HOW TO GET THERE :
Tijuana is just south of San Ysidro, California. From downtown Los Angeles or from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), you can drive to TJ in about three hours (depending on traffic) by going south on 1-405 to I-5. From San Diego, you can drive the approximately 25 miles in about 30 minutes on 1-5. Take the exit that says last exit, or specifically “Camino de la Plaza – Last USA Exit and Parking”. Go down the ramp, thru the first 4-way intersection, $7 lots are on the right. Put all valuables in the trunk, as in bud six packs, joints, hustler mags, knives, guns, maybe throw in the wedding ring, and family photos as well. Leave the lot, go right towards the dead end looking street to the walking pedestrian turnstiles. Searching is rare at customs. Take a $5 cab, tell him to take you to Adelitas Bar (AB) in Tijuana. Don’t tell him you think tacos sucks, Mexican tequila is piss water, or that he smells like a street bum. Bring exact change.
For you professionals, from San Diego take the trolley to the border and then the bus or taxi from there. Total cost is under $10 each way. Expect to negotiate you taxi rate if it’s a non metered taxi.
We recommend weekends, and getting there about 9pm latest for the best selection. For extended stays we also suggest you stay just north of the border, but there’s plenty of hotels in the RLD if you prefer. If you are using the trolley, be aware that the northbound trolley service is not available after 1:00 a.m., except for occasional trips on the weekends. Take a cab is you miss it, about $20 to San Diego from Chula Vista. If you drive your car or a rental, your insurance is not valid in Mexico…you have to buy special insurance. Not worth it, there’s no secure parking in TJ anyway.
What to Wear :
Photo Gallery of Tijuana Mexico Map
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Your favorite binge drinking and orgy T-shirt. Maybe break out the old dependable “College” shirt from Animal House days.
Crime and Scams :
As soon as you cross the border, take a cab. Stop walking, there are street thugs waiting for drunk idiots looking to save cab fare, (it’s only $5.) Once in Tijuana, there are pickpockets galore. If you’re the kind of guy who walks around with a huge wallet in the back packet, stay home. No wallets down here. Streets are fiill of the usual hustlers and pickpockets, and since it’s Mexico, the cops can be thieves as well. DO NOT bring a camera to the zone, picture taking will get you arrested or paying off a cop.
Recommended Restaurants :
Since this info on the best restaurants can change weekly, we can’t recommend enough the “Zagat Survey.” Pick up their travel book, or signup online. Worldwide reviews, menus, and pricing. ( www.zagat.com )
Most people return to the US since it’s so close, but there are plenty of major hotels here.
Hotel Cl Conquistador
Boulevard Agua Caliente #1777, Tijuana, MX
Located in the Heart of Tijuana just minutes from Caliente Racetrack, the Jai Alai Palace, Tijuana Country Club Golf Course and the Spectacular Pageant of the Bullfight Ring. Also home to your famous cockfights with the local chicas. “Ay, que grande, papasito.”
La Villa de Zaragoza Hotel,
1120 Avenida Madero, between 7th and 8th Streets. (Behind thejai alai emporium, which should be on most maps.) Rooms are $35-40 per night, the staff speaks English.011 52-66-851 -832 ( http://members.aol.com/hotellavilla/)
Upscale can be had in the center of the RLD zone as well for $100. Residence Inn By Marriott Real del Mar KM 19.5 Tijuana-Ensenada Toll Road Tijuana, MX ( www.marriott.com )
The Hotel Real del Rio
Jose Ma. Velasco #1409 A, Tijuana, Mexico