Yesterday at 4:15 p.m., (normally a highly congested time of day) November 1, I and a friend crossed the border into Mexico at the new San Ysidro border entry point, El Chaparral
First, it is important to note that as complicated as all of the maps and information make it seem, it is very simple. Both Interstate 5 and the 805 going south bring visitors to the new port of entry, from whence they are navigated directly to the new crossing lanes via a sharp right-hand turn (passing the famous art gallery Galeria El Tunel on the other side of the fence — a place I have wanted to go for months!).
There are 22 of these shiny new portals, to be exact, and we were across the border in just a few minutes. We didn’t get the ‘red light’ this time, although it happens to everyone (so visitors should not worry unduly), eventually, if they live or travel frequently in Baja. But had we been required to pull over into one of the many inspection slots, it appeared that the process was efficient and with no back-up.
To my mind, El Chaparral is good news for those who want to enjoy weekend get-aways in Baja, visit the doctor or dentist or just go on a shopping spree south of the border. And for those non-drivers, the new pedestrian crossing facilitates travel, as well.
After whisking through to Mexico, clear signage easily directs traffic in the appropriate direction–in our case, cutting off to the right to head towards Ensenada on the Scenic Road. We arrived at our homes in north Ensenada about 50 minutes later. Pretty cool.