Locals and tourists are all mixed together. They went to TMC the very same day, and were told there were no open spots until Monday. It’s worth a stop. Once you have that, and if you only plan to be in Baja, you can be on your way! Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we've got you covered.You can simply use your smart phone's GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.. Our community provides the best free camping information available. It had a small RV park which has since burned down. Watch out for soft sand and tides. Outdoor dining at truck stop in Indio, California. We had deserted beaches all to ourselves topped only by night times in the desert. And though the camping spots were very trashed (it was just after Semana Santa, a week or two long festival related to Easter where nearly every Mexican heads to the beach to party all night long and most of them seem to forget to clean up after themselves), it was a beautiful area and the town is worth checking out. It also has loads of invaluable advice about driving in Baja, and includes a translation of road signs. From retired couples in Class As to Europeans in Unimogs, vandwelling families to truck camping back-country adventurers, all roads apparently lead to Loreto. All the other boondocking spots we passed were filled to the gills. You can sleep in your vehicle, walk around, they serve food and have snacks and smokes (no beer) for sale. If you park in the wrong place, not only are the police are quick to ticket you, but they remove your front license plate and turn it in to the police station to make sure you pay your ticket. We eventually bought a machete and hatchet to clear low hanging branches in some spots. Our biggest communication problem was interpreting road signs, so we found it very helpful to bring along a list of sign translations. Baja is Mexico light. Up close and personal with me and grandma. To us the real Baja doesn’t start until we’re past Ensenada, so we try to cross the border by 7:00am or 8:00am in order to make it to our campground before dark. Most towns have an Agua Purificada business where you can have them fill your water tank with purified water for a very reasonable price. We didn’t think we’d explore any more of Mexico than Baja. They may be crowded with other campers, but the swimming, snorkeling and views are not to be missed. My advice is to be polite. It’s a pleasant enough little town, and a prime example of, “it’s the journey, not the destination”. Traveling the scenic, winding roads of the Baja Peninsula is a camper life adventure you definitely need to experience. Be polite. There are no services save a few trash cans spread throughout the campground, so you’ll learn to dig a hole (six inches deep!) I travel up and down the Pacific Coast in the spring and the fall from Baja to British Columbia doing surfing photography & painting. 3. We used Maps.me and paper maps to navigate and referred often to the book, “Exploring Baja by RV” by Walt and Michael Peterson. Planning our Channel. Contact. It’s great fun if you’re driving a small nimble car. Sixty miles of off road that takes you through some very Mexican villages and more or less along the coast the entire way. As our months turned into a year, though, we found some nice and crisp respite in the mountains surrounding Mexico city. Want to get paid to write great stories about living on the road? We followed Mexican custom to tip the attendant a few pesos after a fill up of fuel or water. Ferries in Baja California; Mass Transportation Systems in Baja California; Taxis & Shuttles in Baja California; Bus Transportation in Baja California; Shopping in Baja California. We prefer a smaller border crossing such as Tecate as opposed to Tijuana or Mexicali. Rather than list spots, our number one recommendation is to download the iOverlander app. RVers love going to Baja! Agua Verde is a fishing village, so pangas (modest-sized, outboard-powered, fishing boats) are going in and out. In Baja California, boondocking is plentiful. The roads in Baja can be quite rough specially if you are traveling in an overloaded truck camper. There are a number of great stops on the way down. I’ll let them all tell their own particular tales on their own particular websites, but suffice to say another family we have been traveling with throughout Baja were in an F-250 with a truck camper on the bed. It helped us find a great camping spot all throughout the Baja California peninsula. Though it’s not a campground, you can pay a small extra fee and camp overnight in the sand parking lot. May and June temps are in the 90s and low 100s. Two states on the peninsula; Baja California and Baja California Sur. Above: Lots of empty beach space to boondock beach camp. We drive a 1978 Volkswagen