Located in northwestern Mexico, the city of Tecate is one of Baja California’s most popular towns. Situated near Tijuana, Tecate also receives considerable border traffic from the U.S. and is a well-known tourist destination. Perhaps most famous as the original brewery site of Tecate Beer, the city is a hospitable place to chill in northern Mexico’s regional charms.
Founded in 1892, Tecate has a population of 64,764 people. Tecate is connected to Mexican Federal Highway 2 which also connects Tijuana and Mexicali. Tecate is served by Tijuana International Airport, but this border town is also adjacent to Tecate, California and receives considerable traffic across the border from Californians looking for a weekend getaway. Tecate, Mexico is just forty miles from the city of San Diego; however, the mountainous route is less preferable to many tourists than the crossing at Tijuana, yet for some, it is the best place to enter the country.
Tecate is a mountainous town in the Sierra de Juarez. Its elevation at 1,690 feet above sea level ensures a comfortable climate. The region’s highest peak, Mount Cuchuma, is on the border with the U.S. The small city enjoys mountain spring water, a geographical perk that encouraged the founding of the Tecate Brewery and the city’s famed Puerta Health Spa. The valleys around the city are known for their fertile grounds and there is a considerable agricultural flavor to Tecate as opposed to its more industrialized neighbors like Tijuana and Mexicali.
Tecate is one of the country’s more recently founded cities. The Tecate Brewery put the town on the map owing to the creation of many jobs and the popularity of the beer. The brewery was established on the Tecate River in 1943. Until this point, the area was more or less a settlement that was known for ranching. One notable event occurred in 1911 when a band of insurgents temporarily took over the town from the Mexican government. Today, Tecate is known as a quiet place to cross the border and an enjoyable place to visit in Baja California for shopping and recreation.
Tecate is well known for its spas and ranch resorts. Many visitors come for its enchanting mountain atmosphere that is so different in nature than other cities of Baja California. Tourism is a more relaxed affair in Tecate than more crowded area cities like Tijuana; however, many visitors come to experience outdoor activities like hiking and camping, to shop, or simply to experience Tecate’s singular charms. Regional cuisine is popular in Tecate—especially grilled meats—as is golf and therapeutic visits to the town’s notable spas. If driving to Tecate, remember to purchase insurance for your Mexican visit. With its fresh air and mountain landscape, Tecate boasts an atmosphere that is perfect for outdoor activities and conveniently located on the border.
More Things to See and Do in Tecate
Rancho La Puerta: With its luxury spa treatments and healthful activities that boost fitness, the Rancho La Puerta is a popular Tecate destination. Situated on three thousand acres, the spa and resort is noted for its gorgeous landscape and mountainside hiking.
Tecate Brewery: This famous brewery is a popular tourist destination. Tours and beer tastings make this a must-see attraction for beer lovers who visit the city. The brewery features a gift shop as well as a beer garden.
Parque Hidalgo: Also known as the Tecate’s main square of zocalo, Parque Hidalgo is a beautiful part of the city that is a mere few blocks from the border. Elegantly landscaped and home to various restaurants and shops, the square is a must-see attraction of the city.
Guadalupe Hot Springs: Many visitors make a point of visiting the Guadalupe hot springs; well-known for its rock-rimmed pools of spring water, this extraordinary venue is located near caves filled with ancient cave paintings and breathtaking landscapes that are noted for their fine hikes.
Cave Tours: Many visitors enjoy exploring the caves and witnessing their ancient cave paintings that were created by some of the first Mesoamericans in the region.
Local Wineries: With its fertile lands, Tecate and its outskirts have become well known for the wineries. Visitors enjoy touring the wineries, particularly those of the valleys of Guadalupe, and attending the wine-tasting events.
Off-Roading Fun in Tecate: Like other areas of Baja California, Tecate is also popular for off-roading in certain areas. Races like the Gran Carrera de Tecate and SCORE Tecate Baja 500 are major tourist events for the city.
Golf at Rancho Tecate: This gorgeous golf course is well worth a trip across the border. Situated in the picturesque mountains, this eighteen-hold golf course is located just outside of town.