Baja Hotbox

“Don’t Drive at Night”

“Don’t Camp Alone”

FMM forms are no longer available online. You must apply at the border crossing

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Fuel Price in El Rosario April 21, 2021
Magna 21.00 pesos/liter, $4.00 gal
Premium 22.35 pesos/liter, $4.26 gal
Diesel 22.50 pesos/liter, $4.29 gal

Current Information

Don’t leave your vehicle unattended during check point inspections. Displaying Vagabundos decals and magnetic signs has benefited Members when passing through check points. Request free decals with your renewal or visit our ship store to purchase a set of magnetic signs.

We are seeing an increase in claims involving hitting animals on the road. Another area where extra care is needed is through and south of San Quintin. There is a lot of agriculture traffic and the lanes are narrower. Also, highways are in better condition and traffic is moving faster. South of El Rosario the road is in good condition but there is no shoulder.

!Updated Road Reports!

Road Report 4/28/21 – Traveled to San Quintin and stayed on Don Eddy’s, highly recommends. Roads are really good; this is the first time in 10 years that I have traveled without a boat and it was a breeze. We crossed at San Ysidro and headed down 1, lots of the roads have been widened for traveling. Left at 6 am to head back to the border, had some stops for breakfast and got to the border at around 11 and was through by 12. Norman Woodruff

Road Report 3/25/21 – Great trip! We crossed at Los Algodones, no issues at all. Made our way to the toll road Hwy 2. Dropped us onto Hwy 5. You have to turn right, make a U turn to head south… very easy! The road was great, with new pavement after you leave San Felipe. Great road all the way to Hwy 1. However, watch for rocks etc. between Gonzaga Bay and Hwy 1!! Would not be good to travel during the night, which we never do anyway. We made a left to travel south on Hwy 1. Still so narrow especially pulling a trailer. We go slow and slow way down or stop when a semi is passing us. They seem to like us stopping to let them maneuver passing us instead of each of us doing the maneuvering… ha. We have a lot of respect for semis and trucks as they are most the time transporting goods to stores etc. Few potholes as we approached our turn off to Bahia de Los Angeles. The road going into BOLA is good except for some pretty significant potholes between 20KM and 32KM HOWEVER there has been a crew patching pothole so it is getting better! Carol and Roger

March 5, 2021 – Calexico East Port of Entry. The inspection at the Mexican Customs was professional, easy and brief. FMM cards can be obtained and stamped right at the inspection area, very convenient. The road was in great shape, the improvements south of San Felipe have all been completed with no delays. Entering Mexico through Mexicali is easy. Mexico Highway 5 is in great shape and you miss all the congestion on Mexico Highway 1. Scott McEwen

January 14, 2021 – Here is a couple of road reports between Santa Rosalia and Mulege – All the construction on Highway 1 between Santa Rosalia and Mulege have been finished except for a detour around bridge reconstruction. The detour surface is on old highway pavement from pre-bridge construction, with a couple of lengths of gravel. It is generally not too rough. Traffic flows through slowly with nom backups. There are no flaggers. Based on the size of the bridge project, the detour will be in use for many months.

The Federales and the Guarada National frequently have vehicles parked along Highway 1 in two locations. I believe the posted speed limit in both locations is 60 km/hr. About a mile south of the prison on the right side, between the right intersection and the wrecking yard. About 1/2 mile south of the turnoff to san Bruno on the right side across the highway from a shutdown supermercado that has a big sign saying “Abarotes.” Bruce and Gail Bartlett

For current travel, we advise:

Travel with another vehicle in order to have assistance in case of a flat tire or mechanical breakdown. This way you will have someone who can find a tow truck or roadside assistance if necessary. Before leaving home have your local mechanic go over your vehicle and replace anything that looks worn – belts, hoses, headlights, etc. Bring at least basic spare parts.

Don’t drive at night. It is not safe, if for no other reason than cows are often in or alongside the highway. You might not see one until it becomes a hood ornament. There are many areas of open livestock range along Baja 1. Also, a breakdown may leave you on the pavement if there is nowhere to pull off to avoid a semi or bus coming at high speed. They do drive all night. There was a big problem for us one time getting on the road late because we were having too much fun at the beach and we thought we knew the road well. Then we found the road we had traveled recently had been repaved but not yet marked. It was a very dark, moonless night with lots of black cows at the edge of the road. That was really white-knuckle driving.

Don’t drive too fast. We may hit 60 mph when we can see a long way ahead, but 50 mph is our usual speed, especially when driving an RV or towing and many of us have been doing that for a long time without any problem. This will give you an edge in reacting to unforeseen hazards. Looking far ahead at oncoming traffic, if you can judge when you will cross paths and estimate speed, it’s better to slow or increase speed and cross paths on a straightaway rather than on a curve or curve and hill.

Drive with your lights on. It is easier to be seen in a passing situation!

Take extra care of blind hills and curves. A tank truck might be half in your lane, and you have to move over as far as you can to the right.

Fill up with fuel when your gauge indicates half empty. Between El Rosario and Jesus Maria on Baja 1, the distance is about 197.5 miles and there are no gas stations in between.

Carry collapsible red cones and a red flag. We use a water ski red flag, and it has saved us big time in hazardous situations – including on US roads. Keep it where you can reach it in case your vehicle suddenly becomes disabled; set your hazard lights and get away from the vehicle. These days there seems to be more vehicles and people stalled by the side of the road being hit by traffic coming behind them.

