Tijuana is a city in Baja California Norte, Mexico. It is located right across the border from San Diego, California, USA. Visitors can expect an ideal climate for most of the year, with average temperatures during the daytime ranging from 68ºF (20°C) in January, to 86ºF (30°C) in August. The rainy season is short (and tame, with yearly averages close to only 10 inches/ 254 millimeters of rainfall), and encompasses late winter to early spring. Tijuana has a population of around 1.2 million people according to the last census, although it is believed that the number is now closer to 2 million. The city has grown from a small border town with a salacious reputation during the Prohibition Era in the United States into a large, modern city with a sizable middle class. Its proximity to the United States has made it a very popular tourist destination, especially for day-trippers from San Diego. Recent violence has curtailed that traffic, however.
- Zona Centro - including Avenida Revolución
- Zona Rio - Downtown (Business district)
- Zona Norte
Tijuana along with its U.S. neighbor San Diego form the largest metropolitan area on the U.S.-Mexican Border with a population of 4.5 million.
Economically, a growing middle class disposable income has fueled Tijuana's transformation into a modern city with a vibrant culture, a characteristic that has attracted many national and international businesses which had largely shunned the city before. Aside from the middle class, in Tijuana you can reasonably expect to find areas filled with richer people. Tijuana is a transit point for illegal immigration into the United States, as well as a common destination for any illegal Mexican immigrants deported from the West Coast of the United States. As such, some areas are swollen with poor people with no roots in the city, who inhabit shantytowns. Apart from these poor migrants, Tijuana is one of the wealthiest cities in Mexico. Some (mainly residential) areas of the city reflect the significant number of wealthy people who inhabit the city.
Tijuana's growing reputation as a cosmopolitan city is justified. Not only is the city home to many people who have migrated from within the same country, as well as some native Mexican Indians, but it boasts an important amount of Asian residents, as well as Americans (mostly from neighboring San Diego who have been drawn to Tijuana by cheaper housing), and South Americans from Argentina and Uruguay, among others.
Frequent English-speaking visitors to Tijuana use the term "gringo-friendly" for a shop, bar, or restaurant in which a non-Spanish speaking customer will be at ease. A place is gringo-friendly if the staff here is accustomed to dealing with American tourists, if they speak English and have English-language menus. Places that are not gringo-friendly may require use of Spanish, and patience. Just because a place is not gringo-friendly does not imply that the people there will not be friendly or that tourists will not be welcome.
While the Mexican peso is the legal currency, US dollars are widely accepted. Tijuana observes daylight savings time (DST) the same way as the USA did pre-2007, from first Sunday in April to last Sunday in October. Note there will be several weeks each year when San Diego is on DST, but Tijuana is not.
Spanish is the dominant language in Tijuana, as it is in much of Mexico. However, English is spoken by almost everybody in the city's tourist hot spots (such as Avenida Revolucion), as well as by taxi drivers and the Americans that live in the city. Having someone with you who can speak Spanish will be helpful when going away from Avenida Revolucion.
Most tourists enter Tijuana through the border crossing at San Ysidro, which is reportedly the busiest border crossing in the world. The crossing can be made by car, bus, bicycle, or on foot.
From the Tijuana International Airport
Tijuana-General Abelardo L. Rodtríguez International Airport (IATA: TIJ) is served by the two Mexican legacy carriers, Aeromexico and Mexicana, and also serves as a hub for the growing low-cost airline market in Mexico. Carriers such as Volaris and Interjet offer low-cost products similar to U.S.-style low cost carriers. Previously international services were very limited until 2007, when Aeromexico begin services to East Asia adding Tijuana as a stop on its Mexico City-Tijuana-Tokyo (Narita) flagship route. In 2008, this route was augmented by a Mexico City-Tijuana-Shanghai (Pudong) flight. The flights serve as routes not only as flights between four of the world's most populous cities, but also as the link for the significant East Asian-Mexican community in the Northern Pacific areas of Mexico.
