).

Within 15-31 days prior to the trip departure date, you can receive either a partial refund of 50% of trip payment or we can apply 100% of your payment to another trip to be used within one year. When transferring to a trip, if the trip costs more than your original trip, you must pay the difference. We will review on a case-by-case basis.

No refunds, if cancelling 14 days prior to the trip’s departure date unless there is another person you know or a person on waitlist to take your spot. We will review on a case-by-case basis.

There are no refunds for arriving late or leaving a trip early.

If Perfect Adventures cancels a trip, you are entitled to a full refund.

The trip leader will have a Garmin inReach satellite communicator to contact a 24/7 global emergency response coordination center to dispatch an appropriate emergency response. If a participant has an urgent medical condition requiring emergency extraction from a remote location, that participant will be responsible for any and all Search and Rescue or helicopter expenses.

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