Ferry crossing not so easy..

There seems to be a lack of information out there for what it takes to get you and a motorcycle across the Sea of Cortez.  The group of 5 of us had an unspoken goal to ride through Baja Ca in a time efficient manner.  Collectively we were more interested in seeing the mainland.  When we crossed in Tijuana, MX we did not stop at Imagracion because we didn’t have to.  We rode on.  We kept seeing signs for it where we would stop for the night, but the consensus was that we could get all the appropriate stamps for the ferry crossing in La Paz.   Maybe that was true if we had not arrived on a Saturday afternoon in preparation for a Sunday ferry crossing.  Through Baja Ferries, passage from La Paz to Mazatlan is only Sunday, Tues, and Thurs.  When we arrived at the banjacito to get the needed paperwork, we were informed that it was just the paperwork for the bike importation (this was after waiting an hour and a half for it to open.)  But since we didn’t have our tarjeta de tourista (tourist card…with the stamp that show we imported ourselves)  we couldn’t do anything with the bikes, nor could we buy ferry tickets.  We would have to wait until Monday for the Imagracion office in La Paz to open (but still wasn’t guaranteed to give us a stamp since we should have received it in Tijuana).  Other options were riding down to Cancun (about 300 mi away) or as two other travelers aboard rode back to Guerro Negro (again 300+ mi north) to get the stamp.  It was the brilliant idea of one of the crew to get the stamp at the customs office at the local aeroporto (which was luckily an international airport and open on a Sunday morning).  The officers there were kind enough to help us out with the tourist cards we needed.  Rushing back to the office to get the paperwork for our bikes (processing 5 motorcycles takes some time) only to find out my bank decided to not allow any more use out of my debit card and no amount of phone calls would connect.  After pooling for the needed funds, we weighed our motos (aout 330Kg a piece) and went to the ticket office to buy the last 4 seats (there are 5 of us and I freaked out a little being the last in line told that I wasn’t going to have a seat…not understanding I was still allowed on board – I really need to learn more spanish).  Alas, we made it on the ferry for a 16 hr crossing and met up with 8 other motorcyclists on the same route.

Bien Viaje!






6 thoughts on “Ferry crossing not so easy..

  1. Do not lose the part of the immigration card they gave back to you (you, not the bike) … total PITA to get back out if you don’t have it.

  2. I did the Santa Rosalia to Guaymas crossing with my bike a couple of years ago, wasn’t a whole lot different. I did stop in Tijuana and get the immigration and temporary importation etc. taken care of though, so that part of it didn’t cause any problems. It is the same at every border: close off the importation (and sometimes immigration) from the country you are leaving, then do a new importation and immigration for the country you are entering.

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