Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Mexico: Baja California. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.
ENTERING MEXICO: Mexico requires a valid passport for entry by US citizens. Citizens of other countries may need a visa and should check their nearest Mexican embassy. Your passport should be valid for at least six months after the date the tour ends. Tourist cards are required and are obtained upon entry at the border customs.
LEAVING MEXICO: For those flying into Mexico, the tourist tax is included in your flight ticket by the airline. For those entering by land, the tourist permit must be paid for at a bank before exiting the country; this can usually be done at the border when you get the permit.
MAPS AND COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can view maps of Mexico in the University of Texas series here. You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information here, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Mexico here.
CLIMATE: The southern Baja California Peninsula is usually warm and dry in early February. Early mornings are pleasantly cool, and rain is possible but very unlikely.
HEALTH: No specific inoculations are necessary, although up-to-date tetanus protection is always a good idea. Special medications may be unavailable so bring enough to cover your particular needs for the entire trip. We have found that with careful eating habits, intestinal problems can be largely avoided. Bottled water is provided in most of our hotels, and the leader will have it available for refilling personal bottles where this isn’t the case.
Don’t forget that the sun in Mexico can be very intense. Please bring adequate protection, including a sun hat and a strong sun screen of at least 15 rating.
Biting insects and arachnids are seldom a major nuisance; during this season chiggers and mosquitoes are all but non-existent.
Please note that any health/medical information contained herein is gleaned by WINGS from websites that are dedicated to traveler’s health issues. Advisories and recommendations by agencies such as the CDC can and do change frequently. We urge you to consult with your physician, local health department, or the Centers for Disease Control.
PACE OF THE TOUR: As with all tours in the tropics, we’ll try to be in the field around dawn, which means daily starts about 6:00 a.m. on most days; some a little earlier or later. All days will include one to two hours at the hotel before dinner or after lunch with optional late afternoon outings.
Walking is mostly along roads and wide trails that are level to gently sloping, with the possibility of some short stretches of steeper gradients. We’ll also occasionally be walking off the road and trails in wide washes, with some small boulders to navigate. Good foot gear is essential, and many people find a collapsible hiking stick invaluable for walking over rough ground and down rocky sides of washes. Since birding often involves standing still for periods, some people like to have a small travel stool to sit on.
FOOD: Baja California is on the leading edge of Mexico’s “food revival,” and restaurants here take full advantage of an abundance of fresh local seafood, artisan olive oils, gourmet breads and pastries, organic produce, mussel farms, premium coffee beans, and high-quality local cheese. Most breakfasts and one lunch will be picnics, with remaining lunches and all dinners in restaurants. Despite common perception, spicy food is easy to avoid in Mexico.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Our hotels offer standard amenities.
DRESS: Informal throughout.
TRANSPORTATION: Transportation during the tour is by van.
SMOKING: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group.
If any lodge, accommodation, or location where the group is staying or is gathered has a more restrictive smoking policy than the WINGS policy, the more restrictive policy will prevail.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF WINGS TOURS: Please take a moment to read the About WINGS Tours. This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours, and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.
FINAL INFORMATION: Final information with instructions for meeting the group, hotel addresses, etc., will be mailed about three weeks before trip departure. Other news will be communicated as necessary. If you have any questions, please let us know.
Updated: June 2013