WALKING TO TIJUANA FROM THE BORDER
One of Baja's best kept secrets is that you can have a great time in Tijuana and not get involved with all of the drama of driving a car across the border. Yep, walking across the border to Tijuana is about as easy as it gets....just take a few notes from Carlos Fiesta.
For starters, finding a place to park your car on the US side of the border is job #1. It's also very easy to do. When heading south on Interstate 5 get off at the last US Exit before driving into Mexico (the freeway sign says LAST US EXIT).
After stopping at the stop sign at the end of the offramp, cross the intersection and pick one of the three parking lot entrances on the right hand side of the street. Carlos Fiesta likes the last lot on the right because you can park in a parking spot within 20 feet of the border! You won't need identification to get into Mexico, but don't forget to bring a passport for the border crossing back into the US.
When departing the parking lot on foot walk east (towards the freeway) a few feet until you see the walkway that heads south to Mexico. This will be easy to spot because this is a very popular way for those in the know to enter Mexico, so you will not be walking alone. You will see a very cool cement inlay of the Baja Peninsula on the walkway. Try not to step on Loreto.
Tijuana is the most visited city on the planet...really!
Once you have walked through the metal revolving turnstyles (click-click-click) you are in Baja, Mexico. Bienvenido! Follow the crowds 50 yards to the end of the walkway where you will have to make a decision to either (1) take a taxi into town (go straight ahead) or (2) continue walking to the shopping areas (take the turn to the right).
There are dozens of taxis at the taxi stand waiting to take you anywhere you want to go. Getting a price quote for your particular destination before getting in the cab is usually a good idea. Most of the cab drivers speak enough English to get you where you want to go.
For those who just want to do a bit of shopping or grab a bite to eat, taxis are fine. But walking to the tourist areas is much more enjoyable. If your plan is to walk to Revolution Avenue it's an easy 15 to 20 minute walk. Slowing down to talk to the vendors who are soliciting you along the way will double the time frame and the fun.
After walking through the metal turnstyles on the right side of the border entrance, cross the first street and make an immediate left towards the Mc Donalds on the corner. Once at the Mc Donalds hang a right and walk through the various shopping plazas towards the large metal arch. The foot of that arch is your destination.
The one thing that separates you from the fun on Revolution Avenue is the rather large Tijuana River (Rio Tjuana). Fortunately there is a very nice bridge (with a ramp and stairs) that crosses over the (almost always dry) river. Once you cross the river you walk through a few more shopping plazas, and before you know it you are at the foot of that tall, metal arch. This is where the fun begins!
Revolution Avenue begins at the foot of the large arch, and runs ten blocks to your left. It's fun to walk up along the east side of the Avenue, and then gradually walk back on the west side of the Avenue on the return. People that are too pooped to walk back to the border will have no problem finding a taxi to take them back to the drop-off point.
Dozens of shops, restaurants, bars, pharmacies, dance clubs, donkey photo opportunities and more await the toursit on this amazing Avenue. Bring money, a credit card, a healthy appetite, and a hankering for fun. Enjoy!