OUR MOST POPULAR ANNUAL TOUR RETURNS FOR 2018!
18 to 27 February, 2018
Cut loose! Leave the rat-race and mid-winter blahs behind you and join us an our annual ten day, 1,500 mile Baja Sunshine Tour – a paved-road trip for licensed street bikes.
18 to 27 February, 2018
With an average day’s mileage of under 200 miles you can hit the relax button as soon as you cross the border. Accommodation is in comfortable middle-class hotels. If you fancy fresh & natural Mexican cooking you’re definitely in the right part of the world.
This popular annual tour tends to fill up fast so don’t delay, reserve your place, right now!
The first leg of our tour – 200 miles – begins at the Mexico/US border just south of San Diego. Prior to entering Mexico we’ll gather between 09:00 and 09:30 for last-minute money changing and a pre-tour ride briefing before crossing into Mexico. The first order of business to validate our tourist permits at their immigration office.
Once we’re ready to go we’ll make tracks towards Ensenada and on to the south via the scenic coastal highway Mex 1D. There are three toll stations on this route, charging a heady 90 cents each time.
Clearing the urban bustle of Ensenada we’ll weave our way through mountain passes, hug the Pacific coast and bisect a major fruit-growing region on our way to San Quintin. Bartenders at our hotel have been known to produce memorable margaritas…if only we could remember. Our stay is room only. A decent restaurant on-site means you won’t go hungry and you can choose what you want for dinner and breakfast.
Today we will cross the northern section of the Vizcaino Desert, a vast area of central Baja and part of the even larger Sonoran Desert. This is a unique eco-region of giant boulders, huge cacti and 50 mile views. We’ll cover 213 miles as we make our way from the Pacific coast to Bahía de los Ángeles on the Sea of Cortez. As we drop down from arid mountains into the cosy seaside town we’ll pause to take in the breathtaking view. Dinner and breakfast are included with our hotel stay.
On our longest riding day of the tour – 256 miles – we return to the desert, then venture south and east where we will once again meet the Sea of Cortez. Our destination is the French-built copper mining town of Santa Rosalia where we’ll be staying in a unique and historic hotel.
On your way to dinner – there are plenty of places to choose from – you may want to pay a visit to Iglesia de Santa BÃ¡rbara, an iron ‘flat-pack’ church supposedly designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel and shipped here in 1897. A light continental breakfast is included with your stay.
At 123 miles this is one of the shortest mileage days of the tour. That’s good because you’ll likely be stopping for photos every few miles. As we make our way south on Mex 1, via the town of Mulegé and alongside Bahia de Concepcion, we’ll be enjoying some of the finest scenery in the Baja on one of the world’s great ocean roads.
Our end of day destination is the laid-back town of Loreto, originally a mission founded in 1697 by Jesuit missionaries and the first Spanish settlement on the Baja California Peninsula. We’ll be here for two nights at a lovely sea-side resort hotel. Our stay here is room only. In addition to on-site dining there are many decent restaurants within short walking distance giving you plenty of tasty dining options to choose from.
Today is a rest day. You might consider the short 24 mile ride to nearby MisiÃ³n San Francisco Javier, considered the jewel of the Baja California mission churches. In warm morning light the verdant oasis setting is a great place for atmospheric photographs.
In the protected waters off Loreto it’s possible to fish, snorkel, scuba dive, kayak, sail and even whale-watch depending on the time of year. Or, you might just want to kick back, go for stroll about town and check out the local markets. It’s your day to do as you please.
Today we turn north for the second half of our trip. At 169 miles it’s an easy day’s ride to the inland oasis of San Ignacio, another of the many Jesuit mission towns, this one established in 1728. In terms of vegetation San Ignacio is surprisingly lush and renowned for its date palms.
We’re stopping here for two nights so that we can spend a day whale-watching in Bahia San Ignacio. Our stay is room only. Decent nearby restaurants means you won’t go hungry and you can choose what you want for dinner and breakfast.
Today is our whale-watching day. Following breakfast we’ll be picked up by van and transported to Bahia San Ignacio. Here we will board pangas (modest-sized open boats) which will take us safely to the marine sanctuary. (Note that while it is technically possible to ride to the lagoon there is a very rough and challenging five+ mile section not suitable for street bikes on street tires.