The Airport is located parallel to the USA – Mexico border line, only a few miles east Tijuana Downtown and San Ysidro International Border Crossing, and 1 mile west of Otay International Border Crossing. The Airport is used as a transit point for travelers wishing to visit San Diego and L.A. as well.
You can take an authorized taxi cab, sedan or van, at the Airport. Buy a ticket in one of the boots at the exit of the airport. They have fixed and official rates; It will cost you about $200 Pesos to Zona Rio (15 min ride), or $250 Pesos to Zona Centro (25 min ride), or $300 pesos to the Gran Hotel (30 min ride). US Dollars will be accepted.
You can take also public transportation from the Tijuana airport all the way to city downtown and it will cost you $ 6 Pesos, less than 1 US Dollar. Go outside the airport and take the blue and white bus, heading west. It has the legend: “Centro” or “Plaza Rio”. US Dollars will be accepted.
The airport has international coach transportation to San Diego or the major destinations in south California and transfer to the Gray Hound, Some airlines provide their own coaches to/from major San Diego destinations, including Lindbergh San Diego Airport.
-- Please note that even though the Mexican Peso is the official currency in Mexico, US Dollar will be accepted every where in Tijuana and the whole Baja California State, despite the fact MXP/USD interchange rate changes daily.
From the San Diego Airport
San Diego International Airport  is only a few miles north of the international border and can be used as a transit point for travelers wishing to visit Tijuana. You can take public transportation from the San Diego airport all the way to downtown Tijuana and it will only cost you $10. Go outside the airport and take the airport express bus, which is route 992. Buy a $5 day pass from the bus driver, which will also cover the trolley. Take this bus to the first stop on Broadway. From here, you should see the American Plaza Trolley station. Walk over to the west side, and you will catch the Blue Line to San Ysidro. The day pass you bought from the bus driver will work on the train, which could help you to catch a train that's just arriving at the American Plaza Trolley station. The San Ysidro exit is the last stop on the Blue Line. Everyone will get off the train. Follow everyone across the bridge to the right of the trains. You cross the freeway on the pedestrian bridge by going up, across and back down. Go through a one-way gate, and if it's your first time, go straight, and cross through another one-way gate. This will take you to the more expensive yellow taxis driven by taxi drivers in yellow shirts. The fare for these taxis is $5 USD to revolution avenue. Sometimes a taxi driver will ask you to pay $6, but you can always get these taxis for $5.
If you've been to Tijuana a few times before, then go to the right after the first one-way gate. This will take you to a small market and here you can catch the lower-priced taxis which are usually green and white and called either "Taxi Libre" or "Taxi Economico." These cost $3 USD to get downtown and the prices are all listed on various boards.
If it's during the day then you could walk to downtown. Follow the signs that say to Centro. You'll walk across a long bridge, and generally head toward the Revolution Arch.
Take I-5 or I-805 to south. Either park at the border and continue on foot or you drive into Mexico. Driving from the US to Mexico usually requires no stopping. Driving across the border from Mexico to the US may involve a long wait, especially during evening rush hour or on holiday weekends. Mexican insurance is required, which can be bought immediately before crossing the border, or even online before your trip. Many times, the Otay Mesa and Tecate border crossings, also nearby, are much less congested gettng back into the US. To get to the Otay crossing can be a little scary (not good for Gringos at night) and the border agents don't seem as pleasant as when working at the San Ysidro crossing.
If the pedestrian line returning to the US is long, as it often is after the September 11 attacks, it may be faster to take advantage of the numerous van and bus lines that cross the border. You will undoubtedly encounter agents for these services when approaching the pedestrian line back to the U.S., who will ask for $5 to $10 per person to let you board the vehicles which are already in line. Generally, the closer the vehicle is to the front of the line, the more they will charge.
Many people drive to the border, park on the US side, and walk across. There are many lots available for this, which charge $4-$9 a day. While there are many taxis waiting to take you to Avenida Revolucion, it's only about a fifteen minute walk; follow the other tourists.
