Crossing any international border can feel daunting. But with a knowledgable guide and some expert advise, your border crossing into Mexico will be a snap! Mexico is a friendly place, and Mexicans are proud of their heritage, their land, their cuisine, and their many artisan products. So it should come as no surprise that you'll feel more than welcome visiting Mexico... Bienvenido!
TOURS DEPARTING FROM THE UNITED STATES
For same-day and multi-day tours from the U.S., you will meet your guide and depart from one of our two designated meeting points on the US-side of the Mexican border at:
- San Ysidro, California - South of San Diego (the Tijuana crossing - most of our tours utilize this crossing)
- Tecate, California - Southeast of San Diego (the Tecate crossing)
Your guide will be on foot, and will meet you at one of our designated meeting locations on the U.S. side of the Mexican border. You will then cross Southbound on foot with your guide through the Mexican border inspection station (the border crossing facilities are well patrolled and very secure). Upon booking your tour, we will email you detailed driving, parking, and meeting directions for the designated border meeting point you have selected. At the end of your tour, you will be dropped off directly in front of the pedestrian border crossing facility on the Mexican side of the border (this is a secure facility), then cross back through U.S. Customs & Immigration by foot. You may elect to cross the border immediately, or stay in Mexico to explore a little more on your own.
Do you offer cross-border transport from the United States?
Yes, for an extra fee, you may request to be picked-up and dropped-off at an address in the City of San Diego, based on our availability for this service. If available, there is a surcharge for cross-border door-to-door transport from San Diego, applied once to your entire group. Note that while crossing south into Mexico by car usually poses little or no delay, northbound vehicular border wait times can easily take three or more hours, with weekend wait times averaging well over four hours. To avoid a long border wait and the surcharge, we recommend meeting your tour guide at our designated location on the U.S. side of the border, then walking across together. When you meet us at our designated border meeting point in the morning, in the afternoon/evening you'll utilize a safe and very secure pedestrian border crossing facility for your northbound crossing, where most of our groups have reported a short 5-20 minute wait before they are back in the U.S. -- this is a much better option than being stuck in our tour vehicle for hours on end, inching forward in line, without ready access to restrooms.
Where is San Ysidro?
San Ysidro is the California border town located just South of San Diego and National City, on the California-Mexico border, directly adjacent to Tijuana, Mexico. Our designated meeting point at San Ysidro is on the U.S. side of the border, just steps from the San Ysidro Port of Entry (aka "the Tijuana border crossing"). San Ysidro is easily accessed via car by taking Interstate-5 or Interstate-805 South from San Diego, towards the Mexican border. The I-805 will merge into the I-5, just North of the US-Mexico border. If you are meeting your tour guide in San Ysidro, DO NOT CROSS THE BORDER IN YOUR CAR - TAKE THE LAST U.S. EXIT (Camino De La Plaza). There are public bus and rail options for reaching our designated meeting point in San Ysidro, with San Diego Trolly Service (Blue Line) being the most convenient in most cases. All-day parking is available at private lots located in San Ysidro on the U.S. side of the border for $20 to $40 per day.
Can I take public transportation to the designated meeting point at the US-Mexico border?
Yes, but only to the San Ysidro, California meeting point. San Diego MTS operates regular Trolley Service (Blue Line) to the San Ysidro meeting point from many convenient locations in San Diego. To reach the Tecate, California meeting point, you must drive by car – THERE ARE NO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO/FROM TECATE (neither bus, rail, taxi service, nor Uber are available to/from Tecate on the U.S. side).
Where is Tecate?
Tecate, Mexico is a small and easy-going border town nestled in the picturesque hills just East of San Diego and Tijuana. Tecate is known as the “Gateway to the Valle de Guadalupe Wine Route” and is an easy 20-minute drive from Tijuana via a well maintained and scenic toll road. We like the Tecate border crossing for its proximity to the Valle de Guadalupe wineries, Tijuana and Ensenada, its easy accessibility, tranquil vibe, and much shorter border wait times. Crossing the US-Mexico border on foot in Tecate takes about 5 to 10-minutes on average, while in Tijuana you may wait standing in line for an hour or more on your Northbound pedestrian crossing. Accordingly, any extra drive time required to reach Tecate is easily justified by a much shorter border wait. Tecate is a lovely Mexican town that has been designated as a “Pueblo Magico”. Tecate is easily accessed from California State Route 94 (CA-94), which runs West to East through metropolitan San Diego to Tecate, California in the East. All of San Diego’s major North-South freeways (I-5, I-805, I-15, CA-163, CA-125) intersect CA-94. All-day parking is available at private lots located in Tecate, CA on the U.S. side of the border for $5-10 per day (compared to $20+ per day in San Ysidro).
TOURS DEPARTING FROM NORTHERN BAJA CALIFORNIA
For tours originating in or near the Northern Baja California towns of Tijuana, Tecate, Rosarito, North and Central Ensenada, or Valle de Guadalupe (and areas in-between), there is no surcharge for door-to-door transport. Your guide will arrange to pick you up at your hotel or house; we only require that you submit the street/postal address of your pick-up location, along with cross-streets, name of the property or housing community, and/or an exact GPS location.
SHIP-TO-SHORE TOURS DEPARTING FROM THE PORT OF ENSENADA
For cruise ship passengers arriving via cruise line to the Port of Ensenada, there is no surcharge for transportation from our designated meeting point at the Port of Ensenada. Our meeting point at the Port of Ensenada is an easy 8 to 12 minute walk from your ship's mooring location at Ensenada's Cruiseport Village.