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Tijuana Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


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Tijuana is the biggest city in Baja California and the Baja California Peninsula, as well as the hub of the Tijuana metropolitan region, which is included in the international San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area. Tijuana, being Mexico’s industrial and financial hub, has a large effect on economy, education, culture, art, and politics. As the city has grown to prominence in the nation, so has the surrounding metropolitan region, which has developed into a significant industrial and political hub in northern Mexico. Tijuana, one of Mexico’s fastest expanding metropolitan regions, retains global city status. Tijuana had a population of 1,696,923 people in 2015.

On Baja California’s Gold Coast, Tijuana serves as the municipality’s capital and cultural and commercial hub, encompassing 70% of the municipality but housing more than 80% of its inhabitants. As the continent’s primary industrial hub, the city is home to several multinational conglomerate corporations. Tijuana became North America’s hub of medical device production in the early twenty-first century. Tijuana, which is also a burgeoning cultural hub, has been regarded as a significant new cultural hotspot. The city is the world’s most visited border city; sharing a roughly 24-kilometer-long (15-mile) border with sister city San Diego, over fifty million people cross the border each year. With this urban crossing, the San Ysidro Port of Entry becomes the world’s busiest land border crossing. The two border crossing stations between the cities of San Diego and Tijuana are estimated to account for 300,000 daily border crossings.

Tijuana is Mexico’s westernmost city, ranking 29th in the Americas. According to the 2010 census, the Tijuana metropolitan area had a population of 1,784,034, however rankings varied; the city (locality) itself was ranked sixth, while the municipality (administrative) was ranked third. The international metropolitan region’s population was estimated to be slightly more than five million in 2009 and approximately 5,105,769 in 2010, making it the third largest metropolitan area in the former California region, the nineteenth largest in the Americas, and the largest binational conurbation shared by the United States and Mexico. Tijuana, like San Diego, is suburbanizing; throughout the 2000s, drug violence drove citizens out of the city’s crowded central business district and into remote neighborhoods within the municipality and beyond, as demonstrated by 2010 Census data and growth trends.

Tijuana’s current history dates all the way back to the 16th century, when Spanish explorers arrived to study the Californian coast. As the invasion of northern Mexico by the Americans came to an end with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Tijuana’s new international location on the border spawned a new economic and political framework. On July 11, 1889, the city was created as urban growth started. Often referred to by its initials, T.J., and dubbed Gateway to Mexico, the city has functioned as a tourist destination since the 1880s.

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Tijuana | Introduction

Tijuana – Info Card

POPULATION : • City 1,696,923
• Metro 1,895,797
FOUNDED :    July 11, 1889
TIME ZONE : • Time zone PST (UTC−8)
• Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
LANGUAGE :   Spanish
RELIGION :  Christian 96%, Others 4%
AREA : • City 637 km2 (246 sq mi)
• Metro 1,392.5 km2 (537.9 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  20 m (65 ft)
COORDINATES :  32°31′30″N 117°02′0″W
SEX RATIO :  Male: 48.45%
 Female: 51.55%
AREA CODE :  664
POSTAL CODE :  22000-22699
DIALING CODE :  + 52 664

Tourism in Tijuana

Tijuana is Northwestern Mexico’s primary focus city, located in Baja California, Mexico, just over the border from San Diego, California, USA.

According to the most recent census, Tijuana has a population of around 1.3 million people, which increases to more than 1.7 million when the city’s neighboring suburbs are included. The city has evolved from a little border town with a lurid character during the United States’ Prohibition Era into a major, contemporary metropolis with a sizable middle class and ever-growing housing estates. Due to its closeness to the United States, Tijuana and Rosarito have become very popular tourist destinations, particularly for day-trippers from San Diego. Avenida Revolucion in Zona Centro, stores and restaurants in Zona Rio, and nighttime entertainment focused in many areas, including the commercial sector surrounding 6th and Revolucion St, as well as Tijuana’s red light district, are popular tourist destinations.

Numerous foreigners visit Tijuana to drink and dance, obtain prescription medications, and acquire counterfeit brand-name apparel, timepieces, and other personal items from throughout the world, as well as manufactured and hand-crafted local oddities. Locals and frequent travelers may escape the inconveniences associated with the Revolución strip by visiting the clubs at Plaza Fiesta or other sections of the Zona Ro without the crowds, excessive marketing, and occasional tourist misconduct or open lawbreaking. However, Avenida Revolución is well-known for its abundance of nightclub performances, which appeal mostly to casual travelers. While it remains an amusing town with a pleasant environment, both residents and visitors believe that it has lost its “anything goes” culture, which was hazardous to tourists, locals, and the tourism sector as a whole.

