Tijuana is the largest city in Baja, and Mexico’s most famous city.  The best-known of all the border towns, Tijuana is about twenty miles from San Diego, California.  The border crossing processes about 500,000 crossings each day.   

Tijuana Cultural Center
Cultural Center Tijuana

Tijuana Geography

Tijuana is the westernmost city in Mexico.  Just 130 miles west of the state capital, Mexicali, and situated in a valley on the Tijuana River.  The ground around the city is rugged and hilly.  During the rainy season, downtown is prone to flooding due to its low-lying position in the valley.  Its skyline is one of the largest in Mexico and draws visitors from around the globe.  The city is still working with professionals to bring sanitary sewage system to the region.  Currently, most sewage from residents and visitors washes out to the Pacific Ocean at Rosarito.

Tijuana skyline at Night
Skyline at Night


In 1542 the Spanish discovered Tijuana. Although, it wasn’t until 1769 that the Valley began to settle. Before the arrival of the Conquistadors, native peoples like the Pai Pai, Cucupa, and the Kumiai tribes called Tijuana home.  The city was eventually founded in 1889 by ranchers and farmers.

Tijuana Border Fence
Border Fence


When Prohibition hit the U.S., Tijuana exploded as a good-time haven for Americans looking to experience the delights of drinking and gambling.  In many ways, Tijuana’s history reflects what was happening with its northern neighbor.

Street Map of Tijuana
Tijuana Street Map

As one of Mexico’s fastest-growing cities.  This growth is due in large by to the tourism that drives the city forward.  Furthermore, there is an active movement in Tijuana to bring world-class cuisine and culture to the city.  The latest generations of Tijuanese are not happy with the reputation as a “third world” and they seem driven to do something about it.

Grand Hotel Tijuana and Country Club
Grand Hotel and Country Club

Things to See and Do in Tijuana

The Cultural Center:  one of the most important centers for the arts in Northern Mexico.  This uniquely shaped landmark displays local arts and performances.   In short, the famous architecture makes it a must-see landmark.

Tijuana Cultural Center
  • Avenida Revolucion: This is the central tourist hub that earned the city its reputation as a party town.  Its clubs, restaurants, and hotels attract people from all over looking to experience TJ’s brand of fun.  
  • Plaza Santa Cecilia: For a relaxed and pleasant day in the city, check out this old square and its cafes and galleries.  
  • Paseo de Los Heroes:  This famous landmark commemorates the great heroes of freedom like Miguel Hidalgo and Abraham Lincoln.  It can be found by the Avenida Revolucion.
  • Amigos del Artes:  For modern art in Tijuana, this gallery showcases some of the best and developing architecture of the city.  It a great venue to examine  Tijuana’s cutting-edge painting and sculpting scene.

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