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Author: Subject: Calexico or San Luis
caj13
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[*] posted on 2-11-2019 at 01:42 PM
Calexico or San Luis


Ok guys,
never crossed at either of those 2. coming out of california on my way to San Felipe. I assumed I would just cross at Calexico, but i've seen some discussion here about whether it might be better to go "around" through Yuma to San Luis.

In looking at the map, it looks like it would be significantly longer drive to get to yuma San luis, and then the drive to San felipe would require "cutting" back across to get to 5 again?

am I missing something? what would be the benefits of extending east to Yuma?

thanks in advance
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JZ
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[*] posted on 2-11-2019 at 01:46 PM


From CA you 100% want to go through Mexicali. It's very easy and straight forward.

San Luis is only a consideration if you are coming from Arizona. Or going from CA to Sonora.



[Edited on 2-11-2019 by JZ]




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basautter
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[*] posted on 2-11-2019 at 02:41 PM


From Cali, cross at the one you are closest too.
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[*] posted on 2-11-2019 at 03:24 PM


Quote: Originally posted by basautter  
From Cali, cross at the one you are closest too.

Well, depends on which side of the peninsula you want to drive down. All roads connect, but one thing for sure, it makes no sense to drive 50 miles into Arizona just to make a u-turn back west in Mexico to head south to San Felipe.
Cross at Calexico/ Mexicali and follow the signs south to San Felipe. An option with more curves from San Diego area is to cross at Tecate and stay on 2-D to Hwy. 5. Tecate is easy and the 2-D will keep you out of Mexicali city traffic.




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[*] posted on 2-11-2019 at 07:22 PM


thanks guys, probably go in through Mexicali, and come back through Tecate, variety!

is there an east and west option to go through Mexicali? if so, which one should I aim for? looking at the map it appears as if the west portal keeps you on the main route a little better?

[Edited on 2-12-2019 by caj13]

[Edited on 2-12-2019 by caj13]
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[*] posted on 2-11-2019 at 08:39 PM


We generally go through the West one heading South. Always pretty easy. Only time it was an issue was late afternoon on a Friday. Backed up a bit and slowed us down maybe 20 mins or so.

The biggest issue I've had is meeting ppl at the border on the MX side. Even though I've told them which one we are going through they have managed to go to the wrong one. Happened to us twice last year. So I always 3x check now.




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[*] posted on 2-12-2019 at 08:17 AM


We've crossed twice in an RV towing our Jeep at Mexicali East and it's pretty easy. Supposedly misses more of the city traffic. Tecate is very easy but beware the cops have a reputation as being predatory.



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[*] posted on 2-12-2019 at 08:24 AM


Mexicali West is now the newest border and the word is that the new signed route south from there avoids the former main street used, which was busy (but easy).
It rejoins the former route well south of downtown, near the Costco, about 5+ miles from the border.




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[*] posted on 2-12-2019 at 08:44 AM


Calixico west for CA based people is most handy, but the risk of traffic conflict is the highest of the eastern crossings. I usually use mexicali East when traveling from the west coast even with the extra miles. Trailers are doable for south bound only. Some people have been turned around with trailers going south.

Lowest issue of conflict is San luis and you have the advantage of fast travel and better fuel economy due to rural major highways. Good for trailers. Very long drive for CA people.

Mexicali east is necessary (IMO) for trailers, but the route thru Mexicali has risk due to urban travel and lots of stops at intersections. BTW, access from the south going north: For Sentri and Ready It is required to enter from the north. I saw cars trying to enter from the south and the cop would not allow. Entry for standard (non Sentri, non Ready, trailers, busses, or motorhomes) is back to normal and it is required approach is from the South/East. The various routes for this entry from the web all seem to be correct. One lane until one gets near the border then maybe two entrances. Ready lane was full with backup and Sentri lane was empty. Keep to the right if the line gets double.

Algodones is very low risk and you get to Hwy 2 quickly on a short not so good road. Trailer are not reasonable, but possibly doable?

