Mesa Arizona Office
Monday - Friday, 10am - 6pm |
Saturday, 10am - 5pm |
El Mar Diving Center
2245 West Broadway Road
Mesa Arizona 85202
San Carlos Mexico Office
Summer Store Hours
(March - October)
8am to 5pm, Open Everyday
Winter Store Hours
(November - February)
8am to 5pm, Closed Tuesdays
Distances to San Carlos
Sonora Driving Distances
San Carlos, Mexico is approximately 4 hours (250 miles) south of the border at Nogales, AZ. The route is Mexico Federal Highway 15, which is a four-lane road. This route will take you through Imuris, Magdalena, Santa Anna and Hermosillo. There are three toll booths enroute at Nogales, Magdalena and Hermosillo. The toll for an automobile is from $2-$6 at each booth, depending on currency rates. Make sure to have Pesos for the toll booths, they are not accepting US Dollars at this time.
There are two border crossing points in Nogales. The original point is downtown and can be reached by following 1-19 from Tucson to it's end or by going south on Business 19 if coming from the east on AZ Hwy 82. This crossing is open 24 hours per day. It is usually very busy and is not suitable if you are towing a boat. We prefer and recommend the newer Mariposa crossing on Hwy 189. If coming from Tucson, exit I-19 at Hwy 189 and go west. If coming from the east on Hwy 82, take North Business 19 and turn left at the second traffic light. The crossing is open daily from 6AM to 10PM, but is much less constricted. It is the way to go if towing anything bigger than a jet-ski or ATV.
Border Crossing Times
During the months of December and January, traffic returning to the US from Mexico can be very heavy and result in long waiting times to cross the border in Nogales. Weekends and holidays can be very congested. If your travel plans permit, try and avoid these periods. If they cannot be avoided we do suggest you get an early start leaving San Carlos. Border crossing times are available on line HERE (scroll down to Nogales - Mariposa).
Driving to San Carlos Mexico is very easy, you just need Mexican auto insurance, a tourist visa and a valid Passport. You can obtain insurance online here and can buy it for a specified time or on an annual basis if you expect to travel into Mexico frequently.
We'll say this more than once, but DO NOT take any type of firearm or ammunition into Mexico. If you hunt or shoot sporting clays or carry firearms or ammunition in your vehicle for any reason, check it carefully to make sure you did not leave these items in the vehicle. If caught in Mexico with these items in your possession the Mexican authorities will toss you in jail and forget where the key is! They won't care if it was accidental or otherwise-so check the vehicle.
Fuel including unleaded gasoline or diesel is available at numerous service stations along the route. You can buy any brand you like as long as it's PEMEX, the Mexican National Oil Company. These are full service, so don't pump your own (make sure the pump is reset Before they start pumping your fuel). They take pesos or dollars and price is per liter. Restrooms (banos) are normally available and can also be found at the toll booths.
Another neat feature about this route are the Green Angel trucks. These are mobile motorist aid units who will stop and assist if you do have a breakdown. Their mission is to perform minor repairs to get you back on the road. The best way not to meet them is to have the vehicle serviced before you cross the border. But it's nice to know they are there.
Observe the speed limit signs, which are in kilometers per hour. Pay particular attention in built up areas as it is not uncommon to have pedestrians or animals along the right of way. Driving at night is generally not recommended as domestic animals may wander off the open range and onto the highway. El Toro (the bull) is neat, until you wrap a ton of steer around your front end. Stick to the daylight hours for highway travel, and as in the US, please don't drink and drive. Please don't litter.
Some common signs and their meanings
|Peligrosa||Danger (They really mean it too)|
|Poblado Proxima||Population ahead|
|Llanteros||Tire Repair Shop|
|Topes||Speed Bumps (big ones!!)|
Do's & Dont's