Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Photo Log: Baja California Highway 5 Update - February 2019

Here's a quick update of the road conditions of Baja California Highway 5 from Laguna Chapala north to Puertecitos. The storms of Fall 2019 have done some major damage to the area but the locals always figure a way around obstacles.

Remember, this is driving north from Laguna Chapala (at the Highway 1 intersection) to Coco's Corner then to Bahia San Luis Gonzaga and then one to Puertecitos (south of San Felipe).

Some sections have rough washboard and rock slides. Others have highway and road ways missing, some marked some not, that you need to go around. And then there are a number of bridges out.

Please use extreme caution when driving this section. It's doable but slow.

Photos taken on February 3rd, 2019.


Here is the stickered sign at the turn off of "Highway 5"


The first couple hundred yards off of Highway 1 is paved, but that's fool's gold as the road is rough with washboard and rock slides to follow.

Car-sized boulders have fallen off the cliffsides.


Coco's Corner sign and construction equipment.

Long washboard section just before you turn north to Coco's Corner.

Coco's Corner - Stop in, say hi to Coco, sign his book and buy a cerveza.

The road is so rough in some spots that the locals have already made their own side roads in the soft sand.

The bridges south of Gonzaga Bay are intact.

This is not a copy of the photo above, it's another section north of Coco's with rock slides.

Finally! Pavement just south of Bahia San Luis Gonzaga.

Army checkpoint just north of Gonzaga Bay and Papa Fernandez'.

Soon after you will begin to see cones marking small areas of missing road. This is nothing compared to what's coming your way.

Water is amazing and destructive as you can see in the arroyo that completely destroyed the embankments of this bridge. Unfortunately this type of contruction will never route the water properly.

With large sections of roadway and bridges out, the locals have made their own roads as in the past. Even detours large trucks can access.

A closer shot of the damage that large rain storms can do.

Completely missing sections of highway looking south.
Cross section of highway completely gone.
Cones warn of a portion of a missing bridge. In some sections there are no cones, just tires or debris piles. Be cautious.



The largest span we came across is falling apart. Do not drive on it, follow the locals around these damaged bridges.


Another shot looking south of the same bridge from the detour.


Cones, tires and debris all mark damaged highway. Beware, it's difficult to see at night.


Thank you to Baja Bound Insurance Services for making this trip possible.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Top 7 Beaches in Los Cabos

Written by Jenni Reichert

Los Cabos is famous for its golf courses, fantastic nightlife and gourmet restaurants. But perhaps its most well-known for its phenomenal beaches. Cabo offers a plethora of beaches to choose from to suit everyone from avid water-babies to people looking for a quiet spot to read their favorite book.

Here’s a look at some of the best beaches you can visit during your next vacation to Los Cabos.

Playa Las Viudas - Photo courtesy of https://gonetripn.com/todos-santos/


Las Viudas Beach

Perhaps less commonly known to travelers visiting Cabo San Lucas than others such as Medano Beach in the heart of Cabo, this beautifully rugged beach is a fun place to spend time climbing rocks and admiring the Sea of Cortez. Because of its stunning rock formations, Las Viudas beach is also a favorite for local photographers.

Located just under 10 kilometers away from down-town Cabo San Lucas, Las Viudas is a beautiful beach waiting to be explored. Additionally, Las Viudas is the perfect spot to catch a magical sunset, making it a firm favorite to capture a couple’s special celebration or a family photoshoot.

Santa Maria Bay - Photo courtesy of https://www.shermanstravel.com


Santa Maria Bay

Follow the highway 7 kilometers beyond Las Viudas and you’ll find another spectacular spot. Santa Maria Bay is well-known for its idyllic snorkeling. Although it doesn’t have any facilities, many people adore heading there for a full day of sun and relaxation. The crystal blue waters of Santa Maria wash up on a perfect sandy beach which looks like a little alcove when you first arrive.

If you’re planning a trip to Santa Maria, try to go early in the day so you can get some alone time - this beach gets busy as the day progresses.



Chileno Bay - Photo courtesy of https://beachtraveldestinations.com/best-beaches-in-cabo/


Chileno Bay

This is my personal favorite beach to spend a day at in Los Cabos. Chileno Bay is located half-way between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo on the famous Cabo Corridor. This is a parents dream of a beach as there are a few little rock pools for kids to safely explore.

The waves are normally gentle so young children can paddle along the shore. There’s a wooden gangway that you can walk from the car park to the beach. This makes life so much easier is you are bringing a cooler and beach chairs along with you for the day. Get there early enough and uou can find several permanent palapas on the beachfront to provide you and your family with shade.

There are restrooms at Chileno Bay, which makes life so much easier when you’re bringing children with you for the day! Chileno is famous for its snorkeling and sunsets; if you don’t have any snorkeling equipment, you can easily rent equipment from some friendly vendors upon arrival at the beach.

Chileno Bay is a truly magical spot that you must explore while vacationing in Cabo.


Beach bars, boat and other water sport rentals line Medano Beach


Medano Beach

Want some people-watching beach fun? Take a day and spend it on the famous Medano Beach. Medano beach is located the heart of Cabo San Lucas. With awesome spots like The Office and Billygans, you can while away an entire day enjoying water activities, buying some Mexican souvenirs and downing some Pacificos.

My favorite thing to do on Medano Beach (besides people watch) is park up at Sur Beach House. This is an incredible day beach club that offers lounge chairs, full bar and restaurant service. For a small fee that’s applied to your food & beverage bill, you can have all day access to extreme comfort and attentive waiter service.


Palmilla Beach | San Jose del Cabo

Only a 12-minute car journey from San Jose del Cabo heading South, you’ll find Palmilla Beach: a well-known favorite spot in San Jose del Cabo.
Because of its easy-access car park and zero distance to walk from car to beach, locals prefer Palmilla Beach. With that being said, this location can get pretty busy. Don’t let that deter you, as it’s a great spot to take the kids boogie boarding and enjoy some family time as you watch sunset.

