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Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

Level Contributor
3 posts
19 reviews
Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

Hi everyone!

I am planning my first trip to the Valle and I am beyond psyched!! I plan to drive down from LA - however, I have a Mazda sedan and was reading - at least based on articles written a couple of years back - that the roads (not the main road) to the wineries at least may be rough and one should consider at least a SUV. I'd hate to get stuck in a middle of a dirt road.

For those experienced travelers to the Valle - do you think a Mazda can handle the roads there? or should I rent a different car at TJ?

Any advice is recommended!

10 replies to this topic
Orange County...
Level Contributor
9,126 posts
85 reviews
1. Re: Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

I think you'll be fine! We visited in April in our Hyundai and drove some dirt roads, no problem. Just take it slow, get insurance. Have fun!

Orange County...
Level Contributor
9,126 posts
85 reviews
2. Re: Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

(small sedan also)

San Diego...
Level Contributor
152 posts
3. Re: Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

You'll be fine.

Level Contributor
3 posts
19 reviews
4. Re: Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

Thanks for the reassurance!! much appreciated!

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Tijuana, Anaheim
Level Contributor
4,516 posts
10 reviews
5. Re: Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

You'll be fine. I've done it in a Nissan Sentra, a Honda Accord, and a Mini Cooper. The taxis are all Nissan Tiidas. Just keep your eye open for rough patches and topes (speed bumps), even on dirt roads. Rural Mexicans don't post speed limits, they control speed by putting out speed bumps.

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Ensenada, Valle de Guadalupe
Level Contributor
1,877 posts
93 reviews
6. Re: Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

Your Mazda will do great!

I used to drive my 2000 Camry around Valle de Guadalupe, it rode low, I drove slow on the dirt roads, chose my path wisely and no problems.

All the main roads are in great condition, but you are correct that once you are off the main roads, it can get a bit bumpy, etc.

A couple tips: Don't forget to purchase Mexican Auto Insurance before you go (we like sanbornes) and pack some $1 bills and some silver change in your glove box for the tolls (they range $2-$2.50) to avoid getting change in low denom pesos. You will go through 2-3 tolls to get there and the same on the way home depending on the route that you take.

Have an amazing time!

Level Contributor
3 posts
19 reviews
7. Re: Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

Thanks for the great advice and the reassurance!! That’s such a good idea with bringing change!

For this trip, I will actually be driving and going by myself - but it seems like it’s a pretty safe area for solo travellers. Do let me know if you guys have any other travel tips or warning!! Thanks!!!

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Ensenada, Valle de Guadalupe
Level Contributor
1,877 posts
93 reviews
8. Re: Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

Jessica,

For me, I like to drive during the day when I am on unfamiliar roads and some of these roads in Baja are dark at night. During the day, it's easy to navigate the toll road, it is well maintained with good signage. Also note that the speed limit signs are done in kilometers per hour (in lieu of miles). Follow the rules like you would US and you will do great! In general, just slow down and enjoy the beautiful journey - on the road and off. If you would like to familiarize yourself with the route, there are some youtubes out there that you can 'drive' - this one is 4 years old, but I like it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i32LdDD3-L4 . Sometimes if I am trying to find a particular spot, I will 'drive' to online via Google Maps look for landmarks, etc..

Most importantly, have a great time!!

San Diego...
Level Contributor
152 posts
9. Re: Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

I've sent the same video that DJ N posted to people who are driving to the Valle for the first time. We like to get off the toll road at La Fonda and take the free road (through La Mision) into the Valle. it's a bit shorter and we like to make Relieve/Mixtura our first stop. Have fun!

10. Re: Driving to the Valle in a Mazda?

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