Mexicoach buses leave from the parking lots on the US side, cross into Mexico, and drop you off at the bus station on Revolucion Avenue in the middle of the downtown tourist district. These buses run during the day, every day, and costs $5 one way or $8 roundtrip. The parking lot at Mexicoach is about $7/day. The central de camiones for destinations in Mexico is reached by bus from Calle 3 or by taxi from the city centre and has direct coaches to most major cities in Mexico.
Tijuana offers several Bus routes into Mexico. Updated Tijuana Bus routes are available online at. From Tijuana you can easily go to Ensenada, or further south to Guerrero Negro, which is a very popular destination for whale watching. It is a 9 hour bus ride to Guerrero Negro but well worth it. Other bus routes locations include La Paz, San Juan del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas at the tip of Baja.
Cabs are abundant throughout the city. If you are walking into Tijuana via the San Ysidro border crossing, you will be immediately confronted with a massive array of yellow cabs waiting to take you into downtown. This group of cab drivers are conveniently located, but be sure to negotiate a price before jumping into a cab. You should pay no more than $5 in normal traffic to get from the border to the downtown area.
If you exit the border area by taking a right instead of going straight ahead to the taxi stand, then walk toward town after crossing the street, you will encounter the Taxi Libre taxi stand, which will generally cost half as much as a yellow cab would charge.
Throughout the city, cab drivers stand on the sidewalks and solicit customers. It is almost impossible to avoid them, so finding a cab should never be a problem. Yellow cabs do not have meters, so agree with your driver in advance what the cost will be. Taxi Libre, white with red stripe, cabs have meters and are cheaper than yellow cabs, though you might have to remind the driver to use the meter.
Be aware that when taking a Yellow Cab to a specific location, the drivers may tell you that the restaurant or bar you asked for is closed, and conveniently offer an alternative. This is almost always untrue, and the taxi driver is attempting to divert you to a business where he will receive a commission for delivering passengers. The driver may alternately tell you that "company rules" say that all rides to a given area can only take passengers to certain businesses, to achieve the same result. Taxi Libre drivers do not engage in this practice, as they are independent contractors, and do not have the commission structure that Yellow Cabs do.
- Avenida Revolucion in the Zona Centro - the main tourist area
- Bullfights - Tijuana has one bullring, which is open during the summer months, and has bullfights most Sundays. It is located in Playas de Tijuana, adjacent to the US border. It is the only seaside bullring in the world. The older and more historic bullring near the city center has been partially demolished by the owner of the property in the past year, citing failed business practices of the bullring. However, there is a strong movement within the city to designate this site a historical monument, rebuild the bullring and have it serve as a municipal arena. Official bullring schedules and pricing are available at .
Tijuana is on the ocean, but is not known for its beaches, for boating, or as a seaside resort. However, it is in cabbing distance of Rosarito - the trip will cost $20, while Mexicoach will bus you there for around $10. Ensenada is further down the coast but easily accessible by car or bus.
- Visitors to Rosarito and Ensenada should note that the main road is a toll road, with small sedans and trucks being tolled at $26 Mexican Pesos or $2.55 USD. Either currency is accepted generally.
- Visit the historical centers such as the Preparatoria Federal Lazaro Cardenas which is famous for being the central base of liquor contraband during the Al Capone days.
- Visit the world famous Zona Norte "Red Light District". Tourists, American Military, and locals alike have been venturing to this area for decades. Be aware that this is a dangerous area, and visitors should take extreme caution just as they would visiting any high-crime area of a major city.
There are disappointingly few bargains to be had in Tijuana. Silver and leather products are allegedly cheaper than in the US. Souvenir shops abound. Many of the items sold in the souvenir shops are actually purchased in the San Diegan swap meets and brought into Mexico and resold to tourists.
- Cuban cigars are mostly fake, with the majority being of Mexican origin with a "Cohiba" or "Montecristo" brand name added. However, La Casa Del Habano  on Avenida Revolucion is a licensed dealer that sells genuine Cubans.
- Silver bracelets and necklaces are common, but maybe fake. Don't pay more than than four dollars for fake jewelry.
