I’ve never spent more than about an hour or two over the Mexican border until recently. I was inspired by my proximity to it. Since I was in the San Diego area as well as the pictures I have seen on social media and this longing desire I have to go on a Mexican cruise. With all that said, I figured it would be a grand ol’ time! Which it was. My mediocre Spanish was being well received, the food scene was awesome and the people are super friendly. Also, the beach side views I had from my hotel room were beyond relaxing. At face value it was everything that I was expecting from a border town. Although, there were a few things I wish I would have known ahead of time.
They take American Dollars however have plenty of change
The nice thing about Baja is that they are very used to American’s coming through. Most places accept USD and you are better off actually using cash than debit or credit, since most places are cash only. Great tip though is to have many small bills like $5s and $1s since sometimes they are unable to make change.
Beaches in in Baja are PACKED
To be honest, I don’t like to go to the beach during peak times in the United States. I don’t like crowds, I enjoy being able to layout on a beach and relax or frolick as I see fit. You can’t really do that in Rosarito. There are people, horses, ATVs, food vendors and some police vehicles everywhere. It’s best to enjoy the water from your room, the pier, or early in the morning before everyone and their mother shows up.
The police carry some big ol’ guns
I understand that I am in a foreign country, but I guess I’m used to visiting the peace loving nations who view the USA to be too extreme with their guns. This is not Mexico. Mexico does not give a F**K about guns. Their police walk around with what look like ARs and it’s a little intimidating. Although I imagine they are just there to help…I can’t imagine why there would ever be a riot when they have those bad boys on patrol.
You can walk right into Mexico with no problems, but getting back into the USA sucks.
The car lines can take hours. The pedestrian lines can take hours. Neither sound overall very pleasant. However, I discovered a nice loophole! If you walk into Mexico, on your way out pay $10 to take a bus to the boarder. You only end up waiting about 1 hour in the traffic line and then hop out and form your own pedestrian line. From there is only about 30 more minutes before you are in front of customs. It still sounds like a terribly long time, but it is so superior to the potential 3 – 7 hours you could have spent waiting.
In general, it was still an enjoyable experience and I’m glad I went. All of these little “no one told me” or “good to knows” will only make my next visit to Mexico that much more enjoyable. Hasta luego!