Tour & WORKSHOP PREPARATION
FOR SINGLE-DAY PAY-AS-YOU-GO TOURS & WORKSHOPS
We want you to have a fantastic experience, so we ask that you PLEASE read this entire WEBPAGE in order to best prepare for your tour OR WORKSHOP…
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PARTICIPATION AGREEMENTS: If you have not already completed and submitted your Participation Agreement(s), you must do so at least 72-hours in advance of your tour or workshop's scheduled meeting time (sooner the better). Having your participation agreement submission on file in advance of the tour or workshop date is an absolute requirement of participation. We cannot accept participation agreement submissions on the day of your tour or workshop, and those who have not submitted their agreements in advance will not be able to participate. Click this link and complete and submit the appropriate Participation Agreement in advance of your tour or workshop.
DRESS ACCORDING TO THE WEATHER: Dressing in easily-removable layers is recommended. Baja California is a dessert region, and daytime temperatures regularly go above 85-degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius), while evening and nighttime temperatures may dip into the 60s and 50s (15 to 10 Celsius). Most itineraries include both indoor and outdoor activities and dining. Whatever clothing you don't wear may be left in the tour vehicle. Please check the weather forecast the day before your tour or workshop to ensure you are dressed appropriately for the conditions (click the appropriate weather forecast link below). If the forecast calls for rain, please bring a small (collapsable) travel umbrella and raincoat - our tours run rain or shine. Click this link for more detailed dress and footwear requirements and recommendations.
- Check the Weather Forecast for Valle de Guadalupe Tours
- Check the Weather Forecast for Tijuana Tours
- Check the Weather Forecast for Ensenada Tours
YOUR MEETING LOCATION AND TIME HAVE BEEN COMMUNICATED TO YOUR GROUP LEADER (the person who booked/paid for your tour or workshop) via a confirmation email inclusive of a detailed itinerary. Please ask your group leader to forward you a copy of the complete confirmation email, and please consult that email for the exact meeting location and time. We strongly recommend that you print and bring the directions to your meeting point, and plan to arrive early at your scheduled pick-up/meeting point - your tour or workshop will depart on time. Out of respect for other tour and workshop participants, and for security reasons, BTK staff will not wait past the scheduled meeting time printed in your itinerary to begin or continue a public tour or workshop. For your security and ours, our guides will only meet you and drop you off at the pre-arranged meeting point noted on your itinerary - last minute changes to the itinerary are not possible. Depending on itinerary, we utilize multiple border meeting locations and can arrange pick-ups at hotels or house rentals in Northern Baja by advanced reservation. For security reasons, we communicate meeting points and times to confirmed participants via email only. Click this link for more detailed information about meeting location, pick-ups, and meeting time.
BE SURE TO PACK/BRING YOUR PASSPORTS! Every participant must carry a valid Passport (and if applicable/required, a valid entry Visa or Resident Card) or U.S. Passport Card (more info at http://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/cross-us-borders) or valid Mexican Residency Photo ID Card. Please note that Mexico does NOT recognize SENTRI, Global Entry, or NEXUS cards as official identification while traveling in Mexico – these are U.S. programs and holders of these cards must ALSO bring their passports or passport cards to enter Mexico. Mexican residents or citizens should bring an valid picture ID showing proof of residency in Mexico. Your guide will ensure that you have valid photo identification that meets the requirements for travel in Mexico (in most cases, a valid passport document is required); if you don't have valid photo identification for travel in Mexico, you will not be able to participate (no exceptions). Click this link for additional tour and workshop participation requirements.
IMPORTANT BORDER CROSSING NOTIFICATION: Some tours and workshops will be crossing the international border into Mexico (if you are meeting your guide in Mexico, you may disregard this section). At the border crossing inspection station entering Mexico, you will be required to disembark the tour vehicle with ALL of your personal belongings and bag(s), and walk through the Mexican customs and immigration station. After you disembark the tour vehicle and enter the Mexican customs and immigration station, your tour vehicle and guide/driver will undergo a separate inspection and will then meet you on the other side of the inspection station for re-boarding and re-loading before proceeding with your trip - note that we cannot keep any of your personal belongings in our vehicle during our inspection; you must take everything with you through the inspection station - pack light, and do not bring unauthorized items, nor food/beverages. Your bags and other personal belongings will be subject to x-ray scan and search. You may be required to complete an "FMM Tourist Permit Card" application (there is no cost to U.S. Citizens for stays of less than 7-days), which requires that you be holding a valid passport or valid passport card (and entry Visa for Mexico if required; a Visa is not currently required for U.S. Citizens traveling to Mexico). The entire customs and immigration process should take about 15-30 minutes, depending on the line and assuming there are no issues with your travel documents or baggage – note that all tour companies are subject to the same border crossing regulations and controls. Click this link for additional requirements regarding cross-border travel.