- Vanilla is a bargain. Good place to buy is in plaza on revolucion
- Spanish music cassettes for only about fifty cents available in plaza on Revolucion .
- Mexican groceries try stores like Calimax or Comercial Mexicana and see numerous Mexican products not found in other places or Mexicanized version of American products.
Apart from the abundant, over-priced tourist traps, local cuisine ranges from world-class restaurants to locals-only eateries and street vendors selling tacos. Food poisoning is more of a risk at the cheaper establishments, but will probably not be a concern. In many sit down restaurants, musicians will wander in and play for tip. A good price for a song is $1 USD per musician per song, but most musicians will try to charge $2 USD per musician per song. For example, if there are five musicians in a band then a good price is $5 USD. Many non-mariachi musicians are untalented and some work with pickpockets, so keep an eye out.
If cuisine is an important factor in your visit to Mexico, be sure to check out the smaller taco shops, where you will be able to enjoy the best carne asada tacos in the world for under thirty cents each. Also delicious are Churros made by street vendors, and the "hot dog" imitations sold as well. Be sure to avoid vendors that are not being patronized by locals.
However, American establishments such as McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, and Carl's Jr. (As Carl's Jr., not Hardee's) are in many parts of the city. However there are some local chains, such as Cafe Sanborns, that prove to be more popular and interesting than the American ones.
The strolling musicians that frequent the Safari Club seemed to be okay. They were not working with pick pockets. Safari Club is an open air restaurant and bar. I always went in the daytime. It is on Revolucion between 5th and 6th. The waiters are gringo friendly and the musicians I know are Lalo who has a nice voice and sings alone, a group of four with Texan hats, one has a bongo drum, and an older group of men with suits they are fine. They can also get you real mariachis but they are expensive about 30 or 35.00. You can hear them practice for free down by the arch. I ate in the Safari Club many times and as a lady alone and really wasn't bothered, just by the many people trying to sell you bracelets and other trinkets.The restaurant next door also has very nice people working there. They are friendly and they have a dish called chile con carne which is very good. It is like beef stew meat but even tastier. The beers are also a little cheaper here. If you are facing the street from safari the restaurant next door is to your left.There is a waitress named Meela that is very nice and the waiters are nice. They can also seat you upstairs where it is quieter.
- Café La Especial, Av. Revolucion 718, in the heart tourist district. Down the stairs in a pedestrian alley. This inexpensive restaurant is the opposite of the noisy, over-priced tourist traps that line Revolucion. Standard Mexican dishes served in a very relaxed, quiet environment. Gringo-friendly, though very popular with locals.
- La Espadaña, Sánchez Taboada Blvd. 10813, Zona Rio. Called the best breakfast in Tijuana. Very inexpensive, but nonetheless attracts a very upscale crowd.
- Bol Corona , Any cab driver can direct you to one of the many franchises of this Tijuana establishment near the city centre. Bol Corona was founded in the 1930's and popularized the then little known "burrito" among the American tourists seeking haven from prohibition laws in the United States. Featuring very inexpensive yet high quality Mexican cuisine, Bol Corona is a must. Several franchises have opened on the San Diego side of the border as well.
- Caesar's hard to miss on Avenida Revolucion in Zona Centro. Reputedly the birthplace of the famous Caesar's salad, in 1924. It is still served there according to its original recipe, mixed and served at your table in accordance to tradition. Has all the appearance of a tourist trap but has a good reputation for quality at a good price. A whole lobster here is $20. Tijuana being what it is, Caesar's also has a strip club which is accessible through the restaurant - keep in mind if you have kids along.
- Chiki Jai, corner of Revolucion and 7th in Zona Centro. Unpretentious, non-touristy Spanish-Basque taberna that has been open since 1947. Filled with bullfighting memorabilia, it is a slice of Spain in the heart of Tijuana. Their sangria and tapas have a good reputation.
- Sushi House, Zona Rio, right by the Office Depot on Paseo de los Heroes.
