Hurricane Rosa and Hurricane Sergio
Hurricane Rosa hit the northern state of Baja California last week, bringing heavy rains, flooding, and road damage. Highway Mexico 5 is currently impassable due to road collapses and washouts from Puertecitos to Gonzaga Bay. Gonzaga Bay is still accessible by going around and taking Highway 5 from Highway 1 at Lake Chapala. For current road updates, see our Road Conditions Page. Hurricane Sergio is expected to hit the middle of the peninsula at the end of this week, bringing more heavy rain, rip currents, and the threat of mudslides and flooding. We recommend that you keep an eye on the latest conditions before traveling in the area.
The new Mexicali/Calexico West border crossing has opened for both northbound and southbound vehicle traffic. With five southbound and ten northbound lanes, the new border crossing is a few blocks west of the old border crossing. This is part one of a two-phase project to modernize the border crossing. For more information about the project, visit www.gsa.gov/calexicowestlpoe
Daylight Savings Time Change
The state of Baja California Sur will end Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, October 28th with clocks falling back an hour. The northern state of Baja California will end Daylight Saving Time a week later on Sunday, November 4th, along with the U.S.
There have been checkpoints in Santa Rosalia and San Ignacio where they are asking to see foreigners’ passports and FMM Tourist Permits. Make sure that you have your FMMs before crossing the border! For more information, please see our FMM Tourist Permit Page.
For the second time this year, there was a nationwide increase in the price for the toll roads. The Playas de Tijuana toll is now $36 pesos, Rosarito Beach $36 pesos, and El Sauzal $40 pesos.
New La Paz Convention Center
La Paz has a new international convention center that was just inaugurated last month. The La Paz convention center joins the recently renovated San José del Cabo convention center in hoping to bring more tourism to Baja Sur. For more information: www.iccbajasur.com
The Todos Santos Writers Workshop will take place from February 2-9, 2019. Participants will enjoy craft workshops in the art of Fiction, Non-fiction, Memoir and Poetry for writers at all levels led by noted authors, editors, and publishing professionals. Short stories, poems and essays are read and critiqued by the workshop leaders in a participatory setting. Applicants are chosen based on writing samples submitted and a phone interview. Applicants choose one workshop–Fiction, Non-Fiction, Memoir, or Poetry–and attend 3-hour daily sessions each morning with their assigned instructor. Afternoons are reserved for writing, special seminars, or just exploring the town, its quiet roads, and spectacular beaches where whales frolic offshore and turtle hatchlings make a dash to the sea. DBTC members receive a 15% discount on tuition. Learn more.
Tijuana/San Diego Art Exhibit
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is running a cross-border art exhibition at the downtown location. Being Here with You/ Estando aquí contigo brings together work by 42 artists and collectives living and working in the San Diego and Tijuana region. Presenting both early career and established artists, Being Here with You/ Estando aquí contigo highlights distinctive practices shaping conversations and communities in our binational region and beyond. The exhibit runs until February 3, 2019. Learn more.
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!
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!
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 email us with all of the details 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.
By Gary Graham
EAST CAPE, BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR – Jesus Valdez, founder of Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort on the Sea of Cortez, died from an apparent heart attack on Sept. 22. The hotelier, fishing enthusiast and ardent conservationist was affectionately known as “Chuy” by generations of hotel guests, visiting anglers and employees. Valdez, 75, died at State General Hospital in La Paz after having played a round of golf earlier in the day, his family announced.
The hotel site overlooking the Sea of Cortez between La Paz and Cabo San Lucas was discovered in the mid-1950s by Mexican general and subsequent two terms Governor of the State of Baja, Augustin Olachea where he built a Mexican hacienda. Some 20 years later, in Oct., 1976, Valdez, a young accountant, business and tourism entrepreneur from La Paz, leased the Olachea property and founded a modest fishing club called Spa Buenavista with 13 rooms primarily for anglers from California. Valdez purchased the property in 1981; in 1982, the name was changed to the current Buena Vista Beach Resort.
It was to be the beginning of Baja’s East Cape burgeoning recreational tourism industry, the site of everything from large fishing tournaments, to SCUBA diving, whale watching, weddings and family vacations. Valdez’s fishing club rapidly grew to become Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort, considered the “Jewel of the East Cape,” with a fleet of sport fishing cruisers, pangas, dining facilities, a convention center, swimming pool, spa, manicured gardens and a cascade of rooms and cottages spilling down the hillside to the broad beach.
Numerous hotel employees—from boat captains and crews to waiters, housekeepers and gardeners—were considered “family” to the late hotelier. During occasional difficult economic times, Chuy kept as many people working as possible, providing them with food and family services. Word of his sudden passing brought the entire staff to tears with stories of how he had personally helped them with a few dollars or tank of gas.
Over the past 10 years, more and more responsibility for Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort’s day-to-day operations has fallen to Chuy Valdez’s sons, Esual, Axel, and Felipe. In addition to his sons, Valdez is survived by his widow, Imelda, and numerous grandchildren.