WE RECOMMEND EATING BREAKFAST ON THE MORNING OF YOUR TOUR OR WORKSHOP. For tours and workshops that meet at our designated border meeting point, if you plan to eat or have coffee at the border, you should plan to arrive at least 1-hour before your tour’s scheduled meeting time. Consult your itinerary carefully to see when you'll be eating, and plan accordingly. Participants on our wine tours to the Valle de Guadalupe should eat a hearty breakfast before meeting your guide. Culinary tour participants should eat a light breakfast early in the morning before meeting your guide. Remember that food, drinks, and snacks of any kind are NOT allowed in our tour vehicles (we provide bottled water), so please dispose of it before entering the tour vehicle.
CONTACT BTK: For questions regarding your upcoming tour or workshop, email is the best and most reliable way to reach us. Email email@example.com and be sure to include your tour date and itinerary in the subject heading, or call +1-619-878-3287 during normal business hours (please note that we may not be able to answer calls, texts, or emails on the morning of your tour or workshop – it’s your responsibility to arrive at the designated meeting point on time; if you are unsure how to locate the designated meeting point, please contact BTK via email at least 24-hours in advance for directions)
ALL BTK TOURS & WORKSHOPS ARE 100% NON-SMOKING & TOBACCO FREE – PLEASE DON’T ASK TO SMOKE, VAPE, OR CHEW, EVEN AT STOPS - IT’S NOT PERMITTED ANYWHERE ON THIS TOUR/WORKSHOP – PLEASE DO NOT BRING TOBACCO OR VAPING PRODUCTS, THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE TOUR VEHICLE - MARIJUANA, INCLUDING MEDICAL MARIJUANA, IS NOT LEGAL IN MEXICO - DON'T BRING IT. Click this link for a list of other prohibited items - what not to bring.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR TOUR OR WORKSHOP: The best way to prepare for your tour or workshop is to read our Tasting Tour FAQ (https://www.bajatestkitchen.com/tasting-tour-faq/) and review our Tour & Workshop Policies (https://www.bajatestkitchen.com/policies/) at least two days before your tour/workshop date. Upon reviewing the information in our FAQ and consulting our Tour & Workshop Policies, should you have any other questions, you should not hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have not already completed and submitted your Participation Agreement(s), you must do so today ASAP. Having your participation agreement submission on file in advance of the tour or workshop date is an absolute requirement of participation. We cannot accept participation agreement submissions on the day of your tour or workshop, and those who have not submitted their agreements in advance will not be able to participate. Click this link and complete and submit the appropriate Participation Agreement in advance of your tour or workshop.
WHAT TO BRING FOR THE DAY: You and members of your group should bring the following items: passport/passport card (and Visa or Resident Card if applicable) and secondary form of photo identification, medications (for prescription medications, you must carry a doctor’s prescription with you and the prescription package/bottle must have your full name printed on it by the pharmacy), sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, sweater or light coat (check weather forecast), a small travel umbrella if forecast calls for rain, a credit card with chip (call your bank to ensure your card will work in Mexico), and cash for purchases not covered by the tour or workshop fees. Note that all of our partners accept U.S. dollars, and some accept U.S. credit cards, however exchange rates will vary, and are set by each vendor. Change for U.S. dollars may be made in MXN pesos; accordingly, we recommend carrying a mix of small bills. Click this link for a more detailed list of what to bring.
PAY-AS-YOU-GO TOURS & WORKSHOPS - BUDGETING FOR YOUR DAY: You have booked a transportation-only pay-as-you-go tour or workshop itinerary. You will be responsible to pay for 100% of your own consumption, including wine tastings, food, and all other beverages you order/consume, directly to the vendors on your itinerary. We have made wine tasting and dining reservations for the entire group at a communal table/space, and you will order/pay directly with the vendors. Our winery and restaurant partners accept U.S. dollars, Mexican Pesos, and most accept major credit cards (however, you should not count on paying with credit cards only, as credit card terminal signal/service outages can occur). While your personal taste and drinking/eating/ordering preferences will ultimately dictate your budget for the day, past participants have generally spent between $8-$20 USD per person for tasting flights at each winery (you may also elect to share a tasting), and $20-$35 USD per person for lunch, not inclusive of alcohol or gratuity. The standard for service gratuities in Mexico for wine tasting and upscale dining is 15-20%, similar to the U.S. standard, and tipping for service at these establishments is expected. While not required, many groups elect to invite their guide to dine with them and cover the guide's dining costs - our culinary guides are knowledgable ambassadors of the Baja California culinary movement and will assist with ordering when requested.
GRATUITIES: For pay-as-you-go itineraries, you are responsible for tipping the service staff directly at your various itinerary stops - tipping protocols for Mexico are the same as in the U.S. - a 15-20% gratuity for good service is customary. Guide gratuities may not be included in your tour or workshop fees. At the end of the day, a 20% suggested gratuity for your guide is appreciated for good service (FOR EXCELLENT SERVICE, OUR GUIDES USUALLY RECEIVE $25-$35 USD PER TOUR PARTICIPANT AT THE END OF THE TOUR OR WORKSHOP). Not only do our guides take great care and pride in delivering you a safe and memorable tour experience, a lot of "behind the scenes" training, pre-planning, and preparation goes into every tour and workshop. Ultimately, tipping is up to you. We only provide this guidance because it's one of our most frequently asked questions.
