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Judith Nicolaidis - Guadalupe Arch

Directions to the GUADALUPE ARCH (Arco de Guadalupe)
Located in Maclovio Rojas, Tijuana, Mexico
Global Positioning Coordinates:
Latitude: 32 degrees 28' 33.031"
Longitude: 116 degrees 48' 53.258"

Driving instructions.
Read carefully before you begin. Rain cancels.

If you want to purchase auto insurance, stop at Mexinsur in Chula Vista, 805 South at E St/Bonita Rd. Be sure you have your passport and carry water, hat and sunscreen.

From San Diego take 805 South to 905 East. Stay to the right. Follow the signs to the International Border.

Cross the border and get into the Left lane. Follow this road for about 1 mile then turn Left at the light onto Industrial Blvd. toward Tecate Cuota. Get into the middle lane and follow this road for about 4.5 miles. (In Mexico, always watch for stop signs (Alto) and big speed bumps; they can surprise you!)

Follow the signs as the road curves right/south as Highway 1 to Rosarito. Continue for almost 7 miles exiting at Tecate/ La Presa where you turn Left.

Just past the first light is a Pemex station on the Right. Even though it overshoots the turn into the housing complex, I like to stop here to use the bathroom and buy a snack. There are no facilities at the Arch site. Leaving the Pemex, carefully cross the highway to go Left, getting immediately into the far Right lane and turn Right at the light into the El Refugio housing complex.

At the first traffic circle, take the second Right just before the Oxxo store. Stay on this street (Los Laurelos), passing the University on your left and continuing up the hill for about 1 mile. You will pass a Calimax on the right and about 1 block later you will see a high concrete block wall on the right, turn Right onto the street before the wall.

Pass a small park on the left and at the traffic circle make the second Right (so you will essentially be going straight). Go to the next traffic circle and make the first Right. Go one block. Here the pavement ends.

Go straight across, down & up through a large dip, and take the first Left. Follow this road for 2-3 blocks where it jogs right then goes straight again. You will see the Arch below on your left and a flat-topped hill with a domed structure on the right. At the next intersection, put your car in low gear, turn Left and ride the brake down the hill. Turn Left onto the flat area where the Arch is located. You are there!

When leaving, if you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle go back up the hill and retrace your route to the highway. If you are driving a regular vehicle, go down the hill a few more feet, turn Right, go to the second road, turn Right and carefully drive straight for about 1 mile. Bear right at the end, then right again onto a wide road and follow this straight to the highway. Turn right and retrace your route if you want to go to the Otay Border Crossing (Garita Otay).

Personally, I like to get into the Left lane on the highway and take the first U turn to go about 17 miles East to Tecate, a beautiful drive and generally a much faster border crossing even though it is farther. Once across, follow Highway 188 North to 94 West to San Diego.

DRIVING TIPS:

  • Pemex stations are generally good stops for bathroom, snacks & bottled water.
  • When driving across ruts and bumps, go slowly & cross them on the diagonal.
  • Do not attempt this trip if there has been enough rain to make the dirt streets muddy.