Tijuana’s claim to fame is being the Most Visited Border City in the world. While this sprawling underrated city does receive a ton of tourism, most of it comes from foot traffic.
Being the most visited border crossing in the world, these tourism statistics are heavily inflated by border crossers, whether it’s locals who work in the U.S. or Californians coming down for a day trip.
But Tijuana and the rest of northern Baja are so much more than just pharmacies, dentists, and affordable health care.
Tijuana is a major city with millions of residents. It has also held a sketchy reputation for years. Like many other ‘dangerous‘ places, these crime statistics often don’t affect tourists.
So many travelers go to Cabo, Cancun, or even Mexico City, but this region of Mexico should be a more popular getaway all on its own.
Here are 6 reasons why northern Baja should be your next Mexico getaway:
First-Ever Route From American Airlines
Northern Baja just became easier to reach than ever before. If travelers wanted to come here, they would usually have to fly to San Diego or connect through another Mexican route.
American Airlines is set to become the only U.S. carrier to fly to Tijuana. The main airlines that serve Tijuana are all of Mexican origin:
@twintravel.03 Have you ever flown out of Tijuana using the cross border express? ✈️ #cbx #crossborderexpress #tijuana #tijuanamexico #sandiego #fyp #travel #traveltips #airport #traveltiktok ♬ Sunshine – WIRA
- Viva Aerobus
This exciting new route will allow more Americans direct access to this side of Mexico by taking one of their favorite airlines to Tijuana’s recently renovated airport.
Tijuana Beyond The Border
At first glance, Tijuana may look like any other border town with pharmacies and dentists at every turn. But those who simply look at Tijuana as just another border town are doing themselves a disservice.
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@asknicole_ When you visit #TJ check out #tacoalley #tacos #TJ ♬ original sound – Nicole
The city is massive with some really nice places to visit. Travelers will be surprised with the new luxury hotels popping up, such as the Quartz Hotel and Spa or new boutique hotels like the K Tower.
There is also a constantly growing culinary scene, whether it’s the classic Taco Alley, food trucks of Telefonica Gastro Park or fine dining in the ritzy Plaza Rio neighborhood.
Tijuana is a thriving, fun city far beyond its reputation of a dirty, crime-ridden no-go zone. Friendly locals welcome you with open arms and vendors playfully coerce you to “buy things you don’t need”.
Downtown is considered to be especially safe for tourists with trendy coffee shops, breweries and nightlife.
@illylilimilly This is how you can spend a day in Tijuana – have fun! #tijuana #tijuanamexico #travelguide #bajacalifornia #tiktoktravel #traveltips #mexico #mexicotravels ♬ original sound – Liliana
Road Trip To Rosarito
Once you land in Tijuana or cross over from San Diego, the epic beach town of Rosarito is a must-add to your Baja trip.
However, Rosarito is home to a breathtaking coastline of beautiful beaches, cliffside restaurants and artisan shops. It’s an easy Uber ride or drive to reach.
One reason it remains under the radar is there are no all-inclusive resorts here. So Cancun, Cabo, and others take center stage over smaller beach towns like this.
It’s also advised to check swimming conditions before getting into the water.
Check out Los Portales next time you’re in Rosarito! 🇲🇽
The Charming Town Of Tecate
Located east of Tijuana is the charming town of Tecate. If you’re thinking you’ve heard this name before, yes, this is where the popular Mexican beer calls home.
Other than brewery tours, there is plenty to see here in this safe, small town. In fact, it one of Mexico’s many pueblo magicos.
For a slower pace than the bustling streets of Tijuana, tourists will love visiting the main square in the heart of town – Parque Miguel Hidalgo.
What Tecate is known for, other than being a major producer of beer, is being the gateway into Baja’s gorgeous wine country.
@alexandrunk Los roadtrips imprevistos siempre son lo mejor ✨ #Tijuana #Tecate #México ♬ Cycles of Existential Rhyme – Chicano Batman
Escape To Baja’s Wine Country
To truly escape the crowds of other popular Mexico destinations, travelers will love exploring Valle de Guadalupe.
Located south of Tecate, this stunning region of Baja is the ultimate getaway for a relaxing time. Not only does this area have amazing wineries, but also one-of-a-kind accommodations.
There are some very unique places to stay, ranging from luxury resorts and boutique hotels to sleek Airbnbs.
A perfect way to spend time in the stunning landscape of Baja is by enjoying the region’s finest wine.
@todayxperience Visit this AirBnb if you’re in San Diego 🔥🍷 Zeuhary Hospedaje Campestre 📍 #sandiego #valledeguadalupe #wine ♬ original sound – xperiencetoday
A Gem In The Desert
Far East of Tijuana and Tecate is another major border city – Mexicali. This city in the desert caters to those with a sense of adventure and appreciation of amazing sunsets.
People come to the dunes to have an awesome time sandboarding and riding ATVs near the Arizona border.
This city is also a cultural hub you wouldn’t expect. It was once home to the largest Chinatown in Mexico, known today as Chinesca, with annual Chinese New Year celebrations.
Travelers will love wandering this vibrant neighborhood full of unique shops and restaurants showcasing the historic Chinese culture of this gem in the desert.
@dalilarodriguez98 El Barrio Chino de Mexicali. “La Chinesca”. 🏮🐉🥡🥢🥋 @Visit Mexicali Miercoles 26 julio del 2023. #lachinesca #visitmexicali #chinatown ♬ Mrs Magic – Strawberry Guy
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com