Yuma Border Crossing Question

Discussion in 'Americas' started by BK575, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. BK575

    BK575 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Amish Countryside PA
    A few of us will be arriving in Yuma in mid February looking for some much needed adventure south of the border. I've been looking at some good resources on border crossing but I need a little "real" intel. Can anyone tell me about the Algodones (6 - 10 Pacific time) and Calexico (24 hrs) borders? Which is better?

    We'll need to get tourist visas and exchange currency as well.

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,095
    Location:
    Arizona
    Algodones is a nice small crossing. There's a working Atm in the big parking lot on the US side if you have to get cash for the visa. The atms on mexico side are rarely working. Immigration is on right hand side about 50 meters after you cross over. Park bikes in front of office. Banjercito is a short walk out back for visa. When i headed south, the immigration officer drew a map for me on how to navigate out of town and head towards San Felipe. Crossing back was easy as well, except if you have metal panniers as i did, it may be impossible to cut to the front of the line. There's a currency exchange across the street from immigration through one of the shops. I just changed enough for the visa and got the rest of my money from bank atms. If you really want a south of border adventure, stop in the Green Door.
    #2
  3. kobukan

    kobukan almost gnarly

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,713
    Location:
    Saco ME
    I haven't done paperwork there, but San Luis Rio Colorado is the easiest crossing in the area imo. Hopefully, someone else has info for doing paperwork there. There's usually little or no traffic, cross over and then take the first right onto MEX-2. Doesn't get any easier. You'll end up just south of Mexicali and miss all the city crap. Algodones is easy too, depending on how many people are in line crossing over to get their teeth fixed. But, then you have to work your way to MEX-2.
    #3
  4. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,376
    Since you guys are going to be in Yuma it makes good sense to ride south on US 95 and cross at San LUIS to get all your paperwork in order,
    You actually should not need any cash because all parts can be done with credit cards . Unless of course the card is rejected , then you need cash US DOLLARS for the TVIP Security Deposit ( refunded at time you take bikes out of MEXICO and cancel TVIP , but for Baja you really don't need the TVIP , nor for the Solo Sonora district down to Guaymas)
    San LUIS has lots of banks and their CAJERO AUTOMATICO can provide all the pesos you want so do not bother exchanging any money on the US SIDE
    San Luis is less hectic than either of the Mexicali crossings , save yourself some city riding while still so green .

    MEX 2 passes right thru San Luis and you can shoot west as far as to want , pass thru Mexicali easier
    #4
  5. BK575

    BK575 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Amish Countryside PA
    Thanks everyone for the great info!! Very helpful.
    #5
  6. 530rider

    530rider Adventure Ready

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Redding, Ca
    My wife and i did this trip last February crossing at Tecate, we tried to follow the coast and stay on back roads as much as we could, we posted some pictures on our instagram #ourtriptobaja2016<br />My understanding is, if you get caught without the tourist card, you'll be escorted out? It wasn't a big deal, $20, we got at the border crossing <br /><br />Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    #6
  7. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Todo utz Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,388
    Location:
    Rickover's Navy
    Where do you park when crossing at San Luis, do they allow you to park directly in front of the aduana?

    I like the west Mexicali crossing because they let you park "right there" with your bike directly in front of the immigrations office. In Tecate they made me park out on the street where I couldn't keep an eye on the bike while I get my paperwork sorted. Looking to try San Luis or Algodones next time.
    #7
  8. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    36,149
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    If you are staying in Baja and the Sonora free zone, no bike import is needed.
    Since your talking about the Yuma crossing, I'm guessing you are just looking to ride Baja.

    Heck in Baja I'd venture many don't even bother with tourist visas or insurance but your YMMV.

    I'd do up some online insurance, however, at a minimum precaution. I like BajaBound
    7 day tourist visas are free.
    #8
  9. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,376
    At SanLuis they have parking spaces for the visitors who need to go inside for paperwork, you just need to keep to the right side lanes and if in doubt ask one of the guards to direct you to the spaces.
    Your experience in Tecate is normal there as it is such a low frequency event that folk want to get documentation. The parking though is available on street around a corner right next to the building if you look, and it is highly unlikely to be a security problem. I think you fret needlessly, having been primed to expect border thieves and pickpockets the instant you cross. Every Mexican border crossing will have some form of suitable parking at the entry office.
    Ask. Relax .
    Here are two pictures from September 2015 showing the CITY CENTER crossing in MEXICALI , middle of the morning and I was the only person getting papers, and parking right at the door, what could be simpler ?
    20161204095841.png .
    IMG_1779.JPG
    #9