Am I crazy to go to Tijuana?

Discussion in 'Other North America/non U.S.' started by Tom Green, Apr 22, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Tom Green

    Tom Green Silver Member

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    I have a few days in LA, and a rental car. I was thinking about spending a day in Tijuana. What are your thoughts? Is it generally safe these days? Am I crazy?
     
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  2. brucewil

    brucewil Silver Member

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    I lived in SD 30 years ago, so this advice may not still pertain. We would never drive across the border because it can take a very long time to cross back into the US. WE would drive to the border, park on the U.S. Side, walk across the border and take a cab wherever we wanted to go. Then walk back across the border to re-enter the U.S.

    Not to mention most rental contracts probably prohibit taking the car across the border. Is it safe? I always felt safe, but I speak Spanish enough to get by.
     
  3. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

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    Sound advice and I would recommend the same. Plenty of cabs from boarder to city center for $5.

    You will be fine visiting during day-light hours and sticking to areas frequented by other Americans, such as Avenida Revolucion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    IIRC there used to be a streetcar to Tiijuana. If you go to the commercial area just over the border, cabs aren't needed.

    Don't even think of driving unless you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that you have adequate insurance. AFAIK most vehicles require purchase of an additional special policy for Mexico.
     
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  5. Slow_Mustang
    Original Member

    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    The last time I drove over there, Mexican insurance was needed by law. We purchased it on the US side from a Mexican insurance company who had set up shop in a makeshift enclosure. But we drove beyond Tijuana. For downtown Tijuana, I believe there is a bridge called the freedom bridge or some such thing leading there after crossing the border and is perhaps a 15 minutes walk away.

    No, you are not crazy about wanting to visit there, but as already suggested make it during the daylight hours and leave your car behind on the US side. And have proper ID papers on you for coming back. Not much there to do though unless you want to bargain for trinkets from street vendors or buy some Mexican tequila. You could get somewhat similar experience by going to Olvera street near the Union Station in downtown LA.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
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  6. Zomby Woof

    Zomby Woof Silver Member

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    Tijuana is not worth the drive up and back from LA. If you were staying a few days in San Diego it could be worth the trip.
     
  7. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    Yes! Why would you want to do that? Do you hate beautiful beaches, great restaurants etc?
    Do you want to bargain for useless trinkets?
     
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  8. mikeschu
    Original Member

    mikeschu Gold Member

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    If you go, make sure you have your passport or the passport card. Not sure how you would get back otherwise. I would also strongly recommend parking your car on the U.S. side and walking across the border; many rental car agencies may not sell the car insurance required in Mexico. If you're staying in San Diego, the blue line trolley goes right to the border and is cheap.

    From what I hear, you'll be okay during the day. There were quite a few kidnappings some time ago; it took the main drug cartel to post notice telling people not to mess with tourists because it's hurting the local economy (legal or otherwise). Having said that I'd be careful if you wander out of the main tourist places, and after dark. I'd imagine pickpockets will be an issue as well.

    If you're looking for something different, Tecate is an alternative (home of the namesake beer). It is a little sleepier though, and a bit longer to get to than Tijuana.
     
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  9. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Yes you are crazy ;) Eons ago Tijuana was San Diego navy's little redLight district. Has it changed ? I hear it's more violent with drug cartels et al.

    My dos paise on this :)
     
  10. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    +1 on visiting if in San Diego but not worth it from LA unless your just craving the experience and to mark it off your bucket list. If you do make the drive make sure to drive by the Coronado beach areas near San Diego on the way back. It's not far out of the way. It's where the Navy Seals train and home to the namesake hotel.
    Also I like to go to the Kansas City BBQ place in downtown San Diego (if it's still open). The food is really average but it's the Top Gun movie filming location for the bar scenes. AVgeek side trip.
    http://www.locationshub.com/blog/20...5-san-diego-locations-every-tourist-must-know

    There is also the Midway Aircraft carrier in San Diego which is cool of course.

    Otherwise stay in LA and go to the Reagan library in Simi Valley to see the old Airforce One. Too bad they moved the Spruce Goose from Long Beach to Oregon.
     
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  11. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I'm probably in the minority here, but I have lived in LA most of my life and my son and I used to love visiting Mexico. If he weren't in the Coast Guard at present we would probably still head down there. We always drove down and purchased insurance in San Ysidro prior to crossing the border. I would much rather have a car with me in Mexico. Often times the wait to walk back is as long or longer than driving. It is also well worth the drive to Rosarito. The Rosarito Beach Hotel has great margaritas and chips and salsa. If you have enough time you can even drive a bit further to Puerto Neuvo where you can eat amazing lobster at unreal prices. I would recommend the toll road as it is a much more scenic drive. One of my favorite restaurants in Tijuana is Carnitas Uruapan. The food is fantastic and the prices are fair. It is close to the race track. Don't be alarmed if you see armed military vehicles in town. They helped restore order there as the police were very crooked. I have never had a safety problem there.
     
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  12. Slow_Mustang
    Original Member

    Slow_Mustang Silver Member

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    I am glad that you have fond memories of your trips to Tijuana and beyond and yes, having a car if you are going to go further South is a must. But I don't know if rentals are allowed to be taken to Mexico and I definitely disagree with the above statement - it is 10-15 minutes Vs. 2-3 hours.
     
  13. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Very much depends on what day and time you are in line. I have driven through in 20 minutes and I have also taken 2 hours. I walked only once ( would not do it again ) and it took over an hour.
     
  14. 7Continents
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    7Continents Silver Member

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    Agree with the rest, I walked across and back from San Diego. Not much there, wouldn't do it at night and far enough from LA that it's just not worth it. You do need a passport to get back if you don't have an enhanced license or trusted traveler card.
     
  15. odojoe

    odojoe Active Member

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    Just go to Vegas, the girls will be safer.
     
  16. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    did you visit Tijuana?

    After seeing Anthony Bourdain's show on Tijuana, Mrs Willie & I have really wanted to go.
     

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