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Crossing Sout- San Felipe, Baja California !

Watch San Felipe and Tecate on PBS. See more from Crossing South.

General Travel Information and Directions:

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If you are driving, you need to get to Calexico, California. You can get there via  
San Diego on Interstate 8 East or from Yuma, AZ take Interstate 8 West to
Hwy. 111 exit.Take Hwy. 111 South to Calexico and the Mexican border. There are
two crossing points into Mexico from here. See the following instructions. Drive time
from border
to San Felipe is approximately 2 hours.


Border Crossing at Calexico:

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From El Centro: Go east on Interstate 8 to Highway 111 exit. Go South on Highway 111
to the border. Go through the border, and bear right. After approximately 500 feet turn
right for San Felipe. Go straight on this road through Mexicali (major intersections will
have signs for San Felipe.) This turns into Highway 5.  -Rancho Costa Verde is at Kilometer marker 52.5 south San Felipe. 





Eastern Border Crossing:

Click to EnlargeFrom El Centro: Go East on Interstate 8 to Highway 111 exit. Go South on
Highway 111to the third light (Hwy. 98 or Truck Route 7). Go East on
Highway 98 for about 7 miles where the sign shows the border crossing.
Make a right and proceed up and over the cloverleaf and into the border
crossing (this is clearly marked). RV's are to follow the
signs for passenger cars.

From Yuma: Take Highway 8 West and exit at Highway 98. Go West on Highway 98 for
about 16 miles. At the traffic light, make a left and proceed up and over the cloverleaf
and into the border crossing (this is clearly marked).

Once through the new border crossing you will come to a "T" crossing. Make a right
and proceed West along the border boundary to the first stop sign where you will make a left onto Calzado
Manuel Gomez Morin (MORIN BLVD). Continue South on MORIN through 7 traffic lights, passing the Sony
plant. Turn left onto Highway 5 going South. El Dorado Ranch is about 2 - hours driving time from the border.


Those who live farther away may want to fly.

1. Fly into San Diego and drive rental car. Drive time is approximately 4 hours.

2. Fly into Yuma, AZ and drive rental car. Drive time is approximately 3.5 hours. 3. Fly into
Los Angeles and then fly into El Centro, CA and drive rental car. Drive time is approximately 2.5 hours.

NOTE: When renting a car you must tell them you are driving into Mexico. Some agencies will not allow
rentals into Mexico. In San Diego Red & Blue is the most economical and allows their vehicles into Mexico
with the appropriate insurance. In Yuma and El Centro, Avis rents cars that can go into Mexico.
(El Centro Avis counter closes at 5:00 on weekdays, Noon on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays.)

We have had some members chose another option and that is by bus. It can be a long tedious trip
but can be done. Greyhound Bus has a station in Calexico, CA, right at the border. You can then
walk or take a taxi into Mexicali Bus Station and get a bus to San Felipe. SOMETHING TO THINK





Crossing the border is virtually effortless. Typically, North Americans entering Mexico at Mexicali
are simply waved through. During the return trip, U.S. Customs performs a standard
inspection on every car, so beprepared to wait in line for re-entry into the U.S. on weekends
and holidays.

AIR TRAVEL - ALL PERSONS traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present
a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States.

U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry are required to
have documents that comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI),
most commonly a U.S. passport,
a passport card, a trusted traveler card such as NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST, or an enhanced
driver's license.See the complete list of WHTI-compliant documents.

Updated information is available on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.




Plan to drive into Mexico during daylight hours (narrow roads pose the challenge, not threats
of violence). Generally, highways are well maintained, but the roads are not illuminated
and driversmay have difficulty seeing unmarked road hazards at night. As a precaution,
travelers should carry a gallon of water. The Secretary of Tourism has created the Green
Angel organization for the assistance and the protection of highway travelers.
This free, federally funded group patrols Mexican highways looking for motorists in distress.
They will help with minor repairs, supply gasoline and generally assist drivers at no charge
except for the gas or parts provided. Mexican highways are policed by the Highway Patrol
in black and white sedans. If you need emergency assistance, do not hesitate to flag down one
of these vehicles. 

Pemex is the only gasoline producer in Mexico, but most gas stations are locally owned and operated.
The prices are standard, and heavy competition means good customer service. The quality of Mexican
gasoline meets the standards of traveler’s vehicles. Magna Sin provides the equivalent of unleaded,
and some stations also sell diesel fuel. It is wise to buy your gas at busy stations where frequent
inventory turnover ensures fresh fuel. Be sure to fill the tank before leaving Mexicali; you will not
haveanother opportunity until you reach San Felipe. 

Under a joint agreement between the U.S. and Mexican governments, floating checkpoints that are
manned by the Mexican Army have been established to control contraband movement. There is
no need to be alarmed. The guards are courteous and will explain why they are stopping you.
Signage is posted in Spanish and English. The rule is to be polite and cooperative, and so long
as you are not transporting any contraband (guns/drugs), they pass you through very quickly.
It is also advisable to let them know you are going to Rancho Costa Verde. 

Expect to stop at a checkpoint approximately 20 miles north of San Felipe.



One thing you should definitely not bring with you into Mexico is any type of firearms or


Mexican auto insurance is a must. Mexico does not recognize U.S. auto insurance policies.
Proof of automobile ownership is required. Insurance is easy and affordable to purchase whether 
on a daily or annual basis. Insurance rates vary and depend on length of stay, type and value
of vehicle.

You can purchase your insurance policy well in advance of your trip to Mexico - 24 hours a day,
7 days a week. By purchasing your Mexico auto insurance online, you will save money and time,
and you will never have to wait in line at the border again!

Accidents must be reported to your Mexican insurance carrier BEFORE returning to the United States.


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If you wish to stay in the El Centro area before or after your trip to El Dorado Ranch,
the following facilities are available;

Desert Trails RV Resort 225 Wake Ave. (Southeast of I-8 @ 4th St.) 760-352-7275

Rio Bend RV Resort 1589 Drew Road (South of I-8) 760-352-7061

Sunbeam Lake RV Resort 1716 W. Sunbeam Lake Rd. (Drew Rd. exit N. of I-8) 800-900-7154

Highway Rest Stop On I-8 near Drew Rd., approx. 7 miles west of 4th St. (has dump station)