Here's some travel & safety info from the San Felipe web site (www.sanfelipe.com.mx
Thursday 8 January 2009
The overwhelming number of enquiries that we now get concern the safety of travelling to San Felipe because of the publicity on the drug wars that are raging in Tijuana (and also in Ciudad Juarez).
What is important to understand is that this activity is limited to a very small area of Tijuana that is not a region where tourists would normally go. Virtually all the roads and towns of Baja California are very safe and have essentially zero small crime rates compared to anywhere in the USA. The local Mexican population is just as upset as you would be to hear of the very negative publicity in their towns and villages and its devastating effects on the tourism industry.
Here, however, are our specific recommendations for travel to San Felipe:
Cross the border at Calexico/Mexicali, at Tecate or at Los Algadones. Avoid the crossings between Tijuana and Otay Mesa and San Ysidro because these will route you east through areas that are seeing gang, military and police activity. The road south to Ensenada is safe and from there the route to San Felipe is in good condition. However, it is a very lonely road and we recommend the route only if you are travelling with two or more other vehicles.
Travel only during daylight hours and plan to be in San Felipe before nightfall. This is because there is a lot of construction traffic on the roads and the heavily overloaded Mexican trucks sometimes lose bricks, blocks or scrap as they go over bumps. You absolutely do not want to run over any such object on a deserted road at night and have a burst tire or bent axle. In addition, there are extensive roadworks underway in Mexicali and you need to watch carefully for the detour signs. For the most relaxed driving experience, travel Tuesdays-Thursdays when the traffic flow is very light - often less than 30 vehicles/hour. This is also the time when you are likely to encounter the fewest number of inebriated motorists.
Activate your cellphone for roaming in Mexico!!! You will have best luck with ATT and T-mobile, which have coverage throughout Mexico on the GSM networks. Verizon and Sprint will work along the border but you will find big gaps in coverage. Be sure that you instruct your carrier to allow both international dialing and international roaming. If you have any concerns while on the road, call the tourist department hotline 078. This will connect you with friendly, bilingual operators from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the calls are free. They will help you with directions or send help if you need it. For any emergency dial 066 and you will get the police who can send federal or state units to help you. Remember that if you want to call back to the USA, dial 001+ (Area Code) +7 digit number.
Once you leave Mexicali city limits, do not stop unless you have an emergency. The soft shoulders of the roads out in the country may be too unstable to safely park on and we have seen vehicles slide down the slopes into the desert sand. If you see stranded vehicles by the side of the road, use your cellphone to call 078 or 066 and get help sent to the unfortunate vehicle - note the kilometer marker by the road for better location of the breakdown.
Roadworks to upgrade the carriageway to four lanes are in progress south of the Ensenada Road junction. Be very careful driving on this stretch of highway as the road width is very restricted and there are no shoulders for emergency use.