Everybody talks about how bad Mexico is, but we’ve read too many first person accounts of travels down the Baja Peninsula to believe that some of that is just plain ignorance and fear mongering. Traveling in a foreign country is always going to have some downsides. Remember when the German tourists got whacked in Florida a few years back?!

This is a 1000 mile long stretch of desert, mountains and oceans running from the California border to Cabo San Lucas. You can ride pavement the entire way by staying on Highway 1 all the way from Tijuana, or head off into the dirt to catch some secluded beaches.

We checked and the most common suggestions as to what to bring are always led off by a tire-repair kit and a spare air cleaner. The former is more likely to be put into use off-road, but the latter is more likely to be put to use give you are riding in mostly dessert conditions. That means dust…and lots of it.

Mexico requires proof of ownership for your bike and guns and illegal drugs will get you into some serious trouble. So don’t even think about trying to bring in either one.

Best time to go is summer and fall for the Pacific side and winter and spring for the eastern side that faces the Sea of Cortez. And AAA maps will serve you just as well as a more expensive GPS to help you navigate your way.

So if you’re holed up somewhere wet and cold, this might be just the trip you need.