Baja for up to 72 hours and exploring as far south as the
seaport city of Ensenada requires no visa or other paperwork
for U.S. citizens. Simply drive or walk across the border
(as more than 186,000 people do each day) and enjoy the unusual
foods, music, festivities and fabulous crafts of Mexico -
without the bureaucratic hassles usually inherent in foreign
you stay the day, the night or the weekend, you can return
to San Diego just as easily. US citizens need only proof of
citizenship -- such as a driver's license, passport or birth
certificate -- to re-enter California. Non-U.S. citizens must
present a passport and visa for entry to the United States.
stays beyond 72 hours or to travel beyond Ensenada, a tourist
card and fee is required (at this writing, about 195 Mexican
Pesos or $20 US). The tourism board suggests paying the fee
at any bank in Baja before traveling beyond Ensenada. Visitors
can pay just across the border at the Bilbao Vizcaya Bank
(open 24 hours daily), next to the Mexican Immigration Office.
For payment later (within 72 hours), obtain a form from the
Mexican Consulate in San Diego or the Mexican Immigration
Office just across the border from San Ysidro. Proof of nationality
is required --current passport, official ID or birth certificate.
you're coming in via airplane, note that all international
airlines authorized to travel to Mexico will include the fee
in the total cost of the ticket (ask for details at time of