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Medical tourism to Los Algodones, Mexico

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A courtyard in Los Algodones

A courtyard in Los Algodones

If you are considering Medical Tourism, think of Los Algodones, Mexico, before paying big bucks to fly off to some faraway place like India.

Many people, when they make their travel plans to Mexico, include a visit to the small Mexican town of Los Algodones, now known for its dentists, doctors and pharmacies.

Los Algodones is right across the border near to Yuma, Arizona.

People come to Los Algodones from the U.S. and from as far away as Canada and beyond for medical and dental care—they come in the thousands. From 30 to 40 percent of those going to Los Algodones for medical care are from Canada.

In Los Algodones, there are much cheaper fees for all dental work including dentures, implants and bridges. Sample costs are $150 to $300 for a crown, and dentures $400. Want you teeth cleaned? That is around $25. Also, like the rest of Mexico, no appointment needed.

Prices in Los Algodones are from 70 to 75 percent less than in the U.S. and Canada.

Los Algodones has been so popular that the number of dentists has grown from a dozen several years ago to an estimated 350 today.

A dental office in Los Algodones

A dental office in Los Algodones

Getting to Los Algodones is easy. Coming from Canada, you can fly into Yuma for under $1,000 round trip. If you are in the U.S. the airfare is even cheaper.

Rent a car at the airport, go west on Highway 8 into California. When you see the Los Algodones turnoff several miles into California, go south to Los Algodones. It’s only a 12 mile journey, and you will pass the beautiful Quechan Casino Resort, where you can stay for the night, with gambling, entertainment—and a lot of other things. (See my post on Quechan Casino Resort).

If you drive across the border into Los Algodones, be sure to fill up your tank, as the gas in Mexico costs only about $2.40 a gallon. Scouts honor!

If you don’t want to drive across the border into Los Algodones, you can park on the U.S. side, and just walk across. Everything you need in Los Algodones is within easy walking distance from the border.

Even though we live only about 45 miles from Los Algodones, we go there at least once a month. The food is great, you can drink the water, and there is stuff to buy. For us going to Los Algodones is a one-day vacation.

Mary's pharmacy right on the border in Los Algodones

Mary’s pharmacy right on the border in Los Algodones

We don’t cross over to the U.S. to drive there, as the drive from Mexicali through the Mexican cotton fields is beautiful.

Happy trails.

19 comments to Medical tourism to Los Algodones, Mexico

  • Julie:
    Thanks for the great info. I would like to add that in Mexicali there is a Dr. Carlos Diaz, who is my orthodontist and did a great job of $2,000. I paid $6,000 for one of our kids in Phoenix. Dr. Diaz has a complete range of services and a beautiful modern office close to the border crossing in Mexicali. His website is http://www.drcarlosdiaz.com. He has other services as well, did a crown for $200.
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • Julie S.

    Just wanted to follow up on my post from June 2011. I did indeed end up going to Los Algodones in Sept. 2011 and had a ton of dental work done. My 19 year old daughter traveled with me and had dental work as well. My dentist there did such a great job that I returned in June 2012 and had more work completed. I traveled from Minnesota and the money I saved MORE than covered the travel expenses/airfare, etc. It really is that much cheaper than the US, but the quality of the work is the same.

    I also brought my husband with me on the most recent trip. He hadn’t been to a dentist since he was a teenager. He’s 47 now. They fixed EVERYTHING in his mouth for $820.00. Almost 30 years worth of neglect! His teeth look great and he is SO HAPPY with the the results.

    We used three different dentists (based on our needs/time constraints) and all of them were terrific. My daughter used Dr. Arce at The Smile Shoppe and Dr. Rubio’s office. I used Dr. Ramirez and Dr. Manuel at Sani Dental. My husband used a lady dentist at Sani… don’t recall her name.

    We’ve stayed at the Hacienda in Algodones and the Quechan Resort on the US side of the border. Both places are great although the Hacienda is definitely less expensive (approx. $30-$40 per night compared to $80 per night at the Quechan Resort). The resort has a great pool, the Hacienda does not. But after a long day of dental you might not care anyway. LOL!

    Hope this info is useful to anyone wondering about visiting a dentist in Algodones. 🙂

  • All I said is that Obama’s birth certificate was photoshopped. That is a fact. If you have Adobe Photoshop, or a program like it, you can easily peel off the layers. I am against fake ID’s. Is Los Algodones pro-Obama? Do you understand that Los Algodones is not part of the USA? I doubt that very few in Los Algodones care about Obama one way or the other.
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • Juliana Lisa Vassella Marquesos

    MaryAnn, your comment regarding the president is very low class, and did not belong on this website. You are not a representitive of Los Algodones, which is mostly pro-Obama. Los Algodones is a beautiful upcoming town,and I find it preposterous that you would bring up politics, when you are just a little worm in the bottom of a Mezcal bottle. Go back to Wal Fart where you belong.
    Mrs.Antonio Marquesos

  • Rob A

    Hi MaryAnn,

    Just wanted to say I have been here in Los Algodones for several days with my Mom – she is in her 70’s and recooping from major surgery and could not come to Mexico alone for the dental work required for her recent dental crisis. I am so amazed and impressed by this place. We have been staying at the Hacienda los Algodones where the staff has been great and the room has been clean and reasonable, and her dentist has been reasonable, honest, and affordable. I can’t rave enough about this place, especially since it is only 3.5 hours from me in Phoenix. Also VERY GLAD to be here in the summer when the town is quite slow as it is so easy to get appointments and a room where we are staying…..Prices also reasonable (50% less) for my mom’s getting her hair done and don’t even start me on how much cheaper meds are down here! Also I have went several times to the health food store in town and am amazed at how much less herbal tea – a HUGE bag of it – like boldo tea and passionflower tea – is compared to prices in the US. I can’t say too much good about this place and YES IT IS SAFE has been our experience. Even went and bought myself a men’s silver ring stamped 925 for noticeably less than I would pay in the US and it indeed has that silver sound when I drop it. Rob A.