MOBILE PHONE ROAMING & DATA PLANS IN MEXICO: Please leave your phone and data ON until you meet your tour/workshop guide at the designated meeting point, in case we need to communicate with you prior to meeting. Before the tour or workshop date, we advise you to check with your phone carrier about roaming and data plans/charges while roaming in Mexico. If you don’t have a roaming/data plan in Mexico, we advise you to ensure that your phone's “data roaming” feature is turned off after you have met your guide – in this mode, you’ll still be able to make and receive calls and text messages, but you won’t receive emails or be able to navigate webpages when not on Wi-Fi. Baja Test Kitchen is not responsible for your phone/data charges while traveling in Mexico.
WE RECOMMEND NOT MAKING CRITICAL PLANS FOR THE DAY OF YOUR TOUR/WORKSHOP. While it's always our goal to stay on schedule, delays can happen, and ultimately we have no control over traffic and border wait times. Accordingly, we cannot be responsible for missed plans (including missed flights) due to tour/workshop delays or border wait time delays. There are no refunds, credits, or rescheduling allowances for failure to appear for your tour or workshop as scheduled. We recommend that you purchase third-party travel/trip interruption insurance to cover any losses related to your own rescheduling or trip cancellation.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT FOOD ALLERGIES & FOOD AVERSIONS: It is ultimately your sole responsibility to double-check with your food server, the ingredients of the foods/beverages you consume, before consuming them (when in doubt, ask). All BTK food and beverage vendors utilize kitchen facilities that may process nuts (including peanuts and tree nuts), shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, wheat/gluten, soy, citrus, and honey - accordingly, trace amounts of these ingredients may be found in ALL dishes prepared in the kitchen facility. We advise you to avoid foods that may cause an allergic reaction - you should carry any medication required/prescribed to treat an allergic reaction. Click this link for more detailed information about food allergies and food aversions.
CANCELLATION, NO-SHOW, & RESCHEDULING POLICIES: You'll find our cancellation, no-show, and rescheduling policies at https://www.bajatestkitchen.com/payment-terms/. We recommend that you purchase third-party travel/trip interruption insurance to cover any losses related to your own rescheduling or trip cancellation. If you elect not to purchase such insurance, you are effectively self-insuring against any losses related to your own rescheduling or trip cancellation.
Tour & Culinary Workshop Policies
We strive to deliver an enjoyable and safe experience for all our guests. As a participant in BTK tours or workshops, you play an important role in creating a positive and safe environment. In that spirit, we have developed the following tour and workshop policies. By booking or participating in a tour or culinary workshop with Baja Test Kitchen (BTK), you agree to abide by, adhere to, and respect the following policies, procedures, requirements, rules, warnings, disclaimers, agreements, terms, and conditions (you agree for yourself, your family members, and members of your group):
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IMPORTANT TOUR & WORKSHOP REQUIREMENTS
- All tour and culinary workshop participants must agree to and sign the appropriate Baja Test Kitchen Participation Agreement (release of liability agreement) at least 3-days prior to participating in a tour or workshop. Every adult participant must complete, sign, and submit his/her own agreement (you may not complete/submit it on behalf of another participant). Failure to complete, sign, and submit a Participation Agreement (release of liability agreement) in advance of your tour or workshop date, for every member of your group, will constitute your reservation's cancellation without refund or credit. As our tours and workshops travel in/to a foreign country, we cannot allow for "surprise" tours or workshops -- all participants must have adequate time to prepare for their tour or workshop, to review the Participation Agreement's Terms and Conditions, and agree to those terms and conditions. We ask that Participation Agreements be submitted at least three (3) days in advance of your scheduled tour or workshop date - the sooner the better. We will not accept Participation Agreement submissions on the day of your tour or workshop - Participation Agreements must be submitted in advance of your tour/workshop date. We cannot accept modified agreements, nor will we make modifications to the Participant Agreement (release of liability agreement). To offer our service and to keep our and your costs low, it is imperative that all tour and culinary workshop participants agree to ALL of the terms, conditions, and provisions of our Participation Agreement - this is an absolute requirement for participation. If you or someone in your group cannot agree to a particular term or condition of participation, you should not book the tour/workshop with Baja Test Kitchen, and you should not participate in such tour/workshop.
- By booking and/or paying for and/or participating in a tour or culinary workshop with Baja Test Kitchen, you agree to abide by the BTK Payment Terms & Conditions. You agree that failure to sign and submit the appropriate Participation Agreement (release of liability agreement) in advance of your tour/workshop date, and/or you or you or your group's failure follow these policies (the "BTK Tour & Workshop Policies") will result in immediate cancellation of your tour or workshop without refund or credit.
