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Thread: San Diego area to Tecate; BORDER CROSSING DETAILS?

  1. #1
    BMW uber alles! Zagando's Avatar
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    San Diego area to Tecate; BORDER CROSSING DETAILS?

    Heard that Hwy 94 and 188 into Tecate were closed due to the fires. I want to cross there soon---anyone know what the situation is now?

    Also is Banjercito open on Saturdays (for FMT fee payment)? I've read conflicting statements elsewhere.

    Any current updates appreciated---I'm Baja Bound!

    Jeff

    1992 Euro GSPD

  2. #2
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    What fun you'll have!

    This website says each location is updated hourly:

    http://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/

    Voni
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  3. #3
    bobh41
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    Any special concerns crossing either way?

    I used to work in Tijuana in the late 60's when it was pretty free, and no problems crossing. How about now with the international security issues?

  4. #4
    BMW uber alles! Zagando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    What fun you'll have!

    This website says each location is updated hourly:

    http://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/

    Voni
    sMiling
    Thanks, Voni; nice to hear from you---I've spent hours looking over your website with considerable interest; my wife and I may move to your (and Paul's) neck of the woods someday---that's beautiful country you live in over there!

    I'll check that website again closer to my departure although I'm more concerned about finding Banjercito open than waiting to come back into the US; wonder if anyone else has the scoop?

    Anyway, thanks for your response and if we ever get to West Texas we'll give you a holler. Hasta luego,

    ---Jeff

  5. #5
    BMW uber alles! Zagando's Avatar
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    Question Tecate crossing (southbound); anyone know what days the bank is open?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobh41 View Post
    I used to work in Tijuana in the late 60's when it was pretty free, and no problems crossing. How about now with the international security issues?
    I am completely avoiding Tijuana because of the recent dramatic rise in crimes committed against tourists along the TJ-Ensenada corridor as well as humungus waiting times coming back to the USA.

    I don't think the international security issues are very much an issue in this case. All I hear about is the robbings and kidnappings and crooked/phony cops around TJ. Check out some of the ADVRider forums and you'll see what I mean. (I would be asking this question there but I have been having trouble logging in last couple of days).

    Tecate is a nice little town and definitely the mellowest of most of the border towns; it is the way to go if you're heading south these days.

    The only time I was there was when I came back into the US from a little trip I took 7 years ago to Santa Ines; I had no need to get my tourist card validated/paid for at that time since I was northbound. Crossing was a snap, too!

    Hope to find out if the Military Bank Banjercito is indeed open on the weekends if anyone else out there knows... I'll be heading south to La Paz in a few more days.

    Ideally, I'd like to get across the border at Tecate and down to El Rosario by sundown on the first day out from San Diego, but I can only do that if I can pay my FM-T fee at Banjercito (somewhere before Maneadero---either Tecate or Ensenada) .

    Thanks!

    ---Jeff

  6. #6
    *Safety Queen*
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    Geeze. Tijuana is not a bad place unless you go out and get pickled in a weird part of town. Yes, there are problems, but they are not that bad. (AdvRiders likely report problems because they are more likely to seek out getting pickled in a weird part of Tijuana!)

    As for Tecate, The Union-Tribune reports:

    ***************************
    Saturday, October 27, 2007

    Tecate port of entry to reopen Monday

    Posted @ 11:46 PM
    The Tecate port of entry will reopen to passenger vehicle and pedestrian traffic at 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 29, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

    The port will resume its normal operating hours of 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. All cargo trucks will still be required to enter and exit the U.S. at the Otay Mesa or Calexico commercial ports of entry until the roadways leading to the port are certified safe for large, heavy vehicles.
    ******************
    The info on highway closings was old but it appears that the 94 will be open from the east toward Tecate.

  7. #7
    *Safety Queen*
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    Update on the 94 - I was wrong in my guess that you'd need to come from the east.

    From the U-T:

    Be prepared for a slow drive along State Route 94 this morning.

    SDG&E crews are repairing fire damage along the road, causing frequent areas where the interstate condenses to only one lane.

    Just east of Barrett Junction, the road is closed to State Route 188, by the Tecate border crossing. If you want to to go Tecate, you'll have to approach it from the westbound side.

  8. #8
    BMW uber alles! Zagando's Avatar
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    Tecate & Tijuana

    Thank you sachiwilson for the great updates; at least Tecate is up and running again.

    The incidents in or around TJ have happened right after one turns to the right and goes up the hill by the border fence, although in the wee hours of the morning, before dawn.

    Still don't want to take too many chances as there seems to be more bad stuff going on around there than ever before. Many people have moved to the area in recent years and crime is on the upswing accordingly.

    I'm not trying to get too paranoid about it but Tecate seems much tamer by comparison and I think that's the way I'll go. I won't be riding while it's dark, either as I have done the Baja road all the way to Cabo many years ago---hazards abound.

    Now if I can find out if the Tecate Banjercito opens on Saturdays I'll be all set.

