Calexico is a small city on the southern border. Mexicali is the counterpart city across the border and it’s a fair sized city. Traffic moving across this border can be fairly heavy and you will find plenty of Mexican insurance in Calexico through agencies.
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Mexicali East vs West Border Crossings
Two border stations serve this area and both are good options. The Mexicali West border crossing has longer hours while the east is a bit trickier to locate and has more limited hours. The west is also great for RV’s and bigger rigs and the east is great all around as well.
If you’re looking to avoid long lines and crowds, consider hitting the east crossing on weekdays. Driving through Mexicali West from Mexico into the United States has long lines on occasion. Show up with a full tank of gas just in case.
Where to Stay on the Way
Calexico has a few options with the California Suites, Border Motel and Villa Suites being super convenient to the border. The Holiday Inn Express and Best Western John Jay Inn are both a few minutes north but are great hotel choices before or after crossing.
For camping, options are very limited and you may need to stay at a truck stop in an RV or just outside of town in Calexico.
In Mexicali, a ton of hotel options are available with some being very nice. Look for secure parking regardless of where you stay. Hotel del Norte is very close to the west border crossing. The Real Inn is on the main route north and the Motel Marche is also in this area.
Closer to the east crossing, the Hotel Siesta Real is convenient and City Express Plus is just south of the border. Not too much farther south is Hotel Araiza Mexicali which is a very nice option in the city. Look around and you will find some wonderful four and five star hotels with parking and nice rooms.
Things to Do in Calexico and Mexicali
Although it’s a small city with a large agricultural basis just to the north, there are still a few things happening on the California side of the border.
While Calexico is a sleepy town, Mexicali is a bustling city with museums, shopping and plenty of experiences. It has a great food culture and I’ve had some amazing small restaurants and street stops to eat. If you want some cultural experiences, hit the Sol del Nino Museum or the Institute for Cultural Research.
If you have the time, take a drive on Highway 2D to Tecate. The winding mountain pass has stunning views and pull outs to photograph and take in the scenery. Throw in a stop at the Guadalupe Canyon Oasis for private hot spring tubs and a wonderful experience in nature.
Driving Tips for Mexicali
The city has traffic but it’s laid out nicely with intuitive stoplights and traffic signs. While it can require some jostling, it’s much easier getting around than many cities. Highway 5 and the main roads are well paved although the usual potholes and random speed bumps do exist so be vigilant on the road.
You will also find plenty of Oxxo stations for snacks and Pemex and other gas stations scattered around. It’s not difficult to find services and shopping. The same applies to the US side of the border. You can however save a stop when shopping Mexican insurance in Calexico by using our quick quote and purchase system online.