Tijuana is also credited with inventing the “Tijuana Special,” a traditional Tex-Mex cuisine comprised of enchiladas, rice, and refried beans. Tippy’s, an American Tex-Mex restaurant, popularized this dish.

Tijuana is Northwestern Mexico’s biggest metropolitan center by far, as well as its westernmost. With a combined population of 5 million, Tijuana and its US neighbor San Diego comprise the biggest metropolitan region on the US-Mexico border. The two cities have significant social, economic, and cultural relations.

Tijuana’s environment is molded by the Pacific Ocean’s pleasant temperature and its proximity to one of the richest and most populous regions of the United States, with which Mexico shares a border. It has a sizable middle class and various manufacturers who benefit from NAFTA. Despite (or maybe as a result of) losses in tourism from 2008 to 2011, the city’s social, cultural, and musical cultures have continued to thrive, attracting artists from around North and Central America. Tijuana is a melting pot of social classes, from working class to rich, from drug addicts to businesses. Tijuana is known for the fashion and trends brought by Chicanos in the United States, including the creation of a regionalized Spanglish. Tijuana is a key transit hub for illegal immigration into the United States and a frequent destination for any illegal Mexican immigrants deported from the United States’ West Coast. As a result, some districts are flooded with impoverished residents who have no roots in the city and live in illegal, though accepted, shanty communities. In stark contrast to these shanty villages are housing estates for the upwardly mobile, ranging from maquiladora families to university students to high-net-worth businesspeople, reflecting Tijuana’s standing as one of Mexico’s richest cities.

Tijuana is developing a cosmopolitan vibe, albeit it lacks the scope and variety of Mexico City. The city is home to a large number of people who have migrated from within Mexico, as well as indigenous Mexican Indians, Asian residents (mostly Chinese diaspora families and Korean and Japanese factory managers), and a large number of US citizens (mostly Mexican-Americans, including “cholos” and ex-cholos, with a smattering of retired Americans, though Rosarito has attracted more retirees, cheaper life seekers, and Americans evading law enforcement in the last decade),

English-speaking tourists to Tijuana often use the word “gringo-friendly” to refer to a business, bar, or restaurant where a non-Spanish speaker will feel at ease. A restaurant is gringo-friendly if the staff is used to dealing with American visitors, if the staff speaks English, and if the menus are available in English. Certain locations may need the use of Spanish and patience if they are not gringo-friendly. Simply because a location is not gringo-friendly does not mean that the locals are unfriendly or that foreigners are not welcome.

While the peso is the official tender in Mexico, US dollars are routinely accepted and utilized, even by natives. Tijuana follows the same daylight saving time (DST) schedule as the United States of America. On the US side, money changers may provide better rates when purchasing pesos and lower rates when selling pesos.

Geography of Tijuana

Tijuana is Mexico’s westernmost city, and hence the westernmost city in Latin America, as well as the second biggest city in northern Mexico. Approximately 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Mexicali, the city is bounded on the north by Imperial Beach and the San Diego communities of San Ysidro and Otay Mesa. Rosarito Beach is located southwest of the city, while the unincorporated region of Tijuana Municipality is located south. The city is surrounded by hills, valleys, and gorges. The city’s core business district is located in a valley fed by the channeled Tijuana River.

Numerous seasonal mountain streams have been eliminated as a result of housing building in the Tijuana Hills. Due to the city’s lack of natural drainage, several areas are prone to landslides during the rainy season. Tijuana’s uneven geography results in elevation extremes ranging from 0 metres (0 ft) to 790 metres (2,590 ft).

Tijuana is well-known for its rugged landscape, which is comprised of several valleys, steep hills, and mesas. Canyon K and Canyon Johnson are two well-known canyons in Tijuana. In the city’s eastern section, notable hills include Red Hill (Cerro Colorado) and Hill of the Bees (Cerro de las Abejas).