Be extra cautious around Mulege, La Paz and around the Cape areas- southern Baja Sur. More accidents seem to be happening there. It might be due to most roads are now four-lane highways and traffic is moving faster. Another area where extra care is needed is through and south of San Quintin. There is a lot of agriculture traffic and the lanes are narrower. South of El Rosario the road is in good condition but there is no shoulder.

But above all, realize that we have been sending caravans down Baja and all over the Mexican mainland for many years and have never had a problem with anyone else on the highway. We plan our trips to be in an RV park or motel before the sun goes down. We have trailer boat cruises every year and our fishing tournaments continue to be popular. Also, as mentioned, most of our Officers, Directors, Ambassadors-at-Large, and many Members regularly drive the Baja Peninsula with no problems.

Travel Buddies Calendar

In keeping with today’s internet reliance and the Vagabundos code to travel with a buddy, our Travel Buddies Calendar is now online – a great tool to find a buddy to caravan with. Members traveling to Mexico can post trips, find other members who are traveling, find Vag sponsored events, and use the interactive map. Regardless of your driving experience the easy-to-use calendar will allow you to find a buddy. For more information and to login click on Travel Buddies

Travel Information

Temporary Import Permits:

Vehicle Permits

  • The new fee is $52.20 plus tax. People going to Baja north & south and part of Sonora do not need to have one.
  • Everyone is required to leave a deposit (if you pay by cash or credit card); the deposit is based on the vehicle year. If anyone fails to return their vehicle prior to the expiration date the deposit will be kept.
  • Banjercito will run a check on the vehicle before issuing the permit, if there is any theft report on the vehicle or if it is restricted or prohibited to operate in the US or Canada, the vehicle cannot be temporarily imported.
  • The temporary permit time is based on the person’s immigration status i.e. 180 days for tourist.
  • People traveling in the eastern part of Sonora need to have a Sonora Only Permit.

Boat Permits

  • Temporary Boat Importation Permits (TIP) are required if you are towing a boat of more than 15 feet. Marinas in Mexico have an obligation by law to keep a copy of a tourist visa, vessel TIP, insurance and certificate of documentation on file. The TIP is for recreational or sport boats for all people legally residing outside of Mexico no matter what your immigration status TIP application click here.

Prepaid FMMs and Fishing Licenses

Prepaid FMMS (Visitor Cards)

Vagabundos members can NO LONGER obtain an FMM from our office. All visitors must purchase at border crossing.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO GET YOUR FMM TOURIST CARD and have it VALIDATED AT THE BORDER WHEN YOU ENTER MEXICO. If you fail to get a valid FMM at the border you will be fined, Mexico Immigration will issue a letter giving you 7 days to exit the country and you will need to return to the US.

10/30/13 A meeting was held Thursday, October 17, in San Diego regarding FMMs required for fishing on boats in Mexican waters in the 12 mile zone from land. We received information from the CONAPESCA Office in San Diego as to the procedure for FMMs.

The FMM Tourist Visa price is 687 pesos and it is valid for 180 days, single entry. A copy of a valid passport is required.

FMMs at Tecate: It is easier to park on the U.S. side, walk across to Immigration in the building on your right.

Fishing License

CURRENT RATES (subject to change without notice)

  • Weekly $553 pesos*
  • Monthly $779 pesos*
  • Yearly $1004 pesos*
  • * Plus a handling fee

Prohibited and Permitted Items


Agricultural items are prohibited If they can carry plant pests or animal diseases.

Fruits and Vegetables All fruit not on the permitted list below is prohibited. Sugarcane is prohibited. Potatoes are prohibited, including Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams. (Exceptions: Cooked potatoes are permitted. Avocados without seeds are permitted, except in California.)

Plants, Seeds and Soil
Plants and seeds require special permits. Soil and some plants are prohibited. Check in advance with agricultural inspectors. (Exception: Some dried plant parts, such as for medicinal purposes, are permitted.)

Meat and Game Pork
-raw and cooked, including sausages, cold cuts, skins, and pork tacos, is prohibited. (Exceptions: Shelf-stable, canned pork and hard cooked pork skins [cracklings] are permitted.) Poultry-raw meat from both domesticated and game fowl is prohibited. (Exception: Thoroughly cooked poultry is permitted.) Game – Check with agricultural inspectors in advance. Other restrictions may apply; check in advance with agricultural inspectors.

 Prohibited. (Exceptions: Boiled and cooked eggs are permitted.)

Live Birds
 Wild and domesticated birds, including poultry, are prohibited.
To import personally owned pet birds, contact agricultural inspectors in advance.

Generally prohibited. This includes wheat straw, seeds, animal feed, and all articles made from this material.


In addition to the excepted items listed above, many agricultural items are permitted if they pass inspection to be sure they are free of pests, soil and sand.

Fruits and Vegetables
Permitted fruits are bananas, blackberries, cactus fruits, dates, dewberries, grapes, lemons, limes (sour), lychees, melons, papayas, pineapples, and strawberries. Vegetables are permitted, except for those on the prohibited list above. Okra, however, is subject to certain restrictions.

Nuts Permitted items are atoms, almonds, cocoa beans, chestnuts, coconuts (without husks or milk}, peanuts, pecans, pinons (pine nuts), tamarind beans, walnuts, and water nuts.