by Guest Blogger C.J. Crawford
Los Algodones is a small Mexican border town is located just minutes from Yuma and many travelers come from other states in the U.S. to take advantage of some of the services that are offered in this neighboring town.
EASY DIRECTIONS: Getting there is easy from the Yuma Cabana. Exit our driveway and turn right on 4th Avenue. Follow 4th Avenue about 2 miles and then turn left onto Interstate 8 (West). Stay on Interstate 8 for about 5 miles and exit at Algodones Road. Turn left at the top of the off ramp on Algodones Road and follow it about a mile to the Mexican border. Right before you get to the border, you can turn right in to a parking lot (owned and operated by a local Indian tribe) and pay for parking. Then just walk over the border. Once you cross over the border you'll have fun walking around and exploring the shops. Everything is within a few blocks so you won't need a car or taxi.
- YC TRAVEL TIP: Wear comfortable walking shoes. Flat rubber-soled shoes are recommended.
CUSTOMS: If you are planning on purchasing any medications in quantity (more than a month's supply) please stop by the U.S. Customs office before going in to Mexico. Speak to a supervisor and find out exactly how much of your medications you will be allowed to carry back. Also, if you are buying for anyone else other than for yourself, watch out! Technically, you are not allowed to buy medications even for your spouse. (I found this out the hard way. I bought a family member a year's supply of asthma medicine and then ended up being sent into the interrogation room! It was not fun). You can find the U.S. Customs Service fine print here.
- YC TRAVEL TIP: When buying medicine at the pharmacies, check the pricing at several different stores. The prices do vary.
- YC TRAVEL TIP: Bargain! Bargain! Bargain! Never pay full price for the stuff the vendors want to sell you. Offering them low prices is part of the fun of being in Mexico.
EATING & DRINKING: Should you eat in the Mexican restaurants? I've eaten in a couple different Algodones restaurants when I was younger but now I'm more cautious. I eat before I go to Mexico. Have no fear drinking bottled beverages: beer, soda. Just don't pour it over ice. And don't drink the water. WARNING: Restrooms are hard to find, so plan ahead.
DENTAL & EYE CARE SERVICES: Many travelers have told us that they saved thousands of dollars by having their dental work done in Mexico while they stay at Yuma Cabana. Many of the dentists have state-of-the-art equipment, training and charge only a fraction of what similar work would cost in the USA.
Last time I checked, you can get a computerized eye exam for $10 or you can pay $39 for a pair of prescription glasses with the eye examination & glaucoma test included at no extra charge. Shop around for the best deal. If you can't wait for 2 hours for your glasses to be ready, they can mail them to you in the USA.
- YC TRAVEL TIP: To find the best service provider, get a recommendation from a friend.