Just a few days ago, I got back to San Diego from a business trip in Loreto, Baja California. Who would have thought that crossing an international border to and from Baja California could have been so easy and fast? As my car neared the border crossing point in Otay Mesa, I saw a large sign saying that I was about to come into the busiest international border in the entire planet. Because of the quick and hassle-free way I was able to cross the San Diego-Tijuana international border, I am not at all surprised.
Before my business trip to Loreto, I have never been to Baja California or anywhere else in Mexico for that matter. The only other countries i have visited was Hong Kong and France, and in both trips I took a long plane ride to get to both countries. So when I was told by our company secretary just a day before my meeting date that I was expected to in Loreto, Baja California the following day, I went ballistic.
How could they have expected me to just pop up in another country I have never been before without giving me a couple of days for preparation? I had no idea of what documents, tests and requirements are needed to make the trip by car. I have never driven into another country before and had no clue as to what roads and highways to travel on. I was confused, frustrated and downright stumped when it came to what to do next.
After the initial fifteen minutes of surprise and frustration, I tried calling a couple of people whom I know to have already visited Baja California before. I don’t know if it was my fast paced and highly intimidating way of firing questions or their complete lack of knowledge regarding the subject, but the people that I called were not able to give me what I thought was sufficient information regarding what to do for my trip the following day. Greatly irritated and panicked for time, I resolved myself to just look up what to do in the Internet.
It was then that I ran across several very useful websites. Tijuana.com.mx proved to be very useful when it came to providing me with basic information regarding San Diego-Tijuana border crossing process. For instance, I found out that all I need to present either at the Otay Mesa international border crossing point or the San Ysidro international border crossing point was my birth certificate and an ID with a photo, my voter’s ID and photo ID, or else my passport. The location of both these border crossing points in Tijuana was also mentioned in the website.
However, knowledge of how to cross the border was not the only information I needed in order to prepare me for my trip. The location of the hotel, available transportation, basic information about the city, and a little knowledge regarding Mexican culture would also tremendously help make my trip to Loreto easier and more enjoyable. It was here in Baja.com that I found plenty of information regarding the Loreto Hotel I was supposed to go to, Baja culture, Baja transportation and plenty of other useful facts. Aside from the Baja city guide where I found most of the things I needed to learn about, I also liked the Baja.com forum because I was able to post my questions to a community of people who have experiences in Baja California.
I can honestly say that my trip to Baja California, from the moment I crossed the border and back again, was very enjoyable and hassle-free.