So, refer to this guide for some pointers if you’re headed south of the border. Let’s get into the action.
First off, Baja peninsula is one of the most magical places I have ever been to. I’m a huge fan of the southern Baja, but the Baja Norte also has a lot to offer in the off roading category as well. Well, before we go in-depth on places to go, let’s talk about items to bring.
Buying Mexican auto insurance is the first item you need to check off your list. I don’t want to advertise, but Baja Bound is the most reliable insurance you can buy when traveling south. People typically pay for a week or two at a time for full coverage, and I know people personally who have been treated well by those guys.
Water and fuel jugs are a definite yes. If you stay on the main road (highway 1), you’re not going to have any pressing issue for fuel ups, but it’s easy to drive off the beaten path and find yourself low on fuel in the baja.
Many people are now buying Starlink satellite systems to stay 100% in service while in the peninsula. Honestly, if you stay on the main highway, you’ll have service about 80% of the time on the way down.
There are plenty of military checkpoints along the highway down to Los Cabos, and all of them are pretty routine. If someone does ask for your ID, however, it’s not uncommon that they will demand cash before they are willing to give it back. I would recommend making a copy of your driver’s license and keeping a photo of your passport to show instead of the real deal.
Places like La Paz and Mulegé are legendary destinations to toss out your paddle board and flip around. It’s hot during the day, so you might enjoy taking your foot of the throttle for a few to get wet. Don’t forget lifejackets.
This is also an incredible place to go fishing. You can buy a license for fishing online just as easily as in the states or anywhere else. I recommend talking to a local guiding service to help get you out and slamming fish like bass, dorado, marlin, and more.
The main highways are as smooth as butter all the way down, but one thing I always see is people stuck in the sand. Being from Moab myself, I’ve had my fair share of clutch burners.
So don’t forget that wench or those traction pads and a shovel to help you get unstuck if you get into that situation–it could save you from dehydration.
Don’t forget those transmission clutch belts and all other specific parts that might possibly fail on you while down here. I’ve noticed that many UTV owners roll down with 2 spare tires/wheels, and it’s definitely not a bad idea to bring a patch kit and tire inflater.
I also love my Milwaukee battery packs and accessories that serve for anything from jumpstarting the battery to plugging in my laptop. Hit up SD UTV before you cross the line for your extra parts–I’ve met these guys. They’re super nice, and they also have a LOT of cool modifications for your UTV if tricking out is what you’re interested in.
Let’s dive into places to go. Here’s my top five picks.
San Quintin is your closest option for a beach/sand dunes type feel where you can peacefully rip around anywhere on your SxS. Mike’s Sky Ranch is another high mountain area (there’s no beach) that’s well known for it’s accepting atmosphere of off roading.
Back to San Quintin, there’s an amazing place to stay with your machines is called Cielito Lindo that’s pretty close to the beach and very peaceful. It’s also really affordable to stay for a couple of nights.
Bahia LA is ~5 hours south of the border, and this Sea of Cortez bay is ridiculously awesome for setting up camp or staying in a nice little hacienda. With warm people and mystical islands, Bahia LA is definitely a hard place to leave.
You won’t find a lot of good food options here like you will in places like Tijuana or Cabo, but what you will find is an incredible fishing culture with plenty of room to rip around in the Can Am.
Santa Rosalia is a great place to go for a romantic stay. This town had more of the California coastal vibes with a clean atmosphere and beautiful ocean views. Honestly, I feel like a sinner for telling more people about Mulege. It’s absolutely stunning. So keep your mouth shut about it!
Once you get all the way to the bottom of the peninsula, the elevation drops and there aren’t as many mountains and hills like you’ll find further north. But La Paz is an oasis with a first-world atmosphere that welcomes all visitors with open arms.
It’s been highly recommendable over bigger fish towns like Cabo San Lucas, so I definitely recommend checking it out the next time you’re down this way.
Pointing our eyes back up north, Ensenada is not a bad place for a quick trip. Hussong’s Cantina has some of the coolest live music on the planet, and the ribs tacos are legendary on every level. In fact, you might be exhausted at all of the great food and beer choices. Two of my favorite breweries in Ensenada are Wendlandt and Transpeninsular–both of which have excellent craft beer options.
The most important part of any vacation is having an awesome time. Don’t forget to bring your camping stuff (you can honestly camp anywhere on the way down which I love), and I wish you the best in your adventures!