Monday, February 20, 2006


My visit today to Los Algodones, Mexico

Cousin J & I drove to the border town of Los Algodones, Mexico. We had forgotten it was a holiday until we were about to exit the freeway in California to begin the 1 1/2 mile drive to the border. The traffic was backed up onto the freeway! Needless to say it took awhile to get to the crossing. I am putting these photos up in a slightly smaller size as there are eleven I am posting.

This first photo shows the border crossing from the US side as we approached it. You do NOT want to drive a vehicle in Mexico without having Mexican liability insurance. The law there is different from in the US and you are assumed guilty until proven innocent after an accident. If you have Mexican liability insurance you will be released after an accident. If you have no insurance, you will wait in jail until your trial and that can take quite a long time. Cousin J lives close enough that he is down there a lot so he just buys an annual policy.
Algodones 1

This is a typical street scene in the main business (label that "tourist") part of town. These guys on the corner use spray paint cans, like Krylon, to paint some really beautiful pictures. There is always a crowd around watching them, but this photo was taken from across the street and of the back side of their booth. You do get a feel for what the place looks like, though.
Algodones 2

You can see a partially constructed building in the background of this photo. That same building is in the background of the photo taken as we approached the border and we are not far into Mexico. Many of the buildings, inside and out, are painted in bright colors. The guy in the Indian costume is reportedly about the highest paid street vendor in town, just from his tip jar!
Algodones 3

There are some nice homes in town and this is one. Notice the concrete sidewalk and paved street:
Algodones 4
but, here is a street that is representative of the majority of residential neighborhoods. No sidewalks, dirt streets, smaller, not as nice homes.
Algodones 5

Los Algodones has come into the 21st century in the last year - they now have an espresso cafe where you (or I) can buy mochas! Here is the La Conquista Cafe,
Algodones 6
and the barista making a frozen drink for the people ahead of me.
Algodones 7
My large 20oz mocha cost only $3, tax included and it was good!

Cousin J bought some fresh asparagus from a street vender and her young son, for $2. He also bought a carton of American cigarettes for $17, less than half what they cost in Arizona.
Algodones 8

Snowbirds tend to go to Algodones for prescription drugs, eye glasses, general shopping and dental work. This is the office of Dr. Luis Escobar, a US trained dentist that Annie and I saw last year while we were here.
Algodones 9

This photo shows the ugly fence along the US/Mexican border from the Mexican side.
Algodones 10

There was a long line up waiting to cross the border back into the US and this is part of that line, both the vehicles and the pedestrians. It is slower getting back than it was entering Mexico. One thing to remember when you enter Mexico is make sure that you have NO firearms nor amunition. That seems to be what the Mexican border people are the most concerned about. Here is the photo of that line up and it shows a bit more of the town.
Algodones 11

I got back to the RV in the late afternoon. I'd say it was a successful trip. I got some Mexican coins for the grandkids, some pure vanilla (it is real cheap down there) and another crystal with an image laser burned inside to go on the lighted, rotating turntable we have at home. We also had mochas and lunch while there. I don't know if I'll go back in the two weeks I have left in Yuma, but possibly.

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I am going to remove the first comment as it is just a connection to a commercial site if you click on them.
Hi Dick, Looks like you had a nice visit to Mexico, you took some nice pictures. Glad you are enjoying this trip. Cheers, Carol
Hi Dick, very nice report on the Mexico border town. We went to Algodones after Q and the line is not long a all. I am suprised to see such a long line on your visit. I went to dentist in Mexico to clean my teeth for $30, I felt the my US dentist was better and I wonder if your's dentist in Mexico is better than the one I randomly pick.

Did you compose your Blog from on the little box on web or you are using some kind of Blog software to send it in. I like your way better than mine.

We will miss you since our one month lease is up on March 16, unless we decide to stay longer which is very possible.

Safe trip and see you on the road.
Dick, Thank you for your visit and nice comment at my place, I Know I am going
to enjoy visiting here and traveling along with you and Huggy. What a nice
trip you shared with us on your visit to Mexico, you certainly painted me a
very different picture from one I have always had. Thank you for sharing with
me. Be safe :)
What a great report and photos on your visit to Mexico. It's really interesting to see the 2 sides of town ... the "well-off" and the not so. You have taken some great photos.

