As I mentioned in a previous post – here at Cartagena Surgery, we’ve decided to explore some of the border cities of our neighbor to the south, Mexico. For many people, Mexico is the most practical option when it comes to medical tourism.
For our first look at Mexico, we’ve decided to travel to Mexicali, in Baja, California. It’s just across the border from Calexico, California and is home to around one million people – making it a large metropolitan area.
With the drastic increase in drug-related crime and killings plaguing many of the other cities in Mexico such as Cuidad Juarez “Murder capital of the world,” Tijuana and even the smaller Nogales, Mexicali is the safer, sweeter option for border cities.
In fact, Mexicali is known as the most affluent of cities in Baja California – and it is certainly apparent during our visit due to the availability of a wide range of medical services. While the entry from the central border gate leads to a bustling commercial district, the more upscale, attractive residential neighborhoods are only a fifteen minute walk from the border.
Travel and Tourism links for Mexicali:
Official Mexicali tourism page – has English version. Also has a health section promoting local physicians and hospitals.
The easiest way to get for (for many people) is to walk. After driving to Calexico, California – turn down Imperial Boulevard and head towards the border. Turn right on second street – and cross the railroad tracks. Immediately on the left – there is a secured parking lot. It costs about three dollars to park here overnight.
Take your valuables with you – and as you leave, proceed back down second street towards Imperial. Cross Imperial – and walk about two more blocks. Turn left on Rockland, and proceed towards the Calexico government building. On the front of the building – you will see a set of turnstiles (like at an amusement park.) Walk through the turnstiles – walk another 40 feet to the second set of turnstiles – and you are now in Mexico..
You will then walk through a short underground causeway – filled with little shops, and money changers/ cambios. (This is one of the better places to change money – the rates are surprisingly competitive, and beat anything on the American side.) When you emerge from the short hallway – there are stairs on the left.
These stairs lead to one of the main streets in Mexicali for medical services – Maduro.
Update: March 2012