- All communications about your tour or workshop reservation will be sent electronically, via email, and it is your sole responsibility to maintain your email account operational so that you may receive and reply to tour or workshop communications. You agree to advise BTK immediately about any change or update to the email address we have on file for your inquiry or reservation.
- You must be at least 18-years old to participate in Baja Test Kitchen tours and workshops. Proof of age may be requested by BTK staff before participation is allowed.
- Required Identification for travel in Mexico: All participants must cary valid photo identification for travel in Mexico (i.e. a valid Passport, valid Passport Card or a valid Mexican Residency Card), and if necessary for travel to the United States or Mexico, a valid Visa (or Visa waiver), and/or a valid Residency Card (more info at http://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/cross-us-borders). We strongly recommend that you also carry a second government-issued photo identification document (i.e. driver's license, state/government issued photo ID). If you are not an official resident or citizen of Mexico, we require that you carry your original passport document with you at all times while in Mexico (it may be requested by authorities at checkpoints, and per Mexican law, it's the only valid form of personal identification for tourists/visitors recognized by Mexican authorities). You should also keep a photocopy of your passport (and if required, your Visa) apart from you (i.e. in your car, in your luggage at your hotel, on your cruise ship, with a friend or family member at home). Your BTK tour guide, trip director, or workshop leader may ask you to show your photo identification (and Visa if required) before allowing participation in BTK trips or activities - failure to show that you have in your possession the valid travel documentation required by law, will result in the immediate cancellation of your reservation without refund, credit, or rescheduling. Please note that Mexico does NOT recognize SENTRI, Global Entry, or NEXUS cards as official identification while traveling in Mexico – these are U.S. programs and holders of these cards must ALSO bring their passports or passport cards to enter Mexico.
- Cruise ship passengers must also carry the identification issued by their cruise line -- this identification is required for re-entry to the Port's secured facility.
- All participants are solely responsible for the safekeeping of their own identification, travel documents, and other belongings. You should not leave your identification or travel documents unattended at any time, or stored in any unattended BTK vehicle. You acknowledge and agree that Baja Test Kitchen is not responsible for the safekeeping of your identification, travel documents, or other belongings. You are advised to never leave valuables unattended in a BTK vehicle, or unattended at any vendor location.
Important REQUIREMENTS Regarding Cross-Border Travel
- If your tour or culinary workshop requires cross-border travel, in order to gain re-entry to the United States, U.S. citizens will be required to carry a valid U.S. Passport, U.S. Passport Card, SENTRI Card, or Global Entry Card. Non-U.S. citizens will be required to carry and produce proof of residency (i.e. a valid Resident Card, aka a “Green Card”) or a valid passport from your country of residence and Visa (or Visa waiver) allowing for multiple entries into the United States. For more information on re-entry requirements see http://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/cross-us-borders. Mexican immigration authorities also require that all non-resident tourists carry a valid passport document, and if necessary for travel in Mexico, a valid Visa (or Visa waiver).
- In addition to a valid passport, Mexican tourist permits, or FMMs (Forma Migratoria Multiple), are required for all non-Mexican citizens entering Baja California. If you are driving to Baja California and will be there for seven days or less, you may obtain this document for FREE at the Immigration office located at the border. A valid passport or passport card is required to obtain an FMM. For visits of eight (8) days or more, paid FMM tourist permits are required. As of September 2015, the “free zone” for FMMs (trips within the 20 kilometer border zone for less than 72 hours) is no longer valid and everyone entering Mexico should obtain an FMM. Our partner, Discover Baja Travel Club can provide more information on obtaining the appropriate FMM for your tour or workshop. When required by Mexican border authorities, we will stop at the Mexican immigration office at the border entry point to complete the application for a free FMM tourist card - a valid Passport document is required to obtain an FMM for tourist travel to Mexico. U.S. citizens with a valid passport are not required to hold a Visa for tourist travel to Mexico.
- U.S. or Mexican authorities may request to see your identification at border inspection stations and checkpoints, and you and your family members should be able to produce the proper and valid travel documents and identification upon request. Should your identification or other travel documents come into question, you may be detained by U.S. or Mexican authorities. If you are detained by U.S. or Mexican authorities for any reason, you understand and agree that the other trip participants will proceed without you and you will be solely responsible for making all arrangements and paying all costs related to your transportation (and/or return home) from that point forward.
Health Requirements & Accessibility
- Tours and workshops require that all participants must be in good overall physical and mental health and have at least average mobility and strength. Participants should be able to walk unaided, for a minimum distance of one-quarter-mile (roughly 400-meters; one (1) lap around a standard track), and should be able to climb at least two flights of stairs without becoming winded or tired. Tour participants should expect to enter and exit the tour vehicle many times throughout the day. Accessing the rear seats of the tour vehicle requires average mobility and flexibility. We cannot guarantee which seat you will be assigned in the tour vehicle. If you have a medical or health condition that requires you to sit in front, you must notify BTK at least 3-days before your tour's departure date. We will do our best to accommodate special seating requests, however, actual seating assignments cannot be guaranteed. If you require the aid of a walker or cane, you must notify BTK at least 3-days before your tour's departure date.
