Are you driving to the border?
Take the freeway 5 or 805, south to the border. Exit at 1-A. You will see large green road signs with flashing yellow lights that say “LAST USA EXIT”, “CAMINO DE LA PLAZA STREET”, “Border Parking”. Take the ramp to the traffic light, turn left, go over the bridge that crosses the freeway, and look for a place to park. If you turn right at the light, just a ½ block down is a pay parking lot on your right. There is another one behind the “Jack in the Box”. From the parking lot, give us a call, and then follow the instructions below for entering into Mexico.
How to get from the San Diego Airport to the Mexican Border
While most of our patients come to us from San Diego, and Los Angeles, we also have a large number who fly in from a great distance. You will be surprised to know how easy it is to come to Tijuana. Our Mexico dental clinic is just across the border from San Diego.
When you get to the San Diego airport, you should move forward through baggage claim and then take the sidewalk, straight to the MTS bus stop. From there, use the 992 bus to get to downtown San Diego. The bus will cost only $7 for a day pass, that is good even on the Trolley. You should ask the driver to allow you to get off at the American Plaza Trolley Station. Get off the bus at the appropriate stop. After that, cross the street, moving toward the trolley station. Walk on the right-hand platform. From here, you should take the trolley “Blue Line” that has a sign, “San Ysidro/Tijuana”. The ride should last about 45 minutes. You will get off the bus at the last stop, just a short way from the exit from United States Customs. From here, it will be quite easy to cross the border.
Walking across the Border into MEXICO:
Before you walk on into Mexico, PLEASE CALL US. Your phone may not work, once you cross the border. Once you call, we will dispatch the drive to meet you and pick you up.
Getting off the trolley, you will notice that a McDonalds is located in front of the trolley tracks. The pathway for pedestrians is just behind the McDonalds building. If you follow this pathway you will enter a gate that says “MEXICO”. You will end up going through Mexican Customs, where you will have to fill out a tourist form. When you exit Customs, walk down the sidewalk unto you reach the street. Straight across the street you will see the sign for a drug store, “SUPER FARMACIA Milenia”. Make your way across the street and stand in front of this drug store, and our patient coordinator will meet you there to pick you up and transport you to the dental clinic.
If you are traveling from a distance, and need to stay for a few days, while we are completing your dental work, we can help you arrange lodging. We have made arrangements with some nearby hotels, where we have gotten special rates for our patients. Our patient coordinator can explain the options, make a reservation for you. The price for a room will run about $60 per night.
New Border Crossing Regulations:
1.- You must now have a US passport to cross the border:
Just like the US Government requires everyone crossing the border into the US to have passports, the Mexican Government also now requires all persons crossing into Mexico to have a passport. Things have historically been a little lax, but now they are tightening up on the regulations. Make sure you get your passport before crossing into Mexico, to avoid any delays or hassle, by the US Customs, as well as Mexican Customs.
If you haven’t yet gotten a US Passport, we strongly recommend that you get the “Passport Card”, rather than the “Passport Book”. You can actually apply for both, or either one. But the reason the Passport Card works better than the Book, is because it has the RFID electronic chip, which qualifies you to use the faster moving “Ready Lanes” either as a pedestrian or riding in a car. Here is a link to the government website: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/apply.html
2.- You will need to get a Tourist Visa at the border:
Pedestrian Crossing: If leave your car parked at the border, and are walking into Mexico, you will need to present your US passport, and fill out a tourist permit form. It will just take 5 minutes. However, make sure you keep your tourist permit on your person. In case you are stopped in Mexico for any reason, you will now have proof that you entered into the country legally. The cost of a tourist permit, to visit Tijuana for a week, is free. But, if you plan to stay for more than a week, plan to return for a second trip, or are thinking of going on to Rosarito or Ensenada, you will need to get the 180 day permit, costing $25.
Crossing the border by car: If you are stopped in Tijuana, you will need to show that you have legally crossed the border. So, even though you could just drive through Mexican Customs, and they don’t ask you for any documents, don’t neglect to first stop and get your tourist permit. The process will just take a few minutes.
When you first cross into Mexico, do NOT get into the lines of cars that are going through the lanes through for inspection. Rather, keep to the right, and go straight ahead to the area for Voluntary Declaration. Most of the cars going in here, and parking, are stopping to declare products that they purchased in the US, so they can pay the “Importation Tax”. But this is the same area where you will find the “Immigration” office, in order to get your tourist permit. Just park your car next to the others, and go into the building. Inside you will find the Immigration office, and tell them you want a tourist permit. It will be easiest if you just tell them you are coming to visit and shop, otherwise they will ask you for the exact address of the clinic, and hotel address where you are staying. Just a little less hassle.