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Frequently Asked Questions

How many people are allowed?

No more than 6 people including children are allowed on our rental property. Renters must be 21 years of age. No one under the age of 21 unless accompanied by parents.

Can I throw a party?

No. House parties are not permitted.

How Safe is it to Travel and Stay in Casita Barranca?

As the owner of a Beach House in Playa La Mision and a business in Tijuana I travel to
the Baja peninsula nearly every week. I know these days the mere mention of Mexico
makes one wonder if you will survive a day south of the border! Nothing is farther from
the truth. My family and I have been traveling down to Mexico for many years now.

When we go to Playa la Mission we feel safer than in some parts of Los Angeles. We
cross the border and travel on the Mexican side along the border fence to the Ensenada
toll road. Most of the time we even make the journey at night as we want to beat the
traffic out of Los Angeles, once we pass the border it is less than an hour to get to Casita
Barranca.

Both roads, the one along the border and the toll road are well traveled and well
maintained. There are one or two military checkpoints and not once have we had a bad
experience with the soldiers there. They are always very courteous and friendly and give
their best effort to speak English. NOT ONCE have we felt threatened on our journeys to
and from Mexico. The danger that is portrayed by the media regarding Mexico has been
blown out of proportion. True there have been some incidents in Baja of violence but
these incidents have nearly always been between the people who deal in illegal trades.

Frequently my wife travels down alone or with a girlfriend. My daughter and her husband
are regulars in the house and my 22 year old son makes the journey alone and sometimes
with friends.

Use common sense as you would when traveling in any foreign country and you will be
as safe as you would in most places in Los Angeles County. Casita Barranca is on one of
the most beautiful beaches you can find from Tijuana to Ensenada!

“The village” of Playa La Mision is as safe as it gets and the house is away from the
village streets. My family and I go on many day trips; one we enjoy in particular is the
Valle de Guadalupe which is less than an hour away. It is the Vine Valley of the area,
there are many nice restaurants and the wine tasting places are a great experience.

We visit Ensenada frequently to enjoy the shopping, restaurants and take in the local
flavor of this spectacular country. Never have I, my family, friends or guests have ever
felt unsafe or threatened when visiting Casita Barranca and surrounding areas in this
beautiful land full of life, pride and adventure.

Occupants assume all responsibility of damage and loss.

What time is check in and check out?

Check in is at 3 pm. Check out is at 11 am. Late check out and early check in can be arranged upon availability.

Are pets allowed?

Yes, well behaved pets are allowed.

Is it safe to drink the water?

It is not recommended to drink the water, even thou we have never had any case of sickness from the water we do not recommend that you use the water for consumption. A 5 Gallon jug of drinking water will be provided , we recommend that you bring more. Bottled water can also be purchased in the adjacent Village of La Mision or at the convenient store at the “LA MISION HOTEL” located just down the street to the North.

How often is the place cleaned?

It is cleaned on a weekly basis and between visitors.

Is there a laundry room?

No, but clean linens and towels will be provided.

Should I bring a beach towel?

Yes, we ask that you bring your own beach towels.

Is there access to the beach?

Yes, there is a private walkway leading directly to the beach. There is also a private beach terrace that is right on the beach with a hammock, an outdoor shower and grill fireplace that is for the exclusive use only for Casita Barranca guests.

What do I do with the trash?

You can take your trash to the trash area located at the street level. It is marked “Basura.” The Mexican sanitation department will dispose of it on the designated days.

Will my mobile phone work?

Most US mobile phones will have reception. Please check with your carrier for additional charges. Nextel/Sprint Direct Connect usually works as well.

Is there internet service?

Yes, we provide free WIFI internet service upon request. Take into consideration, that just like in the US, we cannot guarantee 100% up time.

Can I bring an ATV?

ATV’s are strictly forbidden on Playa la Mission beaches. This law is enforced by the local police. However, there are designated areas within a short driving distance.

Are campfires permitted on the beach?

Yes. Campfires are permitted on most beaches in Baja, Mexico.

Do I need to bring firewood?

One (1) basket of firewood will be provided upon arrival. Additional firewood can be provide for an additional charge upon request.

Are fireworks allowed?

No. Many areas forbid fireworks including Playa La Mision.

Is the kitchen stocked?

The kitchen is well stocked with items such as pots, pans, dishes, silverware, kitchen knives, 4 burner gas stove, oven, grill, microwave & hood combo, along with a variety of small kitchen appliances such as a coffee maker, blender, grinder, electric frying pan. In addition, a charcoal barbeque is available for your use on the terrace.

When I will I get my security deposit back?

The $500 Security Deposit will be refunded approximately 1 week after checkout in the same manner as it was received (ie: you will receive it by check if you sent us check).

Remember, it is a deposit for the security of the content of the house. It is required only 2 weeks prior to the the arrival. It will be returned after inspection of the unit.

Paypal will charge you a small fee if we refund your security deposit more than 60 days from when you pay it. So if your reservation is a bit in the future, you can wait until it gets closer to your arrival date to pay that portion.

What do I do in case of emergency?

We have a groundskeeper available for emergencies such as power outage, plumbing issues, etc. The phone number will be given upon check in. He usually arrives within no more than 30 minutes. There is also a “PANIC BUTTON” which will notify the alarm company and the groundkeeper.

What if I need to rent a car or don’t feel comfortable bringing my own car to Mexico?

Most car rental companies in the major cities in California will rent you a car to take to Mexico. Some rental car companies along the border will also allows you to take their rental cars to Mexico for an additional charge. We recommend a company called International Car Rental who offer a variety of cars at different price points for travel into Mexico. They are open 7 days a week and the rates are reasonable. You can call them Toll Free at 1-877-227-7161 or visit their website at www.usamexicocarrental.com.