    Hasta luego amigos,

    Jeff 1992 Euro GSPD

  9. #9
    Registered User burnszilla's Avatar
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    I've been to Baja 3 times now; once on my motorcycle.
    Line ups at the border are not a problem on a motorcycle. You just lane split to the front. Just watch out for folks walking around selling stuff. It's better than overheating.

    Why worry about a town when you are just riding thru it?
    You can always pay for your FMT in Ensenada.

    For travel in within the Baja California peninsula, you don’t need to import your vehicle, therefore you don't need to go to the Banjercito. You just need the FMT tourist visa which can be paid for at any bank.

    You will need Mexican motorcycle insurance. You can buy before you cross the border or over the phone with some agencies. I did mine in advance and faxed in the forms. It was easy.

    https://secure.mexadventure.com/app2/quoteform.cfm

    When in doubt google your question about Baja.. there's lots of info online.
    Good luck and have a great time!
    Stephen Burns - 2007 R1200GS
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  10. #10
    Certifiable Old Fart beemerdons's Avatar
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    I am assuming that you are crossing over to the Mainland if you need the Banjercito!!

    Que tal Jeff,

    Since you are asking about the Banjercito I have to believe that you intend to take the ferry over to the mainland, either to Guaymas or to Mazatlan. Es verdad?

    If you aren't, then Stephen Burns has given you excellent advice: just go straight through Tijuana and pick up your tourist card down at the Ensenada waterfront.

    After getting the forms stamped at La Migra down at the harbor docks, just walk six blocks due east to the bank and pay for it. Always ask for the most days and distance when you obtain your tourist permit: Always for 180 days and to Cancun!

    We AZ Beemers just returned from Copper Canyon and we have information on the Nogales crossing at our website: www.azbeemers.org/forum If you'd like for us to find out more about the Tecate Banjercito please post me at beemerdons@aol.com

    A fourth of our club speaks Spanish, 5% of our AZ Beemers were born in Mexico, so we go down south at least four times a year. If you go to www.mexonline.com under driving in Mexico you will see that at some consulates, such as Phoenix or Sacramento, you can obtain and pay for your Vehicle Import Permit at those sites.

    Saludos y recuerdos,

    Don Stanley
    AKA Chuy Medina "El Burrito Ballerina"
    MOA #24810
    H: 480-917-3863
    www.azbeemers.org

    Postscript: Just looked again at www.mexonline.com States the Tecate Banjercito is open 0800-1600 daily.
    Last edited by Beemerdons; 10-30-2007 at 01:38 PM.

  11. #11
    BMW uber alles! Zagando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnszilla View Post
    I've been to Baja 3 times now; once on my motorcycle.
    Line ups at the border are not a problem on a motorcycle. You just lane split to the front. Just watch out for folks walking around selling stuff. It's better than overheating.

    Why worry about a town when you are just riding thru it?
    You can always pay for your FMT in Ensenada.

    For travel in within the Baja California peninsula, you donÔÇÖt need to import your vehicle, therefore you don't need to go to the Banjercito. You just need the FMT tourist visa which can be paid for at any bank.

    You will need Mexican motorcycle insurance. You can buy before you cross the border or over the phone with some agencies. I did mine in advance and faxed in the forms. It was easy.

    https://secure.mexadventure.com/app2/quoteform.cfm

    When in doubt google your question about Baja.. there's lots of info online.
    Good luck and have a great time!
    Hi Steve;

    I prefer to pay for my FM-T in Tecate and be done with it. But if Ensenada is open 7 days a week then that might be just fine. I haven't had any luck finding out about Banjercito's hours yet but it sounds like any bank will suffice.

    I especially want to be good to go once I get to Maneadero where the first checkpoint is. I hope if I'm crossing on the weekend that I can avoid delays around the border zone and ride to El Rosario by the first day.

    I already have Mexican insurance.

    Thanks!

  12. #12
    BMW uber alles! Zagando's Avatar
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    No, I won't be taking my bike to the mainland...

    Quote Originally Posted by Beemerdons View Post
    Que tal Jeff,

    Since you are asking about the Banjercito I have to believe that you intend to take the ferry over to the mainland, either to Guaymas or to Mazatlan. Es verdad?

    If you aren't, then Stephen Burns has given you excellent advice: just go straight through Tijuana and pick up your tourist card down at the Ensenada waterfront.

    After getting the forms stamped at La Migra down at the harbor docks, just walk six blocks due east to the bank and pay for it. Always ask for the most days and distance when you obtain your tourist permit: Always for 180 days and to Cancun!

    We AZ Beemers just returned from Copper Canyon and we have information on the Nogales crossing at our website: www.azbeemers.org/forum If you'd like for us to find out more about the Tecate Banjercito please post me at beemerdons@aol.com

    A fourth of our club speaks Spanish, 5% of our AZ Beemers were born in Mexico, so we go down south at least four times a year. If you go to www.mexonline.com under driving in Mexico you will see that at some consulates, such as Phoenix or Sacramento, you can obtain and pay for your Vehicle Import Permit at those sites.

