March 2021 Baja Bulletin


COVID-19 Updates for Baja California

-The U.S.-Mexico temporary land border restrictions were extended until at least March 21, 2021. U.S. Citizens and Canadian Citizens have been allowed to cross back north into the U.S. and have had no problems crossing south into Mexico from the U.S.

-Mexico has instated a national “stoplight” system which sets the safety levels for the region and is evaluated on a weekly basis. The state of Baja California (norte) currently has an “orange” light designation. Restaurants and hotels may operate at 75% capacity. Parks, public spaces, and retail stores may operate at 50% capacity.

The state of Baja California Sur is also currently rated “orange” with businesses operating at 40% capacity. Specific rules vary by municipality. We recommend that you call ahead to any business that you plan on visiting to find out about current hours and COVID regulations.

-Some of the California/Baja land borders are operating on reduced hours. The following are the current hours for border crossings:
San Ysidro: open 24 hours
(PedWest is closed but PedEast remains open 24 hours)
Otay Mesa: open 24 hours
Tecate: 5am-2pm daily
Calexico West: open 24 hours
Calexico East: open 6am-2pm
Andrade: open 6am-2pm

-For up-to-date information about COVID-19 in the state of Baja California (norte) please visit the Baja California COVID-19 page. For up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Baja Sur, please visit the BCS COVID-19 website.

-For Emergency Assistance for U.S. citizens in Mexico, call 55-8526-2561 from Mexico or 1-844-528-6611 from the United States. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico has put together a COVID-19 webpage or you can follow them on Facebook for updates.

-You can find the latest updates on our Road Conditions Page. Call the DBTC office at 800-727-2252 for more information about U.S. travelers crossing the border.



FMM Stamp Reminder

Please remember that if you get a prepaid FMM tourist permit through Discover Baja you must still stop at the border when crossing into Mexico to have the FMM stamped with the date of entry. Otherwise the FMM is not valid. You must take the initiative on your own to stop at the INM immigration office at the border to do this. They will not stop you on your way across the border. Even if they stop you to inspect your vehicle when crossing, you must still make a separate stop at the INM office to get the entry stamp on your FMM.



Spring Break in Baja

Spring Break season is starting in Mexico and will be a very busy time in Baja, especially during Semana Santa, Holy Week, the week before Easter (March 27 to April 4 this year). With current COVID restrictions limiting the capacity for businesses, please be sure to make all hotel reservations in advance and to call ahead to any restaurants or activities. Always remember to wear a mask and stay socially distanced.



New Exclusive “Million Dollar” Mexican Auto Insurance Policies for DBTC Members

Discover Baja has developed a new annual Mexican auto insurance policy with CHUBB that provides the best coverage and rates in the market at the lowest prices. And these policies are only available for Discover Baja members! This new “Million Dollar” policy brings you incredible benefits for a full 365 days out of the year at prices that used to only be available for 120 days out of the year!

In addition to all of the regular benefits of our insurance policies, this new “Million Dollar” CHUBB policy features:

  • $1,000,000 liability—allows you to travel all of Mexico without worry
  • No territory limits
  • Valid for a full year—no limit on days spent in Mexico
  • No extra cost on towed units (up to 4 units, liability only)
  • Vandalism and partial theft included with full coverage platinum polices
  • Fixed deductibles $500 Physical Damage/$1000 Theft with platinum policies
  • Higher Medical payments $10k per person/$50k per accident with platinum policies
  • Policy prices start at just $128.30


Daylight Savings Time Change for Baja California (norte)

A reminder that Daylight Savings time will begin on Sunday, March 14th in California and the state of Baja California (norte). Clocks will “spring” ahead one hour. The state of Baja California Sur will not change time until April 4th.



