Uber will be slightly cheaper. I would say the walk is about 3-4 blocks or maybe .4 miles. Getting into Mexico is usually swift. There are several currency exchange booths at the San Ysidro trolley station where you can exchange cash. Great suggestion if you’re not waiting right near the border. I love your attitude about visiting these places and that you tell people they could also not visit California if they are scared. (I have never seen it happen only time I seen someone get arrested is bringing illegal drugs into mexico), I know the fines are usually $300 dollars up to $1200 maybe more. Tourists are most welcome. This is no longer the case. You can get back to the border the way you came. There is a pretty heavy police presence but they cannot stop all crime. The University of San Diego’s Justice in Mexico report, published annually since 2010, shows that, Tijuana today is safe again for visitors. I like World Nomads. Continue until you reach a big intersection. Also, they can turn you back around now, especially at PedWest. There is no safety risk here. Walk across the border into the Tijuana Airport! It’s good to hear the country is becoming more safe…it’s actually one of the reasons I never really considered going – a good friend of mine lived there for a while but ages ago and she felt so unsafe and was mugged. The auto crossing lanes leaving Mexico at San Ysidro are often reduced due to construction, which is slated for completion in 2018. Baja is very safe. Be sure to get Mexican Insurance before you drive across the border. If you plan to take the trolley back to San Diego, you want to go to the Eastern crossing. The Baja area has always been a treat for me to visit and I go about monthly! Go and have fun. This ended up being a really inexpensive vacation. Carry your passport, even if you have a SENTRI Pass. Then go back up the street you went down(2nd ) to get there and left down the "diagonal" street for some more vendors and an alley of vendors..on the way out which puts you at the arch. You will want to get some pesos. Let’s plan a road trip, Laura! You will also need some cash. You can book two separate flights and save a nice chunk of money. Flash your SENTRI card at the guard (he's there to make sure only SENTRI/GE/NEXUS people get through) and tap it on the kiosk inside, then wait for your name to be called, should only take 30-60 seconds. AND how genius that there are apps letting you know the best place to cross. Just continue along the walking street and you’ll end up downtown. In fact, if you live in the San Diego area, it’s easier to fly out of Tijuana than to travel all the way to LAX. The reason is that you don’t have to deal with shuttles and taxis and Ubers. That building replaced the eight-lane temporary structure that had been serving those who cross on the eastern side of the port. There are good people everywhere. The return process is basically the same but in reverse. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Even when crossing on foot. You’ll see guys standing around with small carts. That is supposed to be a 3 hr wait as well. You will want insurance for the drive, Louie. I think you have to be a smart traveler and do your best. There is some street parking. How long does it take to walk across the border M-F at 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, and 9pm? Having a Sentri card is pretty cool and I do feel privileged in these politically-charged, border-issue days. The bus stopped at the entrance to the zoo! However, returning from Tijuana into San Diego can be a headache. Perhaps you’ll add Baja to your adventures one day. Also, the Tijuana police are not known for being too helpful to tourists. Great to hear that this is safe. Much depends on day of the week and what time of day. Avoiding Common Scams and Crime, Inside a Tijuana Bar During an Armed Robbery, Traveling from San Diego to Tijuana by Bicycle. Thanks for sharing the TJ love! I love crossing into Tijuana and visiting Mexico. Flying out of Tijuana airport is also a good way to save on tickets to other destinations such as the Caribbean, Central America, or South America. If you’re not planning to return for any time in the near future, you might search Mexican Insurance on the web for the best, long-term rates. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents at the San Ysidro Port of Entry process some 70,000 northbound vehicle passengers and 25,000 northbound pedestrian border-crossers a day. Uber isn’t allowed to pick up passengers at the airport. Mexico definitely has regions in turmoil that I’d stay away from but they’re closer to the southern border regions, thousand of miles away from Tijuana. I´m a wanderer myself and I could put quite a few check marks to some from these list and still willing t see more and more. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Inside, you’ll find both Mexican and US immigration booths that you pass through while crossing the international border. Walking is easy for certain and affordable as taxis are relatively cheap (less than buying Mexican Insurance!) There are pockets of unrest to avoid in most any country. This summer we are visiting Southern California and my wife would really love to go to Tijuana. What time should I arrive at the border to walk across in order to hop on the trolley at 8am M-F? How to Fly Out of Tijuana Airport and Use The Cross Border Xpress. There are bathrooms and a McDonald's at the entrance.Entering Mexico, there is a walkway that takes you to the arch, which is the main street. Now anyone with a ticket in hand for flights leaving within 24 hours may purchase a bridge pass and walk into the Tijuana Airport. It can happen anywhere and fear can be a magnet. This is not educated at all, you’re wrong.. I have heard several stories of muggings happening on the bridge that goes over the Tijuana River. These include Aeromexico, Volaris, and Interjet. Recently, Aeromexico also began offering direct flights from Tijuana to two destinations in China, How to Visit Hierve el Agua from Oaxaca City, Inside a Tijuana Bar During an Armed Robbery, 17 Free Airlines Stopovers and How to Make Them. I’m always up for a trip into the Valle. