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If you, or a member of the family, need some dental work, just a hop over the border from Arizona and southeast California is Algodones, said to be the Dental Capitol of the World. Some people call it “Molar City.” It is a short drive, just seven miles from Yuma. The city is small, the business area is about four blocks. The population is about 5,500.
It is the northern most town in Mexico. The actual name is Los Algodones, which when translated to English, means cotton buds. The name is thought to be derived from the Native Americans who lived in the area in the 17th century – a tribe called Halchidomas.
The town is considered very safe by authorities and visitors alike. Most all travelers are there for inexpensive dental work and/or to purchase prescription medicine at a fraction of U.S. prices. Many of the dentists in town were actually trained in the U.S. and many live here, traveling across the border to work each day. Algodones is also home to numerous ophthalmologists, where you can also purchase prescription glasses.
Souvenirs & Dining
There is some shopping in town, but not as much as some tourist towns, as the dental and ophthalmology offices, and pharmacies take up most of the business space. But, there is plenty of to see and fiestas are frequent, providing entertainment for the busy tourist trade. Whatever souvenirs you do find, be sure to haggle on the price!
There are some great dining options in town, and you shouldn’t leave without a meal and, perhaps, a margarita, depending upon who is driving. Some of the best food it town is said to found at El Paraiso Restaurant-Bar, Birrieria el Paisa or Pueblo Viejo de los Algodones.
Most everyone is Algodones speaks English and American dollars are accepted there. You will need you passports. The weather is cooling now, making a visit the town more inviting. It is very family-friendly, so be sure to make it an outing for everyone. It is worth the drive, but make sure you have auto insurance to cover your travel in Mexico. Without special insurance, if an accident happens, it could be mean serious trouble. Be sure to check with Amigo Mex Insurance before you go.