This is for those looking Lakeside for a COVID-19 PCR test. Just to clarify, this is NOT the same as the COVID-19 Antigen test. PCR is a molecular polymerase chain reaction test and it is not as widely available Lakeside as the antigen test, therefore I am sharing the information I gathered as it may help others.
At time of writing, a PCR test is required for entry into Canada and your test results will NOT be accepted at the Canadian border if they are older than 72 hrs. You should check the Canadian Gov't website for most recent info.
The following was accurate on Aug 30, 2021 (you should double check)
The PCR test is available at:
- San Antonio Hospital - $6800+ pesos, results were offered in 72 hours - not willing to guarantee anything earlier
- Ribera Medical Centre (Libremento) - $4800+ pesos, results in 72 hrs but testing was not available on Sunday so this can make it tricky to plan,
- Laboritorio Clinico El Lago (behind bus station in Chapala) - $2800+ pesos - results same evening as test, I triple checked this and was told I would receive test results via email within 12 hrs of the test.
You can also get a PCR test at the Guadalajara Airport - 2nd level of the parking lot - I did not speak to them as I wanted to get a tested Lakeside. I also did not research anything west of Ajijic.
The discrepancy in prices, did not appear to have anything to do with timeliness of results or level of service.
Lakeside locations that did NOT offer PCR test:
- Ajijic Hospital
- Chopo Lab
- Go Lab
- Best Lab
My husband and I went to Laboritorio Clinico El Lago because of their pricing and their multiple assurances that we would have the test results the same evening. We called for an appointment and chose to take one a day earlier than they suggested just so we would have a buffer day if something didn't go as planned. (Our back up plan was Guadalajara Airport).
This is a very small clinic and the place was hopping first thing on a Monday morning but the process was very efficient. We speak very little Spanish and the staff were helpful and kind. You have to check in at the window upon arrival and they took us right on time. I felt that they knew exactly what the process is - if there was any confusion at all it was due to our lack of experience and language skills.
Once inside, we had to fill in a simple form with our address and passport info BRING YOUR PASSPORT (or at least the number) WITH YOU.
They will create a sticker with your name and passport number on it - make sure your name is spelled correctly and exactly the same as it appears in your passport.
The test itself takes place in a little closet-sized office and is done by a technician in full PPE - hazmat suit, googles, ventilator. The technician sprays and disinfests everything - including you. The test is not pleasant but not terrible either - a swab in each nostril all the way to the sinus and a swab at the back of your mouth. The technician spoke very good English and explained each step before proceeding. He told me the samples are driven to Guadalajara in the afternoon for processing that evening. The whole thing took less than 5 mins and was very professional.
We paid cash after the testing and asked for a receipt which was created immediately on an official receipt pad and signed by the head nurse. Turns out we never needed to show it to anyone but it was just another piece of documentation if something went wrong along the way. The whole process for two of us took about 30 mins.
Good to their promise, our results arrived the same evening via email - actually earlier than the 12 hrs advertised. They were PDF attachments which we downloaded to our mobile devices and we also printed them. Having a paper copy turned out to be the easiest for airport purposes. We were asked to show them at the AeroMexico check-in counter and we had to present them to Canadian Customs and Immigration upon arrival in Canada.
It cost us $5600 pesos for two people, plus ~$400 pesos for taxi from Ajijic to Chapala and back. So all in, $6000 pesos for the two of us.
Hope this is helpful to those heading back into Canada.