- La Cantina de los Remedios, Zona Rio, northeast corner of the Abraham Lincoln traffic circle on Paseo de los Heroes. Vast liquor selection, all of which is visible on the immense shelving along the wall behind the bar. Great menu of traditional and modern Mexican cuisine. Two features are of special interest - first are the quotations and pithy sayings in Spanish along all the ceiling beams. The second is the extensive use of Loteria cards to decorate the ceilings as well as the backs of the menus. Both are great for practicing Spanish while enjoying your meal.
- Negro Durazo, Seafood - Located in Zona Rio
- Los Argos - Popular local place with tasty lobster, mussels and fish platters. No English menu, but if you ask for Cesar, he can help you order.
- Cien Años, Zona Rio, on a side street off Paseo de los Heroes, across from the Mundo Divertido family fun center. Open for lunch and dinner. Very famous. Supposedly every recipe on the menu is over 100 years old (hence the name "Cien Años", one-hundred years). Some recipes supposedly date back to Aztec times. Menu includes a number of very strange items such as corn fungus, and bone marrow soup. Gringo-friendly but Spanish is useful. Restaurant is small, with beautiful decor, and a relaxing atmosphere. Prices range from moderate to expensive.
- La Costa, Seafood restaurant on 7th Street in Zona Centro, around the corner from the Mexicoach station. Expensive but excellent dishes.
- La Diferencia, Blvd. Sánchez Taboada No.10611-A Zona Río, between Blvd. Abelardo L. Rodríguez & Escuadrón 201. Excellent and innovative Mexican dishes, and great tamarindo margaritas. Moderately expensive by Tijuana standards but well worth it (~$95 for 2 people, incl. margaritas, wine, appetizer, entree & dessert). Highly recommended.
- Angulos - Seafood, Located in Zona Rio
Beer drinkers are well-advised to visit the "Cerveceria Tijuana," the Tijuana Brewery, and its brewpub. It is located on Blvd. Fundadores, a few minutes by taxi south of the Ave. Revolucion shopping district. Not only do they brew and serve five different Eastern European-style lager beers, but they also have a reasonably-priced food menu. The brewpub is especially impressive because it is designed to look just like a European pub, with dark wood paneling, stained glass, and hardwood floors. One area even has a large window looking into the brewery floor, where you can see the workers busy at their brewing.
High quality margaritas and tequila are also available at numerous establishments.
Migrant houses offer free or very cheap accommodation for anyone regarded as a migrant. Some are said to also accept backpackers.
- Ejercito de Salvacion (men only), Ave Aquiles Serdan, Col. Libertad Parte Baja, phone (664) 6832694
- Casa del Migrante (men and women), Avenida Hidalgo Int. 401, Colonia Centro, phone (664)5542662
- Casa del Migrante en Tijuana (men only), Calle Galileo 239 Col. Postal, phone (664)6825180
- Casa Beato Juan Diego (men only), Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas, Fraccionamiento Murua, near bus terminal, phone (664)6213041
- Casa Madre Asunta (women and children), calle Galileo 2305 Col. Postal, phone (664)6830575
Although travel guides and taxi drivers insist that there is no cheap accommodation to be had in Tijuana, there is if you know where to look. Most of Tijuanas budget haunts are located in 2nd and 3rd Street, while the more outlying ones are probably less safe and certainly more difficult to reach.
- Hotel Morelia, Calle 3ra #8310 (btw. Madero and Negrete), phone (664)685-3361, spacious rooms with shared bathroom from 125 Pesos. Safe location. A pleasant place to stay cheap in Tijuana, right in the midst of it all, but reasonably quiet.
- Casa YMCA, Boulevard Cauhtemoc Sur 3170, Colonia Chula Vista, phone (664)6861359 and (664)6862212
At the north end of Zona Centro, directly adjacent to the large arch spanning Ave. Revolucion, is the Hotel Nelson. It is reasonably-priced and clean, and has a bar as well as a restaurant downstairs. The major drawback would be traffic noise from the myriad bars and clubs along this tourist-oriented street.