U.S. Consul General Online Town Hall for U.S. Citizens Living in Baja

U.S. Consul General Sue Saarnio will be hosting two virtual town hall meetings over Zoom for U.S. citizens living in Baja California, specifically in Baja Sur and Ensenada. The events will be on March 10 for Baja Sur and March 11 for Ensenada, order ambien cod both from 1pm-2pm in their respective time zones. The events will begin with remarks by Consul General Saarnio, followed by updates on Consular services including passports for U.S. citizens and visas for Mexican nationals; an update by the Political Counselor; and guests from the Social Security Administration’s Federal Benefits Unit in Juarez. They are also hoping to be joined by INAMI to discuss any news on Mexican residency permits for U.S. citizens.

You must register online ahead of time if you plan to attend. In the RSVP form, attendees may submit questions for the Consul General and other speakers in advance. These questions will be answered in a Question & Answer session at the end of the town hall.



Mexico Boating Guide Back in Stock!

Discover Baja is pleased to bring you a new edition of the Mexico Boating Guide that was just updated November 2020! Written by Capt. Pat Raines, this is the most accurate and up-to-date authority on cruising recreational boats in the waters of Baja and Pacific mainland Mexico. The guide contains 398 pages with 185 GPS charts and 450 color photos. Mile by mile it covers the waters surrounding Baja, the entire Sea of Cortez to Puerto Vallarta, down the Pacific mainland Gold Coast and Costa del Sur to the new Puerto Chiapas. GPS charts cover the tiny cruising anchorages, villages, ports for fuel, provisions, all the marinas, haul-out yards, and local services. The 185 GPS-accurate charts were created to show anchoring details for tiny bays that are too small to appear with sufficient accuracy on government charts. The 450 photos are not just beautiful but show critical approaches by sea. Also included are a crew list form, resource directory for all the marinas, fuel docks, and haul-out yards for repair or dry storage. Buy it now!



San Diego Natural History Museum to Feature New Baja California Exhibit

While the San Diego Natural History Museum has had its doors closed to visitors for the past 11 months, they’ve been busy revamping much of the museum into new exhibits and galleries. One new space will be a new 2,000-square-foot walk-through exhibit that will highlight the natural wonders of the Baja California peninsula. The museum hopes to open its doors to visitors again by April.



Graham Mackintosh’s New eBook – Guardian Angel Island

Graham Mackintosh recently published his latest photo ebook, Guardian Angel Island, all about Isla Angel de la Guarda, the second largest island in the Sea of Cortez. The 415-page book is Mackintosh’s largest ever and chronicles all of his trips to the island since 2003. He spent weeks without seeing anyone. Hiking, kayaking, and embarking on a fascinating “lonely” journey rarely matched in this busy, overcrowded world. With the aid of 400 full-page photographs, the beauty, history, and wildlife of this unique and incredible place is brought vividly to life.  You can get the Kindle version on Amazon. If you love it (and we’re sure that you will), be sure to leave him a 5-star review! You can also check out his other ebooks here.



New Road Planned from Ciudad Constitución to Cabo

There’s a new highway planned to go from Ciudad Constitución directly down to Cabo San Lucas, bypassing the traffic through La Paz. The road would have an expansion from the Pichilingue boat terminal to allow semi-trucks coming from mainland to expedite deliveries.



Online Author Lecture for “The Other Side: Journeys in Baja California”

Join author Judy Goldstein Botello for an online talk about her book, “The Other Side: Journeys in Baja California.” During her years of wandering through the Baja peninsula, Botello discovered her own “other side,” falling in love—in the process—with Mexico in general and with Baja California in particular. The talk will take place on March 10th at 1pm Pacific. You can register for free online.



Design Challenge Open for Friendship Park

The Build That Park campaign, which advocates for increased public access to Friendship Park, is holding a design challenge for various aspects of the Friendship Park area.  There are four different phases that are open for individual submissions: the international pier, the courtyard for free speech, the boardwalk, and the historic bullring. The results of the Design Challenge will be unveiled in August of 2021, as part of Friendship Park’s 50th Anniversary observance. Design submissions are welcomed from anywhere in the world. To enter or for more information, visit the Build That Park website.




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