UPDATE: Reservations for the camping portion and access to the Reserve are full. I do plan to make another Baja trip for 2019!
Very special destinations on a cross border camping adventure! CNPS San Diego, in coordination with the CNPS Baja California Chapter will be joining for an international field trip on the Colonet Mesa and about the Northern Baja California Coastal Peninsula. With Josue Campos of RECON and Sula Vanderplank as our guides, we'll be taking a look at the maritime succulent scrub, vernal pools, and salt marsh areas around San Quintin, South of Ensenada.
This is not a formally planned event with a definitive itinerary. We are forming a carpool plan now for those signed up. Once we meet on Saturday morning in San Ysidro, we'll follow Josue and Sula to points of their choosing.
If you or your guests do not have experience touring in Baja / Mexico, reconsider coming down. The main experience we are going for is for an independent camping trip alongside botanists that know the region well. This means everyone takes their own responsibility for preparation, safety, and proper documentation.
June 23, Saturday: MEETUP at San Ysidro McDonalds on Camino de la Plaza at 6:30AM. Leave San Diego over the border at 7AM. Breakfast in Ensenada (9:30ish), then arrive at Jardin Botanico San Quintin about 1PM or so. We will check out the garden and have lunch while any others make it down the Mexico 1. Once all together, we'll check out San Quintín bay for the afternoon, and then meet to camp at El Refugio, on Reserva Natural Punta Mazo. [About 60 pesos per person.]
June 24, Sunday: Head south 8AM to Reserva Natural Valle Tranquilo at 9AM for the diversity of cacti in the Succulent maritime scrub, Lunch, then move to Colonet Mesa and Reserva Natural Charcas Vernales (vernal pools) in the afternoon. The vernal pools will be dry, but there will still be plenty to discuss. About 5 PM, drive back up to Punta Banda and camp at campo 5.
June 25, Monday: 8AM hike on bluffs and then head back to the USA border. From Ensenada, it usually takes 3 to four hours+ to get stateside.
1) Everyone will require a valid passport to travel in and return from Mexico. It is now too late to renew or get one issued in time.
2) US dollars are accepted (sometimes preferred) in Baja, but I suggest having at least $100 USD worth of Mexican currency (Mx Pesos) before heading down. https://www.tripsavvy.com/exchanging-dollars-for-pesos-in-mexico-1588945
3) You will need to bring supplies for three days. June will be hot, but it can still be cold at night on the coast. Come prepared, as some items can be difficult to find in Baja. Bring bottled water, food, camping gear, maybe extra gasoline, and thorough checklist covering a multi-day trip. There are plenty of mercados along the way. If driving, Auto insurance for MX is required!
4) Spanish translators are good. Mexico 1 has tolls and Federale checkpoints. Having a bilingual speaker will help immensely with misunderstandings and fair trade. At least bring a spanish-english dictionary or good language app.
5) By signing up here on the Meetup page, you confirm that you have read the event conditions and agree to take responsibility (and liability) for your self and property.
Baja California is a beautiful and vibrant place with a resilient people and very old culture. Please be respectful and patient. Also be aware that Mexico can be a dangerous place. Keep informed of this year's elections (July 1) and other news. Do not bring anything that can not be replaced. The most dangerous things we will encounter will be rattlesnakes, ticks, food / water poisoning, or vehicle break down. Be confident in your vehicles and supplies. Cell phones may only work on roaming or not at all, depending on your plan. For $20-30 USD, you can buy a cell phone w/ minutes on TelCel or AT&T Mexico in TJ or Ensenada.