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. If you must walk at night, do not cross the bridge alone. When I visited Mexico a decade ago, cities like this were somewhere you’d think twice before going – but then they said the same about Mexico City and as long as you’re sensible, it’s not a real problem. Most likely, your US medical insurance won’t cover you if something happens while you’re in Tijuana. Reasons flights are cheaper include: From Tijuana airport, you can catch direct flights to over 35 locations in Mexico including: From Tijuana, I have seen round trip tickets to popular destinations like Cancun or Mexico City for between $100-$150. Border crossing options: Walking across the border. Stroll across the airport bridge. I always recommend people take Uber or the white taxi libre from the border into town. Will keep updating as improvements are rolled out. If you are staying in Mexico for longer than 7 days, then you will need to pay for a visitors permit. After 9/11 Americans stayed home. This step-by-step guide will walk you through flying out of Tijuana airport and using the Cross Border Xpress. They are also about to break ground on a third (technically fifth) crossing, Otay East, near where Blvd. Unfortunately because of this, you can surely expect delays. US plates can be targeted sometimes. Get Essential San Diego, weekday mornings. The driver will drop you off at departures. San Ysidro, the busiest land border crossing in the Western Hemisphere, has been undergoing a massive $741 million modernization and expansion to process travelers quickly and securely. Crossing back from Mexico to the US can take hours. Many years ago, we hopped the border into Tijuana while on a trip in S. CA, we really just went across to say we had been, but I wished we would have spent a bit more time checking the town out. I spent a couple of days enjoying Cancun on a stopover then booked a cheap flight to Havana on Interjet. The walk from the trolley station to the border is around a block. For more info, check out my guide: If you must walk at night, do not cross the bridge alone. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. There are a number of budget airlines operating throughout Latin America that don’t serve the US but offer plenty of flights from Mexico. They charge about $21 per day during the week and a bit more on weekends and holidays. It’s much easier to cross this way.”. (Read more about the. At this point, the process is the same as if you just arrived at the airport like everyone else. The Tripwellgal mission remains: to help us connect with our beautiful planet and each other with care and wonder. I am third country national and will be driving through Mexico with US plates ,with no plan of returning to US in near future. We’re going to be crossing at Tijuana later this year on route to Valle de Guadalupe and I’ve been wondering what it’s like these days. If you’re looking for flights to the Caribbean, I recommend you check flights from Cancun. From there, you are just across the street from the trolley station. There is safety in numbers. If you decide to take a taxi, try to take one of the white ‘taxi libre’. This is so cool! Flights around Mexico and South America are simpler to access (and often less expensive) than flying from within the U.S. Cross Border Express site often runs discount specials and parking advice. If you’re driving, the wait is often over an hour. After crossing the border, you’ll have to take a Taxi or Uber to get to Tijuana airport (TIJ). Help me keep it current and comment below on what you’ve experienced. That was long before it became the Spring Break debauchery capitol, before the recession, before 9/11 and the drug violence turned tourists away. For example, you could book a cheap flight from Tijuana to Mexico City. Avoid the private taxis for safety reasons and to save money. You’ve been luckier than I on the return. I have never exprencied that part but seen it happen when i was in secondary..they have atm right on the spot if your from out of state they are more likely to let you thru one time with a warning..they did with my friend.. On the way back you just need to prove your a us citizen and if they accept whatvyou have.. If you fall in love with Tijuana like I did, and you want to move there, you can read my guide: Moving to Tijuana as an American. It's just he fines I heard giving when I was in secondary. On return stay right in the Sentri line.If people are queuing..the TSA said go straight to him past the people as there is never a wait for Sentri people. The big Tijuana border crossing is one of the busiest border crossings in the world. We go for brunch every month or two and walking back across about 2 or 3 pm, the line is so short even though we don’t have SENTRI. If you are driving, you will want to take the freeway 5 South and get off at the East San Ysidro Blvd exit. No. is it safe to drive in and out of mexico right now with every thing going on ? We use cookies on our website to give you the most relevant experience by remembering your preferences and repeat visits. While Tijuana is a dangerous city, statistically, this trip is low risk. Subscribe to my Newsletter for New Posts and Exclusive Content! You could get away with just a drivers license or birth certificate. I’d do that about anywhere. Share your experience in the comments below! Tijuana resident José Alfonso Espinoza Saldaña said the new pathway open Monday was much more appealing, pointing out the trees and the cleanliness.