As more of the world's population receives the Covid vaccination, destination anglers are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel with regard to resuming international travel and we are starting to receive a surge of booking requests for our upcoming 2021 season. Mexico was quick to install "safe" travel protocols and has been open to foreign visitors for some time now. The only travel requirement is obtaining proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of return travel to the US.
Although, the flow of travel between Mexico and the US has, reportedly, been seamless over the past several months I wanted to experience it for myself and see if there are any possible hang-ups that could affect travel for our guests. On February 25th, I flew to Mexico to gain some first hand knowledge on navigating travel during the pandemic, establish staff Covid protocols and onsite testing option for our guests, and do a little "pre-season" fishing.
Leaving the US was business as usual, no changes or travel restrictions, except for mandatory wearing of masks in the airport and onboard the plane.
Upon arrival in Mexico I was required to present the standard immigration documentation, passport and customs form. In addition to the usual required documents, I was asked to fill-out a simple Covid questionnaire (including the address where I would be staying for contact tracing) and get a digital temperature reading from my forehead. Overall, travel into Mexico was smooth and easy.
Our shuttle driver to the lodge was masked and the air was flowing, which made me feel safe. The lodge felt very safe as well, with staff wearing masks and practicing social distancing. The lodge, restaurant, and grounds all naturally offer plenty of open air and space to spread out away from others.
February is a windy month on the East Cape but I managed to fish a couple days and scout some waters for moving bait. Many of our favorite beaches were loaded with sardines and pelicans crashing down on them. With such wide spread bait available on the days I did get out, fishing was excellent. Cold water species including yellowtail, sierra, bonita, and wahoo were in full force! Although its been a bit too cool for roosterfish, the first one of the season was landed just south of the lodge a few weeks back. Things are lining up well for good fishing ahead.
The lodge at Gran Sueno is a set in a remote area so I secured a private Covid testing lab and technician to administer tests on-site at the lodge. This allows for our guests to conveniently schedule tests and receive the results within 72 hours of returning to the US. The cost for an on site test is $55-$70 per person depending on the size of the group and results are emailed within a couple hours. I took my test poolside and received my results via email within an hour.
For those that extend travel in Mexico after their stay with us their is testing available at the international airport for $35-$75. You are advised to arrive 4 hours in advance of your flight to allow time for testing and processing the results before you check in.
My return flight to the US was as easy as the incoming flight. At the airport I presented my passport and negative Covid test results then asked to sign a form confirming my identity is the same as what is one my test results. After checking in for my flight, I went through a temperature check point before continuing on to the gate.
What I learned is that travel to Mexico is easy and seamless. I do not anticipate guests running into any issues so long as you plan ahead, prepare accordingly, and follow general safety guidelines. If you do plan on visiting Baja this season we highly encourage you to wear face masks, wash your hands often, and use sanitizer frequently as you travel. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us, we'd love to hear from you.