Recommendations before entering Mexico

Auto Insurance

Four U.S. carriers provide full coverage in Mexico: Allstate, Farmers, State Farm and AAA, up to 75 miles south of the border. Typically this means to and including Ensenada. However, Mexico does not recognize this coverage and the visitor must obtain the minimum liability and property damage coverage in order to avoid complications in the event of an accident. You can be detained if you do not have a policy recognized in Mexico at the time of an accident, even if your American policy will cover you.

Insurance can also be obtained for an occasional visit at one of many “Mexican Insurance” agencies located just north of the border at The San Ysidro Blvd freeway off ramp or can be purchased by more frequent visitors on a 30 days a year plan for much less than buying insurance for each visit at the border.

Just past the revision area on the right is a location from which to purchase Mexican Insurance for your vehicle if you have not done so. Remember that most American policies will not cover you in Mexico.

Visitors' Cards and Passports

U.S. and Canadian citizens who visit the immediate border zone or the city of Ensenada can do it without the need to obtain a tourist card, provided the length of the stay does not exceed 72 hours. Simply drive across the border (as almost 180,000 people do each day). For travel beyond Maneadero on the Pacific coast or south of Mexicali on Highway 5, a tourist card is officially required for each individual visitor, regardless of age.

If you are not a Mexican citizen and you intend on staying more than seven days in any region of Mexico, you are obligated to pay a Non-Immigrant Fee (D.N.I) which costs 210 pesos (around $20.00 dollars), payable at any Mexican Bank.

Visitors arriving by land and staying up to seven days are exempted from paying this fee. For any additional information, please check with the immigration authorities or with the Baja California State Tourism Secretariat.

And whether you stay the day, the night or the weekend, you can return to the U.S. just as easily. Non-U.S., and as of June 1st 2010, U.S. residents must present passports and visas for entry.

Prohibited Items

When you get to the border, the Mexican Customs authority has a red light/green light system set up for who gets their car inspected. If you get a red light and the bell sounds, you have to exit and go into the Customs Inspection area. The Mexican Custom Agents also randomly directs vehicles into Customs’ Inspection area. There is nothing to be worried about in case of a Customs’ inspection unless you have numerous items that you are trying to get across the border without authorization.

There are three items that can get you in very serious trouble in Mexico and these are: guns (any type), ammunition, and unlawful drugs. Please make sure you don’t leave a stray round rolling around in your trunk from your last hunting or target shooting expedition. If you do drugs it is very strongly recommended you leave your stash at home!

Now for the Drive

To get to the toll road from the border after entering Mexico through their port of entry, drive on the far right lane. Once you get to the point to where traffic is merging with you from the right side, immediately start looking for a chance to move to the far right lane that just formed to your right. Very quickly after that is the exit to the right to Rosarito by means of the “Scenic Road” AKA toll road to Rosarito / Ensenada. That will take you to the road that runs along the international border.

Follow your exit ramp straight ahead as it leads into the road running along the border – the huge border barriers will be on your right. This road goes up a hill sweeps to the left and heads down hill – near the bottom you’ll take the right hand exit toward Rosarito / Ensenada.

Up another hill and then you’ll drop down to the Playas de Tijuana intersection. Since you are going to Rosarito Beach you will follow the road as it curves left. – Do Not Exit. Keep to the left.

As you continue around the curve, the road will straighten out, and you will come to the first toll booth (This will be your only toll as if you get to the next toll booth you have gone too far). A toll fee of $2.00 US dollars (varies depending on exchange rate) will take you all the way to Rosarito Beach

The remaining portion of the Toll Road is a four lane divided roadway all the way to Ensenada. Congratulations, the worst is now behind you! The remaining part of the trip is “a piece of cake.” Enjoy the view of the ocean. The 17 mile scenic trip will take about fifteen minutes.

At Rosarito Beach, there are four exits off the toll road. The first exit will take your right into town. You’ll drive along Benito Juárez Boulevard (main street) for about two miles to the Downtown area. Avoid city traffic by staying on the toll road and take the fourth exit under an arch that welcomes you to Rosarito. This exit takes you directly to downtown (two short blocks).

Once you exit and go two blocks to the main road of Benito Juárez (as far as you can go), turn to your right and go five blocks. The Oceana Towers and Oceana Casa del Mar will be visible behind the shops and on the beach.

Take a left and find a parking space. Oceana Condominiums – Rosarito Inn reception office will be in the building to your right.

If you have trouble finding it, just ask one of the guards at Oceana Towers and he will be happy to point out the office.

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