- Women who are pregnant or people with serious medical concerns, such as heart conditions, back injuries, or other serious illnesses, and/or are not able to meet the above requirements, will not be able to participate.
- While in Mexico, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they find in the United States. Mexican law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, education, air travel and other transportation, access to health care, and the provision of other services. However, the law is not effectively enforced in all areas of Mexico. Many public buildings and facilities continue to be in noncompliance with the law requiring access for persons with disabilities, as do most hotels and other tourist facilities. Baja Test Kitchen is not responsible for vendor facilities that are not in compliance with Mexico's accessibility requirements, codes, or laws, and furthermore does not warrant that facilities visited on tour or as part of a workshop will be in compliance with such requirements, codes, or laws.
- Participants requiring special physical accommodations should contact BTK well in advance of their tour or workshop's start date to make arrangements for such accommodations.
- Participants must be sober at the inception of the tour/workshop. If the trip director deems that a participant is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the inception of the tour/workshop (in his/her sole yet reasonable judgement), that participant will be dismissed and will not be allowed to participate in the tour/workshop. There will be no refunds, credits, or rescheduling allowances for dismissal due to insobriety at the inception of a tour/workshop.
FOOD ALLERGIES AND FOOD AVERSIONS
- Important Notification Requirement Regarding Food Allergies and Food Aversions: In some cases, your food will be pre-ordered and preparation may begin before we arrive to eat. If you have a particular food allergy (a food or ingredient that causes an allergic reaction) or food aversion (a food or ingredient you dislike), PLEASE INFORM BTK of such allergy/aversion in writing prior to your tour date (sooner the better)-- in such communication, please describe in detail which foods/ingredients you should avoid, the severity of any allergic reaction you may have to these foods/ingredients, the medications you carry to treat such an allergic reaction, and any protocol for treatment that should be followed in case of an allergic reaction. Early on the day of your tour, you should also inform/remind your tour guide of your food allergies or aversions.
- It is ultimately your sole responsibility to double-check with your food server, the ingredients of the foods/beverages you consume, before consuming (when in doubt, ask). All BTK food and beverage vendors utilize kitchen facilities that may process nuts (including peanuts and tree nuts), shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, wheat/gluten, soy, honey, and citrus. Accordingly, it is impossible to guarantee that trace amounts of these ingredients would not be found in ANY dish/food served.
- We advise you to avoid any foods or ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction. You should carry any medication required/prescribed to treat an allergic reaction. Baja Test Kitchen cannot make guarantees as to the availability, quality, or effect of first aid, emergency medical response, medical treatment, or medical transport, nor to the level of training of those providing first aid, emergency medical transport, medical treatment, medical care, or similar services.
PARTICIPANT CONDUCT - Following Oral & Written Directions, RESPECT FOR OTHERS
- All participants must observe and obey all posted and orally conveyed rules, guidance, and warnings, and follow any oral instructions or directions given by BTK, its employees, representatives, volunteers, agents, contractors, vendors or associates. BTK reserves the right to require any participant to withdraw from a trip or workshop (at the participant's own expense) at any time if the trip director (BTK tour guide, workshop leader, or driver) deems that the participant's acts, conduct, or health and welfare to be detrimental to, or incompatible with, the interest, harmony, comfort, or welfare of the trip, BTK personnel, BTK vendor staff, or that of its other participants. In the case of withdrawal, whether required by BTK or voluntary, withdrawing participant(s) will be responsible for all of their own arrangements and costs of return travel home, and will be responsible to pay the full cost of their confirmed tour or workshop as quoted/invoiced before the trip commenced, regardless of any unfulfilled portion of the itinerary due to withdrawal - no refunds or credits will be issued in case of voluntary trip withdrawal, nor in the case of involuntary trip withdrawal due to participant misconduct.
- As a participant in BTK tours or workshops, you play an important role in creating a positive and safe environment. By participating in BTK tours, workshops, or other BTK programs, you agree to:
- be polite and show respect to other participants, BTK personnel, BTK vendor personnel, contractors, volunteers, vehicles, equipment, and facilities;
- use only appropriate, kind, and positive language with others;
- not engage in verbal or physical abuse of others, nor display or convey threatening behaviors;
- exercise reasonable caution when engaging in activities in order to avoid causing bodily harm to self, other participants, and/or personnel/staff;
- leave distracting, inappropriate, or prohibited items at home, including any weapons or items that may appear to look like, act like, or could be used as, weapons.
