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Border Shuttle Instructions

Although we can arrange for patients to be picked up at the San Diego Airport for a small transportation cost, or you can take public transportation. Click here for instructions from the Airport to the Border.

The majority of our patients are from San Diego and L.A., and they get to the US-Tijuana border on their own, walk across, and have us pick them up at our designated pick up point. Then, when they are ready to go back to the US, we take them back to the border. There is no charge for this service. Below are the instructions.

1.Getting to the San Ysidro, CA – Tijuana border

You can get to the border by car or via the trolley. If you come by car, either on the 805 freeway or Interstate 5, make sure you get off at exit 1-A, which will be well marked with a green road sign with flashing yellow lights. The sign will say “LAST USA EXIT, CAMINO DE LA PLAZA”. If you miss the exit, you will drive right into Tijuana, so pay attention.

As you come down the exit ramp, you will come to a traffic light at Camino de la Plaza Street. Take a left at the light, and go up over the bridge to San Ysidro Blvd. Turn right at the light, and look for a place to park. There is a pay parking lot immediately on your right, and there is another one on your left behind the “Jack in the Box”.

2. Enter Mexico, then walk to the pick up point.

Once you park your car, and before you enter Mexico, make sure you CALL US. We need to get your description, and send the shuttle van to meet you.

From the street in front of your parking lot, you will be able to see the Trolley Station, which stops right next to exit from US Customs. There are signs to guide you to the path to enter Mexico. Just go down the side of the Trolley tracks, heading to the South. You’ll notice a McDonalds on the left side of the trolley tracks; your pedestrian pathway lies just behind that building. Follow this pathway, entering a gate that says “Welcome to Mexico”, continuing into the Mexican Customs Building. Be prepared with your passport, and to fill out a tourist entry form. Exiting Mexican Customs, follow the path straight ahead.

The sidewalk will take you up to a street, where there are a lot of Taxi’s, but you will ignore them, and follow the sidewalk as it turns to your right. Continue ahead, and as you cross over the bridge, you will see the MEDAC building straight ahead. It is a three story building, all mirror glass, with a sign on the roof that says “MEDAC”. You will need to make your way to that building, as we will meet you there with the shuttle van. Just come down off the bridge, and walk straight ahead, and cross the street and stand in front of the main entrance to the building. Our driver, will meet you there in front of the building, identify himself, and take you on to the clinic. We also provide shuttle service back to the border when you finish.

For those who are arriving at the San Diego Airport, let us know, and we will arrange your transportation in to Tijuana from there.

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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.

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