These Frequently-Asked-Questions will help
familiarize you with the most common enquiries received
by Blueroadrunner.com. If you don't find the answer you're
looking for, please e-mail us using the contact link at
the bottom of the page.
Using the Telephones in San
How do I use the Public Pay Phones and
Dial in Mexico?
Public pay phones are available thoughout
town. You can purchase a Ladatel phone card (available
at most pharmacies, gas stations and stores in denominations
of $50 and $100 pesos). The instructions on the phones
are easy to follow and this is the cheapest way to phone
the States or Canada. San Felipe phone numbers consist
of 7 digits (686 + phone number). Visit the local
numbers page for important phone numbers.
How do I call the U.S. or Canada from
Dial 001+area code and number. (ex: 001-250-577-1212)
How do I call an 800
or 888 number?
Dial 001+880 and the last 7 digits of the number.
(ex: 001-880-577-1212). However, the call will be charged
Can I use my cellular
phone in San Felipe?
Yes, you can use your cellular
phone in Baja provided you have contacted your cellular
carrier and set it up roaming with them. You can also
go to one of the cellular companies in San Felipe and
they will provide you will a Mexican phone number for
a nominal fee.
Does San Felipe have Internet Access?
Yes, if you have a portable computer with a wireless
receiver or ethernet plug-in, you can access the internet
from the deck in front of Shadetree
Computer Services. If you do not have a laptop, there
are several drop-in internet providers in town.
Banking and Money
What is the peso exchange rate?
The peso fluctuates every day. Currently the peso
at the money exchangers in San Felipe is about 10.60 (as
of February 2004). This means if you cash in $1.00 USD
you will get apx. 10.6 pesos in exchange. You may
get a better exchange
rate at the banks, but it may not be worth the wait
in the lineups.
Do merchants take U.S. and Canadian Money,
Checks, Travelers Checks, etc.?
Everyone in San Felipe will accept U.S. dollars
but not Canadian dollars. Some places accept credit cards,
traveler's checks and personal checks, but at a fairly
steep service charge.
Where do I exchange my money?
You can either exchange your money at the bank
or at the money exchange houses located throughout town.
Are there ATM Machines in San Felipe?
Yes, there are several. The bank has an ATM machine,
the Pemex gas station as you enter town, the Tecate distributor
on the main corner downtown (huge Tecate beer can on the
roof), and others. When the machine prompts: Pesos or
Dollars? You must press Pesos or your transaction will
Is there anywhere I
can cash a personal check?
Some exchange houses may cash them for you for
a fee and some merchants will take them for goods and
services but it is hard to find somewhere where you can
cash a personal check for cash.
How do I know if I should pay in pesos
Most merchants go with the current exchange rate
but some merchants are still at 10:1 (10 pesos to $1).
As a general rule if someone is charging the current exchange
rate it really doesnít matter but if they are charging
10:1 or higher then you are better off paying in U.S.
Is it okay to barter?
is perfectly acceptable with beach vendors, sidewalk merchants
and even some stores in town, though some established
businesses will not barter - but it never hurts to try!
Dining, Food and Water
Can I drink the water?
The water in the city is perfectly safe for cooking,
bathing and brushing your teeth. Bottled water is
available at any of the several water filtering plants
in town. One gallon jugs of filtered water cost approximately
$8 pesos and can be purchased at any grocery store. You
can purchase gallon carbuoys at any hardware store for
about $5.00 US and have them filled at a filtering plant
for about 7 pesos.
What kind of food can I expect?
San Felipe has a variety of restaurants offering
everything from American to Italian food.
Are there Grocery Stores in San Felipe?
Yes, there are several grocery stores that carry
just about everything you need from fresh beef, vegetables,
fruits to cheese and dairy items. You may have to look
around a little but pretty much anything you need can
When does shrimping season end?
The season runs from September to April.
Can I still buy shrimp and fish
after the season ends?
Yes, you can still purchase shrimp although it is fresh
frozen and prices are a little higher.
Traveling into Mexico
What documents do I need to cross the
You do not need any personal documents to
cross into Baja if you are staying within the free zone
(San Felipe is in the Free Zone). It is a good idea though
to carry a drivers license or other photo ID in case you
are asked. You should also carry a copy of your title
and registration information for your vehicle.
What can I bring with me when I come
You are allowed $50 per person in merchandise (food,
merchandise, etc.) as well as your personal belongings
and other items. For more information, visit the Border
Do I need to insure my motorhome and
Yes, it is Mexican law that you must have at least
while in Mexico. There are a number of places on the way
(before you enter Mexico) to take care of this. Inexpensive
yearly policies are also available.
