TIJUANA BAJA / no it's not a list of sponsors, it's the list of those who died, unsuccessfully headed for the land of opportunity. PHOTO by JMS
photo by JMS photo by JMS photo by JMS photo by JMS
baja.org recommends:
>Centro Cultural

>Mundo Divertido
>Jai Alai
>Toreo / Bullfights
>Charreada / Rodeo
>Mexitlan Exhibit


Hot Links:
>TJ en Español
>Tijuana Live Weather
>Tijuana WebMail
>Tijuana Message Board
>Tijuana Reservations
>About Rosarito
>About Ensenada

SURF ALL DAY @ baja.org / the interactive peninsula!
surf all day @ baja.org
Tijuana: tacky, treacherous, terrific

While certainly not the most attractive scrum in the history of human clustering, it is a vortex of border hubbub, an unruly street theater, sprinkled with hit-and-run pleasantries. To make sure this city of 3 million does not fuse with Northern culture, there's a fence, a "new and improved" Berlin Wall, actually the most heavily militarized border between friendly neighbors anywhere in the world, just short of the shrapnel and mine fields. Sounds overly sardonic? The excess that is easily had in Tijuana comes at a price: one US citizen per day dies in Tijuana and the surrounding area of Baja California, according to the American consulate in TJ. Another three Americans per day are reported missing. It is the most active and perilous tourist destination in the world. At the same time, an equal number of Mexicans die each year, attempting to sneak into the land of plenty.

If you were to visit Tijuana, and you should at least once, there's lots of action for the egotourist.

Shopping is a sport in San Diego and Las Vegas, here it's an adventure. You'll weave through fabulous kitsch, dodge jewelry vendors and sometimes encounter unique art. Revolucion Avenue strikes like a "Mini-Me" Vegas Strip, without a planning and design committee: it's rowdy, fun and frivolous at 99 decibel.

There is also a quiet and sophisticated side to Tijuana. One of fine dining, a high quality professional services offering and not to forget: refined burlesque.

Several levels of accommodation are being offered in Tijuana, from world class to underworld: The same applies to food:

La Casa del Mole
Misión San Diego 1501 (corner Paseo de los Héroes), Zona Río, (52-664) 634-6920 A typical Mexican dish, mole (moh-leh) is served on chicken or enchiladas. The sauce is rich and mildly spicy, sprinkled with sesame seeds. Choose from a variety of flavors like mole-cinnamon, cilantro or chocolate. With drinks ~ $15 pp.

Tour de France
Gobernador Ibarra 252. Elegant but informal, attention to detail, yet moderately priced. Competent service, culinary finesse = a singular TJ experience.

Cien Años
Avenida José Maria 1407, Zona Río, (52-664) 634-3039, a Spanish Colonial-style restaurant, offers new and traditional Mexican dishes, such as crepas de huitlacoche, chili-tinged crepes wrapped around a black corn fungus. Dinner for two with beer or wine, about $70.

Carnitas Quiroga
Paseo de los Héroes 1535, Zona Río, (52-664) 634-6899; platters of carnitas and accompaniments, with beer, about $10 pp.

La Especial
in a below-ground arcade at Avenida Revolución 718; (52-664) 685-6654. This Tijuana version of an old-fashioned diner is 50 years old. Dishes run $5 to $10 per person.

also visit:

Mariscos Don Pepe
Blvd. Fundadores
Consistently excellent food, friendly, professional service

Aqui es Oaxaca
Ever wonder what Southern Mexico tastes like?

Asador Pamplona
Quality Spanish plates

Miguel Alemán has been an editor for baja.org since 1988

photo by JMS photo by JMS photo by JMS photo by JMS
There's a new sound coming out of Tijuana. Nortec. Some DJs calling themselves the Nortec Collective created the musical hybrid. Their hip, techno dance music is inspired by the traditional Norteño and Banda music of Mexico, as well as the modern pop and dance music that members of the Nortec Collective heard as kids on American radio stations just over the border. Renee Montagne visits with members of the Collective at their club on Revolution Avenue. Real Audio
Mandalit Del Barco visiting Tijuana reports that there's a visual aesthetic to the Nortec movement that goes beyond music. Listen

GETTING THERE from San Diego:
Greyhound buses, $5 one way, link downtown San Diego to downtown Tijuana (about 50 minutes); (619) 239-8082. Or take the red trolley from San Diego to the San Ysidro crossing ($2.50), or park in one of the lots at the Plazas de Tijuana exit (the nearest one, to the right, is also cheapest at $7 for 24 hours), then walk across the border or take a Mexicoach bus (from the trolley stop or parking lot), which stops at the Avenida Revolución downtown ($1.50 each way) and leaves about every 15 minutes; (619) 428-9517.