What is the Best Time to Cross from Tijuana to San Diego?

One if not the most frequently asked questions when planning a trip in general is; what is the best time to visit? The peak season in many destinations vary and based on the time of year, demand of the area, weather and special occasions/holidays. It should come as no surprise then, that the first question most people ask when beginning to plan the San Diego to Tijuana border crossing is just that: "What is the best time to cross from Tijuana to San Diego?"

As one of, if not, the busiest entryways in the entire Western Hemisphere, it is important to be aware of the times that are highly congested in order to avoid spending hours inside your vehicle staring at traffic versus walking around and exploring all the interesting sites of Tijuana. If you don’t need a car, you may even want to consider doing the Tijuana border crossing by walking instead of driving. The pedestrian crossway tends to have minimal wait times. Even if the pedestrian lanes are busy, it will certainly take far less time than opting to take those lanes accessible only by vehicle.

Pull up a seat at Las Ahumaderas and bite into one of their mouthwatering mesquite-grilled meat tacos. This Tijuana hotspot was featured by Anthony Bourdain and is known to many Americans as “Taco Alley.” Founded in 1960, Las Ahumaderas will have you talking about it for years to come, guaranteed. Not only are the tacos good, but your wallet will be happy too. Las Ahumaderas is open almost 24/7 from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m., allowing you to quench your hunger at virtually any hour of the day.

For many people though, traveling via car is preferable as it allows you the freedom to explore not only Tijuana but areas beyond it in Baja California. If you are choosing to cross with your U.S. vehicle, be sure to secure auto insurance ahead of time. You’ll want to select a reputable Mexico car insurance company like Border Mexican Auto Insurance. They bring years of experience and a multitude of coverage options to fit your trip. At the minimum, you’ll be required to purchase liability insurance in case of an accident, as your U.S. policy will not be valid.

The first key detail to note when driving to Tijuana from San Diego is the timing. Like they say, timing is everything, and it’s especially critical for this trip. If you happen to attempt the border crossing mid-day, it is likely that you will be waiting in a line that’s hours long. Though the FastLane or SENTRI Lanes can speed up the process, it is still wise to avoid driving over when the lanes are backed up. The best time to cross from Tijuana to San Diego is the early morning 4:am to 6:am. If you’re the early bird, you’ll get the worm, or the tacos in this case. Try to get to San Ysidro at 4 a.m. to begin the process. The other times to avoid, if possible, would be weekends and holidays. These naturally tend to get pretty hectic as Baja California is an ideal escape. If you’re only free to travel during those times, still be an early riser and get there first thing. On the bright side, arriving to the border in the morning means arriving to Tijuana before all the hustle and bustle. This will give you some time to explore the city before all of the tourists arrive.

The second thing to be aware of are the rules of the road. Many people may wonder, is Tijuana safe? No matter where in the world you travel to, crime exists. A few simple tips can go a long way in ensuring a smooth, safe trip. As always, keep your wits about you and stay in well-lit areas when walking around at night. When driving, the recommendation throughout Mexico is to try and stick to day-time driving on well-traveled, toll roads. Travel in pairs as well if possible.

Don’t you want to see more of Mexico and less of the Border Patrol line? Secure your Mexico auto insurance ahead of time through a reliable auto insurance company like Border Mexican Insurance and get out on the road early in the morning. You’ll be very thankful you did!

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