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San Diego to Ensenada

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Wellington, New...
posts: 5
reviews: 1
San Diego to Ensenada

We are travelling next May from San Diego to Ensenada for two days and have contacted a few bus companies from San Diego, who do shuttles to Ensenada. Most will take us there but none will take us back. We are from New Zealand and this will be our first trip to Mexico and would love for it to be as easy as possible.

many thanks

Buzz

13 replies to this topic
Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
posts: 4,179
reviews: 42
1. Re: San Diego to Ensenada

You've got mail--top right hand side of this screen, pull down menu under "My Trip Advisor."

Wellington, New...
posts: 5
reviews: 1
2. Re: San Diego to Ensenada

Many thanks for your advice will look into this

Pasadena, California
posts: 2
reviews: 11
3. Re: San Diego to Ensenada

If you don't have much luggage you can take the Tijuana Trolley to the border (or take the Greyhound or Crucero bus from downtown San Diego to the San Ysidro stop; it ends at the same place as the Tijuana Trolley) and then walk across the border at San Ysidro and get a bus to Ensenada. There is lot of bus service, every 1/2 hour during the day, and several different bus lines. The ABC bus station is a block or two from where you walk into Mexico so you could just go there and buy tickets for the next Ensenada bus. Then when you want to leave Ensenada , you can buy yourself another ticket going back north to "la linea" (the border) and walk back north to the USA in the pedestrian line. Then you can take the Tijuana Trolley or the Greyhound/Crucero bus back to San Diego.

However if you need to do some immigration paperwork you will have to figure out what is required, from either country, and where to do it. US citizens can just walk across as pedestrians with our passports, both ways. The US checks papers on everybody walking north but the Mexicans don't check on people walking south. I have no idea what the rules are for going into Mexico if you are a New Zealand citizen.

Los Angeles...
Destination Expert
for Ensenada, Valle de Guadalupe
posts: 1,059
reviews: 66
4. Re: San Diego to Ensenada

Not sure if you have your lodging already arranged, but I know that Hotel Coral and Marina offers a shuttle service from San Diego to Ensenada / for a fee - This hotel is located in Ensenada.

If it were me, I would contact a rental car company in San Diego that offers rental cars that you can drive to Mexico, then I would drive myself. The drive is easy to Ensenada with many beautiful views along the coastline. This would also give you transportation while in Ensenada (perhaps to the wine country) or allow you to stop along the way (perhaps Puerto Nuevo / Lobster village).

Have a great time!

Wellington, New...
posts: 5
reviews: 1
5. Re: San Diego to Ensenada

many thanks

Pasadena, California
posts: 2
reviews: 11
6. Re: San Diego to Ensenada

If you do rent a car in San Diego to drive it to Ensenada, be aware that you need to find out a lot about the road situation and the traffic conditions at the international border coming back. if you aren't used to Tijuana, driving back across to the USA can be challenging. First, because the routes for how to get to the border crossings are not well marked and even occasionally completely misleading on the Mexican side. Second, because sometimes the wait times for cars crossing the border can be up to two hours. Third, because there are different kinds of lanes for the northbound vehicles (Sentri lane, Ready Lane, and "All Traffic") and it is not easy to tell which one you are going to end up in when you start into the border wait lines. You need to check the US immigration regulations to see which lane you have to come back in, but your passports might require you to be in the "all traffic" lanes instead of the "Ready lane".

The drive to Ensenada from Tijuana along the scenic toll road ("cuota") is really beautiful, and there are nice places to stop along the coast, but coming back north again, the border crossing in Tijuana (San Ysidro or Mesa de Otay) is never fun. If you have time and want more scenery, take the inland road from Ensenada and cross the border into the USA at Tecate - but do this driving all in the day time.

Wellington, New...
posts: 5
reviews: 1
7. Re: San Diego to Ensenada

Thanks for your post

Ensenada, Mexico
posts: 3
reviews: 13
8. Re: San Diego to Ensenada

IF you decide to rent a car, make sure it can be taken into Mexico, I believe Enterprise still allows this. You can buy Mexican Auto Insurance at the border before crossing. There are several hotels in Ensenada that offer Fast Lane Passes that can be used for a speedy return to US. This can't be bought, but are offered in the room rate in participating hotels. The Pass shares the medical lane at the San Ysidro border. Many things to do in Ensenada, wine tours, cheese cellar tastings, the Blowhole, great food, etc.

Sun City West
Destination Expert
for Rosarito
posts: 4,179
reviews: 42
9. Re: San Diego to Ensenada

A number of car rental agencies do allow their cars to go into Mexico, but you definitely must declare your intention to go into Mexico to the rental company; if you don't tell them and buy the required insurance from them--on a rental car, you can't use the insurance sold by the sellers on each side of the border--the contract will be declared invalid if there is an accident, and you'll be strictly on your own, and that's not a good place to be. You'll have to buy the required Mexican 3rd party liability insurance (about $10.00 per day). You may be able to use your credit card insurance to cover the vehicle itself; ask the rental car company if that is an option for driving into Mexico. If you actually rent IN Mexico (Tijuana, itself), the insurance your credit card provides is accepted and covers the rental vehicle itself--but not the 3rd party liability insurance--which MUST be Mexican and purchased from the rental agency. (Hertz and Avis definifely allow their cars to cross--and Avis incudes the cost of the 3rd party liability insurance in the quote; Hertz may also.)

Fast lane passes are now a thing of the past. The program was discontinued and hotels and restaurants could continue to give the passes only as long as their supply at that time lasted. I believe they are all long gone.

Modesto...
posts: 2
10. Re: San Diego to Ensenada

How Gringo friendly is ABC Transit? Spanish is limited.

Edited: 10:11 pm, April 16, 2013
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