Sorry to add a comment so long after the thread started, but just joined the forum yesterday. I entered Baja October 2011, and left June 2012. Spent my time between Loreto and Cabo, did a lot of 4WD back country driving and exploring, and lots of sailing and kayaking. Southern Baja is safer than most U.S. cities. [I will explore Northern Baja this trip.] Friendly people, efficient military, helpful officials. I am packing my recently purchased Safari for travel to Baja for this winter.
The advice to begin to learn the language is worth heeding. It demonstrates respect, and interest. Baja residents are very proud of their country, and their heritage. Watch the DVD "Heart of the Vaqueros". It shows the lifestyle of many of the ranchers in the backcountry. Many of the towns have lectures on history, all the cities do. La Paz, where I spent a lot of time, has natural history and cultural lectures in English, Spanish, and French. Free.
Any other people interested in Baja this winter? I could use advice on crossing points with the AS. I have never towed a trailer to Baja.