Traveling to The Baja Peninsula can be a fantastic experience. It is a fascinating part of planet Earth and there is plenty to see and do. But it is important for visitors to be aware that they are in a foreign country and the rules may be a bit different than at home.
A short review of these guidelines will help insure that your trip to Baja is a more enjoyable one!
If you think you may need the services of an emergency Air Evacuation company while visiting Mexico visit the web site of SKY MED INTERNATIONAL.
Looking for additional piece of mind for your next trip to Mexico? In case of a medical emergency it can be a huge advantage to be a member of BI-NATIONAL EMERGENCY SERVICES. Review their web site for additional information.
Just a few tips on staying healthy can make your next visit to Baja a treasured memory.
EATING THE FOOD
The foods of Baja are one of the area's true treasures. And experimenting at various eateries can be a great way to add depth to a Baja getaway. But following a few rules will ensure that your culinary adventures are a positive part of your stay on the Peninsula.
As is the case anywhere else, it is important to be sure that the foods you consume are well cooked. This is not much of a problem in most of the larger and established restaurants, but keep a watchful eye when dining at the smaller palapas or at any street-side vendor. When in doubt, ask for your meal to be cooked a bit more, just in case.
Another word of caution regarding street vendors pertains to flies. Because food being cooked at these stands is exposed to outside elements, food left out in the open for extended periods (cooked or uncooked) can be exposed to flies. And since flies are known to hang around in less than sanitary locations, avoiding meat that is in the vicinity of flies is a good idea.
Fruits, vegetables and salads that have been rinsed with water from the local tap are usually not a problem in Baja. Although some restaurants rinse these foods with purified water, some do not. And since different people have different degrees of susceptibility to gastronomical problems, people eating the same food might experience completely different reactions. It's best to eat these types of foods in moderation if you have a sensitive stomach.
DRINKING THE WATER
The number of visitors getting sick because water contamination in Baja is very small. Most of the fresh water in Baja comes from underground springs with the nearby mountains as the original source. Even still Mexico understands how important tourism is to the country's economy, and they have been pro-active when it comes to their water. Cases of 'touristas' is usually exception, rather than the rule. Still, following a few tips will help keep those cheeks rosy.
Many of the larger hotels in Baja have water purification systems which do an excellent job of providing good water for guests in both the hotel rooms and the hotel restaurants. Brushing your teeth and showering in Baja are not a problem.
Another common practice for Baja hotels and restaurants is the availability of purified bottled water. For those who just don't want to worry, bottled water is the way to go. Sometimes bottles of purified water are available for free in hotels, while other hotels offer name brand waters for a nominal charge.
For those who are a bit sensitive to foreign water, one thing to keep an eye on is the source of the water for the local ice cubes. Going out of your way to drink bottled water can be a good idea, unless it is filled with ice cubes from a dirty tap. When in doubt ask.
Baja travelers who try to minimize their exposure to the local water often make it a habit of switching to beer and soda (canned or bottled) when they need something cold to drink. The beers in Mexico are world class, and the sodas seem to have a wonderfully sweeter taste than the sodas in the U.S.
The vast majority of visitors to the Baja Peninsula have a healthy trip. Diseases are not easily caught in Mexico but it's always a good idea to keep the odds in your favor by being aware of the risks.
Two of the diseases that can be caught anywhere in the tropics include malaria and dengue fever. Although it is extremely rare to hear about a visitor catching these diseases, it can happen. These diseases are usually transmitted by mosquitoes, which can be common after hurricanes.
Mosquitoes tend to propagate in large numbers after significant rains. They breed in the many pools of fresh water that collect after the rains depart. Hence it is not uncommon to experience extensive mosquito infestation immediately after a big storm or hurricane. Although the life span of an individual mosquito is extremely short, the ongoing breeding process can keep the population of these pests high for weeks after a good rain. They are particularly numerous just before dusk, so don't get caught without your mosquito repellant at dusk.
AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseased are not a huge problem in Baja, but like many countries they are issues to be aware of and to contend with. The risk of catching a STD in Baja is probably increased mainly because many visitors leave their brains at the border. While most people would not consider having unprotected sex with a person they don't know back at home, the carefree attitude while on vacation in Baja can combine with tequila and the romance of Mexico to contribute to a significant gap in common sense. And contrary to the saying "whatever happens in Mexico stays in Mexico", sexually transmitted diseases know no borders.
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides information for travelers on the CDC WEB SITE.
If you are on any special medication at home, there is a good chance you will need that medication while you are on vacation in Baja.
For starters savvy travelers often put their medication and prescriptions in their carry on luggage rather than checking them in with the larger suitcases. In case the big luggage gets lost, having these important drugs in your possession will be important.
Some travelers take along an extra prescription from their doctor for medications that are crucial. In case they run out or loose their important pills, they can get their prescriptions filled at most pharmacies in Baja.
Since drug trafficking is not uncommon in Mexico, keeping prescription drugs in their authorized containers is a good way to avoid any misunderstandings with the local officials.
Some of Baja's coastline is located in the tropics. This means the sun is more intense that at higher latitudes. Just a couple of hours in the sun can cause a serious sunburn for some people. And this can put a damper on an otherwise perfectly fun trip.
A good idea is to put on sunscreen every morning as a part of your wake-up routine. Maybe sometime after brushing your teeth and before putting on your sandals. But certainly before you walk out the door for your day of fun in the sun.
Visitors who are planning on spending time in the pool or the ocean should use waterproof sunscreen. Most sunscreen manufacturers have a product that will stay with you all day while you go in and out of the water. Carlos Fiesta likes the Bullfrog brand of waterproof sunscreen...it really works!
One mistake most travelers make when using sunscreen is only applying it once and then thinking that is enough. Sunscreen usually washes away with perspiration or in water, and re-applying it often is necessary for proper sun prevention.
For more information on sunscreen use while visiting Cabo drop by the SUNSCREEN TIPS section of Cabo Expo.
PARTY IN MODERATION
It can be easy to get all caught up in the fun of a Baja vacation by eating too much, drinking too much and getting too little sleep. To some people that is what a Baja vacation is all about!
But our bodies take a toll when we push the limits day after day. Throw in an excessive amount of sun and a little jet lag, it's a wonder we don't kill ourselves.
Most people who party too hard while travelling in Baja hit it hard right out the gate. The first night is often an evening of excess, and the price that is paid is more time in bed the next day and less time enjoying the Peninsula. Moderation is the key.
If you know going in that you are going to party hardy and can't stop yourself, plan ahead by bring the necessary remedies with you. Aspirin, Pepto Bismo, Bloody Mary Mix... whatever it takes to get you back on track.
Back to Top of Page Back to Baja Expo Back to Mexico Expo