    Saludos y recuerdos,

    Don Stanley
    AKA Chuy Medina "El Burrito Ballerina"
    MOA #24810
    H: 480-917-3863
    www.azbeemers.org

    Postscript: Just looked again at www.mexonline.com States the Tecate Banjercito is open 0800-1600 daily.
    Hola Chuy!
    Gracias para ayuda tambien.

    I'm riding to La Paz, parking the Beemer, flying to GDL for a few days, then flying back to La Paz with my wife where we will ride back up the peninsula two-up.

    Our time is limited hence my question about Banjercito
    ; if I cross on a weekend I presume I will not be able to go further than Maneadero until my FM-T is validated?

    Someone who lives in La Paz posted (in the ADVRider forum) that it's actually not even necessary for a tourist vista the entire length of Baja; so I wish I knew for sure.

    Perhaps if the banks are open in Ensenada (Sundays too?) then my worries are over.

    Gracias otra vez, cuidate mucho!

    Jeff con 1992 GSPD "Negrita"

  13. #13
    Certifiable Old Fart beemerdons's Avatar
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    I know that you are leaving soon, but in the future; my thoughts on Tourist Permits!!

    Hola Jeff,

    From what I have read I don't think that this suggestion is going to help you in this situation, but it may help other members in the future for riding to Baja Sur.

    You can buy Pre-paid Mexican Tourist Permits from the Discover Baja California Office at www.discoverbaja.com or by calling them at 800-727-BAJA (2252).

    I first started riding to Mexico on my 1959 Triumph 500 Speed Twin in 1963 at the age of fifteen with a forged letter from my parents giving permission to be there.

    I, and my hoodlum friends, then rode our British Iron to San Quintin & had a blast.

    Now that I am a mature 59 (insert laugh track here) I would personally not be that concerned on prompt payment of the fees. Case in point, four of we AZ Beemers rode to Cabo San Lucas over Thanksgiving week of 2004. Three of us dutifully got our Tourist Permits in Ensenada and paid our fees at Bancomer in Ensenada. Our fourth friend was busy shopping for tile for his new home under construction in Scottsdale and completely blew off getting the tourist permit.

    We were in Baja California Norte y Sur for nine days and Frenchy wasn't asked to show his Tourist Permit until the last Saturday of the trip at the checkpoint just north of the La Pinta Hotel in Guerrero Negro. No big deal, they gave Frenchy Doucet the permit and he quickly rode to BancMex in GN and he was in like Flynn.

    Now here is the kicker, in all of my many rides into Baja, this is the very first time that I had ever witnessed anyone having to show their Tourist Permit. VERDAD!

    You are correct that theoretically you are supposed to have a Tourist Permit south of Maneadero, but it is also correct that you are required to have a Tourist Permit if you're in Mexico more than seven days, even at our own Puerto Penasco.

    You just might enjoy this: http://www.azbeemers.org/forum/index.php?topic=38.0

    Mark your calendar: February 15-18; join AZ Beemers riding to Bahia Kino, Sonora.

    Saludos, Chuy

  14. #14
    BMW uber alles! Zagando's Avatar
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    No more worries...

    Gracias, Chuy, yo comprendo todo ahora. Got my FM-T yesterday at the Consulate in San Francisco and won't worry anymore about paying for it until I find a bank that's open somewhere along the way.

    Planning to leave the Bay Area Saturday morning, a bit later than hoped for but there was so much to do; my wife and I are now getting organized and packing our gear on the bike.

    Btw, my wife is new to riding (pillion) but she has done fine last few days here and is also looking forward to the long ride back from La Paz... (Autocoms are are a great invention!)

    Thanks to all that responded and also to Chuy for the 4 Grey Hares Ride link (I'm 56 so I can easily relate)!

    Hasta luego y cuidate mucho,

    ---Jeff

    1992 GSPD "Negrita"

    +Leti co-pilot

  15. #15
    Certifiable Old Fart beemerdons's Avatar
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    Mi amigo Jeff: You are such a good guy I'm going to share my restaurant list with you

    Saludos Jeff,

    Estoy muy alegre que usted podia obtener sus tarjetas turisticas antes de usted California izquierda. Usted y su esposa amaran su viaje al la peninsula de Baja.

    !Apenas no conduzca siempre en la noche! Es muy peligro-DON'T DRIVE AT NIGHT

    If you went to the Four Grey Hares Take Baja link: You saw that I'm a big, fat and happy Irishman that loves to ride Beemers South of the Border many, many times!

    I am going to share my restaurant list running South to North from La Paz, Sur.

    La Paz: La Paz Lapa located at the corner of Avenida Obregon y 15 de Septiembre

    Loreto: La Terraza located at Avenida Madero #16. Camarones es muy magnifico.

    Santa Rosalia: Go to El Boleo Bakery, SR was founded by the French-CROISSANTS!

    San Ignacio: Restaurant Chalita at Hidalgo 9; right off the zocalo, great carnitas.

    Ensenada: Oxidos Cafe is at corner of Calle Delante y Boulevard Costero. Bueno!

    I own Clement Salvadori's excellent "Motorcycling Guide to Baja California" and I have my Mexico Memories scribbled in the margins and on all of the open spaces.

    Recuerdos, Chuy

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