EUROPA INSTITUTE  - Specializing In Integrative Medicine Since 1989
TRAVEL TIPS & LODGING

CROSSING THE U.S. / MEXICO BORDER



NOTE: PASSPORTS OR PASSPORT CARDS ARE REQUIRED CROSSING INTO AND EXITING OUT OF MEXICO BACK INTO THE U.S.A.












Passport Cards are fast and inexpensive. If you pay for a rush order, they take about 2 weeks. Otherwise, it takes about 4-8 weeks to get through either the Post Office or the State Dept.  They are only good when traveling into Mexico or Canada, Puerto Rico  only.




Full Passports are good for traveling anywhere in the world






SENTRI PASS / FAST PASS: This speeds up the border entry/exit process if you're traveling back and forth between Mexico and the US frequently by pre-screening for rapid inspection and providing their own lanes.  It is offered by the Border Protection division of Homeland Security and requires a background check and personal interview.  Click the link below for more information.
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/trusted_traveler/sentri/sentri.xml

IMPORTANT:  IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE IN MEXICO FOR MORE THAN A WEEK, IT IS RECOMMENDED TO REGISTER WITH THE U.S. CONSULATE  or STATE DEPT. ONLINE  FOR LEGAL PROTECTION WHILE IN MEXICO.  OTHERWISE YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS WHATSOEVER SHOULD SOMETHING HAPPEN.
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TRAVEL TIPS

TRANSPORTATION:
San Diego Int'l. Airport is approx. 45 min. North of the Border.  We can arrange transportation from the Airport to the clinic or to a hotel of choice or  just to lead you in your rental car to your destination. 

WALKING IN & OUT OF MEXICO
Our clinic is located about 500 yards from the border gate.  Many park in the last US exit parking lots and walk across for appointments.   There is now a one-time application fee for Pedestrians who want to walk into Mexico. It requires filling out a questionnaire and paying approx. $20 fee for a permit.  We'd prefer to be called to come get the patient if they aren't able to walk in.  Getting back into the US can be time consuming and we don't recommend patients who are weak or ill to use this method since it can take hours.  We recommend always carry bottled water and your US ID.

DRIVING INTO MEXICO
Don't do it unless you call us first to lead you in. The Border had changed a lot recently and due to construction and parking issues,  the path to our clinic is not simple anymore.  Be sure to contact your automobile insurer and ask for a temporary insurance rider coverage to drive into Mexico.  It is usually always less expensive than buying it once you get down there.  With recent road redesigns, driving to our clinic now is more complex than it used to be.  It is not as easy as it looks on Google Maps or via GPS apps. 

If you want to drive in, have Dr.Sonia or one of our staff lead you in the first time so you can see how to do it.  Or if you're staying at a US Hotel like the Americana, they provide a shuttle service across the border.

SHUTTLES / VAN SERVICES
 (If you're going to be here for at least a week, and you're staying on the US side, you may want to have a SENTRI Lane / Fast Pass Permit to save border wait time). Many of the US Hotels maintain shuttles / vans which drive back and forth into Mexico and the US daily and have a Fast Pass Permit.  Most quit by around 5-6 pm.  Nicer Hotels like Pueblo Amigo on the Mexican side also usually have Limo service from the Airport. 

Check with the Hotel you're staying with for options.  Many of the Hotel shuttles come across daily to the clinics and other destinations and do drop offs and pick ups daily.  They also can provide transportation for shopping and local places of interest.

PRIVATE DRIVER SERVICES:
We can provide a driver for you who can pick you up and drop you off daily.  Sometimes if she can, Dr.Sonia will provide this service as well, especially for cases which she feels she wants to monitor while crossing.  This would be discussed during New Patient consultation.

COMPANION / CARE GIVER SERVICES: 
We require that all patients have an assistant or caregiver to help with their care. For those who have no one to come with them to assist in their care, we can provide a qualified care giver or a nurses aide.  This service has a fee associated with it which varies based on the type of services and whether or not it is hourly and just at the clinic or needs to be 24 hrs., provide lodging, meals, etc.  Sometimes this person can be the driver also. Patient is responsible for cost of gas and car rentals, etc. if needed also.

CELL PHONE SERVICE
Call your cell phone service provider and ask them to turn on your cell service in the Tijuana area.  Air space about 1 mile north of the border is owned by Mexico and cells typically stop working unless you do this.  There is typically a "roaming" fee associated.  Many plans include roaming except internationally.  Check with your carrier.  The primary carriers around the Border is AT&T and Verizon.  We have WiFi available at the clinic and many of the hotels and restaurants do also just like in the US.

NOTES ABOUT STAYING IN MEXICO:
Tipping: The same as the US. Restaurants typically build a 15% gratuity into the bill.   DO NOT tip if bad service. We recommend getting Pesos for use in tipping and buying things. The Dollar is exceptionally strong and they will try to get you to pay in dollars if you can but you loose $ by doing it. Pesos  are available through many ATM-like exchange machines in Mexico or can be gotten from your US bank prior to coming. Some hotels offer this service as well.  Currently, the strong dollar has driven the Peso down to 26:1 ratio at the time of this writing.

