New Phone Number for HDI Claims
There’s a new phone number to call for HDI insurance claims: 477-710-4781. Members should log into their accounts and print a new copy of their policy so that they have a copy with the new claims phone number on it. As a reminder, in the case of a claim, you must call to report it before leaving Mexico!
Mexican Independence Day
Mexican Independence day is coming up on Sunday, September 16th. The holiday celebrates the “Grito de Dolores” that took place in 1810 when priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang a bell at a church in the town of Dolores and gave a speech calling the Mexican people to rise against their Spanish rulers. The celebration of Independence Day begins the night before on September 15th when the current Mexican President re-enacts the “Grito” by ringing the same bell that Hidalgo rang from the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City.
New 500 Peso Bill
There’s a new $500 Mexican Peso bill in circulation that was introduced on August 28th. The new blue bill features President Benito Juárez on one side and a seascape with whales on the other side. The old beige $500 peso bill featuring Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera will also continue to be in circulation. New 100 and 200 bills are scheduled to be introduced in 2019.
La Paz Ferry to Mazatlán Closed for Maintenance
Ferry service to and from La Paz and Mazatlán is currently suspended as the route is closed for maintenance for an undisclosed amount of time. Service between La Paz and Topolobampo is running as usual. For more information about taking the ferry from La Paz to mainland Mexico, read our article.
2019 Gray Whale Trips
Join Baja Custom Tours for one of their 2019 whale watching trips! These all-inclusive 8 day/7 night trips will depart from San Diego and highlight some of the best attractions that the peninsula has to offer on the way to and from Guerrero Negro where you’ll experience the gray whales. Two separate February itineraries available. Learn More.
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!
Plastic Bag Ban
The cities of Tijuana and Ensenada have decided to ban single use plastic bags. Joining these border cities, the entire state of Baja California Sur recently voted to ban plastic bags, straws, and other plastic containers. Restrictions will roll out in 2019 with a grace period.
New Owners at Ignacio Springs Bed & Breakfast
The beloved yurt oasis, Ignacio Springs, has a new pair of owners, Bonnie and Paul. The Canadian couple has taken over the riverside haven in San Ignacio from Terry and Gary, and are welcoming travelers with the same warmth and hospitality along with a new sense of energy and adventure. Discover Baja members will continue to enjoy a 10% discount when staying at Ignacio Springs, so be sure to book your stay asap!
Long-time DBTC member, Brian Smith, is going looking for anyone who wants to caravan with him to the state of San Luis Potosí in mainland Mexico: “I’ll be leaving October 6th, 7th, or 8th of October. Consider googling my destinations; Real De Catorce, La Huesteca, Tamul, Tomasopo. I plan to return to SD no later than the end of October. Because it’s a caravan interested parties can participate in part or all of the journey. I will be traveling (not fast) in my VW van. Interested parties or learn what to be prepared for can contact me at Bajabrian(at)sbcglobal.net Syncronaut, Brian” You can find other caravan notices on the Discover Baja Caravan Page on Facebook
As a reminder, always keep a very close eye on soldiers when they are searching your vehicle or belongings at military checkpoints along the peninsula. Be respectful and follow directions. Remember that it is illegal to bribe a soldier or officer in Mexico. If you have any problems at checkpoints or with officers in Baja, please let us know and we can alert the appropriate authorities. Even though marijuana is legal in California, it is NOT legal in Mexico. Do not brings drugs or guns into Mexico.
Cracking Down on Line Cutting at the Tijuana Borders
The Tijuana police department is going to start cracking down on people who are cutting in line at the border. While barriers and inspectors have been in place to deter line cutters (called gaviotas, or gulls), the city is now going to begin writing traffic infractions punishable by a fine of about US$70 for those who cut in line.