Spring 2019 Baja Trip Planning - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-04-2018, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Spring 2019 Baja Trip Planning

OK Folks, Working on bikes and plans to ride from Joshua Tree, CA to Cabo San Lucas and back sometime between mid-March and mid-April.
We will be riding a 2004 and a 2007 DL650's. I have planned 2 weeks for the trip. I'm looking for input and advice. All subjects, routing, accommodations, things to see, emergency gear ect... of course we will take tire repair supplies and a expanded tool kit. The links provided are the current route plans, with overnight towns. I plan to stay on pavement for the most part, not very interested in fighting terrain on this trip. Scenery, Sun, Good food and drink are the main goals. Any input is welcome and appreciated.

https://goo.gl/maps/B5BBDCdJdEk

https://goo.gl/maps/PkzM1zcHToN2
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-04-2018, 12:29 PM
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Only been down to Mulege years ago. San Ignacio is a neat little place.
With two weeks you should be able to see about everything they have to offer. There is a wine region in Del Norte Baja that has gotten rave reviews.
I do know you can make it back to the border at San Diego from Mulege between sunrise to sunset in Feb if you don't make too many stops.
Even decades ago I noticed there were a lot of ATM's in many places so currency change is easy. Check with your bank for particular before venturing off.
Our guide down there was disappointed he didn't find the pot holes and horrible roads he had experienced before. He wanted to have us enjoy Baja at it's best.
It may even be mo bettah now.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-04-2018, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, Valle de Guadalupe is a great place. Like Napa years ago. We spent Thanksgiving there 3 years ago, great trip. I believe all the roads on my proposed route are paved and in good shape, I could be wrong. We will re-enter the US at Tecate, just north of wine country.
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-05-2018, 03:32 PM
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I could spend hours sharing my thoughts but will try to sum up. To start with is there a reason you have to go all the way to Cabo? I recommend not being in such a rush to Cabo that you miss all there is to see on the way down. I started with the intent to ride to Cabo a number of years ago and have yet to make it all the way. I was so stuck on having only so many days and rushing down the first couple rides I missed sooo much.

My personal advice is to use both of your maps. Take the route down through through Tecate and Ensenada taking 1 down then come back crossing over to 5 and through San Feliipe on your way back or vice versa. The roads have taken a pounding with some of the last storms so they aren't great with potholes that you could lay in and hide in some areas. North and South of Catavina are particularly bad along with the road between San Felipe and Puertocitos. Take your time and try not to be fixed on getting miles under your belt every day.

In San Felipe I like to Stay at El Capitan, its close to the main drag on the beach and a safe place to park your bike.

In Ensenada I like the Estero Beach Hotel if I'm feeling like a nicer hotel or if you have time to get a few more miles in I prefer Don Eddies Landing in San Quintin. Tony is Awesome and very hospitable. Food is great!!

Hotel Mision in Catavina is a good place to stay but are usually quite busy because of being the main hotel in that stretch.

In Bahia De Los Angeles I normally stay at Villa Vita. Its a decent place for the area and Mario can make a killer Charizo omlet if you can convince him to cook..

In Guerro Negro I like to stay at the TerraSal on your right as soon as you take the exit off 1 for town. Don't miss going in town and look for a food truck on your right called Taco El Muelle! Awesome fish tacos and right by an OXXO where you can supply up on snacks, use the Bano etc..

Next San Ignacio, one of my favorite towns. make sure you go to the town square and see Misión San Ignacio Kadakaamán. A beautiful church and great eating in the area. In San Ignacio if you're feeling like living it up nice stay at Ignacio Springs Bed and Breakfast. Gary and Terry are awesome and her breakfasts are a great way to start the day. They have a bunch of Yurts which are quite nice. They book up quick most of the time but if they are booked up Terry will most likely offer to call the Desert inn between her and the town square to see if they have room for you. The Desert Inn is nice but I still like to go back for Terry's breakfasts.

In Santa Rosalia as you are heading South make sure to turn right by the old locomotive and head up to the church. Its a Gustove Eiffel Design and was in the worlds fair at the same time as his Eiffel Tower. They disassembled it and shipped it to Mexico. From the church there is an ice cream shop on the corner which also has a convenient restroom.

The road between Santa Rosalia and Lareto is some of my favorite. The beaches are beautiful and if you stop for a cold refreshing beverage at somewhere like Burro Beach the people have been extremely friendly..

Next in Mulege I would recommend the Mulege Hotel. Its on your left past the arch as you come into the main town. Its not a 5 star by any means but your bike is safe in the courtyard and its walking distance to many eating establishments. Make sure you take mosquito spray for in your room at night.. They can be brutal..

In Loreto Hotel Santa Fe Loreto is reasonable priced and has a restaurant but I recommend going down town for lunch or dinner. There breakfasts are decent but the seafood closer to Paseo Lopez (street right on the water) is better. La Palapa has a great platter of mixed fresh seafood that's to die for!! Its on Miguel Hidalgo about a block off the ocean front.

I really haven't ever gotten South of Lareto because there has been so much to explore.. I will most likely make it a month or two before you go down this next spring however. I'm hoping to go down in February for a few weeks to a month.

