If you're looking for information about Los Algodones, you're probably looking for a dentist. This little town of around 6,000 residents is a dental tourism paradise.
Los Algodones treats thousands of US citizens who want to save on the cost of dental care. The cost of dentistry in Los Algodones is around 60% cheaper than the United States.
Are you thinking about going to Los Algodones for dental care, but not sure what to expect? We sent Agathe, our Destination Manager for Mexico, into town for a few days to get the lowdown for you. Here's her guide to traveling to Los Algodones for dentistry.
Where is Los Algodones?
Los Algodones is in the Mexican province called Baja California. It's just across the U.S. border, a 20-minute drive west from Yuma, Arizona.
How to get there
Most Americans who visit Los Algodones choose to drive. It's one turn off Interstate 8, which runs between San Diego and Casa Grande in Arizona.
The great thing about Los Algodones is the huge parking lot on the US side, right next to the border. From here you can walk straight through to the Mexican side and avoid the queues. This is perfect if you've had a long drive down and need to get to your clinic quickly. The parking lot is safe and secure and costs $5 for the day.
If you decide to drive over the border into Los Algodones, be aware that the waiting times to get back into the US can be very long. During peak season it can take up to an hour to cross the border, but queues can build up at any time. This is due to the fact that there is one single lane to cross from Mexico into the US.
Getting from the US into Los Algodones by car is very easy. You don't even have to show a passport. A photo of your car and registration number is taken at the border crossing and you can drive straight through. Remember to bring your passport though as you'll need it when coming back into the US.
Yuma International Airport lies on the other side of the border from Los Algodones. There are a few daily flights to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport but the rest is mainly military traffic.
If you live too far away to drive, your best option is to fly to Phoenix or San Diego. From here you can arrange a transfer to Los Algodones. Some clinics will include airport transfers as part of their treatment quote.
What is Los Algodones like?
It's quiet, very friendly and absolutely packed with dentists! I read somewhere that there were about 400 dental clinics in Los Algodones, which seemed like a big exaggeration. I'd say there are more like 50 dental clinics, which is still crazy for such a small town.
You can walk from one end of town to the other in less than 30 minutes, but there still plenty to see and do.
I really loved the markets selling all sorts of souvenirs and produce. You can find some real bargains there, even if they are a little cheesy. The only annoying thing is the vendors who try and get you into their store from the street, but they're not too pushy. Be aware that the markets begin closing around 3pm.
You'll also find a few convenience stores as well as a couple of pharmacies for medical supplies.
There are a few nice restaurants where you can relax with a margarita and fill your stomach. Prices are cheap and the food is surprisingly good. There was a whole range of dishes including some great traditional Mexican food. I was only a few hundred yards away from California but I felt like I was truly in Mexico!
Where to stay
There are only a couple of hotels in Los Algodones. Some clinics offer treatment packages with the Hacienda hotel.
I noticed that many patients who go to Los Algodones choose to stay on the US side of the border after their treatment. The Quechan Casino Resort is very popular. The resort offers a modern hotel and casino (one of only a few which can legally operate in state of Arizona). It's about a 2 minute drive north of the border crossing.
Ten minutes further up the road is Yuma, a town of around 77,000 people with plenty of hotels.
Cost savings in Los Algodones
The final cost of your procedure depends on a number of factors. Generally you can save around 60% compared to the cost of dentistry in the United States. Here's a selection of the most popular procedures in Los Algodones alongside the average price in the US.
Who goes to Los Algodones for dental care?
During my time in Los Algodones I noticed that most of the visitors were 'Snowbirds'. These are retirees who had come down from Canada and the northern US states for the winter.
There are many camping sites around Yuma where RV communities have developed, with people returning each year to meet up. During their stay they take advantage of the great value dentistry on offer across the border in Los Algodones.
It's not just Snowbirds who go to Los Algodones, though. Many families from the border states drive down to visit a clinic, as well as business travelers and younger couples. Residents of Yuma have been visiting Los Algodones for years and even have their kids going for check-ups there.
What are the clinics like?
The town has been treating dental patients from the US for over 30 years, before the phrase medical tourism even existed. They know exactly how to make patients feel comfortable. All the clinics I visited were modern and air-conditioned, which is very important in the summer months. They have all the facilities you might need: free WiFi, a TV in the waiting room, a phone to make calls back home.
I found the level of English spoken at the clinics to be very good, from the dentists through to the staff on reception. If there's ever a problem with communication the clinics can arrange for a translator, but that shouldn't be necessary.
