Miles of White Sand Beaches, Just a couple of hours drive South of the Border.
Maps of Baja, San Felipe, Campos, and Mexicali
Click on the above maps to bring up larger versions of them. The Mexicali map shows approximate locations of Costco, Sam’s Club, Office Depot, Home Depot, and a couple of McDonalds. These are just a few of the companies that feel the time is right to be in Mexico!
There maybe military checkpoints along the way. These check points are a part of an agreement and joint effort between the United States and Mexico to get tougher on drugs. Their questions will include, “Where are you going? “”Where did you come from?” “Do you have any guns or drugs?” They may ask to look inside your trunk or RV, suitcases and glove box. At night, turn on your interior lights. While this can be intimidating, the important thing to remember is that it is a routine procedure and they are there to protect all of us.
Mexican Auto Insurance:
Mexican auto insurance is about $12 a day or may be purchased substantially less on a monthly, semi-annual or annual policy. You may also purchase auto insurance from the web as long as the car is in the USA. If you are driving a rental car, you must purchase Mexican Auto Insurance through your rental car agency at the time you rent the car. (Not all rental agencies allow vehicles to be driven into Mexico and their policy can change city to city. We have found that at the El Centro, San Diego, Yuma Airports, Enterprise, Dollar and Avis do allow their cars into Mexico and sell Mexican Auto Insurance.) Remember, it is illegal to drive in Mexico without Mexican Auto Insurance.
Note: Mexico does not accept or recognize American auto insurance even if the American insurance company states it is valid in Mexico. Should an accident occur while driving in Mexico, the authorities will require proof of Mexican auto insurance. If you do not have Mexican insurance you may forfeit your vehicle, face huge fines, and be privileged to see the inside of a Mexican jail. (This is not to scare you, it’s the law – just like having valid auto insurance in the U.S. is the law here also – Mexico is just a little stricter, in most cases). You can also buy Mexican car insurance over the web. Contact us for more details.
Most restaurants, hotels, gas stations, etc., will print the amount due in both U.S. dollars and pesos and you can pay with either one. Merchants’ prices are usually displayed in pesos. It’s a good idea to carry your U.S. currency in smaller denominations. Often you will save money by paying in pesos so we recommend carrying both currencies. You can change money in Calexico or Mexicali at very reasonable rates.
A Mexican tourist card is not necessary even though Playa de Oro is located more than 70 miles south of the border. However to get a tourist card is easy. They are available in both San Felipe and Mexicali. In Mexicali, stop at the Oficina de Federal building marked Migracion or Aduana located just left of the border gates. you will have to pay a fee of approximately $16 U.S. at a local bank (located close to Immigration), have the form stamped then bring it back to Immigration for the final documentation. At Otay, just past the port entry is a row of offices (similar to an American Strip Mall). A bank is housed in one of the far units.
US-born citizens will need one of the following proof-of-citizenship documents:
A valid U.S. passport;
A birth certificate issued by a federal, state, county or city governments agency in whose jurisdiction you were born.
A photocopy is not acceptable unless the issuing authority has certified it. Also not acceptable are such documents as a Record of Birth, Baptismal Certificate, etc. issued by hospitals and churches.
Naturalized US citizens will need one of the following:
A valid U.S. passport;
The original Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship. (Photocopies, notarized or not, are not acceptable. Neither are wallet-sized naturalization cards – Form 1-179 or other similar documents.)
Single parents traveling with a minor child will need to have a notarized letter from the absent parent giving permission to the minor to enter Mexico. Canadians and other non-nationals need the equivalent identifications.
Once property has been purchased in Mexico a FM3 (Resident Visa) will become necessary. Playa de Oro will provide information on what is needed to get the FM3. It may be advisable to open a Mexican checking account for your own convenience but it is not a requirement when you actually own property, which you do in Playa de Oro. Leaseholders and membership holders must open a checking account to prove investment in Mexico because a lease or membership is not considered an investment by the government. This investment requirement is to prove that you will not become indigent and turn to the government for assistance or support
A word of Caution:
Should you encounter car trouble along the way, DO NOT leave your vehicle. The “Green Angeles” (Angelo Tourista) travel the 100+ miles between Mexicali and San Felipe continually. Their sole purpose is to help anyone stranded along the way and make sure that you and your vehicle reach an appropriate facility safely. The vehicles are green – thus dubbed “THE GREEN ANGELS.” Because you never know when problems can arise, we recommend having plenty of bottled water in your vehicle – the desert can get very hot and thirsty!
Whatever you do, do not attempt to take any type of illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia into Mexico. Do not transport guns or ammunition. Do not carry any packages that you do not know the contents of or given to you by strangers. Know who your passengers are and what they may be carrying. Whether male or female, young or old, gun and drug runners and anyone associated with them are dealt with very harshly in Mexico. There is no immunity or help from the US Embassy and the Mexican jails are not a pretty picture.