Yesterday on my trip back and forth to San Diego I had to use Mexicali east because I was trailering and I returned the same way. No cops and even with heavy traffic - no issues except going south the San Felipe sign at the left turn off the Aeropuerto road is not very visible.
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[*] posted on 2-23-2019 at 09:03 AM


crossed into Mexico through the west entry, no issues, just waved through. coming back into the USA there was a long backup at the west entry, so we drove along the fence to the east portal. Big mistake, 2 hours to get through. I assume the monday presidents day was the issue?

I've been reallgy unlucky lately, last 2 crossings at san Ysidro, 2.5 hrs and 3 hrs 15 minutes, and now 2 hrs at Mexicali. kind of puts a damper on the whole trip. I'm getting to the point that I'd rather fly over all that crap, get to Cabo aznd pick up a stored car there, but then I have to clear customs at the airport - but it certainly aint 2 hours
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[*] posted on 2-23-2019 at 11:12 AM


Quote: Originally posted by caj13  
crossed into Mexico through the west entry, no issues, just waved through. coming back into the USA there was a long backup at the west entry, so we drove along the fence to the east portal. Big mistake, 2 hours to get through. I assume the monday presidents day was the issue?

I've been reallgy unlucky lately, last 2 crossings at san Ysidro, 2.5 hrs and 3 hrs 15 minutes, and now 2 hrs at Mexicali. kind of puts a damper on the whole trip. I'm getting to the point that I'd rather fly over all that crap, get to Cabo aznd pick up a stored car there, but then I have to clear customs at the airport - but it certainly aint 2 hours


Did you drive to Cabo or San Felipe? Sounds like you need to get Sentri. The only downside to Sentri is that you can't use it if towing...




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[*] posted on 2-23-2019 at 11:50 AM


In this case we were going to San Felipe to hang out with my brother. but to be honest with you, i'm getting pretty partial to Baja sur. and if I'm flying in, it actually takes me less time to ge on the ground at SJD than to drive down to SF etc in Northern Baja, and much quicker returning.

You are right, I need SENTRI. How does that relate to fast pass? do I need to lay out money 2 times, one for air travel one for ground?

I do have an enhanced DL - but as far as I can tell thats useless as a time saver?
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[*] posted on 2-23-2019 at 12:59 PM


If you don't have Sentri, never, ever cross on a on Sunday or holiday. That's a big rookie mistake. You should time your travel to avoid the masses.

Global Entry (GE) gives you GlE, TSA Pre, and Sentri. To use Sentri, everyone in the car has to have it. GE costs $100 and is good for 5 years.

The only advantage of getting a Sentri only pass over GE is that all your minor kids can get it for free. With GE all of them need to pay $100.

Just got GE for my kids. It was really fast, 2 months or so for the entire process.



[Edited on 2-23-2019 by JZ]




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[*] posted on 2-23-2019 at 02:11 PM


If you arent in a motorhome or pulling a trailer cross at Tecate and go down La Rumarosa at least once. Spectacular drive.
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[*] posted on 2-23-2019 at 04:12 PM


https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-...



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[*] posted on 2-24-2019 at 08:48 AM


Quote: Originally posted by caj13  
In this case we were going to San Felipe to hang out with my brother. but to be honest with you, i'm getting pretty partial to Baja sur. and if I'm flying in, it actually takes me less time to ge on the ground at SJD than to drive down to SF etc in Northern Baja, and much quicker returning.

You are right, I need SENTRI. How does that relate to fast pass? do I need to lay out money 2 times, one for air travel one for ground?

I do have an enhanced DL - but as far as I can tell thats useless as a time saver?


If you apply for SENTRI you will also get Global Entry (international air) and TSA-pre (domestic air). Some say it was not automatic for them but the agent gave it to us at our interview. I do hear rumors that if you apply for global entry you can also get SENTRI but I cannot confirm that.
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[*] posted on 2-24-2019 at 10:31 PM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaMama  
I do hear rumors that if you apply for global entry you can also get SENTRI but I cannot confirm that.


You can for 100% do this. The only thing you need do is type in your vehicle info in the GE application.




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