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When in San Diego - is Tijuana safe?

Travel Forums North America When in San Diego - is Tijuana safe?

1. Posted by frimann85 (Budding Member 16 posts) 7y

frimann85 has indicated that this thread is about Mexico

'Ello guys.

We're off to California later this month - we're heading to San Diego and are considering a one-day visit in Tijuana, just across the border to Mexico.

I've been reading the Rough Guide to the US and it states, that it's okay to go there but a good idea to take the bus instead of the rented car.

This Rough Guide is 3 or 4 years old so I'm wondering if it's safe or would you recommend us to stay away from Tijuana atm?


2. Posted by bgl (Full Member 167 posts) 7y

It's been a while since I lived in San Diego, but when we visited Tijuana (quite a few times) we always drove to the border and parked on the U.S. side and then walked across the border. It's only a 15 minute walk to downtown Tijuana. MUCH safer. I'm sure there's a bus to the border, but the tram is probably quicker and more convenient.

Med venlig hilsen fra Hawaii!

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1997 posts) 7y

I love Tijuana myself, but at the present time I would not feel safe in any N. Mexico destination, and especially TJ itself. If I just had to see Mexico, Mexicali would be a safer destination.

There are mini cruises out of San Diego to the port of Ensenada - I believe they're about 3 days long.

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Sep-2009, at 10:19 by Daawgon ]

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 7y

I agree with Johnny. At this time, I would pass on visiting Tijuana. The drug wars have really made the border cities a battle zone. If you do go, I agree with the public transport option. Take the tram to the border, walk across. Your auto insurance is not valid in Mexico and parking fess will be more than the tram ride. Perhaps a day trip for some shopping and walking around, but I think the problems outweigh the benefits.

5. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1992 posts) 7y

Cruising on down to Rosarito Beach or Ensenada is definitely going to be safer than spending any time in Tijuana. The toll road (routa cuota) will take you there for a very cheap price.

While in Rosarito visit the FOX Studios Mexico ( and visit their amusement park. This is where they filmed both "Titanic" and "Master and Commander".

Also, just a short ways south of here is Puerto Nuevo, the village famous for having 17 restaurants all devoted to serving fresh Pacific lobsters for a very reasonable price. Here's some info on it:


6. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 1992 posts) 7y

I see where their website now lists them as having over 30 lobster restaurants. I think I'm getting hungry just writing about this place.

7. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1997 posts) 7y

Quoting Calcruzer

I see where their website now lists them as having over 30 lobster restaurants. I think I'm getting hungry just writing about this place.

I haven't been in years, but it was delicious, and it is just a short drive from the border.

8. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

I was in Tijuana a few weeks ago and as much as it felt OK for me and the people I was travelling with (we also did Cancun and Mexico City), it really didn't grab me. Nor did Mexico City or Cancun either, all for different reasons. As far as safety goes I felt OK walking round it at night, much more so than in India. Tijuana's beaches aren't as good as I thought they might be. Loads of rubbish and other nasty bits along the sand and in the water too. The bars were nice and I found the people very similar to the folks in Madrid. A little bit more rushed than in the smaller towns, but still time to talk. One thing I struggled with was the language. The dialect is very different to the Spanish in Madrid and I found it difficult to understand.
Of all the so called 'unsafe' cities and countries I've visited, I really don't think Mexico and Tijuana are that scary or places to be over wary of. I've felt more uneasy in many USA cities after dark and certainly more so than any I have been to in Mexico.