The settlement is situated near the Tijuana River’s terminal and is part of the Tijuana River Basin. The Tijuana River is a 195-kilometer-long (121-mile-long) intermittent river that runs along the Pacific coast of northern Baja California, Mexico, and southern California, United States. It drains a desert region along the California–Baja California border, passing in Mexico for the most of its length and then crosses the border for the last 8 kilometers (5 miles), forming an estuary that empties into the ocean. The river’s lower portions include the last remaining unspoiled coastal wetlands in San Diego County, and some of the last in Southern California, despite its location inside a heavily populated environment near Imperial Beach’s southern city boundaries.

Due to the district’s location at the bottom of the river valley, it is susceptible to seasonal floods caused by runoff from the Tijuana Hills. During this time period, the Tijuana Police may close parts of the Via Rapida (east-west highway) to eastbound traffic owing to dangerous circumstances.

Economy of Tijuana

Tijuana is a significant industrial hub that, in addition to tourism, forms the backbone of the city’s economy. Within the last decade, Tijuana has surpassed Minneapolis – Saint Paul as the continent’s hub of medical device manufacturing.

The city’s proximity to Southern California, as well as its large, skilled, diverse, and relatively inexpensive workforce, make it an especially attractive location for foreign companies looking to establish extensive industrial parks comprised of assembly plants known as maquiladoras, even more so than other cities in the US-Mexico border zone, in order to export products under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Tijuana has around 820 of these’maquiladoras’ at its height in 2001. (today the number is closer to 550). Thousands of individuals, mostly in assembly-related tasks, are employed at these factories by foreign and local firms. While such tasks are not physically demanding, they often pay substantially more than the Mexican minimum wage of Mex$57.46 per day (about $7.94 in US dollars), with the majority of maqiladoras positions starting at Mex$100 per day (about $7.94 in US dollars) (about 4.56 US dollars). Lanix, Hyundai, Sony, Vortec, BMW, Vizio, Toyota, Dell, Samsung, Kodak, Matsushita/Panasonic, Bimbo, GE, Nabisco, Ford, Microsoft, Cemex, Zonda, Philips, Pioneer, Airbus, Plantronics, Siemens Mexico, Jaguar, Pall Medical, Tara, Sanyo, and Volkswagen have all established maquiladoras in Tijuana. Numerous maquiladoras are situated in Tijuana’s Otay Mesa and Florido neighborhoods.

Additionally, numerous high-tech and telemarketing enterprises are expanding their operations in the city, attracting workers with technical trade and college degrees. Telvista, a telemarketing corporation established in Texas, operates three call centers along Blvd. Agua Caliente. As a result, Tijuana is a popular destination for migrant laborers and college graduates from other regions of Mexico and neighboring nations.

Tijuana’s economy is likewise heavily reliant on tourism. Every day, over 300,000 travelers enter the United States at the San Ysidro port of entry. To alleviate pressure on the border crossing, the Otay Mesa Crossing has been expanded to accommodate more traffic, and a six-lane highway 905 was completed in 2012, as well as potential fast bus transportation. The city’s tourist attractions include the retail sector around the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT), the nightlife hotspots of La Sexta, Old Downtown Tijuana, and Avenida Revolucion, as well as the city’s most well-known vices, the legal Red Light District and gambling (Agua Caliente). Restaurants and taco stalls, pharmacies, pubs, and dance clubs all play a role in luring travelers to the city. Numerous stores and kiosks offering Mexican crafts and souvenirs are also conveniently positioned near the border.

Mexico’s lower drinking age of 18 (vs. 21 in the United States) makes it a popular weekend destination for many Southern Californians in their late teens and early twenties who choose to stay along Avenida Revolución. Additionally, Tijuana has a number of pharmacies geared for travelers from the United States. These pharmacies offer a limited number of pharmaceutical products without requiring a prescription and at far cheaper prices than pharmacies in the United States. Numerous drugs continue to need a prescription from a Mexican physician, while some easily accessible medical locations are situated near the border. Additionally, Tijuana’s “red-light district” (Zona Norte) contributes significantly to the city’s economy. Additionally, Tijuana is home to several enterprises that provide goods and services at far lower prices than in the United States. Automobile detailing, medical services, dentistry, and cosmetic surgery are all prominently advertised and situated near the city’s US border.

Economic growth is centered around Zona Ro, which, together with the strip along Blvd. Agua Caliente (Avenida Revolución’s extension), houses the bulk of the city’s higher-end office space. Binational economic growth along the US-Mexico border is critical for Tijuana’s future development. On both sides of the border, many regional think tanks (San Diego-US/Tijuana-MX) encourage regional cooperation and innovation.



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