Baja Divide

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 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.