How to Unlock the Cross Country Racing Festival in Forza Horizon 5

Image credit: Playground Games

With a bigger map size than Forza Horizon 4’s Great Britain, and elevation changes unheard of in any previous Forza Horizon, cross country racing is sure to be one of the funnest and most exhilarating racing disciplines in Forza Horizon 5.

Enter Horizon Baja, the cross country racing festival that promises huge jumps, exotic locations, and all-terrain racing that bring you all over Mexico. Make sure your tunes are good enough to handle the punishment these routes offer!

In this guide, we will be looking at how you can unlock the cross country festival, how to complete all the optional objectives in the required expedition to gain the maximum amount of accolades, and the rewards you get for unlocking Horizon Baja.

How Do You Unlock Horizon Baja?

Just like any festival found in Forza Horizon 5, you must first unlock Horizon Apex and then gain enough accolades in order to unlock a new Adventure. Only then can you unlock the Baja Expedition located on the Horizon Baja ticket.

Once you unlock the event, it will appear on your map and you can then drive towards that location and start the event from there. It’s located near Descansar Dorado on the map. Its logo is green with a volcano as its main feature.

Part 1: Conquering La Gran Caldera; Starting the Baja Expedition

The Baja Expedition is divided into three main parts. The first part has you driving the Hoonigan RS200, quite possibly the best rally car in the game, so enjoy it while you can if have not had the chance to unlock it. You will be tasked to drive towards La Gran Caldera, which is Forza Horizon 5’s famous volcano.

Upon reaching the base of the volcano, Rami will tell you to drive up the slopes of the volcano, showcasing the Hoonigan RS200’s prowess in uphill climbs and its speed in offroad terrain. If you are having a hard time getting up the slopes and have manual transmission on, switch to a lower gear to get more grip from the tires.

Once you have reached the trail found going up La Gran Caldera, Rami tells you to follow the switchbacks, making for some fast and action-filled driving.

Once you reach a certain point in the height of the volcano, Angelica Garcia encourages you to go on and defeat the volcano, prompting you to drive towards the volcano’s crater where you will be doing a bit of exploring.

Part 2: The Top of La Gran Caldera; Doing the Optional Accolades

Upon reaching La Gran Caldera’s crater, you are tasked to do some optional objectives. You can opt not to do these objectives (hence them being optional) but you will miss out on a costume and some accolades to help with your festival’s progress, so always do them when you can.

The optional accolades will only be appearing within the clear section of the map. When you venture to the striped sections of the map, Rami will warn you that you are going out of bounds and that you must return to the search area.

When you get near an accolade, an icon in the shape of an “A” with a star on top will appear on the map. White accolades means that you have not done the accolade while gold means that you have.

1. Put on the Volcanologist Thermal suit

In order to do this accolade, simply find the objective in the map and press your interact button. The Volcanologist Thermal suit can be found near the houses beside the hot spring lake. By doing this accolade, you will also get the Volanologist Thermal Suit customization item to use on your character.

2. Find a location for the seismometer

The spot for you to place the seismometer is on the left side of the crater beside the lake of lava. It is better to reserve doing the accolade last as it is the only accolade is found on the left side of the crater and it is found right before the buggy, which you go to to continue with the expedition.

3. Collect a sample from the hot spring lake

Upon arriving at the top of the crater, you will see a lake. This is the hot spring lake that is being pertained to in this accolade. Simply drive onto the lake and the accolade will clear itself.

4. Smash 5 steam vents to release geothermal energy

For this accolade, you will have to find 5 steam vents in order to release geothermal energy. These steam vents are easy to find as they act like white flares on the top of the crater. Simply drive into rocks surrounding the steam vents and you will hear a hissing sound. This means that you have successfully released the geothermal energy.

There are more than 5 of them in the crater and they are easy to spot so this should be easy enough to do.

Once you are done doing the optional objectives, you can now head over to the buggies to finish this part of the mission and continue on to the final part.

Part 3: Escaping La Gran Caldera; Finishing the Baja Expedition

By exiting the crater and pressing the interact button on the buggies found by the top-left area, you then begin the final part of the Baja Expedition.

Rami tells you that it is time to leave since the volcano seems to be a bit angrier than usual. In this part, you will be driving the Sierra Cars RX3, a new car to the Forza Horizon franchise. Rami will be racing you in the Ariel Nomad.

From here on out it is a mad, hectic race to the bottom of the volcano with huge jumps, showcasing the Sierra Cars RX3’s suspension and ability to shrug off these monstrous jumps.

In the final part of the Baja Expedition, you will find yourself breaking through a barrier much like the intro of Forza Horizon 5 and “entering” a race that is in progress.

Finish the Baja circuit race in first place and claim your prize while also ending the Baja Expedition.

Rewards for Unlocking the Cross Country Festival

Finishing the Baja Expedition rewards you with the 2018 DeBerti F-150 Prerunner, the Volcanologist Thermal suit, more accolades and XP, and of course, the Horizon Baja outpost which is situated in the Baja region of the map. This outpost appears as a green “H” logo on the map.

You also unlock all the cross country races (save for one) which appear as green icons with cacti on them. These races specialize in going truly offroad, more often than not, going through obstacles and have make-shift ramps to further the excitement of the races.

Compared to dirt racing, these require much burlier vehicles to plow through fences and to withstand the harsh jumps most of these circuits and trails have to offer.

Final Thoughts

The Baja Expedition is definitely my favorite expedition out of them all due to just how obscene the setpieces are. The setting is also great, making the volcano a centerpiece for the expedition really showcases the verticality this game has to offer.

The rewards are a bit on the weak side though, although that just might be me since I am not a fan of trucks in general, and I could not care less about character customization. Overall, this was a great way to usher in how crazy the Horizon Baja festival would be!

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