A more luxury hotel is the Grand Hotel Tijuana. The Grand Hotel Tijuana is one of the most prominent feature in Tijuana's skyline, having 2 33 story twin towers. It features several bars and restaurants, and an in house shopping mall. Adjacent to the hotel is the Club Campestre de Tijuana, Tijuana's oldest country club, which features an 18 hole golf course.
Marriott Hotel Just recently opened, the Marriott took over the Hotel Emporio
Hotel Lucerna Tijuana is another very safe and clean hotel in the Zona Rio with a great pool, and service. It also has a very upscale bar, restaurant, and loung area. Guards 24/7 and valet parking.
Camino Real Tijuana
- Para mi Tijuana Dedicated to a safe and secure Tijuana, A Tijuana la quiero Segura
Tijuana has a reputation for crime. In recent years, drug violence has erupted in Tijuana due to intense crackdown by the Mexican government and Mexican drug cartels turning on each other. The east side of Tijuana is particularly dangerous and prone to drug violence. Zona Norte can also be very dangerous if you are walking alone. Much of Tijuana's drug violence happens in these two parts of the city (due to their proximity to the U.S. Border). Most of the drug violence is not targeted at tourists, but rather at competing drug cartels as well as Mexican police. However, it is best to stay alert. Many local Tijuana residents have died while walking into the cross-fire of shootouts between drug cartels. Muggings and kidnappings are also common in Zona Norte. However, most tourist parts of the city are generally safe, such as Avenida Revolucion, Playas de Tijuana, Zona Rio, and Tijuana's red light district in Zona Norte. As with any large city with a bustling downtown, use common-sense and street smarts when walking the street; especially in the red light district of the "Zona Norte" (North Zone). The biggest problem you will probably experience is trouble-making American men who stumble out of bars and brothels.
It is advisable to be very careful of buying anything that would alert suspicion from Mexican police, this would include any type of prescription medicine (with potential for abuse, or perhaps low overdose/extreme side effects), pornography and weapons. The police will use anything against you if they do stop you, so the less they have to go on the better. Laws differ from those in the USA.
Park in well marked parking lots with security guards. Police enforce the laws on foreigners who commit crimes such as pedophilia or buying illegal drugs. They will also attempt to scare foreign gay tourists by telling them homosexuality is a crime; it is not (in fact, the gay scene is bustling and growing at a rapid pace). But drinking from an open container (alcohol) in the street is. For this and other "crimes", they may suggest an ATM and force you to withdraw money with threats of imprisonment. The standard "fine" is about 3000 pesos but may be higher depending on severity. Drinking in the streets usually carries a bribe of $100-200 (US).
Corruption still exists among the Tijuana Police Department (the Mexican Federal Police on the other hand is trustworthy), so beware. But this is usually done when you are alone after a night on the town, are slightly intoxicated, and your actions make you a potential victim. When speaking to an officer, stay calm and respectful. Never offend or belittle the officer or the country of Mexico. Typically, if you have done nothing wrong, stand your ground and they will eventually let you go. You can insist on seeing a judge, and explain what happened. If you do this, most likely the officer will just give a warning and send on your way.
For traffic infractions, you are entitled to a written ticket, and you can pay the fine by mail. In any case, these made-up charges are usually only a small fine, most likely less than the bribe you would offer; you do not go to jail. Remember that you are not immune from Mexican laws, if an officer pulls you over for speeding because you were speeding, it's not corruption. Illegal drugs and drunk driving are taken seriously in Mexico, as they are elsewhere.
- Theft - Pickpockets can be found in certain heavy tourist areas. You are generally safe in areas such as the Zona Rio, Playas de Tijuana, El Hipodromo, and many others, just make sure to always be cautious when visiting alone. The best targets for theft are those who speak no Spanish, wander alone (specially at night), are intoxicated, and travel to the Avenida Revolucion. If you find yourself being swarmed by small children who want to sell you something, be aware that they could be trying to pick your pockets.