Cerritos Beach | Pescador

Fancy a road trip during your Cabo vacation? If so, pack your rental car with your beach gear and head south towards Todos Santos. Just before you reach the beautiful town of Todos Santos, take a left and go to Cerritos Beach.

Cerritos is an impressive surfers paradise, where many have gone for surfing school or a family vacation. Long walks along the beach are enjoyed by the whole family.

Cerritos has restaurant and bar service available all day. Massage therapists await you after a long day of surfing!



Playa La Playita | Puerto Los Cabos

For those of you who don’t enjoy waves of any kind, head north of San Jose del Cabo to a quiet spot just beyond the Puerto Los Cabos marina. Affectionately named ‘Playa La Playita’ because of its small size, this tranquil hideaway is the perfect place to while away a few hours in the sun.

The El Ganzo Hotel overlooks the beach area which sits just beyond the Container Restaurant.

If you’re willing to pay a few hundred pesos which will be applied to your food and beverage bill, you can grab a sun lounger for the whole day and relax in front of this delightfully peaceful spot.

As you can see, there’s something for everyone in Los Cabos. There are so many unique and diverse beach spots to be explored throughout the area. Rent a car, hail a taxi, use public transportation or use recently arrived Uber service to help you get to these paradise-style beaches!

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Jenni Reichert is the owner of Baja Baby Gear, #1 Baby Gear Rentals In Mexico
You can reach her at jen@bajababygear.com or through her website at http://www.mexonline.com/bajababygear.htm

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Cross Border Xpress (CBX) skybridge to the Tijuana Airport

Cross Border Express CBX


Are you flying out of Tijuana? But live in California or the U.S.? Well there is a simple solution to crossing the border without all of the hassle of the long border lines and waiting. It's the Cross Border Xpress or simply CBX. Located in Otay Mesa (San Diego), and directly across the border from the Tijuana Airport (TIJ), CBX is the easiest, fastest way to access flights leaving/arriving from Tijuana.

Here's some details:

-CBX is an enclosed pedestrian skybridge that spans the US/Mexico border.
-You must purchase a ticket either online or at the CBX counters to use it.
-Only ticketed passengers flying out of or into Tijuana may use CBX.
-Current costs range from $16 one way to $30 round trip (as of Jan 2019).

-You must have your passport (or other accepted ID), boarding pass & CBX ticket to use CBX.
-There is a mobile app ticket you can present instead of paper (see their website for details).
-CBX is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

-Crossing using CBX is the same as crossing any US/Mexico border, all laws apply.
-US Customs will be present and check your passport/luggage on your return.

-The CBX building is in the US, but has employees on both sides to assist you.
-AeroMexico, Calafia, Interjet & Volaris have ticket counters at CBX for assistance.
-CBX has a 24 hour paid parking lot available.
-Other transportation options include Uber/Lyft, Taxis or the CBX shuttle.

-CBX has a Starbuck's, a food truck and vending machines. There is also free WiFi.

The CBX website link is at the bottom of the article.


Please follow this "photo walk-through" of what to expect using CBX from a recent trip.


Cross Border Xpress on San Diego Tijuana border
This is the outside of the CBX building for drop off. To the left is overnight parking.

CBX provides free luggage carriers which you exchange for another one on Tijuana side.


The three flags of California, Mexico and the United States


Check in counters just like an airport. You can buy your pass here, check in for your flight or simply ask a question. You will need to carry your bags across (they don't check bags here)

On the left side of the counters (above) is the entrance to the bridge. You will need to fill out a declarations form (there are tables and pens available). Here an employee will check your ticket, passport, airline ticket and form.

Once you enter and pass through a duty free shop, you will head onto the bridge to cross to Mexico.
There's only one way to go and it's enclosed. Very simple.

You won't even know you crossed the US Mexico Border unless you see this small plaque

US Mexico border. You are in Mexico once you cross the plaque.

Keep walking and follow the signs. Someone will meet you around the corner to take your luggage carrier (if you have one) and offer you a Tijuana Airport carrier. You will then take an escalator, stairs or elevator down to the airport.

This is the unsecure area of the Tijuana airport. Keep walking to the airport counters at the end. If you need help, there are airline ticket counters with personnel that can point you in the right direction.

Usually someone will be at the start of the line to assist you (just show them your ticket). In this case this is the Volaris counter. If no one is there, get in line like any other airport. You can flag someone down.

This is where the boarding area is (some flights leave from upstairs and some downstairs). Most signs are in Spanish and English. You can purchase store items here like any airport in the world.

Returning to the US using Cross Border Xpress (CBX)

When you depart the aircraft follow the signs to the luggage area. You will pass through Mexican customs and may be asked for your passport and tourist visa. Once inside the luggage area, you will need to pick up your bags. You will see both signs and employees from CBX (the employees usually wear purple). They are there to assist you.

Remember you you must have your passport (or other accepted ID), boarding pass & CBX ticket to use CBX.

They will show you where to go to access the pedestrian skybridge back into the CBX building and the US. Do not exit the airport through the regular passenger access as you will not be allow back into to the CBX access (and would need to cross into the US via the regular border at Otay Mesa). If you are confused, stop and ask someone for the CBX access.

Follow the CBX bridge back over the border (remember you can't get lost as there is only one way to go). Take the escalator, stairs or elevator down into the US Customs area. They will ask you to declare your entry into the US, look at your passport and check your luggage. Once this simple process is done, you will walk back into the CBX building and pick up your ride.

Please check their website for current details, to purchase a ticket, or see current photos.

https://www.crossborderxpress.com