Walking to Tijuana, Mexico

Friday, March 16, 2018
Is it possible to walk from from USA to Mexico? Yes.

That's the short answer. Now, here follows the guidelines of how to actually do it. Vamos a la Mexico!

Sign leading to the pedestrian bridge near the US border, California, USA
First of all, you'll need to get yourself to San Diego. Driving there from LA is one way. In the San Ysidro district there's a Border Station Parking area, which allows long-term parking. From the parking area, there's about 500 meters (partially on a pedestrian bridge) to McDonald's. Behind McDonald's there's a small path leading to a gate with a large "Mexico"-sign above it.

Pathway to Mexico behind McDonald's, California, USA
After entering the gate, you'll be processed through the Mexican passport control. I'd recommend to bring as little as possible. Leave most of your belongings in the trunk of your car. And that's it. You're now in Mexico! Make sure your US visa covers multiple entries (so you can walk back across the border again). And yes, the visa waiver program (ESTA) does allow you to walk to Mexico and back.

Gate to Mexico, California, USA
Upon entering Mexico, there's a natural path leading you the first steps into the land of tequila and sombreros. When the path ends at one of the main roads, take a right turn. Make sure you stay to the left once the road splits (or you'll end up walking back to US). There should be a bridge to cross, from where you can see the cars waiting to enter US.

"Welcome to Downtown"-sign in Tijuana, Mexico
After crossing the bridge you'll have to cross a few roads and eventually end up at the "Welcome to Downtown"-sign. Leading towards the famous Avenue Revolución. From there you'll have to pass Tijuana Wax Museum and criss-cross up and down a few stairs. Look for small signs pointing you in the right direction.

Tijuana Wax Museum, Mexico
If you spot the Arco Monumental, you're on the right path. Enjoy your stay in Mexico! Not everyone speak English here, but look for the "gringo-friendly"-signs, which invites non-Spanish speakers in.

Mexico is not the safest place in the world. Tijuana is quite safe. Just don't stray too far. There's not much more to it, than Av. Revolución. After just 10 minutes in Mexico, we got searched by the police. Trust no one. Not even the authorities.

Street art on Av. Revolución in Tijuana, Mexico
We stayed at Hotel Catalina, which seemed very save and had a very friendly staff. They don't speak English though, but do accept US dollars. Once you're ready to walk back (preferably the next morning). Head the same way back you came. Follow the small signs and graffiti-painted pointers towards US. Be prepared to wait in line at the border during the morning.

Graffiti pointing to US Border in Tijuana, Mexico
That's all. Walking to Mexico? Easy. And worth the effort. Even though you're just across the border, everything is completely different and you won't doubt, that you've actually just been to Mexico. So put on your poncho, grab your Corona and start walking. 

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