Rider Security Update in Tecate

Due to a number of incidents in the last two seasons of the Baja Divide in the Tecate area, riders are suggested to remain on the main highway MEX3 to the small community of San Francisco which is 14.7km or 9.1mi from the US/MX border crossing. From there, turn left onto a dirt road toward Canon Manteca and Ojos Negros. The current GPX track rides through neighborhoods, which should now be avoided in light of these incidents. Here is a map showing the route along the main highway:

Once across the border: Follow the main road from the east side of Plaza Miguel Hidalgo, the main plaza in town just past the Tecate border crossing. Continue past the McDonalds on Boulevard Universidad, which become the two-lane MEX3 toward Ensenada. This route climbs out of town on the main highway.

To the best of my knowledge at least four incidents have been reported in or near Tecate in the last two years, mostly involving lone male assailants. All reports indicate money and valuables are the target of theft and no physical assaults have been reported, although in several cases a gun has been reported to be involved and physical violence has been threatened.

The best way to ensure safety in Tecate is to cross the border during daylight hours and begin your ride south out of Tecate in the morning, providing the opportunity to get a distance away from the city before camping on the first night. Ride with others if possible. The main part of Tecate should be a safe place to resupply and enjoy a meal, and a night in a hotel or campground in Tecate is still a good way to enjoy the city. When riding from San Diego you will find some public land on the east side of Otay Mountain (after the big descent) where you can camp, or at the Potrero County Campground (SD County Park and Rec) a few miles to the east of the Baja Divide route.

Tecate has a number of hotels in town, from the inexpensive Hotel Paraiso (around $15 USD for the budget traveler) to some nicer options along the main business highway MEX2 through town, this is the east-west main boulevard in town. Two commercial campgrounds are also available south of Tecate on MEX3, Albercas Tanama and Rancho Los Olivos.

As of 2016, you can call 911 in Mexico to report an emergency. Please report any incidents to the local authorities in Mexico.

While traveling on the Baja Divide it is prudent to carry a bicycle lock to secure your bike when out of sight of you bike at restaurants and resupply stops. Several bikes have been stolen on route in places like San Quintin and Colonet when riders stepped away from their bikes. These are mostly crimes of opportunity, so keep and eye on your bike and bring at least a small lock to avoid such a misfortune as a stolen bike.

Contact bajadivide@gmail.com with additional information regarding updates or incidents along the Baja Divide. Updated resources including a revised GPX track will be published later this spring. As much as possible is my intention to ensure a safe experience to riders from around the world.


12 thoughts on “Rider Security Update in Tecate

  1. You are doing a good job.
    Maybe we should say thanks for all your trouble once or twice.

    before we complain about the bandidos again.

  2. Thank you! Not only for the update but for everything you’re doing – I just discovered this site and you’ve given me a life dream! Thank you.

  3. Hello my name is Hector Esparza a local business men from Tecate mx , I am based in central plaza of the city my restaurant in called “El Inicio” ..I love to host cyclist with healthy food or any other information that they may need to star the journey down to Cabo.. my cel numeber +52 6658519617 we are open from 1 till 9 weekdays and weekend closed and 10 open SAT and sun

    1. Hector, Thanks for you kind offer to help cyclists in the Baja Divide. I am sure they will be pleased to visit Tecate at the start of their journey. I will also share this in the Baja Divide Facebook group. Thanks!

    2. This was posted today.


      My friend Andy Cox has given no sign of life for a week now.

      He is bikepacking across California and South California. He was last seen in Jamul on December 1st, leaving in direction of Baja, roughly following the Baja Divide, I guess.
      Since then, he hasn’t called or uploaded anything as he usually does, neither here nor on Instagram or Polarsteps.
      His parents are extremely worried, as the Tecate area has been reported as dangerous and advised against, which he might not have been aware of.

      THE MAN
      Andy is tall and thin, around 1.90m/6.2ft and 85kg/187lbs.
      He is 39, has blue eyes and trimmed hair.

      THE BIKE
      Andy rides a green dirt-drop bike, a Genesis Fortitude.
      Most bags are from Alpkit, framebag is homemade (and shows), small double Btwin bags on top tube.
      Gearing has been changed before he disappeared, dropped the Alfine for external gears.

      I hope it’s just his solar panel that broke, leaving him with no means of communication and he will give news soon.

      Police has been warned.

      If you have any kind of information, please send me a message.

      Thank you all for sharing.

  4. Be careful in the vicinity of Tijuana if you take the bus there on your way home. After finishing the Baja Divide ride, I crossed back into the U.S. at San Ysidro and had my bike and touring gear stolen at the Jack in the Box just across the border on the U.S. side. I believe my stuff was taken back across the border into Mexico as the fraudulent charges to one of my credit cards were made at a Mexican business. I locked it with a medium size cable lock which was too easily cut. Watch your bike carefully in the San Diego area as many bikes are stolen there! It was a real bummer, but I’m sure glad I got a chance to finish the ride before I lost my bike. Good luck.

  5. Hi! Matt be having this ride on short notice, meaning heading south from Costa Mesa and Newport Beach and seeing how far we can get in 3 weeks. I will go over this site, but anybody have any tips on the best place to start once we are inn Mexico is were going only 500 – 800 miles?

    Hi, Gypsy!

    1. Mike, have you visited the Baja Divide Facebook page. Several people discussing when they will be on the route.

  6. Hey Nicholas- Planning on riding the route starting in early February from SD and super stoked about it.
    Any updates on security / route stuff / logistics that are worth knowing about?
    Cheers and thanks!

Leave a Reply to Mike Todd Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s