In terms of the quality of treatment, there's really not much difference between US clinics and clinics in Los Algodones. The dentists themselves have decades of experience and many of them have trained and worked in the US. They're able to treat all kinds of dental problems and take the time to listen to your concerns.
But don't take my word for it. If you want to read more about the kind of treatment you can expect in Los Algodones, check out Sharon's story. She traveled from Alaska for dental implants and was delighted with the service she received.
The success of Los Algodones comes from the quality of their dental care. The town relies on dental tourism and as a result they are very selective about who can open a dental practice.
That doesn't mean, though, that every dentist is guaranteed to follow the same high standards. Much like anywhere else, some dental clinics are better than others.
Choosing a dentist
With so many dental clinics in Los Algodones, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with the choice on offer.
Deciding on a dental clinic isn't a small matter. You're making a decision which will affect your oral health for the rest of your life. It's important to do your research and make sure you're fully comfortable with your choice of dentist.
'Pickers' greet you as soon as you cross the border into Los Algodones. These are people employed by some of the less-reputable clinics to bring in custom from the streets. They will try to tempt you with all number of promises about being the best dental clinic in town.
Don't leave it until this point before deciding on a clinic. Some clinics have more experience and are more qualified to treat international patients.
Read all you can about clinics and dentists online before you travel. You can even have a free consultation with a dentist before you make a decision.
Keep in mind that the lowest price might not be the best value. You're making an investment in your future health, so it's worth taking some time to look into all available options.
We don't like to brag, but using a facilitator like MEDIGO is the best way to find the right dentist in Los Algodones. We only list the most trustworthy clinics on our platform and we work with them to make sure our patients are satisfied.
You can read reviews from previous patients, look through clinic images and find out more about the staff. Then we'll put you in touch with your preferred clinic and help you arrange your booking. This way you can avoid the potluck lottery of turning up and hoping for the best.
Oh, and one more thing – it's free to inquire! No hidden fees or nasty surprises.
Top dental clinics and reviews
Here are the top dental clinics in Los Algodones, based on patient reviews and our experience in working with them.
- Free transfer from the border to the clinic
- Exclusive parking lot for patients (the only one in town)
- Partner with the Hacienda hotel for discounted stays
« I went to Mexico with great trepidation, but I was greatly impressed with the quality of service and the very capable dental personnel. My dentist kept me informed at all times about the procedures and the work which needed to done. For once I enjoyed going to the dentist. I saved money, but that as it turned out was secondary to the overall experience. I am a happy customer. »
David from Canada 🇨🇦
- Founded and run by Harvard-educated dentist Xochipilli Bojorquez
- Family-run practice
- Discounts at nearby hotels in Yuma
« The whole staff at Dental Solutions was wonderful. I had multiple issues from bridges to root canals and was scared to even show anyone my teeth. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for better treatment. I needed 22 crowns and 6 root canals. The clinic was beautiful and modern. The staff carefully explained all the procedures before I had them done. The work I had done was very inexpensive compared to the U.S. but very high quality and the results are beautiful.. Totally professional and I got through most of my treatment in one day. Mitzi is a sweetheart to deal with setting up appointments and keeping you calm while you're waiting. I can't recommend them highly enough. »
Karen from the US 🇺🇸
- Family-run practice
- Implantology specialists
- Nearly 10 years of experience treating international patients
Excellent bilingual and super helpful staff: thanks to Virginia Chavez. Dr Zalli Bojórquez carefully went over my options, which were priced very reasonably, and she ended up giving me back my smile! She is my new dentist!
Kitty from the US 🇺🇸
- Free shuttle from the US border
- 5-year warantee on all procedures
- Discounts at nearby hotels
« Great place, I've been 4 times, and have sent many family and friends. They've always done a good job for 1/3 the price of a dentist in Arizona. »
Bill from the US 🇺🇸
5 reasons to go to Los Algodones for dental work
Easy border crossing
If you park up on the US side of the border, you can walk across and be in Mexico in a matter of minutes. No queues, no waiting times.
Los Algodones is built on the quality of it dental care. Without experienced dentists and satisfied patients, the town simply wouldn't survive. Clinics know this and need to constantly improve their quality of service and treatment to stay ahead of the game.
Cheaper than Tijuana
Many people already know about Tijuana as a destination for cut-price medical care. Because of its location, Los Algodones is even cheaper and it's much less stressful getting over the border and moving around town.
Tourist police patrol the border area until it closes at 10pm. Los Algodones is a long way from the troublesome border areas where cartels operate.
A taste of Mexico
It might only be a short walk from the US, but Los Algodones still feels very much like a part of Mexico. Try the food!
If you're interested in booking a treatment in Mexico, visit medigo.com.