Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Have your belts & hoses checked, and replace any that need it. Make sure you can change a tire with the tools you have onboard; practice at home if you have to. Keep tire changing tools in an easily accessible spot where you can get to them without having to unload your vehicle. Does your spare have air in it? Even so the roads are in better shape these days, one still needs to be prepared.
"How long does it take to drive from the border to Bahia de los Angeles?"
It's roughly a 10 hour drive from the Tijuana border crossing to Bahia de los Angeles. Add an extra hour for the route from Tecate. My preference is to break the drive up into two days,spending the night in Ensenada or Vicente Guerrero, which is just North of San Quintin. Heading out early the next morning will put you in Bahia by 9:00 or 10:00 a.m
- "Do I need a Tourist Card to visit Bahia de los Angeles?"
See 'Discover Baja California' website for information:
See also, 'U.S. Customs website',
- "Are gasoline & diesel available in Bahia?"
Yes, there are two in town and both have gas & diesel. The station at the far North end of town also has Premium.
- "Is fuel available in Catavina?"
The Pemex station is not in operation, but you can get fuel from private vendors. Best is to top off in El Rosario.
- "Is fuel available at the Parador/turnoff to Bahia?"
As in Catavina, fuel at the turnoff is sold by private vendors. The preferred option is to make sure and fill up in El Rosario.
- "How about heading back to the States? Should I cross at San Ysidro or Tecate?"
I also prefer to break the back up into two days, spending the night in Ensenada and crossing the border at Tecate the following morning around 10:00 a.m. This allows you to avoid peak traffic hours in both the San Diego and L.A. areas. If at all possible, crossing on a weekday during off hours will save you long waits in border lines in either case.
Additionally, Hwy. 1 is NOT for high speed driving, and not as you may be used to in the States.
Use caution, patience and be a defensive driver. I would also strongly suggest NOT TO DRIVE AT NIGHT ( a major reason why I personally prefer to break the trip up & back into two days.). The highway can be challenging enough during the daylight hours; the night brings added hazards: