On the way to and from San Felipe you will pass through a permanent military checkpoint near the junction of Highways 5 and 3 (km 141)- the Ensenada road. Don’t be alarmed. They will ask, sometimes in English but mostly in Spanish, to inspect your car. You do not have the option to refuse. You and your passengers will always be required to get out of your vehicle while it is thoroughly searched. Do not attempt to take photographs while in the inspection zone.
On busy weekends (particularly on Sunday afternoons) this inspection process can cause a backup of traffic headed for Mexicali. We have seen lines miles long after an event such as the Baja 250 race.
In addition to the checkpoint at the junction of Highways 5 and 3,there’s also a checkpoint at Ojos Negros and occasionally near Valley de Trinidad, between Ensenada and San Felipe. Also, there is an occasional checkpoint about 5 miles south of San Felipe, and a checkpoint just north of Gonzaga Bay.
These checkpoints are at the request of the government of the United States in an effort to halt the flow of drugs into the US. An added benefit of the checkpoints is that now San Felipe is like a gated community.