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Mexicali, a town of over 850,000 over the border from Calexico in California, is the capital of Baja California state. Most activity is government and business related and there are few tourist attractions, apart from some bars, restaurants and shops on Avenida Francisco Madero, one block south of the border.
It is known locally as “the city that captured the sun” because of its extremely high temperatures, which are said to reach at least 120? F (49? C) every summer. Visitors should dress—wear hats, long-sleeved thin cotton shirts, eye protection—and prepare accordingly to avoid sunstroke and heat exhaustion. Tourists should also exercise extra caution with food as extreme desert temperatures make it harder to keep food fresh. The heat can make sleeping difficult and Mexicali is especially draining for senior visitors.
Mexicali is increasingly becoming a health destination for North Americans crossing the border in search of more affordable health-care solutions and Mexican nationals residing in the United States in search of a more familiar health-care environment. Evidence of this is seen in the number of dental offices, hospitals, and pharmacies that dot Avenida Madero, the long road leading to the U.S.-Mexican border crossing.