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Mexicali FAQs


Photos courtesty Wikipedia



Where is Mexicali located?

Mexicali is across the border from the US city of Calexico.  It is approximately 108 miles east of Tijuana, on Highway 2, which traverses a magnificent area called La Rumorosa, a craggy granite mountain range that parallels the US border.

What is the best way to get to Mexicali?
From San Diego, the best route to Mexicali is on Highway 8, dropping south at Calexico, to cross the border.  Mexicali also has an airport, but most visitors arrive by automobile.

What kind of transportation is available once I arrive in Mexicali?
Mexicali has a good public transportation system including reasonably priced taxi service. Rates vary and it’s advised to negotiate before getting into the cab.

What kinds of accommodations does Mexicali have?
As a city catering largely to businesses and corporate visitors, Mexicali has every kind of accommodation imaginable:  Luxury hotels, to basic chain lodging, to motels and hostals.  You won’t find much camping or even Bed and Breakfast inns, though.  For more information about lodging in Mexicali, visit our accommodations overview. .

What local foods should I try in Mexicali?
Mexicali is famous for its Chinese food.  There are scores of restaurants ready to serve up traditional Chinese fare or more modern variations.  In addition, Mexicali is home to world-class restaurants where wine-pairings are part of the gastronomic scene and where top chefs hone their talents.  Naturally, with Cerveceria Mexicali on hand, it makes sense to try some of the city’s renowned brews.  Steaks are a staple in northern Mexico, and Mexicali is no exception.  It is easy to get a recommendation on great steakhouses here.

Will I have problems communicating since I do not speak Spanish?
Mexicali is simply not as Americanized as other Baja cities, however, with the strong business influences that exist, there is a growing usage of English.  It is always helpful to have a few handy phrases available. If you need help, someone almost always comes forth in a restaurant, store, or wherever you might be, to help out. You will find the people to be very helpful and very friendly.  But always say, ‘Gracias!’

What about drugs and alcohol?
You must be 18 years of age or older, to consume alcohol. It is against the law to drink alcohol on the streets. Driving while drinking is also against the law. Using drugs is a criminal offense.

What should I do if I am lost or have any kind of a problem?
If you have any issues, you should dial 078, the Tourist Assistance Hotline which operates 24/7. It is similar to 911 in the U.S., except that you will be assisted with whatever need you have.

What are the most popular activities in Mexicali?
Many tourists enjoy strolling around Parque Niños de Héroes in Chapultepec, a lovely park full of trees and benches that used to be the city’s main square.  The Bosque de la Ciudad (Forest of the City) is a large city park with a small zoo, museum and picnic area.  Casa de Cultura (House of Culture), once a schoolhouse, is now Mexicali’s main centers of art.  La Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is a Colonial-style church that was built in the 1920s, remodeled in the late 1950s, and remains a prominent and popular place to visit in the old downtown area.  Mexicali hosts a major music event called the Baja Prog Festival in April, gathering the best acts of the progressive rock scene.

What is the weather like in Mexicali? There is very little rain in Mexicali, which basically maintains a desert climate.  Rainfall – what there is — usually occurs in the winter months of December, January and February. Summer is extremely dry and very hot in Mexicali (often well over 100 degrees) and infrequently, in the mid-summer, heavy thunderstorms hit the region.  In winter, Mexicali is affected by the snows that occur in the Rumorosa located in the Sierra de Juarez, about 45 minutes west of the city, causing decreases in temperature in the urban area lasting from two days to one week.

Is Mexicali a safe place for my family to visit?
Mexicali is second only to Tijuana in size, and like any large city, there is the need to take precautions and safeguard yourself and your belongings.  Although it is a border town, Mexicali has not been subject to a great deal of drug-related violence.