USA Southwestern Touring Guide
U.S.A. / Mexican Border - Douglas, Arizona
Agua Prieta, Mexico
On 12th and F street corner is the
Consulate General of Mexico
Per the Hotel Gadsden Website:
"Just a mile from the Gadsden Hotel lies the International Boundary Line that separates Arizona from Old Mexico."
"No Passports or visas are needed to cross over the Mexican Border into the quaint town of Agua Prieta (Dark Water). Many people enjoy an interesting excursion to the excellent curio shops in Agua Prieta for souvenirs and duty-free items."
Little to no I.D. is needed to cross into Mexico, but you will need positive proof of your American Citizenship to return to the U.S.A. A U.S.A. driver's license will normally suffice, but it is also advisable to carry a copy of your Birth Certificate (BC) with you. You will be stopped, and your driver's license scanned, and if necessary required to show alternative paperwork. You will also be asked for your reason for being in Mexico, and if you purchased items that may be taxable.
The Mexican Border Fence
The border fence on the Mexican side is high and consist of metal post (seen as the black area in the above picture, in front of the post on the American side is a ~ 15 foot wide cement lined ditch, then coils of razor wire, and then the white metal mesh fence shown. The person standing there is about 5' 8" tall to give you an idea of the height of the fencing. The border crossing is about 1,500 feet west of this location and this fence stretches for miles in both directions. Border patrol vehicles are abundant on the highways leading in and out of Douglas, and all other border towns in Cochise County, Arizona.
The Shopping Area
As one drives down the Pam American highway toward Agua Prieta and the border crossing, he or she will see a very new looking shopping center (strip malls) to the right about 500 feet from the border crossing on the America Side.
Caution, turn into the first shopping center road, the second, the one closest to the border does not immediately go into the shopping center and will take you to the far end behind the Walmart building.
This shopping area contains your typical fast food joints, a Walmart, and many other American stores, and is your best bet for parking if you are walking over the border into Mexico. The parking area shown on most maps by the border crossing may not be available, and is difficult to get to and can get confusing. Driving over the border is not really recommended, but you can do so providing you have proper I.D, and Insurance coverage (American coverage is not usually acceptable, you need Mexican coverage).
Caution: Not turning into the shopping center will most probably get you into the line of cars making the crossing, and if you do not have proper I.D. and insurance, getting out of line or turned around can be a major problem for you.
After parking in the Walmart or other strip mall lots, you can walk via a sidewalk, or just follow the stream of Mexicans through their shortcuts to the border; they will be laden down with goods purchased on the American Side of the Border.
The walk will take you across a small park, a foot bridge, and to the right side of the border entry as you are facing into Mexico. When returning to America you will cross through a line of traffic on the right side, facing the American Border entry.
The park and church are about 5 blocks south of the border, and is relatively safe to walk, but watch for poor sidewalks and cars.
See Agua Prieta page >>>
Per City of Douglas Website:
What to do in Mexico?
"Agua Prieta is a quiet, thriving city and is also a popular shopping destination for locals and visitors alike. Park in Douglas (see maps ) and stroll over. You may also cross by car. You are not required to show any identification to enter the city, but make sure you do have identification in order to re-enter the U.S. You will also be asked to declare your purchases and there are limits on the number of certain items you can bring back to the US (see our resources page)."
"If you are traveling with luggage, you may wish to park in the Douglas lot and walk or ride over in a shuttle. Re-entry into the US may take longer if Customs agents wish to inspect your belongings. There are nominal daily fees to park your automobile and ride the shuttle."
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