Who's been to Baja?

OK–I’m planning a couple of trips after college graduation that I want to connect together. My friends are going to be in Baja for a couple weeks after graduation–they’re driving out. I’ll be in Hawaii and I want to fly into San Diego and get down to meet up with them on the beach. Does anyone know how feasible it will be to get a bus down there from San Diego? I don’t know exactly where in Baja they’ll be. I really have no clue about this trip, so any info is appreciated, about the transportation or baja in general. Dr. Gonzo stories appreciated too.

Well, Baja is about 900 miles long. You can get a bus from San Diego to about Ensenada, which is about 60 miles from the border. Beyond that, you’re taking a risk. Even to Ensenada, you may have to hold someone’s chicken or goat.( not kidding)
If you rent a car, remember, your American insurance don’t cover you, AT ALL. Driving is interesting. (As in the ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”) I’ve done it. I don’t recommend it. I won’t do it again.
The towns along the coast, with few exceptions, are rough and primitive. Traveling alone at night is very risky. Like in "Too bad what happened to epraz."
If you’re going farther than, I think, 100 miles into the country, you’ll need a passport.
Oh, and remember, that 900 miles is doubled. It has 2 coasts, the Pacific side and the Sea of Cortez side. (but, its only 50 miles across)
You should find out where your friends will be, first, then make your plans. It may be better to fly into La Paz, which is near the tip of Baja on the Sea of Cortez side. Its one of the larger cities, and has a fair size airport.

Oh forget about any thing illegal. They will throw away the key.
Good luck.

I found an interactive map for you.

Well, on our honeymoon, ladybug and I flew to San Jose del Cabo and lodged there. We rented a car and drove up Hwy 1 to La Paz, and back down Hwy 19, thru Todos Santos.

It took just one day, and it was a great trip. Driving in Mexico isn’t much different from driving in two-lane country highways in the US, at least if you can stay on the paved highways. The signs are in Espanol, but the AAA guidebook on Baja California has translations for most. (Except for one, which I mistranslated as “no speed limit” when it really meant “no stopping on highway” or something…)

The only real difference was that a very strong storm had passed a few days earlier, and Hwy 1 was washed out over most of the big arroyos, so we were driving across dirt berm detours in many places.

I recommend that you rent a car in Mexico, or if not, buy Mexican auto insurance. The AAA also recommends bringing cash to pay off local police in case you are stopped, because they expect it. It may seem corrupt, but it’s how things are done.

And whatever you do *do not bring firearms, ammunition, or illegal drugs with you.[/] Even one cartridge or a single pot seed can get you thrown in a Mexican prison.

La Paz is beautiful. It was the most authentic Mexican city we encountered. Other places, like Los Barilles and La Ribera were so overrun with Gringo tourists and transplants that it was like being in the US. And in Cabo san Lucas and even San Jose, the place was so Anglified that even the prices at restaurants, hotels, even street vendors, were as high as you would expect in San Diego or Phoenix.

Los Barilles was little more than a wide spot in a dirt road. It was all Americans, though… dropouts and escapees from society with a master plan of moving to Mexico to surf, kayak, and dive until their money ran out… which for some of them was apparently taking quite an eternity… I expect you’ll find a lot of places in Baja like that.