From here it was off to the airport to return our rental and then a taxi to the border where we had 3 short hours to stretch out our legs. We crossed at around 1pm on a Sunday, a mistake I have made before. When will I ever learn? This meant a very long and hot wait. Get some churros to pass the time and practice glaring at the jerks who cut the line.
Now for that recap I promised. The following is the itinerary from our 10 day, 9 night trip. After getting a ride to the San Diego side of the border, we walked across and took a taxi to the Tijuana Airport. Here we rented our car--you cannot take a US rental to Baja-- and drove to our hotel where we parked in the secure (but super tight!) Hotel Ceasar lot. This enabled us to get out of TJ quickly on our first day of driving the following morning. I rented from Avis because they do not require you purchase their damage liability waiver and I could use the coverage provided by the credit card I used. Check with your card to make sure you are covered properly. For 10 days, we paid about 250$.
If you are taking your own car, be sure to get 3rd party liability insurance, a requirement in Baja. This is easily and inexpensively purchased online. We also made sure to get a visa at the Tijuana airport, since we were going to be crossing from Baja Norte to Baja Sur. This is also supposedly required, though we have never been asked for it. At around 20$, I say better safe than sorry. It is valid for 180 days. This may also be purchased at the visa building directly to the right when you drive across the border. OK, boring! See our plan below, this is easily adjusted depending on length of trip, mood and focus.
Day 1: Crossing the border, taxi to airport, pick up rental car, check in at Hotel Ceasar, park car and eat a million tacos.
Day 2: Up and out early AM to drive to Guerrero Negro (10 hours), eat sea urchin in Ensenada, stuff yourself on quesa tacos and oysters in San Quintin and get to your hotel by sunset.
Day 3: Whale watching from 8am until noon. Drive to Mulegé (4 hours).
Day 4: Drive from Mulegé to Loreto, stopping at lots of beaches on the way (2 hours).
Day 5: Drive from Loreto to La Paz (4-5 hours). We spent 2 nights here.
Day 6: Start the trip North. We actually returned for 1 more night in Loreto, but you could go to Mulegé or all the way to San Ignacio if you leave La Paz super early.
Day 7: Loreto to San Ignacio (6 hours). Stop at your favorite beach on the way back up to take the sting out of the trip's inevitable end.
Day 8: We have again reached the unavoidable long portion of the return. You might choose to travel from San Ignacio to Ensenada (9 hours). This way, you could eat more sea urchin! Otherwise, you could go the additional 1.5 hours to Tijuana for the night (tacos!). Similarly, you could just return your rental car and cross back over.
This 9 night, 10 day trip, complete with rental car, gas, unlimited food and drink, whale watching and general good times came to about 700$ per person. I'd have spent twice as much, it was so unbelievably fun, delicious and beautiful.
Any which way you do it, this is going to be the trip of a lifetime! Have fun!