Jan 25, 2006, 7:54 PM
Post #8 of 10
Alex is right, the Mariposa border crossing is exit 4 on I19 and it will save you a ton of time. However, I would suggest driving into downtown Nogales, AZ, parking your vehicle in a lot either behind Burger King or Ueta, and walking across the border into Nogales, Son. There you can exchange your US $ to Mex $ at the best rate. Right now the peso is 10.45 to 1 dollar. Look around at a few of the Casas de Cambio before handing over your money though, some vary in price as much as ten cents which is a big deal when you are trading a couple hundred dollars. After you exhange your money, you can walk back to your vehicle, go back up I19 to exit 4, cross there, and then take care of the vehicle permit (about $20) and tourist visas (another $20 each) at km 21. You'll see the signs.
As for the amount of money, we (2 adults, 1 baby), made it to Michoacan from Mexicali on about $400US. We stayed at the "lower end" hotels, but we were just there to sleep after all. We were able to eat three meals a day and had just enough to hang out and buy a few souvieners in Puerto Vallarta. The tolls are about $70 to $150 pesos depending on how long the road is, and gas is about $2.25US per gallon ( I think, I haven't filled up on the Mexico side in awhile, my 4runner doesn't like Mexican gas).
I don't recommend using your ATM/credit card very often, only at hotels and for large purchases at major stores (Soriana, Coppel, Elektra). The banks here charge outragous fees for withdrawls and your bank may charge extra as well. One withdrawl I made at an ATM inside Soriana cost me almost $7 US. The Mexican bank charged me $4 and my bank charged $2.5. I make my withdrawls at the B of A ATM right across the border now.
What happens down in Mexico...Stays in Mexico.