SAFETY STARTS THE MOMENT YOU DECIDE TO TRAVEL.
We've had people work and travel with Baja Trek from around the World representing more than 18 countries. Our workers and past volunteers have brought solutions to the table to address challenges unique to Baja that companies with less experience would be inadept at addressing.
Safety starts with knowing what is potentially dangerous before it happens and how to rectify a situation should one occur. Do you really want to take a wrong turn in a bad part of town by someone who does this casually on a weekend a "few" times a year?
The United States National Transportation Safety Board has offered safety alerts for these vehicles. You can see the report here, https://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetyalerts/SA_001.pdf. These reports are based on these vans on U.S. roads. Baja California roads are notoriously ill repaired. Add these vans to the road conditions and the chance of an accident or roll over increases substantially.
To make matters worse some tour operators tow large trailers or boats with these vans therby severely compromising their center of gravity and braking ability. Quite frankly there is nothing safer in Baja than a veggie oil powered school bus. This is why the locals also rely on them for their tranportation needs.
When Baja Trek first started we did use 15 passenger vans but experience told us after just a few trips that these vehicles are extremely dangerous here and nothing more than a catastrophic accident waiting to happen.
“"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” -Anonymous
They're everywhere in Baja. Anyone with a van who has been to Ensenada once or twice thinks they can show others around. Most times they have faulty vehicles, bad equipment and lack insurance. Do they live in the country they are trying to adventure? Do they have insurance? Are they even recognized by the host country to do business? We get calls often from both "tour guides" and their customers asking for advice for unfortunate situations they have found themselves in. In fact, it happens often enough so that the Baja Trek crew decided to write this safety page. Safety starts the moment you choose to go to Baja!
After over 9 years and hundreds of fun treks we are very proud to boast that we have never had any serious injurys or accidents. Sure we have had the occasional skinned knee or sunburn but this is adventure travel after all. More importantly, with the exception of some missing left out surfboards we have never been victims of any kind of crime. Why is this? Because we don't travel as tourists. We travel as travellers who strive to be part of the local culture. Also, people know us and we've been happy to be able to forge friendships because of our history of community involvement and respect.
Baja Trek has over 9 years of experience doing numerous treks to all parts of Baja California and Mainland Mexico. Our crew has over 30 years of combined experience in travelling around Baja. We also live here full time and are immersed in the community and culture because we love it. For over 13 years we have called Baja home. We don't live in another country and show you the spectacular parts of Baja. We live it. Would you want a non-local showing you around?