Baja Roads, Towns, and Beaches: El Codo's Baja Travel Update

The coast of Baja.

The Baja California peninsula is more convenient to visit than ever. To many PG travelers the most important question is: “Can I still camp there on the beaches, safely?” With the exception of the northern Pacific coast beaches, (Tijuana to El Rosario) the answer is an unqualified “Yes!” More than a thousand miles of wide-open beaches await the wilderness camper.  Baja Car Permits and Tourist Cards If you want to venture much beyond Ensenada or stay longer than 72 hours […]

Read more »

Crossing the Border to Mexico: Requirements for Minors

As I’ve written before, Mexico is an ideal country for family travel. Luckily, kids are also easier to import than dogs, cats, or God forbid, tropical birds. To get a passport, minors under the age of 14 must show proof both of citizenship and proof of relationship to the applying parent(s) or guardian(s). You will find the various applications and forms you will need at To get a Mexican tourist card, both parents’ written notarized consent is required if […]

Read more »

Penalty for Expired FMM?

Image of roll of red tape.

  Once again, El Codo has been lurking on Lonely Planet’s excellent Thorn Tree Mexico Forum. He directed me to this informative discussion of the penalties for an expired FMM. Be sure to read through to the bottom. I especially enjoyed the following very sound advice from “michoacan”: “I have found that being polite, honest and forthright brings about a lot of pleasant surprises with Mexican authorities. It seems many officials are looking to see if a person is seemingly […]

Read more »

Crossing the Border at Douglas/Agua Prieta

  We prefer smaller borders like Douglas/Agua Prieta because the lines are shorter.  This particular border is fairly easy to deal with: lanes are well marked and this time only one car was ahead of us in line. We were stopped by U.S. Customs on the gringo side and enjoyed the usual interrogation from a suspicious customs agent with textbook level attention to grooming and uniform. He peered into our packed ’87 Dodge van with apparent incomprehension. I wasn’t sure […]

Read more »

Mexico: Passport Alert!

In June of this year the United States will activate serious new passport and identification requirements for travelers returning from Mexico and other countries. (The article cited below was originally published by the Los Angeles Times but I found it at The News, an excellent source of information on Mexico.) U.S. citizens: Plan for new passport rules BY JANE ENGLE Los Angeles Times For U.S. citizens living or traveling outside the country in 2009, here are two pieces of advice: […]

Read more »

How to Apply for a Passport Renewal

An envelope says "par avion"

I’m headed to South America in a few weeks. I just learned that in order to get a visa for Ecuador, my passport must be valid for at least 90 days after I land in Quito. Oops…! Should You Apply for a Passport Renewal by Mail? YES. If you already have a passport that is not damaged, and received it within the past 15 years; and you were at least age 16 when it was issued, and you still have […]

Read more »