The close proximity San Diego has to Tijuana makes it possible to acclimate gradually into the immersion experience. There’s various gringo-centric groups that do a great job of showcasing Tijuana to their guests. Many meet initially on the U.S. side of the border, cross together, are English-speaking, and spend the day in Tijuana before taking you back to the border. This makes it very easy for first-time visitors to Tijuana. Just be sure to bring your passport book or passport card. Here’s our list of must-checkout groups:
Turista Libre – If you’re in the mood for a TJ fun day with other Americans visiting taquerías, breweries, swapmeets, baseball games, a water park, or Mexican wrestling matches, this group is for you. You’ll meet on the USA side of the border, be guided across, and ultimately return along with the group.
Tijuana Walking Tour – Informative walking tours of downtown Tijuana. Their six-hour Brews, Chews & Views tour, at just $20 USD, is a steal. And just like Turista Libre, Tijuana Walking Tour initially meets on the USA side of the border, removing first-timer confusion of how to cross.
Tijuana, Baja and beyond. If you want to meet other San Diegans soaking in the Mexican culture, these are your people. Trips vary from a few hours to day-long, weekend and longer.
Paseo de Todos & Los Cruzadores– These two group bicycle rides are an incredible way to visit Tijuana. They each meet in San Diego, bike down across the border and spend at least a couple hours together bicycling around Tijuana.
Educational / Language Resources
Learning Spanish and getting to know the fronteriza culture of Tijuana doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time, focus and lots of leaving ones’ own comfort zone. Thankfully, there’s resources available to help:
Spanish Language & Cultures Meetup Group – This San Diego-based Meetup.com group is great for someone who wants to practice their Spanish with others. Geared mostly towards beginner/intermediate. They meet in San Diego at restaurants, coffee shops and events.
Tijuana 22000 – This book not only shows you why Tijuana is such a cool city, but it does so in their own language; each page is written in both English and Spanish. A must-read for anyone visiting the city and/or learning Spanish.
Coffeebreak Espanol podcast- Primarily in English, this podcast is a great beginners’ resource for learning Spanish.
News in Slow Spanish Latino podcast- Presenting news from the Latin world spoken in a pace of Spanish slow enough for beginner/intermediate learners to understand.