How is the Highway to San Felipe?
The highway from Mexicali to San Felipe (Hwy. 5)
is in excellent condition. It is a well-maintained 2 land
highway (4 lane for about 20 miles heading south from
Mexicali) with shoulders and plenty of places to pass
and pull over. It is patrolled all day by the Green
Angels in case of car troubles.
How long does it take
to get to San Felipe?
From the border at Mexicali, it takes about two
and a half hours to drive to San Felipe. There will be
a slight delay at the Military
Checkpoint near the Ensenada turnoff.
How many miles is to
from the border to San Felipe?
It is 120 miles from Calexico to San Felipe. Visit
the mileage page
for other locations.
Can I bring my pet into Mexico?
Yes. You will need the proper forms in the event
that you are asked for them. Many pets get lost here and
many of the animals have mange so be sure to keep an eye
on your pet.
I use Mexican gas in my automobile?
Yes. Some people claim that it is bad for their
automobiles but we all use it. There are two grades: Magna(87)
and Premium(92). I doubt neither will do any damage for
the short time you will be here, but if you are concerned,
add an octane booster when you fill up.
How much gasoline can
I bring into Mexico?
None. Since Mexico sells gas you are not allowed
to bring any in. Some people can get away with a few gallons
but be prepared to be turned back or pay duty.
Can I rent a car in Rocky Point?
Car Rentals rents cars in San Felipe.
What do I do if I get stopped by the
Never pay the officer who stops you. Most likely
they will take your license and ask you to follow them
to the police station where, if you have done wrong, you
will pay a minimal fine and be sent on your way. A lot
of tourists run stop signs and railroad crossings but
it is the law that you stop, so be sure to keep your eyes
Is it illegal to drink and drive in Mexico?
Yes. Contrary to popular belief it is illegal and
you will be taken to jail if caught. If youíre in an accident
and are found to be intoxicated your Mexican insurance
could be voided.
What if I am in an
accident in Mexico?
Call the police. That is the very first thing you
do. All accidents must be reported to the police. They
will come out to the scene and make reports. You will
then probably have to go to the police station until they
determine who is at fault. If you are at fault and do
not have Mexican Insurance then your car will be impounded
and you may possibly be jailed until you can make restitution
to the other party. If they are at fault then the same
will happen to them. If you have insurance you need to
contact your adjuster immediately and you will begin the
process of making a claim.
Can I bring my boat into Mexico?
Yes, you can bring your boat into Mexico. Club
de Pesca and the Marina both have boat ramps for launching
Can I bring my digital camera, laptop
or video camera with me into Mexico?
Yes, you are allowed to bring all of these
items into Mexico as long as you are a resident of another
country. Visit the Inpection
Page for more information.
Can I bring my ATV into Mexico?
Yes, you may bring your ATV, buggy, etc. into Mexico.
Just make sure you have proof of ownership in case you
are asked at the border. If you do not have the proper
paperwork (title, registration, etc.) you may be turned
What time is it in San Felipe?
San Felipe is on the same time as California. We
do not change our time.
What do I do in the event of an accident
or medical emergency?
San Felipe has facilities to handle most medical
emergencies. Please visit the St.
James Clinic page for complete details, phone numbers,
Is there an air ambulance
service available from San Felipe to the United States?
There is no allocated plane standing by at the
local airport, but in a real emergency, there always seems
to be a plane available. There is also a local service
that advertises both ground and air emergency transportation.
The phone number is 577-0500 or on VHF channel 16. http://sanfelipehospital.com/
For more information on real estate prices, bank
trusts, owning property in Mexico, federal zones, etc.
or any other real estate questions please visit Blueroadrunner's
real estate page.
Sightseeing and Things to Do
Where are the tourist shops in San Felipe?
Av. Mar de Cortezs is the principal tourist souvenir
avenue in San Felipe. Just follow the main road (Chetumál)
into town until you are at the four-way intersection just
one block shy of the sea. The shops range out north and
south of this intersection.
Can I drive my ATV
or vehicle on the beach?
No, you may not ride your ATV, buggy or any other
vehicle on the beaches within the city limits.
Can I rent ATVís in San Felipe?
Yes, there are several rental venues in town. Most
along the south end of the main tourist avenue.
Is there anything for
children to do?
Yes, besides swimming and having fun at on the
beaches there are banana boat rides, shell-collecting,
the Hot Springs
in Puertecitos, the occasional circus
that comes to town, ultra-light
flights and other activities.