Baja California

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Baja California
<map lat="30.504041769989986" lng="-114.61188179686616" zoom="6" float="right" height="350" />
state
Country: Flag of Mexico Mexico
Population: 2,490,000
Seat: Mexicali
Licence Plate: Baja California
Motorways:

Baja California is a Mexican federal state. It borders the state of Baja California Sur to the south, the state of Sonora to the east, the U.S. state of Arizona to the northeast, but without a possibility to cross the border, and the U.S. state of California to the north. Its capital is Mexicali. The most frequented border crossing in the world is in Tijuana, Baja California. Another important city is Ensenada at the Pacific Coast. The south of Baja California is hardly populated and a desert, be prepared for that. Anyway, the only road to hitchhike on most of the time is highway 1 which goes all the way down to Baja California Sur. In Baja California, there are many military checkpoints. If you make friends with them, they can be helpful in finding you a lift.

It may be extremely easy to hitch in mainland Mexico, but in the Baja California peninsula, it's a completely different story! (Zenit disagrees, see below.) Saying this, it is completely do-able! In Baja California, there is only one road, the HWY 1, which isn't hell to hitchhike on but requires a lot of patience: there are often large distances in between cities (which are barely even cities, rather a few ranches and cactus farms) and even larger distances between petrol stations (example: El Rosario is the last one before Guerrero Negro, about 360 km further down in Baja California Sur). Getting stuck in the middle of the desert is NOT fun, and many people can only take you from town to town as it is local traffic or gringos doing one of the many races down in the Baja. Also, unless you are planning on staying in Baja and going back up towards the USA-Mexico border, you should hitchhike from Mexicali south.

Experiences

  • El Chulito and Shamcore hitch-hiked through whole Baja California in August 2016, staying on the beaches and local people’s homes. Thumbing experience is more than positive. Don’t miss this part of Mexico, it’s people and nature will drive you crazy. Hitch-hiking through this state is highly recommendable and, to tell the truth, not that hard as you may think.
    To better understand what does hitch-hiking in this area look like, let’s divide the state in three parts:
  • The route from Tijuana to El Rosario.
    The first part is quite easy to hitch-hike, you won’t probably even notice the difference with thumbing in the mainland. There’s no problem if you want to wild camp and stay safe. Supermarkets like Bodega Aurera and Climax are widespread, you will find them in Ensenada, Monadero and San Quintin.
  • The route from El Rosario towards Guerrero Negro and Baja California Sur
    The second part may be a bit more complicated due to low traffic. Expect some longer waiting times. Usually one of 15 cars picks you up, but note that sometimes you’ll have to wait for 10-15 minutes for a car to appear. Bring enough water with you.

The third part is an alternative way to get from the north to Punta Prieta. This is mostly a dirt road, which has less traffic than the main road MEX1. If you have any experience in hitch-hiking this road, share it here.

  • Zenit hitched down from Tijuana to La Paz in late December 2017 with a female friend, and the hitching was extremely easy -- the longest wait between the two cities was about half an hour, but often it only took a few minutes to get long rides. The cherry on the cake was being invited to celebrate Christmas eve with a local family near Ensenada,

Towns and places in Baja California