When you enter Mexico as a non-resident, they grant you up to 180 days on a tourist ‘FMM’. This means that after your 180 days is up, you must leave the country. You can come back in and request another 180 days, but you must leave the country first. So, plans began onboard Bloom to leave Mexico and re-enter. As we have our dog with us, dynamics are a little trickier as we much prefer not to put her on a plane. So, after lots of Googling, we found a doggy daycare here in La Paz that sounded great! It is called ‘Pet & Breakfast’. They have no website, but you can find them on Facebook here.
So, we took the CostaBaja shuttle into Downtown La Paz and walked 20 minutes through town to drop her off. From there, we taxied to the airport (200 pesos). We were set to fly out of La Paz airport directly to Tijuana (we got cheap tickets for around $100 each, each way) and then walk across the Cross Border Express (CBX) bridge into San Diego for a few hours and then walk back across.
It was a quick flight- just under 2 hours and Volaris Airlines was great. We bought our CBX passes ahead of time here online. You must have a boarding pass for a flight within 24 hours if you go this route, but we highly recommend it. It was extremely quick and easy and at $15 per person each way, we felt it was worth every penny as the Tijuana border crossing is the busiest border crossing in the world.
Once we crossed the bridge and went through USA Customs, we grabbed a quick Uber (boy, we miss Uber!) and went to the ‘Las Americas Outlet Mall’ for a little USA shopping. I know I mentioned tacos in the title of this post… but…. we walked through the slew of taco trucks at the outlet mall and realized that we were in the USA and NOT Mexico. Perhaps a ‘non-Mexican’ lunch was in order. We looked up and IHOP was smiling back at us. So, in for some pancakes all around we went!
After stocking up on some items that were hard to find in Mexico (good-quality kid’s shorts and good quality sandals to name a few), we Uber’d back to the CBX and filled out our new FMM’s. We paid the 500 pesos each for them, got stamped and approved and went back through the airport to catch a Tijuana taxi to our hotel.
Note that there is Uber in Tijuana, however, we chose not to use it as there are some battles currently going on between the Uber drivers and the taxi drivers in Tijuana. Best to take the path of least resistance we think. The taxi from the airport to our hotel, which was about a 10 minute drive, was 220 pesos. We felt this was a non-negotiable rate when we asked. Then we had to pre-pay and the lady who we paid gave us change from her own wallet. Very strange, but hey- it’s Mexico. We got a cheap hotel for the night and got up bright and early for an 8:30am flight back to La Paz. The taxi ride from the hotel to the airport was half the price on the way back. Go figure.
All said and done, we had a quick and easy journey that allowed us a new FMM and we are legally in Mexico for another 180 days (until the end of October). We are looking forward to spending several months (albeit HOT months!) in the Sea of Cortez this summer and will likely add another 180 days this fall the same way as it was quick and easy.