March 2018 Baja Bulletin


FMM tourist permit visa baja mexicoFMM Tourist Permits – Entry Stamps and Return

A reminder that when you have purchased a prepaid FMM tourist permit through Discover Baja, you still need to stop at the immigration office at the border when crossing into Mexico to get the FMM stamped. Take your FMM and receipt (three pages in total) as well as your passport into the INM immigration office to get the official stamp of entry. Please note that they will not stop you as you cross the border to get the stamp, you need to take the initiative yourself to stop to get the entry stamp. Without the stamp of entry into Mexico, the FMM is rendered useless. See HERE for directions to stop at the immigration office at the Tijuana/San Ysidro El Chaparral port of entry. Once you have your initial stamp, you may drive freely in and out of Mexico during the 180 day period that the FMM is valid. After the 180 day period, you may shred the FMM. You do not have to return it at the border when exiting the country, simply discard the FMM yourself. For more information, please see our FMM Tourist Permit page.


Semana Santa: March 24-April 1

Semana Santa (holy week) is coming up from Saturday, March 24 to Sunday, April 1 (Easter). This is one of the busiest weeks for travel along the peninsula so make sure you have made hotel and camping reservations in advance!


Animalon 2018Javier Plascencia’s Animalón Opening March 10 for Season

Chef Javier Plascencia will open his Valle de Guadalupe Animalón summer pop-up restaurant on March 10th for its second season. Situated underneath “El Arbol,” a 100-year-old oak tree on the same property as Finca Altozano, Animalón uses only Baja california ingredients and offers diners a unique al fresco dining experience. The restaurant will be open Thur-Sun with two seatings a day at 5pm and 8pm. For reservations, contact or 011-52-646-156-8045.


Daylight Savings – March 11 for Baja Norte, April 1 for Baja Sur

Daylight Savings time begins this Sunday, March 11 at 2am, with clocks springing an hour ahead. The state of Baja California (norte) will change time on March 11 along with the U.S. The state of Baja Califoria Sur—which is normally an hour ahead of Baja California norte—will not change time for daylight savings until Sunday, April 1.


fiestas_de_la_vendimia_2017_valle_de_guadalupe_baja_mexico2018 Fiestas de la Vendimia Dates Announced

Provino has announced the Fiestas de la Vendimia dates for 2018. The Valle de Guadalupe wine harvest festival will take place from July 26 to August 19, 2018. For more information about Vendimia and the calendar of events in English as it’s available, please see our Fiestas de la Vendimia page.



Join Baja Test Kitchen’s Baja Tasting Club

Are you interested in exploring Baja California’s culinary movement with like-minded foodies, wine lovers, and craft beer aficionados? Join the Baja Tasting Club, and be the first to know about discounted group tasting tours exploring Baja California’s gastronomy. Membership is free!




 Join Baja Custom Tours for a 2018 Gray Whale Trip

Join Baja Custom Tours on this special trip to see whales, the Sea of Cortez, and the mountains of the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir. Share close encounters with the Gray Whales in Scammon’s Lagoon and enjoy a great time with friends in this all-inclusive 8 day/7 night tour from March 22nd – March 29th, 2018. $1,695 per person, double occupancy. Call the Discover Baja office at 619-275-4225 to book or learn more.


Searching for Steinbeck’s Sea of Cortez

This spring, seventy-eight years ago, author John Steinbeck and his biologist friend Ed Ricketts explored the Baja coastline and its fertile tidepools, a stubbornly quirky project that he expected to be of little interest to the public. The result was his classic The Log from the Sea of Cortez. In 2000, journalist Andromeda Romano-Lax and her young family re-created that trip by sea and road. Her account was published in 2002 as Searching for Steinbeck’s Sea of Cortez. Available for the first time in e-book format, Romano-Lax’s re-issued travelogue mixes the joys and perils of traveling with children aboard a cramped sailboat, natural history and environmental reportage, as well as investigative biography, revealing facts about the original expedition that John Steinbeck chose to leave out. Read an excerpt from the book.


Voting Abroad in 2018

It’s an election year and just because you live abroad, doesn’t mean your vote isn’t needed or counted. If you’re a U.S. ex-pat, please read the following message and information from the state department about voting abroad:


Your vote counts!  Did you know that many U.S. elections for house and senate seats have been decided by a margin smaller than the number of ballots cast by absentee voters?  All states are required to count every absentee ballot as long as it is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2018 U.S. elections:

  1. Request Your Ballot:  Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA).  You mustcomplete a new FPCA after January 1, 2018 to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2018 elections.  The completion of the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted.  The FPCA is accepted by all local election officials in all U.S. states and territories.

You can complete the FPCA online at  The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state.  We encourage you to ask your local election officials to deliver your blank ballots to you electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state).  Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option.  Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website. will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original signature.  If you must return a paper version, please see below for mailing options.

  1. Receive and Complete Your Ballot: States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and states generally send out ballots at least 30 days before primary elections.  For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.
  2. Return Your Completed Ballot:  Some states allow you to return your completed ballot by email or fax.  If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can use international mail, a courier service such as FedEx or DHL, or you may also drop off completed voting materials during regular business hours at the U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana.  Place your materials in a postage paid return envelope (available under “Downloadable Election Materials” on the FVAP homepage) or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage, and address it to the relevant local election officials.
  3. New this year – email to fax service by FVAP! – the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will provide an email-to-fax conversion service for voters who have difficulty sending election materials to States that do not accept emailed documents.  Get more information here.

Researching the Candidates and Issues:  Online Resources.  Check out the FVAP links page for helpful resources that will aid your research of candidates and issues.  Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues are widely available and easy to obtain online.  You can also read national and hometown newspapers online, or search the internet to locate articles and information.  For information about election dates and deadlines, subscribe to FVAP’s Voting Alerts (  FVAP also shares Voting Alerts via Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more at the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) website,  If you have any questions about registering to vote overseas, please contact U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana’s Voting Assistance Officer at

Remember, your vote counts! Be absent but accounted for!



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