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Old 11-25-2008, 07:24 AM   #11
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The objective part of this question is easy. Baja has become substantially 'less safe' in recent years. Anecdotes about people traveling in Baja without incident miss the point. The probability of trouble has risen and the nature of the trouble you may encounter in Baja has become more severe. And Baja visitors are not suddenly dumber and more inclined to behave carelessly (e.g., driving at night, picking up strangers). Something has changed for the worse, and that change has been widely discussed and documented.

The subjective part is whether or not you feel the fun to be had is worth the risk of trouble. Most visitors have fun and return home safely. And I tend to agree with others that all good things in life involve some element of personal risk.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:57 PM   #12
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Haven't the news stories (about things getting less safe in Baja) referred only to the border area, and the west coast down to Ensenada? That is, the drug smuggling area?

Am I mistaken in believing that there isn't an increased danger camping on secluded beaches elsewhere?

It's been my philosophy that if I'm camping way out in the middle of nowhere that there just aren't enough tourists around to support a criminal element.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:47 PM   #13
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All the info we get from our Mexican friends, and other sources, is that you are right Geoffff. 99% of the problems are at the border and on the west coast. We stay away from the west coast all the way to El Rosario. To us it's just not that pretty and that's where all the problems seem to be. We're still camping all over the rest of Baja and we head to remote locations. Never had a problem. There's always a first time, but I've had more problems in the States. Just last September, I had a guy pull a .44 mag on me in a spot near Lassen Park that we've used many times. It can happen anywhere.
We like the fact that lots of folks don't want to head south of the border. Keeps it from getting ruined as is the case with most of the forty-eight. Love the isolation in Baja. Let's just keep it for ourselves.
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:31 PM   #14
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Just stepping out the front door in the morning is less safe than staying home, so there is risk associated with everything.

For those of you that choose not to travel abroad you are really missing some beautiful country. Part of what I like about traveling in Mexico is the sense of adventure, of exploring a foreign land where most Americans will never travel.

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Old 11-26-2008, 08:27 PM   #15
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As one from another state that also has a border with Mexico, I can tell you that not all the bad stuff is happening in the Tijuana area.

As one that works for a company that has facilities all over in Mexico, where we can no longer stay anywhere on the Meican side of the border when visiting plants along the border, and we have to travel with an escort when visiting plants in the interior of Mexico, I can tell you that not all the bad stuff is happening in the Tijuana area.
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:05 PM   #16
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Ok folks, I'm in the business. I'd bet my bottom dollar your chances of becoming a crime victim are much, much, much greater in the states than in Baja. Never a problem down there. We don't have Scatter's time in-country, but we've been going down there religiously for a dozen years now and never a problem. Never a hint of a problem. We also don't mess around with/in the first 200 miles of the border. On the other hand, the more folks that are afraid to go to Baja, means more Baja for me. Humm. Ah, forget what I said above.

Paolo, we'll be down there about the same time as you, but we'll be in the middle and south. If you guys feel like venturing out and seeing some back country, lemme know. We'll be the lost folks in a SMB with screaming kids. Easy to spot. I assume we'll be somewhere once in a blue moon with wi-fi, so I'll get to check messages. Heading all the way down to Cerritos near Todos Santos?? Nice spot for you surfer types. We're leaving here on the 23rd and crossing x-mas morning (at least that's the plan). Adios.
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:10 PM   #17
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Oh yea, if you can lay your hands on the AAA Baja map, its a good idea. Just grabbed one off EHell for $5. Also, it helps if you have all your docs, maps, etc., in a single binder (at lest that has worked well for us in the past). I'm building trip binder over the next week or so. Yea, I can get a bit obessive I suppose.
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:32 PM   #18
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I'll agree with Deminis for the most part. The main different is that there is still a lot of corruption/lawlessness with the police force, although they are trying to improve that.

Total Escape has some great Baja maps also. They just released the Baja Norte and Baja Sur maps as well. Definitely a great "company" to do business with.

Have a great time, I'm jealous.
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Old 12-11-2008, 04:36 PM   #19
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Good point. Local law enforcement is corrupt as hell up North (haven't experienced that down south, but its there too). Avoid cops if at all possible down there. Federals are relatively better than local.


And, its "Deminimis" as in De Minimis. Where'd you go to school, "Missipi"?
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:21 PM   #20
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Didn't realize how many more replies came to my posting! Deminimis, I'll also be going to central and southern Baja. We will however focus on surfing on the Pacific side, too little time to do it all! If you and the screaming children what to join us on a surfing trip let us know. Thanks for all the good info, we'll look for the maps! Oh, one more thing. I need to get a tourist visas, can I get then in Tecate and if so how do I go about it? I was looking on the internet and they had things about going to a bank to make the payment. Any idea?
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