- The consequence for not following any one, or multiple of, the above codes of conduct is immediate trip withdrawal (see above); such trip withdrawal to be determined by the trip director, in her/his sole, yet reasonable, discretion. No refunds or credits will be issued in the case of involuntary trip withdrawal due to participant misconduct, and the offending participant shall be responsible for all their own arrangements and costs of return travel home from the point of the trip withdrawal.
Dress Requirements for Tours and Culinary Workshops
- All participants should wear comfortable closed-toed shoes. High-heel shoes are not advised. To access many vendor sites, you will be required to walk on unpaved (dirt or gravel) surfaces. Your itinerary may include tours of farms, dairy facilities, and/or commercial food, wine, or beer making facilities where closed-toed shoes are strongly recommended. Inappropriate footwear may preclude you from participating in some activities, and in such cases, there will be no refunds or credits issued for missed activities due to inappropriate footwear.
- Generally speaking, there is not a strict dress code for most restaurants, wineries, and craft breweries in Baja California. However, Mexican culture and general decorum suggests that people entering such facilities should dress respectfully. Participants should dress with comfort and function in mind. Dressing in easily-removable layers is recommended. Daytime temperatures in Baja California regularly go above 85-degrees Fahrenheit, while nighttime temperatures may dip into the 50s or 40s. Participants are encouraged to check the weather forecast the day before their tour or workshop to ensure they are dressed appropriately for the conditions.
- Culinary workshop participants (this requirement does not apply to normal tour participants) are required to wear rubber-soled closed-toed shoes, long pants, and avoid wearing overly loose or flowing garments. Shorts, skirts, dresses, and other garments that leave the legs or feet exposed are not allowed for culinary workshops. All garments should be made of natural fibers (no polyester, nylon, rayon, etc.). Inappropriate footwear or clothing may preclude you from participating in some activities, and in such cases, there will be no refunds or credits issued for missed activities due to inappropriate footwear or clothing.
What to Bring
- You and members of your group/family should bring the following items: valid passport/passport card (and if necessary, a valid entry Visa or Resident Card - aka a "Green Card") and secondary form of photo identification, cruise ship identification (if applicable, issued by your cruise line & used to regain entry to the Port/ship), medications (if required to travel with medication, also bring your doctor's written prescription with your name on it), sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, sweater or light coat (check weather forecast), umbrella if forecast calls for rain, cash for purchases not covered by the tour fee.
- All BTK vendors accept U.S. dollars, and many accept U.S. credit cards. Cash exchange rates will vary, and are set by each individual vendor. Beware that your bank/credit card may charge "foreign transaction fees". You should check with your bank/credit card before using your card abroad. When paying in U.S. dollars, change may be made in MXN Pesos at the vendor's posted exchange rate-- this is normal. Accordingly, we advise you to bring a variety of smaller bills ($1s, $5s, $10s) to reduce the need for change.
Prohibited Items - WHAT NOT TO BRING
- BTK prohibits the carrying or transport of the following items in its tour vehicles: weapons, firearms, ammunition, knives (including pocket knives), non-prescription or illicit/illegal drugs, marijuana (including recreational and medical marijuana), drug paraphernalia, tobacco products including cigarettes or cigars, tobacco, chewing tobacco, or vaping pipes, fireworks, incendiary devices, and food, snacks, or beverages (with the exception of one (1) small bottle of water per person). Handbags and luggage are subject to search/inspection. For a more comprehensive list of prohibited items, visit http://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/cbp-reqs-mexico.
- We do not allow food or beverage (including but not limited to snacks, sodas, candy, fruit, seeds, nuts or gum) to be eaten or transported in our vehicles, with the sole exception of one (1) small bottle of drinking water per person. Because we are crossing an international border, we simply cannot risk having prohibited food items or beverages in our vehicles. U.S., California and Mexican laws prohibit the transport of certain foods, food products and beverages over the International border (both directions). Our vendors also prohibit the consumption of outside food or beverage on their property. Under no circumstance will you be allowed to consume alcohol in BTK vehicles. If you have a medical condition that requires you to consume specific foods or beverages, you should make special arrangements with us well in advance (at least 7 days) of your tour or workshop date.
- Pets are not allowed in BTK vehicles, nor on BTK tours or culinary workshops. Unfortunately, Mexican laws regarding accessibility for service animals are not the same as in the U.S. Accordingly, some of our vendors do not allow service animals on their property and for your animal's safety, service animals may not be left unattended in BTK vehicles.
- Smoking (including "vaping") and chewing tobacco are not permitted during tours or workshops, as we and many of our vendors are 100% smoke, vape, and tobacco free. You will not be permitted to transport tobacco or vaping products in our vehicles. You will not be permitted to smoke, vape, or chew tobacco in our vehicles, at rest stops, or on vendor property (even if it is allowed by the vendor). If you are not able to make it through an entire day without using tobacco or similar products, you should not book or take this tour or workshop (please don't ask for permission to smoke/vape/chew, or put us/you in the embarrassing position of having to request that you cease smoking/vaping/chewing while on tour or at a workshop, or request that you dispose of your tobacco or vaping products). Tobacco products and vaping products are regulated across the U.S./Mexican border, and as such, are not allowed in our tour vehicles (please don't bring them with you).
