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You are more than welcome to call us at 1-800-404-2599 for further assistance if you are planning to travel to La Ventana del Mar. We can send you detailed maps and instructions to help you plan your trip in addition to what is provided in our web site. Or simply e-mail us now.

Driving Instructions and Directions
Mileages and travel time from USA Cities
Map of San Felipe

Border Crossing Requirements
Traveling in Mexico
Required Auto Insurance
Road Signs
Food/Fuel/Restroom Facilities
El Centro Area Overnight RV Facilities


If you are driving, you need to get to Calexico, California. You can get there via San Diego on Interstate 8 East or from Yuma, AZ take Interstate 8 West to Hwy. 111 exit. Take Hwy. 111 South to Calexico and the Mexican border. There are two crossing points into Mexico from here. See the following instructions. Drive time from border to La Ventana del Mar is approximately 2 hours.

Border Crossing at Calexico:

From El Centro: Go east on Interstate 8 to Highway 111 exit. Go South on Highway 111 to the border. Go through the border, and bear right. After approximately 500 feet turn right for San Felipe. Go straight on this road through Mexicali (major intersections will have signs for San Felipe.) This turns into Highway 5. El Dorado Ranch are at Kilometer marker 176 and you will use this entrance for La Ventana del Mar as well. Click for map

Eastern Border Crossing:

From El Centro: Go East on Interstate 8 to Highway 111 exit. Go South on Highway 111 to the third light (Hwy. 98 or Truck Route 7). Go East on Highway 98 for about 7 miles where the sign shows the border crossing. Make a right and proceed up and over the cloverleaf and into the border crossing (this is clearly marked). RV's are to follow the signs for passenger cars.

From Yuma: Take Highway 8 West and exit at Highway 98. Go West on Highway 98 for about 16 miles. At the traffic light, make a left and proceed up and over the cloverleaf and into the border crossing (this is clearly marked).

Once through the new border crossing you will come to a "T" crossing. Make a right and proceed West along the border boundary to the first stop sign where you will make a left onto Calzado Manuel Gomez Morin (MORIN BLVD). Continue South on MORIN through 7 traffic lights, passing the Sony plant. Turn left onto Highway 5 going South. La Ventana del Mar and El Dorado Ranch are at Kilometer marker 176 and are about 2 - 2 1/2 hours driving time from the border. Click for map.

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Those who live farther away may want to fly.

1. Fly into San Diego and drive rental car. Drive time is approximately 5 hours.

2. Fly into Yuma, AZ and drive rental car. Drive time is approximately 3.5 hours. 3. Fly into Los Angeles and then fly into El Centro, CA and drive rental car. Drive time is approximately 2.5 hours.

NOTE: When renting a car you must tell them you are driving into Mexico. Some agencies will not allow rentals into Mexico. In San Diego Red & Blue is the most economical and allows their vehicles into Mexico with the appropriate insurance. In Yuma and El Centro, Avis rents cars that can go into Mexico. (El Centro Avis counter closes at 5:00 on weekdays, Noon on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays.)

We have had some members chose another option and that is by bus. It can be a long tedious trip but can be done. Greyhound Bus has a station in Calexico, CA, right at the border. You can then walk or take a taxi into Mexicali Bus Station and get a bus to San Felipe. SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT—SAN FELIPE DOES NOT HAVE ANY RENTAL CARS AT THIS TIME. A taxi ride to El Dorado Ranch and El Dorado Ranch is about $15 from the bus station.


The following information will assist you in making your trip to our beautiful seaside resort - La Ventana del Mar. If you have a question that is not answered in this information packet, please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-404-2599, email@eldoradoranch.com, or 4255 S. Buckley Road #314, Aurora, CO 80013.

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Mileage from San Felipe to other major cities: (in USA)
City Miles Estimated Time
El Centro, California 137 miles 2:15 hours
San Diego, California 236 miles 4:30 hours
Palm Springs, Califonia 244 miles 4:00 hours
Los Angeles, California 350 miles 6:30 hours
San Francisco, California 725 miles 12:30 hours
Yuma, Arizona 184 miles 2:45 hours
Phoenix, Arizona 374 miles 6:00 hours
Tucson, Arizona 446 miles 7:15 hours

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Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI):

Crossing the border is virtually effortless. Typically, North Americans entering Mexico at Mexicali are simply waved through. During the return trip, U.S. Customs performs a standard inspection on every car, so be prepared to wait in line for re-entry into the U.S. on weekends and holidays.


