Walk Into Nogales Mexico.
Shop and Enjoy The Traditions.
If you're visiting Tucson or Santa Cruz County in Arizona, don't pass on the opportunity to visit Old Mexico, about 60 miles south of Tucson. At the Mexico border there are "twin cities" that are both called "Nogales". On the US side is "Nogales Arizona" and on the Mexico side is "Nogales, Sonora Mexico". The two cities share a rich history. As soon as you pass through the DeConcini Port of Entry from downtown Nogales, Arizona into Nogales Mexico, you'll be walking in the same footsteps as the early Spanish Conquistadors as they first explored the western area of North America.
Origins of the highway into Nogales Mexico is quite interesting. At about the same time as the American Colonies in the east were rebelling against England the Spaniards were creating an ancient footpath originally called the "King's Highway" which later became known as "El Camino Real". The King's Highway can be traced from the ocean near Guaymas, Mexico at the Gulf of California.
Crossing The Border
From Tucson, take Interstate 19 about 60 miles into Nogales, Arizona. Walking is the most popular way to cross the border into Nogales, Mexico. There are many guarded parking lots near the DeConcini Port of Entry. Parking is a very reasonable at under $5.00 and most of the shopping and eating attractions are close to the border and within easy walking distance.
Experience the flavor of Old Mexico and its traditions in Nogales, Mexico, a city of about 200,000. Take the time to enjoy the restaurants-La Roca and El Greco are a couple of local haunts but there are many terrific restaurants to choose from. As you enter Mexico, you will see the Flag Island of the Americas, which has banners for all of the Mexican states-Nogales is in the state of Sonora. Turn right at Campillo Street and walk down three blocks to Obregon Street, the most popular street for shopping, browsing, exploring and enjoying the people, sights, colors and sounds of Mexico.
If you love negotiating for hand-crafted Mexican products, this is the place. You ask how much, counter with a lower offer and the negotiating fun begins on everything from pottery, glassware, furniture, baskets, rugs, leather, jewelry and hand made crafts. Business is done in English and American currency is preferred. Each visitor may bring back $800 worth of merchandise duty-free, including 1 liter of liquor (if you are 21 or older).
Many visitors now cross the border specifically to purchase prescription drugs, and pharmacies line the streets near the border crossing. Be sure you have a legal prescription issued to your US physician. There are also many cosmetic dentists in Nogales that charge significantly lower fees versus their US competitors. Be sure to check for references.
Take note of the historic buildings remaining in this area including the missions built by Spanish colonials, the Old City Hall of 1914, and an 1853 homestead, Pete Kitchens Outpost, now a restaurant.
There are laws, rules and guidelines governing crossing the border. Before crossing give the U.S. Customs office a call to check for current regulations. The Mexican and U.S. Customs offices are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions. Call (520) 885-0694 for more information.
Visit Tucson ASAP for more information about Nogales Mexico. For lodging see Tucson Hotels, Tucson Bed and Breakfasts, RV Parks and Vacation Rentals.
Nogales Mexico City Map
Click map to enlarge