I noticed you have put me on your blog-roll ... thank you so much, I feel honoured. I will be putting you on mine next time I update.

Hope the trip continues to go well.

Take care, Meow
Carol, thank you. The visit to Mexico was fun, as always.

Padraic, I am comfortable with Dr Luis but now that I have dental insurance I'll have at least most of my work done at home.

I am just using the box Blogger provides to key in my posts but have been thinking of activating their MS Word option. I have my photos hosted on Flickr & learned they look better if I import the HTML into my post rather than using Flickrs "Blog This" option. Maybe I am doing okay with Blogger since I was used to using ancient software at work that was very basic.

Let me know if you stay beyond the 16th in Benson.

Ms Vickie, you have an interesting blog and your house is fantastic! Algodones is a very small town that plays to Snowbirds. I don't think there is any drug problem there and very few drinking establishments. It is a safe, fun place to visit. I don't know how well they will do when passports are required to cross the border, though.

Meow, being able to see more of the town than just where you can walk to is another advantage to having a car over there. My cousin also knows people socially who live in Algodones, so he knows his way around town.

I got BlogRolling up & going today so entered quite a few favorites. Now I have to learn how to really use their software.
Hi Dick, got your questions on my blog, posted answers there, but I will also post them here to save you the trouble of looking through my comments (if you didn't want to !).
Wow, you must have done some reading, having read through my archives !!!! OK, in answer to your questions ...
A caravan is what you guys call a trailer, I guess. It is hooked onto the back of your car, but is fitted out with everything like an RV, but seperate to the car (does that make sense !!). Ours is permanently on-site, about 25 foot long (I think), and has an aluminium annexe attached on a concrete slab floor. It has a real bathroom, and is used like a holiday home. We have added decking, railing, virtually another whole outdoor living area. This caravan can never be towed, as it's tow-hitch has been sawn off !!
My camera is a Kodak DX6490, with 4 megapixel, and 10 optical zoom. Sometimes I use software to "play" with the photos, usually I just use them "as is".
Believe me, I take heaps of photos. We went travelling for almost 7 weeks last year, and I took almost 2000 photos. I am in a few !!
Love reading about your travels, Dick. They are fabulous.
I will post this same answer on your blog, in case you miss it here.
Take care, Meow
Dick these are amazing pictures, thank you for sharing them! Wow that IS one ugly fence "border" isn't it?

Thank you for adding me to your blogroll, I just added you to my links too. :-)

That first comment here that you had to edit out? That is called "spam" and all you have to do is go into the blogger "help" secion on your blog, and find "word verification". That means we all have to type in a given bunch of letters when we comment before it's accepted. That keeps the spammers out for you. Most bloggers that use blogger comments like you do, have word verification now for that reason.
we leave for algodones in jan and we worry about all the border crossing dangers that the news is full of. is it safe to cross there ?
Just a note that I am in the process of writing a book about Mexican Dentistry in Algodones in particuar. With a lot of detail that I have aquired by spending 3 months in the town this year. Send Inquires to
(joe AT )with a subject line of "Algodones Book".
Thanks for the plug.
Hi Joe and all forum members:

Does anyone have a recommendation for a competent dentist in Los Algodones? I must have some work done soon (two crowns and three cavities). I live in Phoenix and will drive down by myself. Is it safe for a female alone to cross the border on foot?

thanks for any rcommendations you all can make!

Annie C
Please help!! I need any references for a Dentist in Los Algodones, Mexico who does implants. Has anyone had them done there?? There are so many listed on the websites, but I was hoping for someone who has had this done.
SANI dental does implants. My husband and I both had mini implants for dentures there and are very happy. While we were there another couple was having a total of 4 implants for crowns done. They were very happy as well. The specialist is Dr. Molina.
928.257.4284 Thats the american line. it rings right in the office. We recomend them.
I went to Sani Dental as well...loved them..had dr. molina as well!! DEF...recommend them. Dad had all vaneers done there and his look great!!! good luck!!
After my Father-in-law told us who did his dentures,my husband had his lower teeth pulled and got dentures there. Cheaper than it was here with insurance. Doctor's name is Celsa Salmeron 011-52-658-517-7685...right inside the border by the shopping. 1st St. & Avenue A. He is very happy with them and they look great!
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