Okay, we visited Baja California in Mexico, not British Columbia in Canada:-) This morning we went to Los Algodones, B.C., Mexico. Algodones, as is commonly referred to, is a town just over the Mexican border from Yuma and is a favorite among snowbirds. The town has a four-block radius, which houses more pharmacies, doctors, dentists and opticians than any other four block area in the world … or so I have read. During the winter it is a haven for Americans and Canadians looking for these services, particularly dentists and pharmacies. We saw ads in our local paper that show teeth cleaning for $20.00 USD, a crown is $130.00 USD! I’m not sure of the drug costs but again I’m told they are mucho cheap, but you can only bring back a three-month supply.
So armed with our passports we park the truck in a lot near the border for $6.00 and walk into Mexico … that’s right, we just walked right in, no questions, no showing our passports, no customs officials!
It was an interesting town and if you just walk in and take a look you could be out of there in twenty minutes. To really see what is there you have to be adventurous and walk into a doorway and see where it takes you. Tucked inside is a warren of walkways and courtyards filled with medical services and shops selling jewelry, pottery, metal sculptures, hats, t-shirts … and the list goes on!
When you enter the town you are immediately bombarded with billboards advertising the services available.
With a little trepidation we decided to be adventurous so we walked into many doorways and saw lots of dental offices and souvenir shops. There were Mexican’s standing outside dental offices offering no wait services and Mexican’s encouraging you to buy souvenirs. On trips to other Mexican destinations I have found the sales people to be very pushy and often annoying but in Algodones all you need to say is “No, thank-you” and they leave you alone, absolutely no pressure:-)
I wasn’t able to get as many pictures as I would have like because they kept calling me “Paparazzi” and although they were friendly about it, I didn’t want them to think I might make them famous:-)
We spent a couple hours wandering around and also walked a little out of the main shopping area where we had no concerns for our safety. As we headed back through US Customs the line was short and we were told this was because alcohol is not sold until 11:00 a.m. and many people were waiting to make their purchases before heading back. We did check out the liquor prices but they were not really any different than prices in the states.
At US Customs, where you go through individually not as a family and after providing my passport, I was asked “What are you bringing back?”, “Nothing” I replied; “What were you doing in Mexico?”, “We just came to look” I replied; “Who is we?”, “My husband and I”; “Thanks, have a nice day”. A very simple process!
Definitely worth the visit even if you don’t need medications or dental work done:-)
Until next time …