Please tell them you were referred by the Casita Barranca website.

Useful Information

Important Phone Numbers (.pdf)

Mexican Tollroads

Wikipedia – Baja California

International Car Rental

Simplify your travel checklist

U.S. Border Crossing Requirements Are Changing – Get Compliant by June 1, 2009!

On June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, by land or sea, will be required to present one of the travel documents listed below.

Many of these documents are already available, and obtaining one now will ensure that you are ready on June 1, 2009, when they will be required.

U.S. Passport – This is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies a person’s identity and nationality. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea.

U.S. Passport Card – This is a new, limited-use travel document that fits in your wallet and costs less than a U.S. Passport. It is only valid for travel by land and sea.

Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – Several states and Canadian provinces are issuing this driver’s license or identification document that denotes identity and citizenship. It is specifically designed for cross-border travel into the U.S. by land or sea.

Trusted Traveler Program Cards – NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST enrollment cards can speed your entry into the U.S. and are issued only to pre-approved, low-risk travelers. The cards are valid for use at land or sea; the NEXUS card can be used in airports with a NEXUS kiosk.

Special Groups – Information for Children, Groups of Children, Native Americans, “Closed Loop” Cruises, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents, U.S. Military, Merchant Mariners, Ferries and Small Boats, and Boaters.

Knowing what documents are required and having them ready when you return home will help streamline the entry process and ensure your return to the U.S. is as smooth as possible.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html

http://www.dhs.gov/files/crossingborders/travelers.shtm

http://www.frontera.info/EdicionEnLinea/Notas/Noticias/01042009/366732.aspx

Translated article below.

Tourists are safe in Mexico, Napolitano assures.
OTAY MESA, California (PH)

Due to the large media coverage of the violence acts and the war against drug trafficking in Mexico, the United States Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, assures that American visitors are safe in Mexico.

“Visiting Mexico now, by Americans who are reasonably prudent, they will be safe, we don’t have information that indicates that American tourists are targets”, Napolitano said during a press conference in the Otay Mesa cargo border gate.

“The only fear I have is someone getting caught, without warning, in the middle of a violence incident in Tijuana, but, I repeat, all indications are that people remain in the tourist zone and be careful, they don’t have anything to fear”, the Secretary added.

According to statistics given by the San Diego Police Chief, “we’ve only had two homicides and two kidnappings directly related to drug trafficking in the city in the last two years”, William Lansdowne said to FRONTERA.

The same Police Chief Lansdowne is thankful that under the economic stimulus plan from President Obama, which destines an aid of 269 Million dollars for gate entrances to the nation, 20 million of that amount are specifically for the Otay Mesa border gate, he said, “they will be of great help even to our own elements”.

Tourist Police

Press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DECEMBER 2, 2009

First Group of Baja Tourist Police Set to Graduate on December 18

ROSARITO BEACH, BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO—

The Mayor of Rosarito, Mr., Hugo Torres started the “Rosarito Tourist Police” last year and it has now expanded to the corridor between Tijuana and Ensenada . This is a brilliant move. All the officers speak English and they will have special automobiles for this branch of the Police. Rosarito’s Policia Turistica (Tourist Police) drive the white Dodge Rams and are expressly for Tourists.

The first group of a new Metropolitan Police Force to help patrol Baja’s tourist corridor from Tijuana to Ensenada is scheduled for a graduation ceremony Dec. 18 at the San Diego Police Department.

The ceremony will be at 11 a.m. for the 15 officers, five each from Tijuana , Rosarito and Ensenada . The new uniforms for the special force also will be introduced at that time and the force will have specially marked patrol cars.

The duties of the Metropolitan Police Force, expected to be on duty by early 2010, will be to help other regional departments protect and assist the millions of visitors along northern Baja’s popular 70-mile coastal tourist corridor.

On Dec, 17 the 15 officers will undergo special training in working with out-of-area visitors at the San Diego Regional Public Safety Training Institute under the direction of San Diego Police Sgt. David Landman.

Those officers in turn will provide training to 30 fellow officers from each of the three Baja cities who will comprise the force. The San Diego Police Department also will provide ongoing monitoring and training.

The police force in San Diego , a popular tourist destination, has extensive experience in working with out-of-town visitors and is considered an expert.

The graduation ceremony will be attended by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, Tijuana Mayor Jorge Ramos, Rosarito Mayor Hugo Torres and Ensenada Mayor Pablo Lopez Nunez Alejo, as well as Consul General Remedios Arnau from the Mexican Consulate in San Diego , General Consul Steven Kashkett from the US Consulate in Tijuana and San Diego police officials.

The mutual cooperation agreement was formalized in a letter of intent signed in October at San Diego City Hall by San Diego Mayor Sanders and mayors of the three Baja California cities.

“We’ve always prided ourselves on our working relationship with our friends to the south,” Sanders said, adding that the economies of the two regions are closely tied and both benefit from binational tourism.

“What’s good for Rosarito and Tijuana and Ensenada is good for San Diego,” he said.

Rosarito Beach Mayor Torres said that having San Diego police, who are very experienced in dealing with international and U.S. tourists, assisting with training will be a great benefit.

“It will help us find out how American police work so we can provide better services,” Torres said.

Torres said that visitors always have been safe in Baja but the new metropolitan tourist police would help make them feel more comfortable, secure and welcome.

Rosarito in 2008 started its own 30-member tourist police force, a special city department for attention to tourists, an ombudsman’s office to assist visitors and now issues bilingual traffic tickets that can be mailed in with fines from the U.S.

Media Contact:

Ron Raposa

619-948-3740

ronraposa@hotmail.com