Information / Sources, Tijuana
EXPLORE TIJUANA. It is Baja's largest city with much of an unending unplaned sprawl creeping into every nook and cranny of the hilly terrain. The density of Tijuana is much more compact than that of any city north of the border.
Even though the Tijuana - San Diego border holds the unique distinction of being the world's busiest international border crossing, most visitors who cross do not see much more than a passing glance of this facinating city as they stay on the main roads or head further south into Baja. For the visitor willing to take the time to explore this city, Tijuana has much to offer!
Looking for excitement? Is Nightlife your thing? Well jump in but don't forget to be safe.In addition to a wild nightlife TJ offers wagering on greyhound racing and on Jai-Alai, the fastest game in the world! Tijuana also offers two bull rings for bullfighting, which attracts locals and tourists alike on Sundays from May through September. There are two very good golf courses near by, and after the sun goes down, a host of restaurants and bars keep the action alive until well into the evening!
Tijuana's claim to fame is shopping, blocks and blocks of shopping! Most of the shopping is centered around a ten block area on Avenida Revolucion, in the central tourist zone. If you can't find what you're looking for here, it probably can't be found. At least not in Mexico!
Like most American big cities, Tijuana has some crime, congestion, and that big city 'people in a hurry' feeling to it. But if one takes the time to explore below the surface of this ever expanding metropolis, a proud people can be found who are optimistic about working for a better future.
Check out the Federales, these guys are all over the place ever since 9/11/01. I felt safer knowing that police protection has been increased on both isdes of the border.
Fondest memory: They guys may look menacing but they're very friendly, this one was happy to pose for a picture.
Favorite thing: Recognise that it is not all about cheap tequila and sleazy nightlife. Tijuana is one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico--it is the holding area for thousands and thousands of people from all over South and Central America who are unable or waiting to get into the USA. The border is heavily guarded, and every night we went to sleep listening to the sounds of sirens and low flying aircraft. (One night we even witnessed a chase down of people trying to get over the wall--our place had a view of the border.) Due to this, the population keeps growing and the the slums like this one get larger--the area pictured here was less than 4 years old in 1996.
TIJUANA TOURISM BOARD
Condominio Paseo I,
Paseo de los Heroes No. 9365-201,
Zona Rio Tijuana, B. C. 22000
Tel: (011-52664) 684 - 2854; (011-52664) 634 -0223
Fax: (011-52664) 684 - 2108
MEXICO: 01 (800) 025 - 0888
USA: 1 (888) 775 - 2417
official webpage (in English and Spanish):
Tijuana Tourism Board
VISITOR INFORMATION CENTERS:
San Ysidro Border Crossing
90 feet from San Ysidro International Border
Tel. (664) 683-1405
Mon – Thu 8 a.m. – 5p.m.,
Fri - Sat 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.,
Sun 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Pedestrian Border Crossing
Right across the pedestrian border crossing
Tel. (664) 683-4987
Mon – Thu 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.,
Fri – Sat 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.,
Sun 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Av. Revolucion between 3rd. and 4th. St. (3a and 4a Calle)
Tel. (664) 685-2210
Mon – Thu 10 a.m. – 4p.m.
Fri – Sut 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Letter “E” inside baggage claim area
Tel. (664) 683-8244
Operating hours: Mon – Sun 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Ave. Revolucion inside Mexicoach bus station
Operating hours: Fri - Sun 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
TIJUANA VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER
555 H Street Chula Vista,
CA 919100, USA
Tel: (619) 225-2088
RECOMMENDED OFFICIAL WEBPAGES:
Tijuana Official Tourist Guide
On Baja California region:
Baja California State Tourism Secretariat
Ensenada Tourism Board
Mexico Tourism Board
Fondest memory: Mexican food in El Torito Restaurant and shopping in the store where I bought my souvenirs:-)))).
OTHER RECOMMENDED LINKS (on Tijuana):
San Diego Online - Tijuana
Baja Life Online - Tijuana
Tijuana - the most informative link, I suppose!
For an evening while in San Diego, we took the train just downtown, and went South down to the Mexican border (17 miles) where we took off. We crossed the border on foot to Tijuana, where countless street vendors were waiting for the tourists with souvenirs of all kind : maracas, chest and checkers game in alabaster, jewelry, pottery, nik-naks, etc...
A bus could take us to downtown Tijuana. You can tell that this town lives from the handouts of daily tourists from San Diego. Cheap booze (tequila for less than $3), always the same souvenirs in every shops, as you walk on the sideways, you are asked every 10 feet if you want a cab back to the border... pretty annoying.
You pass the border back to the states like through a carrousel, they don’t even bother you with your purchases. Of course, they check if you are not a Mexican or if you have one hidden in your bag.
