Going To Mexico
Because of the jog in the international border, Mexico lies both to the south and to the west of Yuma! There are two ports of entry for you to choose from, for your time in Mexico. Getting to the Los Algodones port of entry is just a quick jaunt, a few miles to the west of Yuma. San Luis Rio Colorado in Sonora is a much bigger city to the south of Yuma. Both have a heavy concentration of dentists, opticians, pharmacies, and other medical specialists, as well as souvenir vendors, restaurants, and bars.
San Luis Rio Colorado shopping offers a wide array of Mexican products and is a bustling city.
Algodones is the fun town, serving up a lively atmosphere where it seems like it’s a fiesta every day. Many businesses accept the American dollar, and English is almost universally spoken. Most tourist-oriented businesses are within an easy stroll of the border.
Visitors heading south of the border should follow common-sense safety tips:
- Travel and shop with a group
- Don’t wander out of the obvious “tourist areas”
- Watch your alcohol intake
- Follow all laws and remain alert to your surroundings
- Before you enter the country, if your phone has higher international rates, decide if you want your roaming on or not
- Wait times to cross back into the U.S. at Customs & Border Protection can vary. Visit early in the day, or relax and have a cerveza until the crowds thin!
Here’s how to get to Mexico
San Luis Rio Colorado Follow U.S. Highway 95 south, about 30 miles from downtown Yuma. San Luis Port of Entry is open 24 hours a day. For more info, visit SanLuisAz.gov or SanLuisRC.gob.mx.
Algodones Take I-8 West to the Andrade exit, then south about two miles. Pay to park in the Quechan Tribe’s paved and lighted lot, to walk over the border. Andrade Port of Entry (Algodones) hours are 6 a.m.-10 p.m. only (Pacific time, not Mountain time). For more info, visit LosAlgodones.com.
Let’s get you home…here’s how to get back to the U.S.
In & Out
You will need a passport to return to the U.S. Citizens of other countries should bring their passports and visas if applicable. U.S. citizens need a passport, passport card, enhanced driver’s license, or other approved document. Get quick facts and more details at Travel.State.gov.
Allowances to bring to the U.S.
U.S. residents must declare purchases when re-entering the country, even from a day trip to Mexico. If you have not used your duty-free exemption in the past 30 days, you may bring back $800 worth of items for your personal or household use, including—if you are over 21—not more than 200 cigarettes and 100 non-Cuban cigars and one liter of alcohol.
If you have used any part of your duty-free exemption within 30 days, different rules apply. If in doubt, ask U.S. border officials before you cross and buy more.
As a matter of law, the U.S. bans “importation” of prescription drugs, but exceptions are usually made for “personal use” amounts of FDA-approved drugs (a 60- or 90-day supply). If your prescription contains a narcotic, you may need a prescription from a Mexican doctor to buy it AND one from a U.S. doctor to bring it across the border. For details, see FDA.gov or CBP.gov.