Tijuana is the largest city on the Baja California Peninsula and an important metropolitan centre in Mexico. A sprawling border town, Tijuana is not suited to everyone's holiday taste, with plenty of noise and frenetic activity. Its location on the American border and proximity to San Diego and other southern Californian cities ensures a steady stream of curious day-trippers and souvenir hunters from up north.
Tijuana's notorious image has now taken a back seat. The sleazy element is still there but the focus has shifted in an effort to clean the town up a bit, and Tijuana has become something of a shopper's delight along with the intense nightlife and non-stop entertainment. There are souvenir stalls, numerous duty-free shopping malls, and markets selling goods from all over Mexico, as well as countless bars, restaurants, and dance clubs. The centre of the activity is the bustling Revolution Boulevard, crowded with shops, bars and restaurants and their pushy touts. Female tourists should avoid entering bars alone, as safety can occasionally be an issue.
Tijuana has some more traditional Mexican attractions as well, including bullfighting and Jai Alai (a Spanish ball court game), but travellers to the city are generally not looking for an authentic Mexican experience so much as a playground south of the border. Tijuana does, however, make a fun starting point for those exploring the Baja California peninsula and the beaches and resorts to the south. While Tijuana has been a popular and safe place in the past, in recent years violence between law enforcement authorities and drug cartels has escalated, particularly along the US-Mexican border. Visitors who still wish to travel to Tijuana are advised to exercise extreme caution and check the safety situation with local authorities and those of their home country.
Tijuana has a semi-arid climate. Average highs during the summer months (June to August) range from 77°F (25°C) to 82°F (28°C). Winters (December to February) are very mild, with high temperatures hovering around 68°F (20°C). From April the Santa Ana winds descend on the city.
The weather is pleasant in Tijuana all year round so there is no bad time of year to visit. However it is worth noting that January is both the coldest and the wettest month of the year, with temperatures averaging around 55°F (13°C).
Local buses travel along routes across the city and offer a relatively cheap means of transport. The destination is usually written on the front of the bus. Taxis are a popular means of getting around and can easily be hailed off the street. The most common taxis are yellow cabs, which are unmetered, and white cabs with orange stripes, known as taxi libre, which are metered and generally charge much less than the yellow cabs. It's best to negotiate a fare before getting in the vehicle or, if the cab has a meter, make sure the taxi driver has it switched on.
Calling an Uber taxi has also become a popular option in Tijuana. A number of car hire companies are available in the city, and self-drive is a viable option. However, caution is advised due to safety concerns. Day visitors from California will find that most of the touristy parts of the city can easily be explored on foot, and it is unnecessary to bring a car over the border unless planning to go further south into Mexico.
No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination