|Mexico is a quick and easy day trip from Yuma
One of the unique things about Yuma is the easy access it offers to two different states of Mexico. (For more information about attractions in Mexico, go to
www.visitmexico.com or call 1.800.44.MEXICO, 1.800.446.3942.)
From a base in Yuma, visitors easily can head south to the bustling city of
San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora (23 miles south and about twice the population of Yuma!), and on to the sandy shores of the
Gulf of California and resorts like El Golfo de Santa Clara and Puerto Peñasco. (Contact the Sonoran tourist information agency at
or call 1.800.44.MEXICO, 1.800.446.3942.)
Or, in a little more than an hour, one can reach Mexicali, the capital of
Baja California and a cosmopolitan major city that offers world-class shopping, great cuisine (including notable Chinese) and one of the largest bullfighting rings in northern Mexico. Take Interstate 8 to the Highway 111 south exit, about 45 miles west of Yuma. (Call Mexicali's
own tourist information agency at 1.888.COTUCO.2 or 1.888.342.7323, or go to"www.mexicaliturismo.com")
But for a quick and easy day trip south of the border, many visitors to Yuma find that
Los Algodones, Baja California, is the perfect alternative. The visitor-friendly village is actually just seven miles west of Yuma, but because of the meandering of the Colorado River, you have to go through California to get there.
Just take Interstate 8 west to the Andrade exit, turn left (south) and travel approximately 1.5 miles to reach the port of entry. You can drive into Algodones but many people prefer to park on the U.S. side and walk (the Quechan tribe operates a paved, lighted parking lot and charges a fee; free parking along the road is haphazard and limited).
Once across the border, the village is compact and walkable, with lots of shops, street vendors, restaurants, pharmacies, liquor stores and dental and eye care offices.
But do be aware that the crowds of visitors to Algodones mean lines to re-enter the U.S. can get lo-o-o-n-n-g at peak times (mid- to late afternoon). Visit earlier
) – or relax and have a cerveza till the crowds dwindle.
Whichever venue you choose for your excursion, the best thing about making your run to the border from Yuma is that, at the end of the day, you can be back in your own bed!
Bringing It Back Home Again
U.S. residents must declare any purchases when re-entering the country. Merchandise up to $400 per person, including one liter of alcohol and one carton of cigarettes, is duty-free; purchases in excess of $400 or alcohol or cigarettes above that allowance will be taxed. Prescription medication equal to a 90-day supply can be brought across the border, but a U.S. doctor’s prescription is required for any controlled substances.
We've also included some important information (below and on the next page) about crossing the border back into the United States. Make certain to get back on time and have the correct documents in hand to ensure that your stay isn't longer than expected!
Getting Back Into the U.S.
When heading across the border, make sure you have documents to get back home!
UNTIL MAY 31, 2009, U.S. and Canadian citizens need to present either:
Government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license) AND proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate) OR passport of your country OR new U.S. passport card OR other WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) approved document (see below).
AS OF JUNE 1, 2009, the combination of a photo ID and proof of citizenship will not longer be accepted for entry at U.S. land ports. You must present:
Passport of your country OR new U.S. passport card OR f or U.S. citizens, other WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) approved document, including:
• Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
• State Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (when available)
• Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)
• U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
• U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
• Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
Form I-872 American Indian Card
Hours For U.S. Ports Of Entry
• 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. only • (Pacific time, not Mountain) • For info, call 760.572.0089
Calexico West (Mexicali):
• 24 hours a day • For info, call 760.768.2626
San Luis (San Luis Rio Colorado):
24 hours a day • For info, call 928.627.8854