The Lukeville Border Crossing is a popular entry point for quickly reaching Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point). It’s a surprisingly short drive from Arizona to the Sea of Cortez and Rocky Point is a beautiful vacation destination that is loaded with RV parks and resorts.
It’s also in Sonora and falls within the free zone boundaries. You only need Mexican Auto/RV Insurance, Passport and an FMM visa (obtained at border) to visit. No Temporary Import Permit (TIP) is required which makes it super easy to cross at Lukeville and visit this area.
Note – This is an RV friendly border crossing.
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The Easy Route from Lukeville to Puerto Penasco
Plenty of other routes exist to reach Puerto Penasco but none as simple and direct as the Lukeville crossing. You can cross at Mexicali and drive the northern edge of the Sea of Cortez on Highway 3 for a scenic trip or take the longer and less direct route from Nogales.
Ultimately, driving the Lukeville border crossing is shorter, easier and it’s one of the smoothest crossing points in general. Not counting the time it takes to get across the border, it’s only a 1-hour drive from Sonoyta to the coast at Rocky Point.
The short distance is ideal for weekend vacations and you can even buy short term auto insurance to keep the costs low. If you decide to use the Lukeville entry to Mexico, here are the instructions to get you there.
Border Location on Google Maps – International Border
Lukeville Border Hours – 6 am – 8 pm
Lukeville Border Wait Times – Current Wait Times here. Three is often no wait driving into Mexico and short (less than an hour) returning to the United States. Holidays and busy travel weekends are the exception.
Before You Go – Get Your Mexican Auto Insurance Policy Online. Daily and Long Term Policies Available
Getting to the Lukeville Border:
From Phoenix – It’s just under 3 hours from Phoenix to the Lukeville Border Crossing. Take I-10 East or the Phoenix Bypass Route to Highway 85 South. Continue through the towns of Ajo and Why until you reach the border.
From Tucson – Also just under 3-hours to the crossing from Tucson. Take Highway 86 west to the town of Why and turn south on Highway 85 to the border.
From Yuma – You have the option to cross at San Luis Rio Colorado then navigate east on Highway 2 in Mexico or south on Highway 40 to the Sea of Cortez. Some folks will travel east on the US side however Taking Interstate 8 to Gila Bend then 85 south to the border. It minimizes road time in Mexico. Either option is just fine however and the time differences aren’t significant.
Lukeville to Sonyata (into Mexico) Crossing Instructions
- Driving southbound, you will enter the border zone. Slow down and enter the one way lane south until you hit the stop sign.
- Proceed slowly through the covered area and stop if directed. This area is often unoccupied.
- After leaving the covered area, you will encounter a red light/green light area. Stop if the instructions are red and enter slowly when the green light says “Enter”.
- Continue slowly through this lane. A camera will photograph your vehicle and an arm will raise, allowing you to pass through.
- Inspection will take place after crossing the barricade arm. They may wave you through or flag you to stop for an inspection.
- Park to the left if you have anything to declare after inspection (center lanes before military checkpoint). You must go into an office and make your declaration (taxable items). You can get your FMM by parking here as well or you can drive 17km south to the San Emeterio aduana for FMM and TIP paperwork. If you are traveling to Puerto Penasco, get your FMM at the border.
Sonoyta to Lukeville (into USA) Instructions
- Take Mex Highway 8 north through Sonoyta to the border crossing
- Proceed to the US customs line. It’s on the exact opposite side of the divide for the southbound Mexico entry, making it very easy to locate and enter the US crossing line.
- When you reach the guard station, answer the questions while they look over the vehicle. If you have nothing to declare, they will either send you through or send you to secondary for an inspection. After passing inspection, you will be directed to proceed into the US.
Notes About the Lukeville – Sonoyta Border Crossing
Immediately after clearing the border into Mexico, you enter the town of Sonoyta. GO SLOW through town. There are speed traps here and you might get a speeding ticket so take your time navigating through the city and down the highway.
After passing through Sonoyta, the highway is an hour of desert on good pavement to the Sea of Cortez. There isn’t much for services on the highway so gas up in Lukeville or Sonoyta. Once you reach Puerto Penasco, gas, groceries, restaurants and everything you could ever want on a Mexican vacation is available.
The border crossing instructions here are geared towards U.S. and Canadian residents. Foreign passports crossing from the U.S. into Mexico will follow the same processes. Foreign passports crossing from Mexico to the U.S. however will need the appropriate visas to enter the United States.