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Old 10-04-12, 10:57 AM   #1
zoltani
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Southern Baja Loop

I am finally coming to terms with the fact that in my job I cannot take vacations during the summer, that is our busy construction time. So instead I am looking at destinations for January or February, and I have always wanted to go to Baja.

Just staring at the map of Baja I came up with the idea to tour the southern area, based on availability of cheap flights on alaska air that doesn't have outrageous fees for bicycles.

The loop I came up with is this: http://goo.gl/maps/hC1pr

A couple of points/questions:

- I realize some of the roads I mapped are not paved, but I have no idea what kind of conditions i could expect. Both my wife and I would be running 700c tires, maybe 32s or 35s.

- The towns looks few and far between. What kind of camping options will there be? Mostly wild camping?

- The distance is only about 300 miles, but I would like to take it slowly, stopping a lot and taking about 8-10 days total for this loop. Are there enough sites and places along the way to stop?

- What do you think of the route overall? It does seem kind of flat and boring.... Are there better or more scenic places to go in Baja that you can fly in and out of? Better to fly to san diego and take a bus south to a starting point?

- In general is Baja a good place in January/February?

- Any other destination recommendations besides australia or new zealand? While I would love to visit those places I am not willing to spend the money on the expensive airfare for a 10-15 day trip.

Any tips or ideas are appreciated.
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Old 10-04-12, 01:47 PM   #2
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I know of some bike tourists who have remained in Baja a little longer just to do this loop. The big difference is that after Buena Vista they stick to the main road into San Jose del Cabo/Cabo San Lucas. In spite of its beauty, the off-road section right after Buena Vista (around Parque Nacional Cabo Pulmo) seems to me will be demanding due to the sandy terrain in long stretches and lack of services (water!). There are isolated homes and open campsites in that area but only reachable by 4X4 vehicles to carry supplies for days. Do research it further.

The option to fly into SD to do Tijuana bound south would be OK if you plan to ride and bus. Baja has some awesome stretches but there are some long ones that just suck (boring, desolate, etc.) It will get old really quick, especially if wifey likes touring a bit but would rather do/see other things.

Other routes you might want to consider for touring in Mexico (all serviced by Alaska Airlines):

1. Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara: go inland to avoid horrible route 200.
2. Mazatlan to Guadalajara: Villa Union to Escuinapa (along coastal route)-Mexcalititan-Tepic-Tequila. You could also cut it short by going to P.V. after Tepic.
3. Guadalajara Airport - Lake Chapala area - Zamora - Patzcuaro Lake Area (including Lake Zirahuen) - Bus to beach resort of Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo to spend a few days before flight. I recently routed this one on MapMyRide.

Out of the three above, I would favor No. 3 hands down, then 2 and then 1.

In Mexico I would recommend >32mm tires due to conditions of some paved roads, cobblestone streets or even scenic dirt sections that might interest you.
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Old 10-04-12, 02:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Pringle View Post
3. Guadalajara Airport - Lake Chapala area - Zamora - Patzcuaro Lake Area (including Lake Zirahuen) - Bus to beach resort of Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo to spend a few days before flight. I recently routed this one on MapMyRide.

Thanks for the recommendations.
Do you happen to have a link to your mapmyride route?
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Old 10-04-12, 03:18 PM   #4
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Sure. Will PM you that info today.
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Old 10-04-12, 07:32 PM   #5
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Baja in the Summer is way too hot. January and February are fine. We were there in March/April: too hot.

2) Its been a few years, when I last was there the gas stations all had regular instead of unleaded, and the dispensing spouts were too thick to fit automobile filler pipes, and we had to scrounge a funnel.

3) We stayed in motels except for one night out (which was in a city park). Didn't feel all that safe in a foreign country.

4) Food was excellent, we always bought from outdoor vendor carts and lunch wagons.

5) Grab some cheap used photo books on Baja on Amazon to get into the mood.

6) For some strange reason their sunscreen did not work. I would bring my own trusted brand. The sun will burn there way more than in the States.

7) There are ferries across the gulf to the mainland, they don't leave every day, ask AAA for schedule.
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Old 10-04-12, 10:48 PM   #6
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Quite a few cyclists have done that loop, survived, and loved it. A bit of searching around the Web should turn up a lot of information about that route, such as http://www.worldbiking.info/wordpres...aja-peninsula/

The winter months are high tourist season, so you should not be really isolated anywhere on the route, with no vehicles passing for days.
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