Baja in General... The number one rule for safe travel in Baja is don't drive at night. By following that one simple rule, you can avoid putting yourself in harm's way on a number of different levels. The road itself is not designed for high speed driving, has many narrow stretches with steep dropoffs...this is hazardous enough during daylight hours, in the dark, forget it. Couple this with the fact that there is often livestock active at night on the highway and it can be a recipe for disaster. Add to that the fact that when there are robbery & other such incidents on the highway, they are almost always at night. DON'T risk it.
Put as many odds in your favor as possible. Remember, you will be travelling to another country with a different culture and where many are poor and struggling. Flashy vehicles, behavior, & possesions may attract the wrong kind of attention. The lower profile you can keep, the better. Treating people with respect and a calm demeanor (especially officials), and being a good ambassador of your home country can go a long way.
Bahia de los Angeles Specifically... TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: Tourist Permit / FMM is required to travel to Bahia de los Angeles since it is South of Ensenada. Please keep in mind that they MUST be obtained at a border crossing (Tijuana or Tecate, for example). Attempting to obtain one in Ensenada (or other locations not at the border), can result in additional charges/fine being assessed for not having it done at the border crossing upon entry to Mexico. Baja California State Tourism Website Page on Tourist Cards... References: Baja California State Tourism Site; Mexico's Ministry of Tourism Info Page; "Manual of Tourist Entry" available for download - (PDF format) View Photos & Additional Information on How & Where to Obtain Tourist Card... ATM's: There are no ATM's or banks in Bahia de los Angeles. You can use a debit or credit card at Costa del Sol, but only for payment of services there. You'll have to bring cash down for all other use. When getting pesos, the exchange rate will not be as much in Bahia as it is either in Ensenada or near the border on the U.S. side, so it's best to get your pesos at either of those places. In Ensenada there are many, many "Casa de Cambios" ...look for those that say "sin comision", or no comission fee. Prices: Bahia is 7 hours from Ensenada to the North, and roughly 12 hours from La Paz to the South; "so close, yet so far away..." That being said, realize that things have to be brought in from long distances and the prices in town will reflect that. Staying in Touch: There are several places with internet available, but since there are no land lines in Bahia, the internet is satellite based. The speed will be much slower than what you are used to, but at least it's available. There are many places in town where you can make a phone call; nearly every store has one. There is also a central "phone office" at Deposito Lizeth that has three lines, a fax machine, and internet. The rates are close to a dollar per minute, so watch your time and keep conversations brief if money is a factor. Gas/Diesel: There are two Pemex stations in town and both have gas & diesel, the station on the West side of the road also has premium. Both rely on the town's electricity which in November of 2008 was brought in from a power plant near Vizcaino, South of Guerrero Negro. The system does at times go down, due to weather, when working on the system, or other problems down the line. When there is an outage, the stations cannot pump gas. Also, the stations must wait until they have depleted their holding tank before they can order a new shipment. The reason being is that they have to pay for a full tank truck and have to pretty much have things empty to accommodate the load. When that happens, there will also be a waiting period, which is usally brief, one day or so and it is rare when both are out. Stingrays & Pufferfish: These are two common hazards that people may not be aware of. High time for stingray activity is March & April, but you should use caution at all times. The threat is most severe during low tide. Shuffle your feet along the bottom; avoid stepping as that is a good way to get hit. By shuffling your feet, you will "bump" into any rays that are there, and they will move off (but not far, so keep shuffling). More... Pufferfish contain a very poisious toxin that can cause death if ingested. There have been several deaths over the years by people eating this fish unaware of the danger. Puffers are common in the shallow waters of the bay, and caught many times off the beach. Click here to view photo...