Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Our Lifestyle Adventures: Succumbing to Mexico's Lure

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Succumbing to Mexico's Lure

we are doing the second half of this cruise!
the border in Andrade, California
Los Algodones is a small town at the northernmost tip of Mexico, with a population of 5,474 as of the 2010 Mexican census. Situated near the borders of both southeastern California and southwestern Arizona, Los Algodones has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years. From the US side, Los Algodones is most easily reached via the international border at Andrade, California. From Andrade, visitors park their vehicles for a small fee and walk or drive their vehicles across.

an explosion of clinics
where the town is located
The warm, dry climate of the area attracts snow birding tourists from all over the United States and Canada who settle in the nearby towns of Yuma, Arizona and Winterhaven, California and even on organized day trips from as far as Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona and Palm Springs and San Diego, California. Thus there is an explosion of pharmacies and medical, dental, and optical clinics, shifting the town's focus to medical tourism. Shops, restaurants, and frequent fiestas provide additional fun.

Sani Denal Group
the business district of Los Algodones
Bill and I succumbed to the lure. We went to dental clinic that we was frequented by our neighbors on block 5500 and by many others at Viewpoint. Sani Dental Group, the top dental clinic, boasts of 60 dentists (some of whom are schooled in the US) in three separate facilities. In fact we stayed at Hacienda Los Algodones, the charming top hotel in town which is also owned by the Group. Both of us had our teeth deep cleaned (4 quadrants) for $200 each. The same service is quoted at $1,000 in Phoenix. Even with gas at $60 round trip and $35 for the hotel, it was still about $1,500 cheaper!

courtyard at the Hacienda
Besides I was able to have a short vacation with my sister Cherry and her husband Rick (although we were both in agony over the procedures done).  She was quoted $30,000 for implants in San Diego, California. I told her to check out Sani Dental who gave her five days free stay at the Hacienda. In the final analysis, although they do a lot of implants, they recommended dentures for her instead.  Cherry spent only $2,500 which would have cost much much more for comparable services back in San Diego.

enjoying a Mexican meal at Paraiso (Paradise)
breakfast at Hacienda
And I also had fun looking for some silver jewelry I needed for my daughter April’s Guthrie Castle wedding in Scotland. I could not decide between 2 sets so I bought both! Anyway, each cost only $20! For very affordable prices, we also had great combos of chili relleno, beef taco, chicken enchilada and jumbo margaritas at Paraiso, nachos and pozoles at La Tetilla, and chillaquilles at the Hacienca café. Too bad we had to leave right away to keep Bill’s scheduled colonoscopy the next day.

The other thing is that our European trip has finally been booked! We leave on May 17, arriving the following day in Oslo, Norway. Then on May 22 we go to Copenhagen, Denmark followed by Helsinki, Finland on May 24, and Stockholm Sweden on May 28. On June 1 we leave Stockholm on a 2-week cruise on the MV Explorer whose ports of call are Copenhagen, three cities in Iceland, an island off Scotland, Belfast in Ireland and then we disembark in Southampton in southern England on June 15.

beautiful Cotswolds in England
That is when we begin our road trip from southern England to Guthrie Castle where April will be wed on July 2. Bill and I will rent a car and tour Salisbury, Stonehenge, Bath, the Cotswolds, and Osford. Then we meet Ann and Jingjing in London for a short reunion before proceeding to Scotland for the wedding and a tour of Scottish Highlands.

After this, Bill goes home to Phoenix to resume his CASA responsibilities while I linger at my daughter April’s home in Newcastle, England. Hopefully, I will be able to visit Amsterdam, Glasgow, Dublin, Liverpool and northern England from there! Our European sojourn begins in less than 3 months and it will be 2-months for Bill and 3 months for me! We are so excited!


  1. I will definitely keep that Sani Dental in mind next time I am in the Arizona area. Thanks for the information, Carol.

  2. How did you feel about the dental care? How would you compare to your care in Washington?

    1. It was more hurried than cateful. I will probably only make simple procedures done there.

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