Yay, you made it to the border! You may get stopped on the US side by Border Patrol and questioned. Then you proceed to the actual border crossing. Mexico has a “Green Light” “Red Light” system for customs inspections. As you might have guessed green light means “Go” and red light means “Stop”. Talk about your no profiling system! If you get stopped they may ask for your license and registration and check your VIN, or they may do a quick search of your vehicle. This is relatively quick and easy (as long as you are following all the rules of what you can and cannot bring into the country). One important thing to note is that bringing beef across the border, in any form, including dog food, is not allowed. If you get stopped and they find beef, it will be confiscated. Also if you’re bringing any pets, make sure you contact your vet and obtain a Certificate of Good Health.
Once you cross the border you’re going to continue into Sonoyta and follow the signs to Rocky Point. If you’ve forgotten anything, or need a bathroom stop, the Circle K on the main road has a nice bathroom and a decent selection of snacks and toiletries. There are also a few OXXO’s and supermercados in Sonoyta.
You’ll be driving on Highway 8 all the way to RP. This a well-traveled, well paved, two lane highway. You will see a variety of signs along the road. One of our favorites is the one that says “No Hassle Zone”. This just means you are in the free trade area and don’t need a tourist visa. The drive is beautiful. If you have any car trouble, there are emergency phones placed about 10-15 KM apart and the highway is also patrolled by the Green Angels (kind of a Mexican State funded AAA).
There are several area de descansos, or rest areas on the side of the road. If you’re interested in a nature adventure you can plan a trip to El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve, which features volcanic formations, craters and sand dunes.
On some of the busier weekends, you may come across military checkpoints. These can be intimidating as they are in full camouflage, sometimes with masks, and carry machine guns. They will motion you over, please pull over, and they will check your car to make sure you are not smuggling drugs or other contraband. As long as you aren’t, you’ll be waived thru in short order. This is Mexico’s way of keeping the tourists safe. Although it seems alarming at first, it is for your protection.
As you enter the town of Puerto Peñasco you’ll come to the new bridge and round-a-bout. Go straight over the bridge to head into town, or follow the signs on the round-a-bout to get to the Mayan Palace, Sandy Beach, or Laguna Shores. You have arrived! Bienvenidos and Feliz Viaje.