Convenient to California and Arizona, the Los Algodones Border Crossing is a good crossing point for travelers entering Baja or Sonora. It’s also a popular destination for dental tourism in Mexico. The process for crossing this border in either direction is fairly simple.
Important Information for Los Algodones
Bring your passport, vehicle registration and a copy of the title for vehicle entry into Mexico. As always, you will need an FMM visa unless you are a day-tripper staying immediately in and around the border area. Your vehicle will not require a TIP unless you plan on entering the mainland by leaving Baja or Sonora. Mexican auto insurance is mandatory when you cross over.
Algodones Border Hours – The border sits in the Pacific Time Zone but the town of Los Algodones uses Arizona time. Keep in mind, Arizona does not recognize daylight savings and is often in a different time zone than California. The border is open from 6 am to 10 pm, Pacific Time.
Los Algodones Safety – The town is quiet and safe. It sees a large number of visitors from the US and many businesses cater to foreigners. Overall, this is a nice and easy place to visit.
Wait Times – Wait times vary and are especially busy on the weekends. Crossing from the US to Mexico is generally quick but the return trip can see waits up to an hour. Check the U.S Customs Wait Times here.
Is the Los Algodones crossing RV friendly? – You can enter Mexico at this crossing with an RV. The border itself has high clearance and RV’s are ideal for staying at one of the local parks in town. They are convenient to dentists and other services.
The issue with RV’s here involves the drive to Highway 5. Roads are narrow and it can be difficult. The better options for RV’s are the Mexicali Crossing or San Luis, just south of Yuma, Arizona.
Border Parking Options at Andrade – The large volume of pedestrian traffic means this border has great parking options on the United States side. There is a large parking area with a daily fee. The Quechan Tribe also operates a large lot.
Both lots accommodate passenger vehicles and RV’s at differing fee levels. You can park and walk directly across the border. Just bring a passport and you are all set to enter and exit Mexico on foot.
Border Crossing Process for Los Algodones
There are two ways to cross this border – on foot or by vehicle. Both are easy to figure out at the border and it’s generally not too chaotic.
From Andrade to Los Algodones
Follow highway 186 South directly to the border crossing. You will parallel a canal on the left and the parking areas on the right just before entering the border lanes. Before this, you will pass the small community of Andrade.
When you reach the border lanes, follow the stop sign system and cross through. The Aduana is located directly on your right after crossing. You can park and grab your FMM Visa at the office. If parking is limited, you can easily park on one of the nearby streets and walk back to the office.
Follow the border personnel instructions and pull over for inspections. Oftentimes, it’s a few quick questions and you are waved through. After clearing the border, you are immediately entered into town.
From Los Algodones to Andrade
The return trip is simply the inverse. Take the same route and stay on the right side of the cones and dividers to enter the USA. There is also parking available near the border here for those wanting to walk across. That said, parking in the US is far more popular.
Follow the instructions until you reach the US Customs and Border Patrol station and present your passport or documents to cross back over. They will either clear you to enter the USA or send you to a secondary for an inspection.
That’s everything you need to know for the Los Algodones border crossing. Safe travels!