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October 30, 2019

HowTo FMM - Forma Migration Multiple

Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM) is a document required by the Mexican government for all tourists entering the country.

It is easily obtained at the INM (Instituto Nacional de Migración) at the land border crossing, or online.

I prefer to fill out the form for both Fran and myself online and pay online.  I exit the browser between forms as it tends to remember entries from the previous form.

However, even once paid and printed the form is still not valid until stamped by the INM at the border. 

Below are the basic steps on filling out the FMM form getting the appropriate stamps.  It's how we spent our morning ...

The FMM application in English can be found HERE.

Select By Land and agree to the Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the page.

If using either of the two INM stations in Tijuana select El Chaparral as the Point of Entry.
Use the drop down calendar to select your arrival date.  Note select first the month and year, and then the date.  Once the date is selected the entry is completed.  Also note the selection is stored in the European format of Day/Month/Year.

I’ve added my comments to assist with the remaining questions.  There’s no secret to answering to them.  Disclaimer:  my entries below are examples only and not related to any actual person.

Forma Migratoria Múltiple Important: To generate your request disable pop-up blocker browser and check to have installed Acrobat Reader. It is essential that has an email account.
<jsp> magenta accent added as this is important!

Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM)
Entry Information
Means of entry*:
By land

Point of entry*:
El Chaparral
<jsp>  Tijuana

Date of arrival to Mexico*:
<jsp> 30 Oct, 2019

Date of departure*:
<jsp> 6 months from date of entry

Personal information
John David
<jsp> First and middle name/initial/space as it appears in your passport

<jsp> Last name as it appears in your passport


Date of birth*:

Nationality (Country)*:
United States of America

Country of birth*:
United States of America

Identification document
Type of document*:


Document number*:

<jsp> passport number

Document number (Confirmation)*:

Country of issue*:
United States of America

Date of issue*:

Date of issue (Confirmation)*:

Expiration date*:

Expiration date (Confirmation)*:

Place of residence
Country of residence*:
United States of America

Address of residence*:
<jsp> I only provide a city, state, zip.

Trip information
Reason of trip*:
<jsp> I could select Other –> Health –> Dental.  But the FMM is good for 6 months and all of Mexico.  So again I am a bit vague.

Baja California
<jsp>  The FMM is good for all of Mexico, but we spend nearly all our time in Baja

Address in Mexico*:
San Felipe, BC
<jsp> Again a bit vague, but it’s never been questioned


Email (Confirmation):

Verification code*:
Not readable verification code? Try another one
<jsp> Enter the Captcha shown in the graphic, or ask for another.

Save the form and review it.  If all looks good, be certain pop-up blockers are disabled click Submit. 

A new window will be opened for Payment.  Today I paid $588 Pesos (~$28 USD) each for our FMM forms.  Be certain to print your receipt.

After payment an email link from notificaciones-inm@inami.gob.mx will be provided to  download the FMM itself.  Download and print the FMM.  Both the Entry and Exit forms are printed on a single sheet of paper.  

Since no sharps, paper cutters, scissors etc. are permitted in INM, I crease the forms and cut them about 3/4 of the way apart – top toward bottom.  Thus the agent can see they belong together and tear them apart easily.

Take BOTH the bank receipt and the completed FMM to the INM office.  There the agent will stamp both the Entry and Exit forms.  The Entry Form is retained and the Exit Form returned.  I keep Exit Form in my passport as it is proof that I am in the country legally. 

To reach the border crossings for Tijuana, ride the Blue Line Trolley to its last stop at the San Ysidro Transit Center.  Or take I-5 or I-805 to the last USA exit at Camino de la Plaza.

Today we are driving south on I-5 to the 'Last USA Exit'

The cars behind the fence on the right is where we usually park for the El Chaparral crossing (PedWest).  Today we’ll go left to the remodeled San Ysidro crossing.

I turn left at Camino de la Plaza, then right and parked in a lot on the right.  The advantage of parking on the right is that it is a right turn from the parking lot, and another right at the intersection onto the northbound freeways.  A few lane changes to the left is I-5.

Across the street is the San Ysidro Transit Center.  Since the rework, the entry to Mexico is straight ahead past McDonald's, no longer a dog-leg to the left.

This is just a different approach to the same building.  Once inside the queue for FMM is on the right.  There were a few people ahead of us, but the line moved quickly.

Once in Mexico if you are looking for a taxi?  Walk on past the yellow cabs, they are not regulated.  At the end of the walkway are the regulated white cabs with their fares clearly posted.  

Note the return to the US is a walkway originating about where the blue cart in the picture is located.

Despite the new remodel on the US side, not much has changed south of the border.

The pedestrian line forms just east of the freeway.

The building on the right (circa 1930) is the previous pedestrian crossing.

The USA is straight ahead, SENRTI Card holders to the right, everybody else to the left.

I checked Border Wait Times and both the remodeled San Ysidro and El Chaparral/PedWest were reporting 10 minutes.  I multiply by 3, expecting a 30 minute wait ... it's almost an hour!

The new San Ysidro pedestrian crossing could really help with congestion at the border.  It has 24 inspection stations, but the day we were there on 4 were operational and the wait was almost an hour.  At least that’s twice as many as the old 1930’s station that had 2 stations.

I know many people chose to cross into tourist towns, such as Los Algodones for dental visits, without issue.  The same form can be filled out at the INM desk at the crossing, there is no charge if the stay is for 7 days or less.

I've been asked to show the FMM every time we use either pedestrian crossing into Tijuana and about half the time driving across in Mexicali (west).  I've not been asked when driving into Tecate.  I've also been asked to produce the FMM in San Felipe and Puertocitos.

Now we at least we now have all our paperwork in order, we're off for a couple weeks in San Felipe.  And SHRIMP!

