You can fly into La Paz and rent a car or take a taxi, or fly into Los Cabos and rent a car.
Driving down is also an exciting option. Contrary to common belief, driving in Baja Mexico is quite safe and extremely FUN.
You can either fly to La Paz Airport (Alaska Airlines, AeroCalifornia, AeroMexico, and Mexicana) or Los Cabos Airport (just about every major airlines).
Baja Joe’s can assist in arrangements for guest to be picked up the La Paz airport, stop by a big grocery store in La Paz for supplies, and then on to La Ventana.
If a rental car is desired, it’s best to make arrangements from the United States in order to get the best deal. Rental cars can be expensive. Budget, Thrifty, and Hertz have cars available in La Paz.
We are about 1000 miles south on the US/Mexican border and you should plan to stop for at least one night.
If you travel from California it’s easy to cross the border at Tijuana or Tecate. Tecate is only a few miles east of Tijuana and is a much less crowded crossing. Both Tijuana and Tecate are 60miles from Ensenada, but the drive from Tijauana includes a four-lane toll road that parallel the coast and saves time. From Ensenada the road becomes a well travel two-lane highway crossing the Baja Peninsula several times on the way to Land’s End at Cabo San Lucas.
You’ll travel though farmland and a few small communities. Whenever passing through a village, be sure to slow down and watch for “topes” or speed bumps that can be quite severe. Some are marked and some are not. You pass through Manedero and San Vicente, then into the mountains and the village of Santo Tomas, where there is a rest area and hotel. San Quentin is the last farm village until you reach El Rosario and turn inland.
El Rosario has fabulous restaurant that serves lobster tacos and a “Pemex” Mexican gas station where it’s a good idea to top off you tank. From here you’ll cross the desert and the Pemex along this stretch of highway are often out of fuel.
Catavina is the next stop where you can get gas; the La Pinta Hotel usually has some for sale. The old Pemex has been closed for a while. The hotel has a good restaurant too. From Catavina you’ll drive through some wonderful boulder and scenery and then on to Guerrero Negro where you’ll cross into the state of Baja California Sur. Here there is a military check and an agriculture inspection. You will be asked to have your car sprayed for bugs at a price. It’s inexpensive and a good idea, it helps keep the farmers producing bug-free food. The next little village is Viscaino and there are unmarked “topes” at the south end of the village. San Ignacio, off the highway 2 miles, is an oasis with lots of palm trees and water. There are good restaurants, RV parks and hotels. There is a mission here dating from the 1600′s, and Town Square is interesting.
Santa Rosalia is at the bottom of a long steep downgrade where you’ll see the Sea of Cortez for the first time on the journey south. This is an old mining town and there are lots of old mining artifacts around. There is also a church made all of metal that that was shipped from Europe in the 1700′s. In an hour and half you’ll reach Mulege, another oasis. There are several restaurants, hotels, and RV parks in town and a big Pemex south of town that’s easy to get gas at. Another hour and you’ll reach Loreto and Napolo. This is another full service town, this one complete with an airport and gulf course. From here you’ll head inland again, pass farmlands and the two villages of Insurgentes and Ciudad Constitution. These are farm communities, but there are hotels, restaurants, and RV parks. In the winter months, you can take a smaller road to the Pacific coast and the villages there to see the whales on their annual migrations.
La Paz is another 2 or 3 hours and the capital of the State of Baja California Sur. It’s a modern city with all the conveniences of a city on the U.S. It’s not a tourist destination but there are several nice hotels and resorts as well as marinas and grocery stores.
Baja Joe’s is 40 minutes from La Paz on Highway 286. This is a left turn toward Los Planes as you leave La Paz on Highway 1 south. You travel southeast, go over the mountains, and at 36 km turn left towards El Sargento. Go 7 km more and on the right is Baja Joe’s. We have big red walls and flags. We’re down this arroyo on the right and on the beach.
Your American auto insurance isn’t effective 60 miles into Mexico. You’ll need to buy a policy from a Mexican Insurance carrier. Mexico has the Napoleon Code of Law and the burden of prove falls on the accused. Being involved in an accident without insurance is very troublesome. Vagabundos is a club that offers a group insurance policy that is quite reasonable. You can get more information from them by calling (800)474-2252 or (707) 374-5511. They will also send you a newsletter with the latest road conditions and any other pertinent information.
As of Fall 2008, the road is in really good shape; in fact it could be the best it’s ever been. In planning the trip, AAA has the best road map of Baja.