Bus, so our fee was $200. Above: Driving in the Baja Peninsula, photo taken by Barb and Nick Malden, Nothing seems to entice and terrify RVers from the United States more than the thought of traveling by RV in Mexico. Saved from therollingpack.com. Snakes? This is the time most of the snowbirds crowd the beaches. More posts on Baja and RVing in Mexico: 53+ Amazing Things To Do In Baja California. Speaking of research, what follows are some incredibly valuable insights for anyone considering a truck camping adventure into Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. This crowd-sourced app overlays the Maps.me mapping app and provides fantastic information and reviews on both campgrounds and boondocking sites across Baja, and all over the world! when nature calls at your backdoor. It used to be the usual way to camp, now it seems it's mostly RV parks/campgrounds (fee). In a bigger vehicle it is not for the faint of heart. Free Camping in Northern California, The Boondocking Directory There's a bounty of free camping in Northern California. Cabo San ... Boondocking in Baja: Must-Have Items for Traveling Off the Beaten Path in Mexico. Something like: “Mexico is too dangerous. where your captain, Luis (or his father, also Luis), will do everything he can to help you touch one of these amazingly (big!) There is little commercial traffic and nowhere near the waiting you find at busier crossings. We end up turning around and settling in for the night in a dusty pull-out fifty feet from the highway. As easy as it may have been to cross into Baja via Mexicali, when we decided we’d continue our travels through Mexico via the ferry that runs from La Paz to Mazatlan, things became a bit more difficult. The sun is setting. As you drive be prepared to go through multiple military checkpoints with automatic rifle toting soldiers. RVing Mexico! To prepare for the trip, I took a 1968 GMC with an inline six. The following is an account by one man, who traveled for a few months to Baja California, with his family, in their 1978 Volkswagen Bus. Be polite and leave your entitled attitude at home. Significantly further south, where the two states meet, is the city of Guerrero Negro, and while it is nothing particularly worth writing home about, nearby Ojo de Liebre was the first place we felt like we’d really made it. Part two of my favorite camping spots of 2016 continues with our stay in Baja, Mexico.I wasn’t sure what to expect of Mexico (safety and all) but my expectations of Baja camping was clear; sandy beaches and maybe even learning how to surf while eating a … Ciudad Constitución is south of Loreto. 5. February and March are good months to visit the three lagoons where California Gray Whales give birth. (That is why you’re down here right? Here are some of my favorite places that are still some of the best places to visit. We like paper maps for getting the big picture and for having other travelers highlight or circle suggested places to visit. Gray whales come to this lagoon to give birth. Mexico — The Rolling Pack. Founded in 2007, TCM is the RV community's number one source for news, reviews, guides, newbie advice, destination ideas, maintenance recommendations, modifications, and more. Luckily, Mexicali doesn’t last long and once you leave it, headed south on Mexico 5, you won’t see traffic like this again until you either head west to Ensenada (which we didn’t) or make it the entire way to Guerrero Negro. Maybe cross the border with fellow truck camping friends – in 2022.”. Something you may want to note, because this will be just about the last time you’ll see authentic Mexican food at authentic Mexican prices. Todos Santos, on the Pacific Ocean side, is a very cool laid back artist type of town. Camping on the Beach in Baja California, Mexico. Bahía Concepcion: Also called “The Brick Oven”. There can also be areas of road washouts if there was flooding in the winter, but the road crews are quick to create detours. Free Campsites Near You Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip , we've got you covered. When we were there, both agents we encountered spoke English. Baja California is a camper’s paradise, and in this Baja travel guide I’ll share everything you need to know about Baja … The springs are hot tub temperature and heat a stream with various pools you can sit and/or swim in. Throughout Baja we were dry camping, except for the towns of Loreto, La Paz, and Mulegé where we stayed at campgrounds to restock and empty tanks. we’ve covered everything from statistics to our own experiences. Somewhat overrun by gringos, it is a sight to see and there is still plenty of authentic culture to be had should you be the type to look for it. Aside from being one of the safest places in Mexico to travel, Baja offers some of