From early in January until late March thousands of grey whales make an annual migration to protected waters on Baja’s Pacific coast. Here they mate and females give birth to calves.
If you’re new to this you will find it an incredible experience. The grey whales and calves are not shy, in fact they often as curious about us as we are of them. It’s not unusual to have them within touching distance from the side of your boat. If going to sea is not your thing then you might consider an optional cave paintings excursion.
Once again we’re on the road north, this time on a 235 mile day. Our destination is the small village of Catavina, a sort of eco-town on Mex1 in the middle of a desert garden of giant boulders and cacti. Our hotel for the night has a pool although we can’t tell you if it will be warm enough for swimming. Our stay is room only although a decent on-site restaurant and a rustic cafe across the road means you won’t go hungry and you can choose what you want for dinner and breakfast.
Giddy up! Our 180 mile day begins with a return ride through the cactus-studded and boulder-bedecked desert north of Catavina and ends high in the central Sierra at a 10,000 acre working cattle ranch. A ranch-style home-cooked dinner and a hearty breakfast are included.
From the ranch it’s about 185 miles to the US border. We’ll be passing through Ensenada roughly midday so you may want to sample some fresh ceviche or a tasty taco at one of the many roadside stands.
After leaving Ensenada we’ll take the mountainous Mex 3 route towards Tecate. Prior to reaching the US border we’ll take a comfort stop. This is a good time to make sure your passport and any other required documentation is ready for US immigration.
After clearing the border we’ll stop for a few minutes, say our good-byes and bring the tour to an end.
The 2018 Baja Sunshine Tour includes:
- Over eight days of glorious desert and coastal riding
- Nine nights in comfortable middle class Mexican hotels
- Three breakfasts and two evening meals
- Mexico FMM tourist visa
- Whale watching, including transportation to/from our hotel
- GPS waypoints, tour information sheet and Peak Rider escort
- One person, single room – $1549 USD
- Two persons, sharing room – $1049 USD per person
- $200 USD deposit – per person (non-refundable)
- Balance due 30 days prior to departure
- Mexican vehicle liability insurance for your bike (an absolute requirement, call regarding purchase options)
- Medical and repatriation insurance
- Museum admissions and items of a personal nature
- Meals, drinks and any items not in the included list above
- Motorcycle rental, if required
Required (no exceptions):
- Mexican vehicle liability insurance
- Personal medical insurance for travel in Mexico
Repatriation coverage with your personal medical insurance
Puncture repair kit, or spare inner tubes, as appropriate
Basic tool kit which will permit wheel and tire removal, if necessary
A spare fuel container is handy if your bike has a limited fuel range
Your bike should be recently serviced and fitted with new tires.
Notes: Mexican Insurance for your vehicle is necessary for driving in Mexico. In the event of an accident Mexican liability insurance (AKA get out of jail policy) shows the ability to pay. Vehicle accidents in Mexico fall under the criminal system in Mexico, not under the civil system as in the US and other countries. As they are not under the obligations of the Mexican government vehicle insurance policies issued by US carriers are not accepted for proof of ability to pay in Mexico.
This tour, like all Peak Rider excursions, does not use a chase van or back-up vehicle. We believe biking is about biking. Also, as you will have noted, it does say adventure on the tin. Today’s motorcycles are every bit as reliable as automobiles so, in addition to the philosophical aspect, we see little need, and have even less desire, to add to your expense.
In terms of riding we class this tour as Easy to Moderate. Although the main roads are generally in decent shape there will be times when hard-packed dirt is encountered upon leaving the main tarmac. There may be occasional sections of highway under repair or construction with dirt detours. Some sections of road are notable for numerous potholes.
As always, in order to have a safe and enjoyable experience there is no substitute for making sure both you and your machine are fully prepared. That means being physically and mentally fit, possessing a reasonably high degree of riding competence, insuring your motorcycle and its tires are in good shape and having the necessary paperwork in order.
The best way to enjoy Mexico is with an open mind and a big smile. At times it may appear a little rough around the edges but its people have warm hearts and a vibrant culture they wish to share with you.
You’ll have a whale of a time! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYJ4o3dulpA