Get ready for a fun, relaxing and simply a great vacation on the endless sandy beaches of Puerto Penasco.
Puerto Penasco is about 65 miles from the Arizona point of entry at Lukeville, Az and it is considered a “free zone”. Therefore no special car permits are required to drive into Rocky Point.
All visitors driving their own vehicles into Mexico must have Mexican auto insurance. Liability is required; full coverage is recommended.
Traveling to Rocky Point is a short, safe and easy drive. Crossing the Arizona / Mexico border at the Lukeville / Sonoyta port of entry via AZ 85 is open from 6am to midnight 7 days a week (currently 6am to 8pm due to Covid).
CROSSING THE BORDER INTO MEXICO
Once you drive across the border there is a random red light / green light system for Mexico customs inspection. Seventy percent of the time you will get a green light and you will continue into Mexico with no further questions or customs check. If you get a red light simply pull into an open inspection parking spot for a routine customs entry inspection by a Mexican customs officer.
They will ask you questions about your visit and they may also inspect your belongings.
Custom agents may also ask you routine questions such as;
- Do you have currency over $10,000 with you?
- Do you have any firearms or ammunition?
Other standard procedure questions may be asked. Don’t be nervous and don’t act suspicious. Be yourself and answer the questions honestly. They will instruct you when to proceed.
You may need to provide the following documentation:
- Title or registration verifying ownership of your vehicle as well as any towed units, travel trailers, recreational vehicles, etc. A bill of sale is NOT a valid proof of ownership. For leased, rental or company owned vehicles, you must obtain a letter from the actual owner authorizing you to take the vehicle into Mexico.
- Pet vaccination records if you bring your pets with you.
RANDOM CHECK POINTS
The Mexican government also may have a random check point along the 65 mile highway to Rocky Point, this is standard procedure just as the US has checkpoints on the north side of the border.
ALLOWED ITEMS TO BRING INTO MEXICO
You’re allowed $300 USD tax fee in new merchandise per person traveling inside vehicle.
- Personal luggage duty free. If you are bringing items into Mexico other than those needed for clothing or hygiene they must be declared at customs.
- Recreational gear
- 1 carton of cigarettes
- 1 liter of alcohol per person in the vehicle 21 years or older.
- Medicine for personal use is authorized. In order to bring prescription medication into Mexico, you must have a valid prescription from your doctor.
- Shelf stable, canned and hard cooked meats.
- Dry cooked, packed and bottled foods
- Roasted coffee, dried prunes, packaged spices, dried herbs, preserved fruits and vegetables cooked or dried mushrooms and dried truffles.
- Dogs and cats (a maximum of two per traveler) with health certificates and rabies vaccine records.
Import tax may be charged if these limits are exceeded.
PROHIBITED ITEMS TO BRING TO MEXICO
- Guns / ammunition.
- Meat and game.
- More than $10,000 in US currency or equivalent, or other monetary instruments.
- Illegal drugs and / or any controlled substances. This includes “medical marijuana”.
- Plants, fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, raw cereals, etc.
- Certain flours like corn meal.
- Wild plants and hunt trophies.
- Homemade food items.
ONCE YOU’RE IN MEXICO
Make sure you follow road sign and directions. Speed signs are shown in kilometers. One kilometer is equivalent to .6 of a mile, this means a speed limit of 90km/hr for example is approximately 54 miles an hour.
The road from the border to the highway is consider a residential road and many times children are out playing in the area, it is for this reason the Sonoyta police are vigilant about speeding in the area. Please be sure you are not exceeding the speed limit. If you get a speeding ticket in Mexico it is standard procedure to follow the officer to the police station an pay the fine. It is not permitted to pay the ticket to the officer at the traffic stop.
When you’re driving in Mexico you may see The Green Angels, called Angeles Verdes and they are government employees driving green and white trucks who patrol the highway between rocky Point and the border to help distressed motorists. There are no charges for their services. They patrol sunrise to sunset. To signal them pull off to the side of the road and raise the hood of your vehicle.
BORDER WAIT TIMES
Traffic is greatly increased during holiday and busy weekends. Please plan your trip accordingly. A good idea is to arrive a day early, and stay a day later.
You can check border wait times online
PROHIBITED ITEMS TO BRING BACK TO THE US
- Fruits and vegetables
- Plants and seeds
- Live Birds
- Cuban Cigars
- Alcohol in excess of one liter
- Illegal drugs or medical marijuana
- Prescription drugs must be accompanied by a prescriptions from your doctor.
RETURNING TO THE US
When returning back to the US through Lukeville, AZ. you will need the following:
Birth certificate and state issued driver’s license at the very minimum. US passports or passport cards are preferred, however not mandatory as of the time of this writing. For children under 16, you will need a valid birth certificate for each child or a US passport or passport card.
Pet vaccination records if you bring your pets with you.
GETTING THERE BY CAR
Driving your own car is the most inexpensive way to get to Puerto Penasco. The most direct way to get to Puerto Penasco is from the Arizona border thru the point of entry in Lukeville, Az. The distance from Phoenix or Tucson is about 220 miles (350 km).
Most US insurance companies ARE NOT recognized in Mexico. Make sure to purchase Mexican car insurance as it’s the law.
SPEED LIMITS IN PUERTO PENASCO
- 6mph in school zones.
- 18mph on city streets.
- 37 mph on any boulevard, unless posted otherwise.