  • Charles:
    Chances are a debit or credit card will do. US Dollars are common currency in Los Algodones, along with pesos. There are even some ATMs in Los Algodones that pay out in dollars or pesos. One is on the main entrance right at the purple pharmacy. Los Algodones is a great place – you can even drink the water.
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • Charles:
    Sounds like a good plan, BUT why not avoid all those shuttles, whatever. Since you are a Vegas man, why not stay at the Quechan Casino in California? It’s only about 2 miles from Los Algodones.
    Here’s a map http://g.co/maps/qbhx3. Who knows, you might even land a gig at the Casino? We even have a blog on my site about the place – check it out – click here!
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • charles carpenter

    Question: how do I pay a Dentist in Los Algodones? Do they accept Visa?? Cash,,,,Mastercard……….

  • charles carpenter

    I’m planning to drive from Henderson,Nev to Yuma…Stay at a motel in Yuma, visit Dr. Carlos Rubio,,stay at the motel in Yuma to recuperate between major dental work…What do you suggest regarding,staying at a motel in Yuma and travelling back and forth to Rubio’s Office in Los Algodones..ex. shuttle, bus, whatever…..Many musicians from Las Vegas have had great care at/from Dr. Rubio..

  • You might try Dr. Arturo Rosas in Mexicali. His address is in our site at this page.
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • Doyle McCauley

    Possible cancerous lesion to be remove. Who has any thing done like this in Los Algodones,Mexico.

  • Tina

    I’m as at today actually having work done in Algodones. Me, my son and his wife. We are from Canada. Circle Dental Clinic~~excellent Dentists. Prices are fair, not low and not high, just very fair whereas there are some who have very low prices but you could get stung once you’re frozen(I don’t know this as fact~~just gossip) Then there are Clinics that are owned by non dentists (which I don’t much like) take only cash or credit card but charge 5.5% if a credit card and those that are arrogant, THINK they have and are the best and most elaborate offices and charge an arm and a leg indiscriminately. If I were anyone considering treatment in Algodones, just do the research. Take at least a week to roam around Algodones. Walk into the Clinics and check around for certificates and cleanliness~~check the prices, the sterilization, the water etc, they don’t mind, in fact they encourage it and if a dentist doesn’t then, stay away~~as you research, make notes and compare~~then make a decision. In the Summer the prices should be reduced in my referenced Clinic a further 15%~~but Ouch!! the weather is very hot! Not everyone likes the same type of Dentist, personalities and office staff can sway your decision. It’s important that all things fit well for you.

  • I assume they are licensed as most of them have their certificate hanging on the wall, and I assume it is not a product of Photoshop, like Obama’s birth certificate!
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • My friend told me about someone she knew doing this! I thought it was impossible since it’s sort of like “beating the system”. Are these dentists and doctors licensed?

  • Julie:
    Now that you have given me the information that you want to start with a periodontist, I can make a suggestion. I went to Dr. Diaz to get braces (I am well over 13). He took one look, and told me I had periodontal disease, and would not put braces on until that was fixed. This is something my dentist in America never mentioned. Dr. Diaz recommended that I see his former professor Dr. Luis Marquez at UNAM, the university here. UNAM is in Mexico City, but has a satellite campus in Mexicali, (and others in the U.S. and Canada), Dr. Marquez takes only afternoon appointments as he is teaching in the mornings. He did a great job on me in only four sittings for a small fraction of the US price. I then went back to Dr. Diaz, and my braces are on.
    Now, I don’t know how familiar you are with Mexicali ways, but older doctors and dentists tend to have unimpressive offices – as does the very impressive Dr. Marquez. The younger Dr. Diaz has an office that would pass the taste test in Beverly Hills – just super.
    So, you could start with Dr. Marquez for an evaluation and take it from there. (He is a lot better than you will find in Los Algodones.)
    Dr. Marquez address is Av. Obregon No. 779. His cell phone is +52 686-122-0896, telephone +52 686-554-1404. Dr. Marquez is fair in English. Here is a Google link: http://goo.gl/maps/l9jC. His office is very close to the border crossing.
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • Julie S.

    Thanks MaryAnn! Maybe I didn’t word my question right. From everything I’ve read, the dental care in Mexico is as good (if not better) than in the US. That’s why I am planning to get some dental work done in Mexico this summer. 🙂

    I was just wondering about driving to Los Algodones verses finding a dentist in city of Mexicali close to where I’ll be staying. It sounds like there are LOTS more choices in Los Algodones because all the dental offices are so close together (over 100 within a few block area). Regardless, my first visit with a dentist will most likely be with a periodonist as well. I think it’s smart idea to get your gums and general oral health assessed before dropping big bucks on dental work.

    Thanks for your blog. I’ve really enjoyed reading about Mexicali.

  • Julie:
    My Mexicali experience with dentists is with a periodontist and an orthodontist – both great. There are lots of dentists in Los Algodones, many of whom also work in Mexicali. However, I have no basis for comparison other than to guess they are all pretty good – certainly a lot better in the US, where they wanted to cap my teeth while not informing me that I had periodontal disease.
    God Bless,
    MaryAnn

  • Julie S.

    I may be traveling to Mexicali this summer and was thinking of getting some dental work done while I am in the area. Is there a price/quality difference between the dentists in Mexicali and those a short drive away in Los Algodones?

  • Joe T

    What other choice do I have if I need a surgery?

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