- We advise against bringing large sums of cash, valuable jewelry or watches, designer handbags, expensive camera equipment, computers or tablets, and other item(s) of high monetary worth. BTK vehicles will be left unattended several times throughout your trip, and as such, we request that you not leave any items of value (including but not limited to your passport or other important travel documents) in an unattended vehicle. We suggest leaving all non-essential items from your purse or wallet at home-- bring just what you need for the tour or workshop. While theft is very rare in Mexico, Baja Test Kitchen is not responsible for your lost, stolen, or damaged items.
MEETING POINTS/PICK-UP LOCATIONS
- Most tours and workshops meet on the U.S. side of the border and depart from one of our designated border meeting points in San Ysidro, California (the Tijuana crossing) or Tecate, California. Pick-ups at hotels and house rentals may be available in Baja California (north of central Ensenada) for those participants that have made prior arrangements. For public tours or workshops, pick-ups at the Tijuana airport are not available (for private tours, inquire about Tijuana airport pick-ups before booking).
- For participants staying in a gated/secured community, your transportation will meet you at the front entry gate to the property. Please note, for public group tours, if you specify a pick-up location inside of a gated/secured community and we aren't able to gain easy access to the designated meeting point on the day of the tour/workshop, we'll be forced to continue on with the tour in order to preserve the experience for other paying participants (in this case, there are no refunds, credits, or rescheduling allowances). To avoid missing your tour/workshop, we strongly advise you to meet your transportation at the front entry gate to the property.
- Street addresses in Baja California are notoriously unreliable. Accordingly, we base all of our pick-ups and drop-offs in Baja California on participant-provided GPS coordinates. When requesting a pick-up or drop-off location in Baja California, it is your sole responsibility to provide BTK with the following information: name of hotel or property (if applicable), name of street and house number, name of city or municipality, name of subdivision/neighborhood/residential area (in Spanish, "Colonia"), mailing (or ZIP) code, and exact GPS coordinates corresponding to the address provided. To find and/or verify GPS coordinates, you may find the tutorials found on this page helpful: https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Latitude-and-Longitude-from-Google-Maps. Baja Test Kitchen will not be responsible for issues related to your pick-up location that are out of our control, including, but not limited to receiving inaccurate coordinates/address/directions for the meeting point from your hotel, property manager, or landlord, your failure to appear at the designated meeting point on time for any reason, your delay or failure to appear on-time related to traffic, road conditions, or border crossing conditions, and/or refusal of entry of our tour vehicle into a gated community for your pick-up (you should plan to meet us at the front gate at the scheduled time - for personal security reasons, our guides will not leave their ID with security at the front gate of any community or hotel - if this is the requirement to enter, we will not pass the front gate and you should plan to meet your guide outside of the gate at the scheduled time).
- For safety reasons, our drivers won't make phone calls or send texts while driving (and will not be able to answer your phone calls, texts, or emails), which is why we specify a pickup window and ask that your group be ready to depart the pre-arranged pickup/meeting point at the beginning of the pickup window.
- Once your tour or workshop itinerary has been programmed (your itinerary has been communicated to you via a confirmation email), changes to your tour's designated meeting point, pick-up location, and/or drop-off location may only be considered when a request for change is received in writing (via email) at least 72-hours before the tour's/workshop's scheduled departure time, and if the requested change is possible (no guarantee), the requested itinerary change may incur extra charges that must be paid for in advance of your tour/workshop date (for security and logistical reasons, there will be no reprogramming within 72-hours of your scheduled start time - it's your responsibility to arrive at the scheduled meeting or pick-up location on time).
- Failure to arrive on time (at the scheduled start/meeting time) at the designated pick-up/meeting location (at the address and GPS coordinates you have provided and self-verified) will result in cancellation of your tour due to your failure to appear as scheduled, without refund, credit, or rescheduling allowance. Plan to arrive EARLY at your scheduled pick-up/meeting point. If you are unsure about how to locate your scheduled meeting point, contact your BTK representative well in advance of the scheduled start/meeting/departure time to clarify the meeting point. Out of respect for other tour and workshop participants, and for security reasons, BTK staff will not wait past the scheduled meeting time printed in your itinerary to begin or continue a public tour or workshop. Rescheduling will not be allowed for tours or workshops cancelled by your failure to appear, and there will be no credits or refunds. For your security and ours, our guides will only meet you and drop you off at the pre-arranged meeting point in your itinerary - last minute changes to the itinerary are not possible.
use of your image
- You understand that you may be photographed and/or recorded while participating in BTK activities.
- BTK reserves the right to use any images, photographs, videos or recordings taken during your tour or workshop for future promotional purposes or for safety and security related purposes.
