Encuentro/Border Convergence Travel Considerations and “Know Your Rights” Resources.
Travel Information for Nogales
The Nogales International Airport is a private airport for general aviation. Nearest airports for commercial flights from Mexico are in Tijuana (TIJ), Mexicali (MXL) and Hermosillo (HMO). From the U.S. side the nearest commercial airports are in Tucson (TUS) and Phoenix (PHX).
There is no passenger train service in much of Mexico with the exception of the Copper Canyon Railway between Chihuahua (nearest Mexican train station) and Los Mochis through the Copper Canyon. Only commercial freight carrier cars travel the rails up into Nogales from both sides. From the U.S. side the nearest passenger train service is the Amtrak Sunset Limited (Los Angeles to New Orleans via San Antonio) and the Texas Eagle (Los Angeles to Chicago via San Antonio) passing through Tuscon
- From further up in the U.S., take I-19 South from Tucson which is off exit #260 along I-10 going through Tucson between Phoenix and El Paso.
- From further south in Mexico, take Mexican Federal Highway 15D (Carretera Federal 15D) North, which goes along the Pacific Coast from Tepic up to Nogales. Federal Highway 15D ends at the border crossing with the U.S.
- Be aware that you must have auto insurance that is valid in Mexico.
- U.S. Americans may travel up to 12 miles (20 kilometers) inside Mexico without a tourist permit/vehicle permit. Beyond that distance, or if you intend to stay more than 72 hours in Mexico, a permit is required. Vehicle permits are available at the 21 km mark in the immigration and customs office. Passport, drivers license, and proof of Mexican insurance are required for processing an application for a permit. Permits costs 170 pesos and must be paid to one of the banks listed on the application form.
- Rental cars from the US must have documentation granting authorization to the driver on the rental agreement to bring them across the border into Mexico; otherwise, you may be suspected of stealing the car.
- Driving around the city is a real hassle. Expect bumper-to-bumper traffic inside the city, and moderately congested traffic along Highway 15 south. Watch out for jaywalkers at all times when you’re driving along the border.
- Shuttle buses run from both sides of the border daily. Be aware that US customs will stop and search these shuttle buses for drugs and people attempting to cross the border without paperwork, so expect delays.
- Buses are pretty much the main mode of public transportation within Mexico. There’s several busing companies throughout Mexico. Two of the main carriers are Tufesa Auto and Estrella Blanca . For Executive lines see TAP .
- Most people simply park their cars in Nogales AZ, and walk across the border into Mexico. Typically, you won’t even notice any border police on the Mexican side of the border so entrance into the city is fairly easy. Be aware of your surroundings, but don’t be paranoid about visiting the city.
- If you are walking across the border from the United States into Mexico, do not forget your passport, US Passport Card, and/or your alien registration card (commonly called the “green card”). You are required to have such documentation to cross into the US side of the border. A driver’s license is acceptable documentation for US Border police – only if it is issued from a US state that participates in the Enhanced Drivers License program (at the time of writing this entry only drivers licenses issued from: Michigan, Vermont, Washington state, and New York are acceptable). Lack of such items will prolong your ability to cross the border, as you’ll be subjected to questioning demanding proof of US citizenship or legal residence status.