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How to get to Tijuana

Baton Rouge...
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How to get to Tijuana

My wife and I are flying into SD in April and I need to get to our car rental agency in Tijuana. What is the best way to get from the SD airport to our destination in Tijuana?

San Diego...
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1. Re: How to get to Tijuana

Are you certain you want to go into Mexico? I wouldn't. You can take a short bus ride from the SD airport to downtown San Diego, then take the San Diego Trolley (Blue Line) south all the way to the last stop, San Ysidro Transit Center. Then you can simply walk across the border into Mexico. You can walk to downtown Tijuana, maybe a 20 minute walk, or take one of the many taxis that will be clamoring for your business just inside the border. But frankly I wouldn't go into Mexico, period.

Miami, Florida
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2. Re: How to get to Tijuana

To answer your posted question, you would need to (1) take a taxi to the nearby downtown area and (2) have them drop you off at the trolley station at 1 American Plaza, from which you could take the 35-40 minute ride to the border. You would walk across the border into Mexico and then would take a taxi to your car rental destination.

I trust there is a reason for your picking up a rental car in Mexico (i.e. you intend to drive in Mexicor rather than picking up car there for use in USA, right?).

The violence in Mexico has calmed down considerably in recent months and was never targeted towards tourists. I would still exercise caution and common sense and not wander off of the beaten path.

San Diego
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3. Re: How to get to Tijuana

Lots of people cross the border back and forth every day. A taxi to the trolley or the 992 bus into downtown to the trolley and then take it to the last stop at the border would be the way to go.

Then you just walk across the border and get a taxi there to wherever your rental agency is located.

It is good to discuss price before you get into the taxi in Tijuana,just so you know.

As just mentioned,renting a car IN Mexico is useful IF you are driving IN Mexico.

Los Angeles
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4. Re: How to get to Tijuana

The instructions you got above are accurate - either take a bus or a taxi to the border and then walk over, take a bus or a taxi to your rental destination.

Be aware that Mexico follows the Napoleonic Code (more or less) and that the rental agency may not offer insurance as we know it. This means that all drivers are considered guilty if there's an accident - until they are proved innocent. They aren't following this as strictly in the past 4-5 years as earlier, but it takes awhile to retrain officials. In short, if the car is damaged, you won't be leaving Mexico until you pay for the damage (and this is true in some American states for some American rental agencies as well).

Inspect your car carefully - but neither pictures you take or paperwork you sign is going to ensure that any damage to the car is properly attributed - so don't accept a very damaged car in the first place. They may require a security deposit when you get there (they know they have you) and you probably won't see it again (although if you research carefully - you can find relatively good businesses in Mexico, as elsewhere - we've had some really bad rental car experiences in L.A., but in Mexico - well, I would be even more careful).

A good resource is the AAA - although I'm pretty sure they recommend you rent on this side of the border.

Don't know what your route is, but there's only one way to go - South. The further you get from Tijuana, the nicer it is. If you are planning the ferry ride to the "mainland" part of Mexico, be sure your rental car agreement permits this.

Carry some cash (dollars) for emergencies - and for the rental car, just in case. Research fees and surcharges as far as you can before going.

I can give you more tips, but I'm just assuming you're the *very adventurous type* (you and spouse).

Mission Viejo...
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5. Re: How to get to Tijuana

Also confirm that a car rented in one country can be driven across the border into the other. As of last June 1 you need passports or passport cards to visit Mexico (actually to re-enter the US). Also you will need to buy insurance to drive in Mexico. As others mention they use the Napoleonic code. If you are in an accident you will be arrested until the matter is sorted out by the police or you pay a sufficient bribe. The insurance pays the bail so you don't have the inside of a Mexican jail on your list of things you saw on vacation.

I hope the rental agency is in a main tourist area. There are areas of TJ you do *not* want to blunder into...a lot of desperate poverty in some areas.

Nobody in this thread wants to be "doom and gloom" but there are definite practical, legal, and safety issues along the border. The State Dep't travel warnings and the US military prohibition on visits to border cities exist for a reason.

San Diego...
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6. Re: How to get to Tijuana

I did answer the posted question.

Los Angeles
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7. Re: How to get to Tijuana

You sure did, BW.

Berkeley, California
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8. Re: How to get to Tijuana

I must say I am looking forward to this trip report! Assuming OP isn't indefinitely detained in a Mexican prison. Sorry, I shouldn't be so doom-and-gloom about it. As if corruption weren't enough, OP is going to rent a car in TJ? Yikes!

My posts are usually more helpful, but we've already covered the basics. Take the 992 bus to America Plaza, then the Blue Line Trolley to San Ysidro. Walk across and enjoy! You can find out about the bus and Trolley at http://www.sdmts.com - note that taking a taxi downtown (instead of the bus) won't really save you much time, maybe 5 minutes.

Baton Rouge...
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9. Re: How to get to Tijuana

Thanks for all of the information from everyone. Our plans were to p/u our rental car in Tijuana from Hertz and drive to Cabo; then return. Should we rent in the US and then head south. Is it too dangerous to go the way we have planned? What to do?

San Diego
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10. Re: How to get to Tijuana

Pilot, I think you need to post your question about driving to Cabo in the Baja California(Mexico) forum.

There are lots of USA folks who either spend lots of time in Baja or who have retired there and I know they would give you good info about this.

Their opinions will be very different from those of the USA citizens who never spend time there.