Air Travel

All U.S. citizens including children must present a passport or other approved travel document when entering the United States by air. U.S. citizens can present a passport, NEXUS card at airports with NEXUS kiosks, U.S. military ID with travel orders, or a U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when on official business.

Land/Sea Travel

U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry are required to have documents that comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), most commonly a U.S. passport, a passport card, a trusted traveler card such as NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST, or an enhanced driver's license. See the complete list of WHTI-compliant documents.


Mexican citizens including children must present a passport with a nonimmigrant visa or a laser visa border crossing card.

Updated information is available on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

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It is suggested that you do your driving into Mexico during the daylight hours. The danger is not from persons with questionable intent but from the narrow roads. Roads are not lighted and unexpected road hazards may not be marked. Highways are generally maintained in good condition. As a precaution, travelers should carry a gallon of water. The Green Angel organization was created by the Secretary of Tourism for the assistance and protection of highway travelers. This is a free service and federally funded. The Green Angels patrol Mexican highways looking for motorists in distress. They will help with minor repairs, supplying gasoline, etc. No charge is rendered except for gas or parts provided. Travel in Mexico is easy, safe and enjoyable. It is also educational and provides an opportunity to broaden our understanding and appreciation of our Mexican neighbors.

Pemex is the only gasoline producer in Mexico and most stations are locally owned and operated. While prices are standard, there is much competition to provide the best service. The quality of Mexican gasoline is not a problem. Magna Sin is the equivalent to unleaded. Some stations also sell diesel fuel. It is wise to buy your gas at busy stations to assure frequent inventory turnover and fresh fuel.

Under a joint agreement between the U.S. and Mexican governments, floating checkpoints manned by the Mexican Army have been established to control contraband movement. These guards are courteous and will explain why they are stopping you. Signage is also posted in English and Spanish. The rule is to be polite and cooperative and in the absence of any contraband (guns/drugs), they pass you through very quickly. There is no need to be alarmed. It is also advisable to let them know you are going to La Ventana del Mar/El Dorado Ranch.

Mexican highways are policed by the Highway Patrol in black and white sedans. If you need emergency assistance, don't hesitate to flag them down.

Large supplies of alcohol, i.e. cases, will be taxed upon entry. U.S. Customs does not allow reentry of fresh fruit and vegetables or uncooked eggs and pork products.

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One thing you should definitely not bring with you into Mexico is any type of firearms or explosives. THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED.


Mexican auto insurance is a must. Mexico does not recognize U.S. auto insurance policies. Proof of automobile ownership is required. Insurance is easy and affordable to purchase whether on a daily or annual basis. Insurance rates vary and depend on length of stay, type and value of vehicle.

You can purchase your insurance policy well in advance of your trip to Mexico - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By purchasing your Mexico auto insurance online, you will save money and time, and you will never have to wait in line at the border again!

Accidents must be reported to your Mexican insurance carrier BEFORE returning to the United States.


Click on Image to Enlarge


For those needing to make convenience stops along the way, try to plan you trip to stop at La Ventana which is approximately 45 miles from La Ventana del Mar at Kilometer marker 110. La Ventana has both cold drinks and light food as well as gas (not diesel) for those who may want to top off. The restroom facilities are of the outhouse variety so you might want to use your own rig or travel a few miles farther. The next stop could be at the formal rest stop at the Junction of Highway 5 and Highway 3 (the Ensenada Highway). The rest stop is approximately 23 miles from La Ventana del Mar, is large, lighted and has indoor bathroom facilities that are kept relatively clean. There is a fee of $.50 charged by the attendant for use of the restroom facilities. There is no food or fuel available at this location.


If you wish to stay in the El Centro area before or after your trip to La Ventana del Mar, the following facilities are available;

Desert Trails RV Resort 225 Wake Ave. (Southeast of I-8 @ 4th St.) 760-352-7275
  • Rio Bend RV Resort 1589 Drew Road (South of I-8) 760-352-7061
  • Sunbeam Lake RV Resort 1716 W. Sunbeam Lake Rd. (Drew Rd. exit N. of I-8) 800-900-7154
  • Highway Rest Stop On I-8 near Drew Rd., approx. 7 miles west of 4th St. (has dump station)

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