the most beautiful beaches at prices so reasonable that you cannot afford to say no to a Baja California road trip! Even so, we knocked our roof rack off (those cacti don’t give an inch) and lost plenty of vent caps. There has been a fair bit of development in some areas. ... Is it going to be packed? https://wandrlymagazine.com/article/touring-baja-california Fellow truck campers share their favorite beach boondocking spots, snowbird friendly campgrounds, unprecedented whale watching experiences and real life stories of traveling and camping throughout Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. Mexico has a wealth of great camping, and Baja is no exception. Don’t see too much as we are down in the hull. Here, in particular, they’re nothing more than wooden outhouses that can easily be tipped over to reveal whatever amount of waste was left behind since someone came to empty them. Campgrounds in Rosarito Baja California: Campendium has 1 reviews of Rosarito RV parks, state parks and national parks making it your best Rosarito RV camping resource. By 5:15 we were on the ferry and headed to the mainland. It’s just a sampling of the places we enjoyed the most, and why we enjoyed them. Avoid Cabo San Lucas. Are We All Gonna Freakin Die?! The road goes through mountains so it’s often winding with many blind corners and some steep grades. Boondocking in California's Deserts and Eastern Sierra The second edition - completely revised and updated (2017) - is now now available. You’ll tell the man where your final destination is (just saying “Los Cabos” is fine if you’re just moseying around or aren’t sure where you’ll end up, as long as it’s in Baja) and what the purpose of your travel is, and that’s about it. The inspections were cursory. We found the Church & Church Guides invaluable for getting info on where to camp during our trip. Discussing boondocking. We were in an old VW Bus, a common vehicle in Mexico actually, and so the gentleman who issued our TIP didn’t even bother to ask about weight or anything else. The gem here though are the hot springs, where the incoming tide from the Sea of Cortez plays a crucial role: at low tide the hot springs will cook you like a lobster, and at high tide they completely cool them to the same frigid temps as the salt water invading. We used, “Traveler’s Guide to Camping Mexico’s Baja” by Mike and Terri Church for planning the occasional night in a civilized full-service campground. I think they waited until 4:50 because they wanted to see if any other truckers came in, as those guys got processed really quickly. Palm trees spring from a small river like back hairs on a grizzly bear. My suggestions are to go early and don’t try to come back to the United States on the weekend or on a Friday. When we first drove through this village, it seemed massive and winding and impossible to navigate. Baja California. And of course, this is by no means meant to be a strict and steady guide to everywhere you can or should go in Baja. The main road down length of the peninsula is Mex 1. Usually we simply pulled onto a beach or stopped in a quiet desert spot or dry riverbed. Oh, and did I say there’s wine country, too? "How long are we on this road?" Road trips down the *Baja Peninsula lead to stunning, quiet beaches suitable for sleeping out. Expect them as you approach all towns. The majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains cover much of this region, offering prime camping opportunities among the national forests. The larger Super Leys all have a deli section with a large steaming aluminum pot. Boondocking, no cell service (BN = Baja Norte, BCS = Baja California Sur) We can’t lie – we love the atmosphere, people and beauty of Baja California Sur (BCS) more than we do of Baja Norte (BN). They are there until Easter. By camping for free on most of the 184 nights of our trip, we saw a huge part of California while keeping our costs at a minimum. 5. Life can be a dream, and for much of Baja, it was exactly that. We also recommend, “The Baja Adventure Book” by Walt Peterson. We also now carry a supply of vent caps. You know you’re in Mexico there. It has a utilitarian-looking cast iron church made by Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame, and a great bakery where no one speaks English. It also has other very helpful information on driving in Baja. Karen Hursh Graber, Leaf … Often times there are miles and miles of potholes around the area of Cativiña, some years extending over 100-miles towards Guerrero Negro. Expert RVers visited 22 RV Parks in Baja California Sur. Be calm and polite, but stay with them and open only one door at a time, and then close it before showing them the next one. Camping in Baja California. Once you’re there though, you’ll likely have the beach to yourself, and though there is nothing in the fishing camp of Agua Verde itself (save a small corner store selling snacks and sodas and a few cervezas), there is some nice hiking, tide pools and bird watching to be done. There are safe, private campgrounds and even a few free campsites on this vast peninsula. These are the kinds of spots that iOverlander excels at categorizing. For more information about Baja check out our Baja budget post , and read our Baja road trip guide ! Can you string a few syllables together? “What about the Baja California Peninsula? Most rural areas are free range and there are often cattle on the road. The longer, the more you pay. Ensenada is not a large city. Camping on the Beach in Baja California, Mexico Choose camping on Baja's beaches for a vacation that includes sun, sand, whale watching, surfing and fishing. California is an enormous and truly varied state, and our travels there by RV and by boat have been among our best. Located in Bahia de Los Angeles, on the Sea of Cortez, this is one of the few campgrounds in the northern state of Baja California that RVers identify as a winter destination. We found that the maps were not totally accurate if you’re going way off the beaten track (such as across the center of Baja), though. Guerrero Negro and San Ignacio are amazing. From the last station that has USLD near the border to Bahía Concepción is about 500-miles, with a few side trips. A surfer’s paradise, that may be the primary reason to visit El Conejo. Old molo boondocking - Loreto, Baja California Sur When we rolled into Loreto the campgrounds were full so we headed just south of town to a boondocking spot by an old pier. Vote For Your Favorite Camper, Gear, and Innovation, Traveler’s Guide to Camping Mexico’s Baja, VOTE: Best of 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards, 2021 Buyers Guide and Gear Guide Announced. TMC is supposed to be cheaper, but we still ended up paying over $7000 pesos to get on. Our experience was one where we approached a very official looking station, several lanes with speed bumps (called topes) and no border crossing agents (or any one else for that matter) stood in our way…and that was it. Start here. Baja California, Mexico. They have been traveling to Baja for decades and update the book regularly. You can simply use your smart phone's . Boondocking, also known as dry or primitive camping, means parking your RV in a campsite without any hookups of any kind, whether electric, water, or sewer. If you are towing a vehicle you must drive it across the border separately and reconnect on the other side. You may need to open your camper for inspection. Home » Expeditions » See The World » Baja California Peninsula: The Bucket List. Yes, the opportunities for camping on the beach have diminished in Baja “A guy with money and guns came in and forced these people who’d lived on the land for decades out. Once through, though, there are a few things to know. While the U.S. State Department currently declares La Paz particularly dangerous, we couldn’t have felt safer there. We have our own account, as well as those of two other groups firsthand, and none of us crossed without any issues. If the ladies with tamales come and offer to sell you steaming hot tamales out of the trunks of their cars, just say yes! Our favorite chain is Lay. We had to let go of cringing at every scratching noise we heard as we crept along with our beautiful camper. That said, there are many ways to enter Baja, from what’s reported to be a carefree, almost unmanned station south of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona (but which leaves you with a three hour drive east along the Mexico / US border to actually get to Baja proper) to Yuma to Tijuana. There isn’t much to this town, a nice RV park on a small bay, an unmanned U.S. “post office” that could easily be mistaken for an outhouse, and a few renovated houses / trailers inhabited by Canadians and Americans who don’t mind the lack of cell service and modern conveniences in the area. You will find the highest concentration of tourists camping on the beaches in the south west and safety can be found in numbers. I recommend going to the beaches in Bahía Concepción. The best steak we’ve had in Mexico, a real thick cut of less-fat-than-meat (a rarity down here), or for that matter anywhere in some time. So, we did. The funniest part about this is how these statements are sometimes made by the same people as they vacillate wildly between their desire to experience Mexico, and their fears about it. Sometimes someone would come around to collect a modest fee. Some people and places report the fee to be $30, and some sources state that you need to go to a bank to pay. 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