Water: Only drink bottled drinks (water, wine, etc.). Bring your own bottled water for drinking, or if you fly in, you can stop at a US grocery store and buy water to take across.  Only buy bottled drinks in Mexico like mineral waters, etc.  Only used bottled water from the US for brushing your teeth also.

Bring "flip flops" for showering as a precaution to prevent fungal infections, just like in the US

An Int'l. Electrical Adapter Kit is wise and are available at Radio Shack and other retailers. Power in Tijuana can be unstable at times and brown outs can happen.  A portable battery charger for cell phones, etc. is recommended also.

Larger hotels offer free WiFi in the rooms or  Hot Spots for computer users since they cater to US Businessmen. Be sure to ask about it.

MEALS / FOOD:
We DO NOT include the cost of food in treatment fees.  We can however help you order food or you can bring it over daily from your hotel if you choose.  San Diego has some of the best restaurants in the country including wonderful Vegetarian, Indian, Russian, Thai, etc.  The main health food stores are easy to get to as well as many organic farm stands for fresh produce.  Unfortunately Organic Vegetarian Restaurants in Tijuana are very hard to find and sometimes the term "organic" is used loosely. 

We will do our best to help accommodate special dietary needs within our limited ability. We do not believe that any one diet is best and do not subscribe to the theory that Vegan is the best thing either.  The only thing we insist on universally is NO Sugar or GMOs.  We do provide a snack room / food prep area with a refrigerator; hot plate; infrared oven; Blender/ Nutri-Bullet, etc. for patients to use also.

Warning: DO NOT eat anything off a fruit or taco stand.  Only bottled drinks which have been sterilized are safe.  DON'T DRINK THE WATER.

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US SIDE LODGING

BEST WESTERN 
AMERICANA INN & SUITES  (3 Star)
Located just north of the Border in the town of San Ysidro, CA (Not San Diego proper as the address shows).  It is off the I-5 at the Dairy Mart Road Exit, just 2 exits north of the Border gate.

This hotel is both reasonable, clean and provides excellent services to our patients such as a clinic patient discount, refrigerator and microwave or hotplate in the rooms, van transport to local health food stores, etc. It is near a Coco's Restaurant and Carls Jr.,near Interstate 5.  They also have a shuttle which takes patients across the border and back again, using the Diamond Lane to reduce traffic waits. There is a separate fee for the shuttle services.









Flat Screen television, WiFi, Microwave Refrigerator, Coffee Maker, Iron / Ironing Board and Hair Dryer.

BEST WESTERN AMERICANA INN
815 W. San Ysidro Blvd.
San Diego, CA  92173
619-428-5521
Average Room Cost for 2 Queens Deluxe Non Smoking: $95 USD/nite  + Bed Tax. We usually get a patient discount so if you decide you want to stay there, let us know and we'll call to notify the hotel so that you get a discount.
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MEXICO / TIJUANA SIDE LODGING

GRAND HOTEL TIJUANA 

Google Rating 4.4
The Grand Hotel is a very famous destination in downtown Tijuana about 10 min. from the clinic.  It is a lovely clean modern facility and very easy to find because they're one of the tallest buildings in the area. It resembles Hilton Hotels. We have a patient discount arrangement. Be sure to call us first prior to making reservations to insure you can get the discount.    Room rates for Double Queen are around $85/night + tax.


Average room cost $85 USD /nite for double queen.






GRAND HOTEL TIJUANA
Blvd. Agua Caliente 
#4558 Col. Aviación
C.P. 22014 Tijuana, B.C., México. 
Phone: +52 (664) 681 7000 
Toll Free 
From México: 01800 0266007 
From U.S.A: 1 866 472 6385,
1 866 495 1879
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HOTEL PUEBLO AMIGO (Casino Hotel) 
3-4 Star.
It is located just 2 blocks from our clinic, within walking or wheel chair distance.  It is next door to many shops, pharmacies, Senior Frogs and other restaurants, etc.  They also have limousine service from the San Diego Airport to the Hotel for those who aren't driving.  We have special patient discount arrangements with this beautiful hotel. Discount patient rates apply when we book the room and generally run around  $85-90/night for a double queen room. Call their Reservations for current rates.  They cater to US businessmen and alternative medical clinics & dentists patients. They also have an organic juice bar and vegetarian menu as well. Rather noisy with the casino feature.

HOTEL PUEBLO AMIGO 
Via Orente 9211 Zona del Rio, CP 22320
Tijuana, BC Mexico
US Reservations: 800-386-6985
Free Airport Shuttle from San Diego or Tijuana Airport
WiFi in rooms & hot spots
Free Continental Breakfast


Average cost for Standard 2 queen beds is around $80-90 /nite (expedia guaranteed). Refrig. & microwave available on request.



NOTE: We have other hotels which will give our patient discounts and good service including juicing, kitchenettes, refrigerators, etc. but the list is too long to put here.  Please inquire when you call.
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IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC NEEDS OR QUESTIONS, PLEASE CALL THE US COORDINATOR'S OFFICE  IN S.CALIF. AT (909)338-3533 AND DR.BORMANN WILL BE GLAD TO HELP.