MEXICO — TRAVEL TIPS
Are you planning to make your first visit to Los Algodones, Baja Calif., or San Luis Rio Colorado, Son.?
Here are some tips to make your visit easier and more satisfying:
• If you only want shop for souvenirs or purchase medication in Los Algodones, Baja Calif., or San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., you may find it easier to park on the U.S. side of the border and walk across the border.Pharmacies,medical offices, curios shops,liquor stores and other businesses popular with tourists typically are located along the streets near the border.
• When shopping for items sold by street vendors,don’t hesitate to negotiate prices.But be realistic in your counter offer.
• If a merchant won’t give you the price you want, see if you can get a better deal from another vendor, who, chances are,will be offering the same or similar merchandise.
• The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years.
• Arizona residents 21 years of age and older can return from Mexico through the U.S.Port of Entry at San Luis,Ariz.,with one 1-liter bottle of alcohol every 30 days.
• Travelers who are not California residents but who live in the United States can bring more than one 1-liter bottle every 30 days through the U.S.Port of Entry at Andrade, Calif., although they will be charged duty.They must be at least 21 years of age.
• Do not bring a firearm or ammunition with you to Mexico. If caught, you will go to jail and your vehicle will be seized.
• When returning from visits to Mexico, U.S. citizens must present a U.S. passport book, passport card, enhanced driver’s license or Trusted Traveler Program card to officers at U.S. ports of entry.
• A U.S. passport book is used for travel by air,land or by sea.A passport card can be presented when return to the United State through a land or sea port, but not at an airport.
• Canadian citizens returning from visits to Mexico can present a valid Canadian passport, enhanced driver’s license or Trusted Traveler Program card.
• For Mexico travel advisories, visit the U.S. State Department website at https:// travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html
• If you’re planning to go south of the border with $10,000 or more in currency or checks, you will need to declare it by completing a form FinCEN 105. Failure to do so could result in the currency’s seizure, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
• If you drive across the border to Los Algodones, you’ll need to return before 10 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, unless you’re planning to stay the night. Hours of operation of the U.S. Port of Entry at Andrade, Calif., next to Los Algodones is 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• The border crossing at San Luis Rio Colorado is open 24 hours a day.
• When planning your visits across the border, you can go to a CBP website to find out the average waits times to return to the United States through any of the ports of entry on the Mexican border.
The site is http://bwt.cbp.gov/ index.html.
• CBP also has a border wait time app that you can download for free from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
• If you drive across the border to San Luis Rio Colorado, your wait in line to return will be faster if you’re a participant in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s SENTRI program. SENTRI – acronym for Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection – allows for expedited border crossing by low-risk travelers whose have undergone rigorous background checks and interviews. For information about SENTRI, visit www.cbp.gov
Hours for U.S. Post of Entry: Mon-Sun: 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. (Pacific Time) 760.572.0089
Los Algodones, located just seven miles west of Yuma on Interstate 8, is a community of 15,000. From Yuma, take Interstate 8 west to the Andrade exit (Route 186). Turn left and proceed south approximately two miles. In the past, a limited amount of roadside parking was available, but the California Highway Patrol no longer allows parking here.The Quechan Indian Tribe operates a paved and lighted pay parking lot on the U.S.side.It’s just a short walk across the border and directly in the tourist area.
For more information,visit www.losalgodones.com
SAN LUIS RÍO COLORADO, SONORA
www.gotosonora.com/ http://www.sanluisrc.gob.mx/ Hours for the U.S. Port of Entry: Open 24 hours 928-627-8854
San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., located about 25 miles southwest of Yuma is a city of about 150,000. In the downtown commercial district immediately south of the border,visitors will find a variety of curios shops,pharmacies,medical and dental offices and restaurants, all within walking distance from the border.
To get to San Luis Rio Colorado, you can follow U.S. Highway 95 from Yuma, or take State Highway 195 from Yuma.