- By participating in BTK activities, you waive any right to inspect or approve the use of the images or recordings or of any written copy. You also waive any right to royalties or other compensation arising from or related to the use of the images, recordings or materials.
COMPLAINTS AND Dispute resolution
- Our goal is your satisfaction. If there is anything we can do to make your booking, tour, or workshop experience more enjoyable (within reason of course), please don't hesitate to ask your booking advisor, tour guide, workshop leader, or driver. We'll do whatever we can reasonably do to ensure that you experience a smooth booking experience, and have a great time participating in BTK tour/workshop activities.
- Please direct any complaints or compliments to BTK management using this contact form.
- In the spirit of acting in good faith to resolve any/all issues you have, or may come to have, with Baja Test Kitchen, you agree to surface any dispute or displeasure you have with/about BTK, its employees, representatives, volunteers, agents, contractors, vendors or associates, in writing with BTK management directly and privately, and before taking any action which is intended, or would reasonably be expected, to harm BTK or BTK’s reputation, or which would reasonably be expected to lead to unwanted or unfavorable publicity for Baja Test Kitchen. By booking and/or paying for and/or participating in a tour or culinary workshop with Baja Test Kitchen, or by participating in BTK activities, you agree to act in good faith to resolve any dispute or displeasure you have before making disparaging or negative remarks in a public forum (online or otherwise) about Baja Test Kitchen, its employees, representatives, volunteers, agents, contractors, vendors or associates, and further agree not to make any public statements that are false, untrue, do not represent the whole truth regarding the matter, or are purposefully misleading.
- If a dispute arises under this Agreement or between the parties, you agree to first try to resolve the dispute in good faith with the help of a mutually agreed-upon and certified mediator in San Diego County, California. Any costs and fees other than attorney fees associated with the mediation shall be shared equally by the parties. If it proves impossible to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution through mediation, the parties agree to submit any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this agreement, or the breach thereof, to be settled by arbitration administered in San Diego County, California by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its Commercial Arbitration Rules, and judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator(s) may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.
LOST & FOUND
- You are solely responsible for the safekeeping of your personal items while participating in Baja Test Kitchen tours, workshops, trips, or activities. Once your tour or workshop has left the vendor site, we will not return to recover left or lost items (no exceptions), and you should contact that vendor directly to make arrangements for the recovery and return of your item(s). We advise you to purchase third-party insurance to cover any costs related to lost, stolen, or damaged items.
- We advise against bringing large sums of cash, valuable jewelry or watches, designer handbags, expensive camera equipment, computers or tablets, and other item(s) of high monetary worth. BTK vehicles will be left unattended several times throughout your trip, and as such, we request that you not leave any items of value (including but not limited to your passport or other important travel documents) in an unattended vehicle. We suggest leaving all non-essential items from your purse or wallet at home, and bring just what you need for the tour or workshop. Baja Test Kitchen is not responsible for your lost, stolen, or damaged items.
- As circumstances allow and only as a courtesy service, reasonable efforts will be made to assist in the recovery of your lost item(s), however, Baja Test Kitchen cannot guarantee the return of any lost item and will not be responsible for any costs related to the storage, return, replacement, or repair of your lost item(s).
- If you believe you may have left an item in your tour vehicle, please email email@example.com to confirm whether the item was found, and provide the following information about the item(s):
- A detailed description of the lost article (color, brand, fabric, etc.)
- Your tour or workshop itinerary (i.e. wine tour, or craft beer tour)
- Your tour or workshop date and the approximate time the item was lost (if known)
- A description of where you were seated in the tour vehicle
- Lost items found in BTK tour vehicles will be available for pick-up at our office 72-hours AFTER the end of your tour or workshop, and may be claimed during regular office hours for TEN (10) DAYS from the date of your tour or workshop. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PICKING-UP YOUR LOST AND FOUND ITEM(S) AT OUR OFFICE DURING OUR NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS.
- If you do not claim your lost and found item(s) within TEN (10) days of your tour or workshop, it/they will be disposed of or donated to a local charity (no exceptions); you will not be notified of such disposal or donation, and there will be no receipt or acknowledgment provided as to the disposition of your lost and found items that were left unclaimed.
- In some case, according to our availability, and at our sole discretion, we may be able to ship your lost item(s). If you would like us to ship your lost item(s), you will need to pre-pay $75.00 USD for packaging and handling, AND email us with a pre-paid UPS or FedEx shipping label according to the estimated weight of your item (we strongly recommend purchasing shipping insurance from the carrier for the item(s) being shipped). We will not be responsible for any damage, breakage, or loss related to the storage, handling, packaging, or shipping your lost and found item(s).
- If you believe that your item(s) may have been left or lost at a vendor site, please contact that vendor directly to inquire about your lost item (our tour and workshop confirmations contain links to our vendor websites with their contact info). Once your tour or workshop has left the vendor site, we will not return to recover left or lost items (no exceptions), and you should contact that vendor directly to make arrangements for the return of your item(s).