October 26, 2019

Culp Valley Trail - Borrego Springs

The Culp Valley Campground is located high above Borrego Springs on the Montezuma Valley Road.  At nearly 3000’ above Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs, it’s typically a bit cooler.

On the way home from Borrego Days we stopped to check out if the campground was RV friendly and stretch our legs on the Culp Valley Trail.

There are two easy trails from the entrance, or combined as a loop.  The trail to Pena Spring I blogged a HERE.  To hike the loop, review the previous blog too.

Back-in-the-day I often tent camped here, I've seen Borrego Sheep, coyotes, rabbits, lots of birds, etc.  Pena Spring provides a water source for all the critters.

Although the dirt access road has been graded there are only a few campsites where we would be able to level the RV.

The trail head is at the end of the campground.  This is an easy gravel trail.

The trail is well maintained and ADA accessible.

The rains of this past September have some of the flowers already blooming.

At about a quarter mile the trail makes a 'Y'.  To the right is a short side trail to the first overlook.

This first overlook is to the east over Borrego Springs, past the airport to the Salton Sea.  This is also the best spot for a cell signal, if needed.

Return to the main trail and continue the gradual uphill.

A few yards after crossing the California Riding  and Hiking Trail (CRHT) is the final viewpoint overlooking Hellhole Canyon.  A bit of a scramble on the rocks below the overlook provides views into the canyon, the trail to  Maidenhair Falls can be located, although the falls will be totally hidden.  Palm groves both above and below where the falls are located beckon.  The CRHT can be taken east into the canyon.

To hike both the Pena Spring and Culp Valley Trails as a 2.5 mile loop, I'd suggest parking at the ‘Y’ where the entrance road splits, below the Pena Spring trial head.  From there proceed up the access road to the Pena Spring trail head.

From the trail head follow the trail/wash crossing the CRHT to the spring less than a quarter mile beyond.  A small trail leads across a marshy area to the spring.  After checking out the spring return to the CRHT and proceed east over the ridge.

The CRHT will cross Culp Valley Trail, which is easy to find as it is 4’ wide and paved with gravel.  A few yards north is the viewpoint over Hellhole Canyon, south is the campground and the parking area.

October 23, 2019

Borrego Days - Borrego Springs

The 54th annual Borrego Days Desert Festival was held under beautiful blue skies last weekend.  This is always a fun opening celebration to welcome in their tourist season.

The theme ‘Bloom in Borrego’ brings awareness to the beauty and fragility of Anza Borrego.

We arrived Friday afternoon and setup camp at Peg Leg Smith.  For a longer stay Clark Lake offers more privacy and less traffic noise.

Friends Doug and Marilyn, along with their grandson Tim joined us.  We parked the RVs to offer shade and block some of the wind that is common once the sun sets.

We're here watching the hummingbirds discover my little feeder and how to get the nectar out of a flower they are not familiar with.  In all 5 different hummers enjoyed a free meal.

As night fell the sky filled with stars, long before the moon rise.  The Orionid Meteor Shower will peak in a few days. We did see a few streaking across the sky, and Fran pointed out several satellites I missed.

Saturday Morning before the parade begins at 10 am, a traditional fly over is performed.  The flyover is led this year by 4 classic biplanes.

There were 18 planes in the flyover this year, but none trailing smoke, nor perform a rollover.
Anza Borrego is the only state park with a full time ranger pilot, who passed over with lights and siren.

Always a few car clubs in the local small town parades.

Borrego High does not have a band.  But the excellent bands of Holtville and Brawley are here every year.  Both are very good, Brawley has marched in the Rose Parade.

Borrego does have cuteness in abundance.

Miss Borrego and her court.
Miss Borrego was the last entry in the parade.  From here we walked over to the Mall for the small car show staged there.  Many of them were in the parade.

A woody without a surf board ....

Fran's brother worked on an MG restoration.  

An Italian Abarth - this is likely the only one I've seen.  The logo is a scorpion, perfect for Borrego.

From the Mall we crossed the street to the Library - not just free WiFi, but it is air conditioned!

Walking back to Christmas Circle from the library we passed the Community Garden.  During the public input on the Library Park, I (and certainly others) suggested citrus.  The decision was an emphatic "No citrus, it requires too much water."

But here with the vegetables and herbs are citrus trees!  Whoot whoot!

We're back at Christmas Circle for the food, music and a lot more cuteness.

Back at our campsite Tim mentioned his surprise that our Jeep was a manual shift.  He's only 10, but quite the car nut.  Doug went over the shift pattern with him and I took him out for a ride.  Almost like driving an automatic, I did the clutch and he selected the gear, including reverse and neutral.  He didn't miss a shift.

Doug, Tim and I took the ride out to Font's Point.  I think Tim might have a little fear of heights.  His first "Whoa!" as we walked to the edge was classic.  I did not get a picture of the plane that flew by below us!  That's the first time I've seen a plane below Font's Point.

The September rain has confused a few plants.  The Ocotillo are already in bloom. 

I know this post is a bit long, but I must give a Shout Out to a couple Snowbirds from Ontario Canada.  They eventually work their way to Borrego Springs as a turnaround point before heading back home.

Best Wishes to Al (with Kelly and Pheebe) from Travel with the Bayfield Bunch.  Al, I know you have camped throughout Borrego and also at the American Legion in Borrego Springs.  The Legion has begun their Steak Saturday for the season.  If Pheebe wants to split one with me, let me know.

Also Best Wishes to George (and Suzi) from Our Awesome Travels, who I met last year right here at Peg Leg Smith.  He has said the best charizo he's found so far is at the Center Market in Borrego Springs.

I noticed the tray was full, and the butcher explained a lot of folks take some home and they do not want to run out on busy weekends.