Welcome to Baja
Greetings on behalf of the State's Secretariat
of Tourism. This brochure contains basic information
meant to help you understand and comply with the different
laws and regulations in place, as well as tips on how
to have a safe and pleasant experience in Baja California.
We strongly suggest that you take the time to read the
information contained in this brochure and we also remind
you that during your stay, you can call our Tourist
Assistance Hot Line by dialing 078 from
any public or private telephone and cellular phone service
that has roaming privileges in Baja California with TELCEL,
TELEFONICA MOVISTAR or NEXTEL.
- The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years of age.
- You should always carry a valid ID when visiting bars
- It's unlawful to drink on the streets or in any motor
- Do not drink excessively,"smart drinking"is
always recommended when visiting bars or nightclubs.
- If you plan on staying out late, make sure someone
- When going to a bar or nightclub, always be aware
of what you are being served and never leave your drink
- You may be vulnerable when visiting the local "red
light districts," particularly if you are departing
alone in the early hours of the morning. Use common
WHAT CAN I BE ARRESTED FOR WHILE
IN BAJA CALIFORNIA?
- Disturbing the peace or being a public nuisance
- Drinking in public.
- Nudity or immoral conduct.
- Use, production or sale of false documents.
- Possession, introduction, or use of any weapon.
- Possession, introduction or consumption of restricted
drugs. (Note: Most drugs that are restricted in the
U.S. Are also restricted in Mexico.)
- Drunk driving or being under the influence of drugs.
- Causing an auto accident or injuring someone.
- If you are arrested, you should call our Tourist
Assistance Hot Line 078 and ask them
to notify the Consulate of your country. Consular officers
can work to protect your legitimate interests. They
can provide you with a list of local attorneys, contact
your family or friends, transfer money, food and clothing
to detention centers.
BUYING MEDICINE/PRESECRIPTION DRUGS
- When buying any type of medication, make sure that
there is no restriction for its purchase over the counter.
- To buy any controlled medication, you need a prescription
Issued by a Mexican doctor,that must include the original
signature of the issuing doctor, the sea¡ from
the State Health Authorities and the serialnumber.
Possession of controlled medication write a prescription
without a Mexican medical prescription is a serious
- With a prescription you can only obtain up to 30 days
- Under no circumstances should you obtain a prescription
under false pretense, it is considered a serious federal
- For more information call the State Health Authorities
by dialing the toll free number locally 01 800 025 6580,
for a complete listing of controlled medication in Mexico,
go to www.cofepris.gob.mx. You can also contact the
Federal Attorney Genera's Crime Prevention Office at
633-6889 & 90, the Association of Pharmacies at
685-0170 in Tijuana. or contact you nearest consulate.
- Remember that if you purchase any medicine requiring
a prescription and you buy it over the counter, you
are at risk of being detained by the police authorities.
- Enjoy your stay and use common sense.
- For information on bringing prescription medication
into the USA, go to www.customs.ustreas.gov
USING A TELEPHONE
- We recommend using local phone company Public Telephones
(you can identify them by the word TELNOR) for all of
your local and long distance phone calls. You need to
purchase a phone card available at most retail shops.
- To dial follow these steps:
- 1. To dial within Mexico: 01 + area code + number.
- 2. To dial to the USA and Canada: 00 + 1 + area
code + number.
- 3. For International Long Distance dial: OO +
country code + city code + number.
- 4. Operator-Assisted Long Distance phone calls:
Within Mexico dial 020; International dial 090
- For collect calls to the USA dial: 091 + city code
+ number (020 or 090 for operator assistance)
- For local information (bilingual operator) dial: 040
- Always ask for directions to the sites or places you
want to visit.
- City and road maps are available at visitor information
centers located at the border or strategic locations
within the visited city.
- lf you get lost, find an open business and ask for
directions or call our Tourist
Assistance Hotline 078.
- Visitors can be targets for pickpockets. Stay alert
to what's going on around you.
- You will find ATM's at all major bank branches throughout
- ATM's in Mexico can be used with most USA issued credit
and debit cards that operate in the Cirrus or Plus system.
Look for the logo on the back of your card.
- ATM's provide only Mexican currency. (Pesos)
- Law enforcement authorities are always on the lookout
for people that prey on unsuspecting visitors. When
using an ATM machine make sure that no one is looking
to surprise you and please, contact the police if you
feel it necessary.
- Never give your credit card or PIN number to anyone.
- There are two means of public transportation for tourists
in our state: Local Transportation is provided by urban
bus or taxi services. Some of them are metered taxis
(recommended), and some are not, in which case make
sure to negotiate the fare before boarding.
- Foreign Transportation is provided by bus companies
that cover all the State of Baja California and the
rest of Mexico, they are concentrated in bus depots
(Central de Autobuses). You can call the Tourist
Assistance Hotline 078 for more information.
Baja California offers you excellent shopping option.
Most times prices are lower than U.S. Especially in fragrance,
jewelry, art objects, cosmetics and textiles. You will
find the best of all the art crafts from all regions of
Mexico --high quality ceramics, guitars, blown glass,
wrought iron and silver, among others. In order to ensure
total satisfaction, make sure to follow these suggestions:
- When purchasing a product or hiring a service, make
sure it is exactly what you requested.
- You should always obtain a receipt or invoice.
- Ask if the price is in Mexican pesos or USA currency.
- The sales and services tax, known as IVA, is 10% of
the bill. Hotels will also add a 2% transient occupancy
tax to your room rate.
FEDERAL AGENCY OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
The Federal Agency of Consumer Affairs (Procuraduría
Federal del Consumidor PROFECO)
promotes and protects consumer rights. They can provide
assistance with problems related to retail and service
purveyors, such as hotels, travel agencies, restaurants,
and transportation, among others.
When purchasing a product or hiring out a service, you
must assure yourself that it is in good condition and
you should request a receipt, invoice or purchase order
that proves your payment of the service or acquisition
of the product.
If you wish to file a complaint, you may call our 078
Tourist Assistance Hot Line or you can
e-mail the Federal Consumer Protection Agency (PROFECO)
Foreign Travelers Unit at: firstname.lastname@example.org,
or by dialing their México City office at (01152)
55 55 11 20 52 or (11 52) 55 52 11 17 23. Please send
copy to: email@example.com
TAKING CARE OF VALUABLES AND DOCUMENTS
- Make a photocopy of your passport, credit cards and
tickets and store copies in a sale place during your
- Keep a record of you traveler checks and credit cards
serial numbers in a separate and safe place in case
they are lost or stolen. (Traveler's checks are not
widely accepted In Baja California and personal checks
are not accepted anywhere)
- Keep track of your plane or bus tickets.
- While sightseeing or walking on the streets, we suggest
carrying your purse in front of you and your wallet
in your front pocket.
- Carry only the cash you need in small denominations
and never discuss your plans or the amount of money
you are carrying.
- Don't be flashy with you money, jewelry of other objects
ITEMS THAT YOU CANNOT BRING BACK
INTO THE USA
- Cuban Cigars
- More than one liter of alcoholic beverage per person,
(21 years of age or older)
- More than $10,000 dollars (without declaring the
amount to US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Pork Meat (canned pork meat is permitted)
- Chicken Meat (cooked meat is permitted)
For more information about
Prohibited and Restricted Items
State Secretariat of Tourism of Baja California
7 DAYS A WEEK 24 HOURS A DAY
VISITOR'S ASSISTANCE HOT LINE 078
State-wide from any public or private
phone in Baja California.