From Tucson, Take I-10 south to I-19 south, exit Mariposa Road (Mexican Truck Route).
THIS AVOIDS DRIVING THROUGH DOWNTOWN NOGALES!
The Border Crossing is open from 6:00 am to 10 pm.
Before you cross over you can make a pit stop and grab a cup of coffee at Carl’s Jr., I-Hop and/or top off your gas tank.
Immediately after crossing you will see immigration officials, you DO NOT need to stop, this is for people traveling into the City of Nogales. Follow the signs to Hermosillo.
The first toll is approximately 44 pesos.
NOTE: The toll stops will no longer accept US Dollars, please ensure that you have exchanged your dollars into pesos to pay the tolls prior to entering Mexico.
The next "official”' business is an immigration stop. If you get a green light "pase", just keep going. If you get a red light, pull over. No paperwork is required here. They just want to know where you are going and will take a look at what you are bringing in. The checkpoint where you do your paper work is approximately 16 miles across the border at milepost marker 21. This is a required stop where you do the paperwork for you personal Visa. Border Info
Go to the IMAGRACION Building to obtain your personal VISA.
Next along the way is another toll which is approximately 20 pesos, just outside of Magdalena. There are Clean restrooms and good Quesadillas at the Asadero Kino, Next you will come to the town of Santa Ana. This is a good place to stop and eat at either Elba Restaurant or for the more adventurous across the street at Asadero Las Brasas (good Carne Asada tacos). Elba is like a Mexican Denny’s with extremely clean restrooms. Just south of Benjamin Hill is a required stop at the Zona Revision. Expect to be waved through this one going south. On your return they will probably ask you where you've been and where you're going. Take off your sunglasses, respond with courtesy and directly - don't get chatty.
The next and final toll is just before Hermosillo (the state Capital). The toll is approximately 61 pesos and there are clean restrooms.
In Hermosillo, you have two choices:
Turn left on Periferico, the first light signal that is poorly marked OR Travel through Downtown.
Both take about the same amount of time. The periferico has less traffic. Downtown is great to see, there are green trees and statutes.
About an hour and a half south of Hermosillo, you will see the SAN CARLOS turn-off.
Take that exit (now a 4 lane highway) and go approximately 3 miles until you see a sign on the left side of the road on a hilltop that says CONDOMINIOS PILAR. Go a little beyond the sign, where you will see a center turn circle. Turn left there and follow the road to both Condominios Pilar and Bahia Delfin.
Print & Go
RE-ENTERING THE UNITED STATES
Effective June 1, 2009
If you are a U.S. Citizen, you will be required to have either a U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card to re-enter the United States from Mexico.
The US/Mexican Border Crossing at Mariposa is open from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. daily
The Downtown Nogales Border Crossing is open 24 hours
About 13 miles south of Nogales, you will come to "Checkpoint Charlie". This is a required stop. It is at this point that you can obtain your own personal "Visa". Pull into the parking lot PRIOR to the required stop.
Go to the first building (Imagracion), Each person in the vehicle, age 2 and above, must prove citizenship to obtain their visa and any of the following will work:
If you will be staying in Mexico for 72 hours to a week, you will receive a Temporary Visa.
If you will be staying In Mexico over one week, or making multiple entries over the next 6 months, you will receive a Visitor Caret (Forma Migratoria). During your stay In Mexico, you must visit any branch of any bank operating in Mexico and pay your fee of 150 pesos; ($15.00 U.S.) per person. The bank will stamp your Visitor Card "Fee Paid", Keep your stamped Visitor Card with you at all times as it will be subject to verification by Inspectors. You will surrender your Visa at Checkpoint Charlie upon expiration, or your final exit out of the country.
* STICKERS FOR YOUR CAR ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED
Along the way...
- Watch Out for Signs that read “TOPES”. These are lethal speed bumps that can appear when you least expect them. You should bring your car to a nearly complete stop before crossing over them.
- The Gas Stations are PEMEX (Green Stations). You will find very few self-serve gas stations along your way. If the attendants clean your windows, it is customary to tip them 3-4 pesos (.30-.40 cents).
- Money: The locals are very gracious about accepting US dollars both in San Carlos and all the way while you are traveling. It is probably easier to travel with pesos, but not necessary. Everyone will pull out their little calculators and make the exchange from pesos to dollars for you. The exchange rate varies almost daily. The exchange rate will be posted on the toll stations.
- Tolls may be avoided by driving on the LIBRE roads, however it should be noted that these are backroads, NOT the main highway. If you plan on traveling this route, please allow for extra travel time, and do not attempt without a strong knowledge of the Spanish language!
- Green Angels – A Pleasant Surprise! There are green utility trucks that patrol the highway to lend assistance if your car happens to break down.