We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

Which San Diego hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
UK
Level Contributor
475 posts
42 reviews
Save Topic
Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

Hi

Has anyone any advise on this trip? For example, do the car rental firms allow it? Is it worth the effort? Any health issues I should be aware of? We'll be a group of 2 adults and 2 children.

Thank you so much in anticipation of any replies.

Cheers.

San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
899 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

If you plan on driving in Mexico with a rental car, forget about it. You won't be covered. Most people from out of town tend to take tour buses down, which may be something you want to look into. As for health issues, for the most part Mexico is safe. I only drink bottled water, but other than that, everything appears to be fine. I go down to Rosarito and Puerto Nuevo at least 4 times a year and have never even had an upset stomach.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
585 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

None of the car rental agencies allow you to cross the border with a rental car. Mexico doesn't recognize American insurance, so even us locals with our own cars have to purchase Mexican car insurance when we cross. You can be jailed for driving in Mexico without Mexican insurance. The insurance places won't sell a policy on a rental car.

There are a number of large parking lots on the U.S. side of the border where you can park and take a shuttle across, or walk over.

As Naven said there is concern with the water, stick to bottled water or soft drinks or the excellent Mexican beer. Don't eat from any of the sidewalk taco stands. Some are O.K., (I've eaten at many) but as a first time visitor you wouldn't know which ones were O.K.

I think it is worthwhile to visit Tijuana, but if you have never visited a third world country you will be in for a shock. On the other hand the Mexican people are wonderful, you can have fun shopping (remember to bargain, that's the whole point of shopping there) and enjoy a good lunch.

Don't plan on being there after dark, but it is perfectly safe during the day.

Here's some info:

www.bajalife.com/bordercrossing/index.html

San Diego...
Level Contributor
585 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

One more thing, make sure you bring your passports. You won't need them to get into Mexico,(anybody with money in their wallet is welcome) but coming back into the U.S. you definitely will need them. It is amazing how many tourists every year cross over, but then can't get back because their passports are safely locked in the hotel safe.....

Have fun!

Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
36 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

Please do some double checking before you go into Mexico regarding what kind of ID you will need to provide upon your return to the U.S. I had a sticky situation last summer with a friend of mine who is American, however is living in the U.K. She brought her U.K driver's license across instead of her U.S. Passport and was detained for awhile until everything was worked out. Since you are NOT U.S. citizens, it may be much more difficult for you to come back into the U.S. You DO NOT want to be detained in Mexico for ANY length of time! Especially with children!

Do not drive across the border! Instead, if you're just going to TJ (Tijuana), opt for parking at one of the lots on the U.S. side and walking over, or you can take the trolley right to the border as well. If you want to venture further in, to either Rosarito or Puerto Nuevo, or Ensenada try a bus.

As mentioned by others, be careful of what you eat and stay in the tourist areas of town (Revolution).

Good Luck!

Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
170 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

Gill, frankly I don't think it's worth it. There are lovely areas in Mexico, but Tijuana is not one of them, IMO.

UK
Level Contributor
475 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

Thank you all so much for your very informative and honest opinions, I really appreciate it.

Have a great day!

San Francisco
Level Contributor
9 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

Never drive to Mexico...insurance problems and if you have an accident, they will throw you in jail first and ask questions later.

UK
Level Contributor
475 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

Thanks guys. It's a non starter by the looks of things, I don't think we'll even bother with trolley. There's loads in San Diego to keep us occupied.

It's great to get an insider's opinion on these things. Thanks again.

Cheers.

9. Re: Driving from San Diego to Tijuana

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 7:16 pm, May 22, 2009