- Drug-dealer informants - In many bars and on the street, it is common to be offered illegal narcotic drugs for sale. Some of these peddlers work with the police. They sell someone the drugs, then tell the police that person is carrying. The police shake the person down for cash, and confiscate the drugs, which they presumably return to the original peddler, who goes looking for another victim.
- The $20 switch - very common scam. You buy a beer and give the waiter $20, he brings you back change for a $10, hoping you are too drunk or it is too dark to notice. Sometimes the waiter will palm the $20 and show you a $1, claiming that's what you gave him. To avoid this, explicitly state the value of the bill you are handing a waiter, saying something like "Out of twenty" while holding up a $20 bill. Note that this scam is primarily found in bars, dance clubs, and strip clubs, not in restaurants. Your waiter at a restaurant may be confused or offended by your implying that he may be wanting to trick you.
- Donkey shows - Tijuana got rid of the infamous donkey shows decades ago, which is a sexual performance involving women and animals. This was part of Tijuana's attempt to clean up its image. To see a donkey show, you will have to go to a Texas border town. In Tijuana, many of the nude show establishments have some rather seedy shows, but you will certainly never walk into one of them to see any shows involving women and animals of any kind. Occasionally, strip club hecklers will attempt to lure you into their establishment by claiming a donkey show, but today there is no donkey show in Tijuana. The donkey died several years ago.
- Strip clubs - There are a numerous clubs on Revolucion that offer nude dance shows. As you walk down the street, barkers will try to entice you to come in; if you are not interested, simply smile and walk on. If you do walk into one, most likely you will soon be approached by one or several ladies who will ask you to buy them a drink. Keep in mind that their "mixed drinks" are often nothing but soda or juice, but you will be expected to pay a ladies drink price, whether they ask for beer, real mixed drinks, or non-alcoholic drinks. These drinks will typically cost you between $8 and $10, and the ladies get a commission for each drink you purchase for them. Be aware of overly affectionate ladies who will place their arms around your neck, specially if you are wearing gold chains! Also note that in some clubs, some of the women may be transvestites or transsexuals, and can be very convincing. If you are suspicious of the gender of women who approach you, or discover male genitalia, do not cause a scene, but decline politely. It is not worth spending a night in Tijuana jail for assault!
- Prescription drugs - Though your prescription drugs may be much cheaper here, carrying large quantities or carrying them without your prescription can land you many "years" in a Mexican prison. Some foreign prescriptions may not be valid in Mexico. If you break the law, you will be dealt with accordingly. However, this does not include medications which often change in status in the USA from prescription to over-the-counter (e.g. Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec, Pepcid AC, etc.) Such medications are readily available without a prescription in Mexico. Police are mainly concerned about prescription drugs which have the potential to be abused.
- Food and Alcohol Imports - Note when stopped at the border, U.S.Customs will confiscate any fruits, vegetables, and live or raw meat products in an effort to combat certain diseases or bugs from entering the U.S. food supply. Meat products confiscated can include pork rinds. Alcohol can be brought across the border if for 'personal use' with a limit of 1L duty and tax free. More than 1L for personal use can be brought if duty and relevant taxes are paid. Dairy products can be confiscated too. Another note is the importation of abalone or conch meat, which are endangered species and not for sale in the US.
- Contraband items - Can be confiscated by U.S. Customs, they include weapons, drugs (illegal or without prescription), Cuban cigars, and live animals.
A few words of advice: many American tourists visit Tijuana only to experience the lewd and shady aspects of the city. The vast majority of such tourists confine their visit to the Avenida Revolucion and experience a very limited view of Tijuana and Mexico. If you are savvy, you will expand your horizons by going to areas where you might actually run into locals, not just the horde of tourists who wander the streets. Also, it is advisable to learn even a couple phrases in Spanish so you are not completely rude and oblivious to everyone around you.
This page was last edited at 02:39, on 14 March 2009 by San Francisco Girl. Based on work by Eric Polk, E. Tuthill, Jani Patokallio and Z Ramirez, Wikitravel user(s) Mexicant, Morph, Cacahuate and Jonboy, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.