Visitors to the northern part of Baja California do not need passports or tourist cards if staying in the country for 72 hours or less. If you plan to stay longer or travel beyond Ensenada, you'll need to obtain a tourist card. This document is free of charge; proof of U.S. citizenship is required like Passport, Social Security Card and for foreign tourist, an I-94 card and Mutliple Entry US Visa stamped on the Passport (for US Visit Approved Countries, Just an I-94 card stamped on the passport is required).
San Ysidro Station: (619) 639-7100 (open 24 hours)
Otay Mesa Station: (619) 661-3249 (6AM-10PM)
Tecate Station: (619) 478-5545 (6AM-Midnight)Important Phone Numbers
When calling Mexico from the United States,
dial the international code and country code, 011-52,
then the 2 digit city code ( ) and 6 digit local phone number.
Medical Emergency: 91 (800) 633-42
Mexican Consulate: (619) 231-8414
Mexican Government Tourism Office: (310) 203-8191
Mexican Ministry of Tourism: (800) 482-9832
Within Mexico: 91 (800) 903-92
San Ysidro Border Station Tourist Information: (619) 428-6200
4570 Camino de la Plaza San Ysidro, CA 92173
The San Ysidro parking facility houses an information center for
Tijuana/Baja California bound travelers and also serves as a Tijuana shuttle terminal.
the mexican pesos is the local currency of Mexico and a peculiarity here in mexico is that it is the first to USE the $ sign (ok the united states just copied it ok! so that you would be surpised if the mexican peso here is using the $ sign since they were the first ones to use it!). many other latin and former spanish colony countries use the peso as currency but the sign is a P not an $. the Mexican peso is now among the 15 most traded currency units in the world, and is the most traded currency in Latin America. current exchange rate for a US Dollar to Mexican Peso is : 1 US Dollar = 13.50 Mexican Pesos.
Fondest memory: mexican pesos are available in 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 pesos banknotes denominations and the coins are available in 50¢, $1, $2, $5, $10, and $20 denominations.
mexico is notorious for having cheaper drug prices so many people cross the border from the US to here in Tijuana which is the nearest city in Mexico in California Area just to buy prescription drugs here which are 30 to 75% cheaper than in the US. A Caveat, not all pharmacies have geniune medicines as some of the stuff are fake so be careful in buying medicines here. most ask for prescription from US doctors (but some don't ask for precsriptions) and dispense you the medicines and you don't need a refill prescrition to buy more of the stuff. the pharmacies are like mushrooms and are located everywhere here.
Fondest memory: examples of the medicines are:
Amoxicilin 500mg x 100 caps.$7.95
Ibuprofen 800mg x 100 tabs. $ 5.00
Ciprofloxacin 500mg x 100 caps $15.00
pharmacies are located everywhere in Tijuana
you can call local or international at the public payphones in the Tijuana area. the public phones are operated by a mexican company called telnor or Teléfonos del Noroeste ("Telephones of the Northwest") which is a big company providing telephone and internet services since 1981 (DSL through Prodigy and E1). It operates in the Mexican states of Baja California and part of the northwest of Sonora, It is part of Grupo Carso Telecom, which is owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.
Fondest memory: the call rates are 2 mexican pesos for a local call (for 5 minutes) to a landline and 3 mexican pesos a minute to calls on cellular phones and 5 mexican pesos a minute for calls to the United States (both landline and cellular phone calls) and 7 mecian pesos a minute when calling other international destinations. really handy if you left you celphone at home when going here and the public phones are located everywhere!
Tijuana lies just in the northwest corner of Baja California along the Pacific Ocean and the Mexico-U.S. border, 12 miles south of San Diego, California. From being a ranch settled on part of a land grant in 1862, Tijuana developed as a border resort with gambling casinos and related activities during the 1920s as a consequence of the prohibition in the U.S. Its fast recent growth, however, is due to steady industrialization. In fact, Tijuana's population has been growing up since 1950, rather accelerating from 1970 to 1995, a period in which the city population grew at an annual rate of 5.0%. In 2000, city population added up 1,212,232, 48.7% of Baja California total.
Tijuana is the site for the largest concentration of maquiladora firms in the state and the country. By May 1996, 516 plants provided jobs for 108,282 persons. Many of the most important U.S. and Asian firms run plants located in the city’s industrial districts, where an extensive variety of electrical household appliances, such as videocasssete, recorders and televisions, are assembled. Due to this amazing economic transformation, Tijuana is nowadays known as 'TV City', in fact, the biggest TV manufacturer center in the world.
Tijuana economic activity also flourishes with trade, tourism and other services. An slogan for it is 'the most visited city in the world'; in 1995, its borderline was crossed over more than 50 million times.