Location and Driving Directions
The Kino Bay Center is ideally located to explore the rich Cultures and Ecology of the region. Mangrove estuaries, native indigenous villages, several offshore islands, rocky intertidal areas, mudflats, and diverse desert habitats are all within an hour's drive or boat travel time. The Kino Bay Center is located in New Kino, approximately six miles from the center of the main town of Bahia de Kino (Old Kino). There is a small convenience store on the corner near the Center and Old Kino has many small grocery stores, general stores and restaurants.
Kino is a 90 minute drive from the capital city of Hermosillo, a large city with an international airport, excellent health care facilities, and complete array of stores and services. Buses and cabs or rental cars are available from Hermosillo to Kino at reasonable rates. Kino is approximately a six hour drive from the international border of Nogales.
Prescott College - Kino Bay Center
Directions: From Prescott
- I17 south to Tucson, then I10 South to the I19 turnoff to Nogales (223 miles from Prescott)
- From there drive 60 miles to Mariposa Road (State Route 189) and exit off I19
- This road becomes the truck route to cross the border – stay on it – 4 miles to the border crossing
- Get gas at the shell on the left just BEFORE you cross the border.
- From the actual border line drive 5 miles through the truck route bridge to the first Toll Booth
- SEE ALL THE INFORMATION BELOW ON “CROSSING THE BORDER”
- From the toll booth it is 7 miles to the customs/immigration office at Kilometer 21 (GET VISAS)
- Now you are on your way – for the next 3 hours or so you will be driving toward Hermosillo on Mexico Hwy 15, through small towns like Imuris, Magdalena, and Santa Ana. It is 145 miles from K21 to the last toll booth and the turn off to the Hermosillo Mine Road route.
- After the toll booth you will see a small sign that says “Mina Pilares” on the right – TURN RIGHT THERE. You will wind through a nice desert for 5 miles and then come to a left turn marked by very large power poles (if you go straight, you get to the mine). Turn left. This road is “Solidaridad”
- Follow this main boulevard (south) for about 6.5 miles until you hit Blvd Luis Encinas – which is the “Airport/Kino Bay road” HWY 16. Turn right – heading west – and you are on your way to Kino
- Stay on that Highway, past the Airport, for about 67 miles from the airport until you arrive at the stop light at the gas station in Bahia de Kino (this is old Kino)
- Keep going straight about 6 miles through “New Kino” to the intersection at the “Super T” market
- Turn Right and then turn right into the third driveway at the Prescott College Kino Bay Center sign.
- IT IS ABOUT 530 MILES TOTAL FROM PRESCOTT TO THE STATION IN KINO BAY
Crossing the border
1. Follow the directions to the border above.
2. You will likely be stopped by American officials on the US side of the border for a moment
3. Then you will travel over a long “bridge” (fenced) 5 miles, to the first toll booth.
4. After the first toll, you will come to a Mexican check station where you will stop and wait for a red or green light. If you get the green, keep going. If you get the red, you have to pull over and wait in your car until the Mexican officials approach your car. They will ask you questions like “where are you going?” “What are you bringing?” “Do you have any guns?” Answer all their questions respectfully. If they ask you to open your car, open it. If they ask you to unload your stuff, unload it. Eventually, you will be on your way. A good rule of thumb is to speak when spoke to.
5. There is a chance that IF you are pulling a trailer you might be told that you have to import the trailer. This is actually the rule, but as of 2012 it is rarely enforced. Don’t ask. If they tell you that you have to import the trailer then you will have to go back and go through this process which involves:
a. Make copies of the vehicle and trailer registrations and titles, copies of every page of your passport and copies of your tourist card and your driver’s license (there is a place to make copies there).
b. Take those copies to the Banjercito office which is behind where you got your tourist card.
c. You will have to put $450 on YOUR credit card to temporarily import the vehicle (ouch!). They will put a sticker on your window which you MUST get taken off at the same place upon return in order to get a refund on your credit card.
d. **** IF this possibility is prohibitive to you – there is another route to Kino through Penasco (Sonoyta), but it takes longer and must be done in two days because the end of that route consists of a VERY bad road which should not be done at night. If you are interested in this route – contact Lorayne or Ed.
6. Continue south to the “Sonora Only” check point (“Kilometer 21”). Pull off the road and park.
7. Take your citizenship proof. BEGINNING JUNE 2009 NOBODY WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENTER MEXICO WITHOUT A PASSPORT. Currently passport applications are taking 10-16 weeks to process. Expedited service can be as quick as 4 weeks, but costs an extra fee. Passport applications are available on-line and can be sent through the Post Office on Willow Creek Rd. (photos can be taken there too). This requirement includes children.
8. First go to the Mexican immigration office. Give them your proof of citizenship papers and they will give you your tourist card, you fill it out and sign it in front of them. There is a $25 U.S. fee that must be paid to validate the tourist card if you are staying in the country more than 7 days. They will send you over to the bank window to pay, then come back and get your visa stamped.
9. You can change pesos or purchase Mexican insurance for your private auto here too (P.C. vans already have Mexican insurance).
10. COMING HOME – The return trip from Kino is not much different. From the station you are just driving straight on HWY 16 toward Hermosillo (east), it is about 66 miles to the Airport on your left and continue for another 3 miles (past a big overpass) and turn Left onto Blvd Solidaridad.
11. Drive on Solidaridad through town for about 6.5 miles and you will hit the Mine Road again; Turn Left and head on back through the hills the way you came, pop out at HWY 15 right near the Toll Booth and you are on your way.
12. When you get close to Nogales, (about 45 miles after the Magdalena Toll Booth) you want to take the border crossing that is west of town. You need to watch for signs for this - you do not want to go through the center of town (Nogales Centro).
13. Crossing the border back to the USA means waiting in line and going through the border station. You must produce all the passports for the people in the van. They may send you to secondary inspection and they can and may search the entire vehicle, trailer, contents and people.
14. Do not transport the following back into the USA; Fresh fruits and veggies, meat, plants, animals, pieces of endangered species or marine mammals (like a vertebra or tooth) and of course illegal drugs.
15. Any prescription medications must be in their original bottles with a doctors name and the patient's name clearly visible
Driving in Mexico
- Driving at night should be avoided. The roads are not good.
- Occasionally you will be stopped by uniformed military police or drug enforcement police (with guns). They will ask you questions as in #4 above and maybe ask to see inside your car. Proceed as above. All police WILL be in uniform and in groups on the main highway.
In an emergency
- If you can get to a phone and you are in Mexico, call the Kino Center at
- Or call Lorayne at: (928) 713-4101
- Or call the PC field emergency phone: 928-925-3369
Mexican version of "911" is 066
Phone cards can be purchased at OXXO stores along the highway – “tarjeta telefonica para telefonos publicos” - with these phone cards you can make calls in public telephone booths. To call the United States dial, 001, then the area code and number. To dial Kino, dial 01-662-242-0024 if north of Hermosillo – or if in Hermosillo, just dial 242-0024.
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