A couple tips, say hi to everyone! Kids will wave and being excited to see you! Watch for Topas (speed bumps) as you enter and leave towns, they can be killer. Keep some coin handy for emergency services as passing through many of the small towns, its the least we can do as tourists and if in an accident its who will come to your aid. Keep money handy from Tecate to Ensenada for tolls. Tip the fuel station attendants, I take a bunch of Sacagawea dollars because they normally strike up a conversation. The attendants normally fill your tank but some will let motorcyclists do their own. Don't take photos at check points (I've even had them ask about a go pro) and just be nice to the guards and they normally will just wave you through. You probably won't get stopped on the way down but may on the way North. Also don't have any Trump stickers on your bike! I talked to a guy who got grilled rather hard as to why he liked trump.. At restaurants always ask for a bottle of coke (botella de coka) or a botella de aqua (bottle of water) so they don't give you your drink in a glass. If they do give you your drink with ice in a glass ask if the ice (hielo) is "purificado" (purified). Ive never had a problem but you never know. I also take some paracord to hang laundry for drying every few nights. I found these little washing sheets (https://www.amazon.com/Travelon-Laun...000Y0CL8K?th=1) that don't take up space and work great for sink washing, then after washing make sure you ask for an extra towel to roll your clothes in and wring most of the water out before hanging.

I've always carried extra fuel but have it down to a one liter bottle at this point. It just seems like fuel is getting more and more available. You will find that at the speeds you will be doing your DL650 will most likely get great fuel economy, Ive gotten over 60mpg many times fully loaded. You will notice trucks particularly signaling LEFT as you approach them from behind, they are signalling you that its clear and you can come around. It can be a little nerving at first but it will be second nature in no time (even when you get home). As traffic comes up behind you you can do the same and hug the right shoulder and they will pass you instead of tailgating you. Watch for animals, (particularly dogs). I had a wreck down there 6 years ago from a dog. No Bueno! Don't ride at night, even if you are tempted to push it, I've hit rabbits at night and larger free range animals like the pavement at night because it holds the heat. I try to find a place to stay by 3pm, it gives you time to unwind a little and find a place to eat..

Sorry for the long sum up, these are just a few things I would have like to know the first time I went down..
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Last edited by Snownut; 11-05-2018 at 03:42 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-05-2018, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapMorgan View Post
Yes, Valle de Guadalupe is a great place. Like Napa years ago. We spent Thanksgiving there 3 years ago, great trip. I believe all the roads on my proposed route are paved and in good shape, I could be wrong. We will re-enter the US at Tecate, just north of wine country.
The road between 1 and 5 that takes you by Cocos is still not all the way paved. This spring there was about 27 miles not paved, everywhere else you are correct other than the "good shape" part in places..
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2014 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 (Desi)
2014 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 (Delilah) Rental
2013 Suzuki V-Strom DL650 (Misty)
2010 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Army (Greta)
2007 Suzuki GS500E (Gina)
1987 Yamaha TW200 (Tina)
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-06-2018, 10:39 AM
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That don't ride at night warning is not to be taken lightly. Near Catavina I almost hit a couple calves and a cow standing in the middle of the roadway after dark. We were headed for the airport to camp.

My trip down there was with a couple of Spanish speaking friends. Terribly accented but they spoke and understood it well.
I'd have a hard time by myself.
If you have to get gas out of the classic tins in the back of a pick-up there is a filter that fits in the gas tank opening that would catch the crud.
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Last edited by notacop; 11-06-2018 at 10:46 AM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-06-2018, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Great info, thanks for taking the time.
If you remember please post a road report after your winter trip.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-06-2018, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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My buddy riding with me is Spanish speaking, I'm sure it will be helpful
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-07-2018, 11:00 AM
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"My buddy riding with me is Spanish speaking, I'm sure it will be helpful"

Baja is a just a couple hours away from me but another world culturally. Went went to Pamplona Spain with a New York Puerto Rican as our translator back in '68.
My high school French sufficed us through that country and our Gast Statt GI German took care of Switzerland.
Hell, I had to have my friend translate his father's speak when I went to see him in Nottingham England.
Travel is so entertaining!
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-16-2018, 02:26 PM
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If you want a little dirt, you might go up to Mikes Sky Ranch. It's an iconic place that should be done once, if you have time. The turnoff to Mikes is between Ensenada and San Felipe, at the eastern end of Valle de Trinidad. It's about 20 miles of dirt up to Mikes. Not hard but a little rough in places.

The road south from San Felipe is in really bad shape from recent hurricanes, but easily done on a bike (I was there two weeks ago). I highly recommend Guillermo's in Bahia de Los Angeles. The Desert Inn in San Ignacio is nice but the Hotel La Huerta is better IMO. The town square is 1 block away and must not be missed! In Santa Rosalia, you might try Hotel Frances. It's up on the hill above town, so it's a bit of walk into town for food but it's a good way to see the town.

I saw on your map that you're looking at the road over the mountains to La Purisima. I just rode it a week ago and it's pretty rough and rocky, so be ready. There are no services in La Purisima. Once on the Pacific side of the peninsula in that area I suggest staying in Ciudad Constitucion. Hotel El Paraiso is a good place to stay. CC is not a tourist town but there aren't many options.

I 2nd the comments about Cabo, although I know it's the objective. We stayed in Todos Santos, which is a cool little town. From there you can circle south through Cabo, snap a pic and get outta there! Go through Los Barriles and grab a taco. In La Paz on the waterfront the 7 Crowns Hotel is a good place to stay. Loreto is awesome and the Hotel Oasis is right on the beach. Don't miss San Javier! It's an up and back from Loreto and is the twistiest road in Baja. The Mission in San Javier should be visited too if you go up there.

Between San Quintin and Ensenada is the Meling Ranch, which is 30 miles up the road to the Observatory, both of which I recommend highly. From the Observatory (the gate opens at 10am. It is closed on Wednesdays) you can see the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean from one spot. It's right next to the highest peak in Baja, at 10,400' I think.

Whatever you do you'll have a great time!! Baja is awesome.

PS - I suggest crossing in Tecate. It's much easier and way more scenic. Take Highway 3 into Ensenada, it's the Ruta de Vino, and is very pretty.


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