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Travel from the San Diego Airport to the Border

How to get to Tijuana through public transportation

If you need a ride from the San Diego Airport to our clinic, we can make that arrangement for you. We have individuals who can pick you up at a low cost. However, if you would like to get to the clinic on your own, It is very easy to get from the Airport to the border through public transportation. Please read and follow the steps below, and you’ll get there without a hitch.

1. Taking the 992 MST Bus.
In front of the baggage claim of each airport terminal, there is a bus stop. To find it, just ask at the information desk in the lobby. While you wait at the bus stop, get your money ready, as the driver cannot give you change. The cost is $7, and the pass he gives you is good on the Trolley as well. When you get on the bus, tell the driver you want to get off at the American Plaza stop, so he will remind you where to get off.

2. Taking the Trolley to the border.
The San Diego Trolley is an electric commuter train which will take you to the last stop in front of US Customs at the Mexican border. When you get off the bus from the airport, the American Plaza station will be across the street from you. Cross the street, and stay on the side of the platform that is next to the main building. Th Trolley will be coming from your left. It will say: Blue Line, San Ysidro/Tijuana on the front. Get on the train, and stay until you get to the last stop.

3. Going to the border entrance.
When you exit the Trolley, just follow the majority of other passengers. They will be walking down the tracks to the South, the same way you were going on the train.The path will lead you to the pedestrian entrance into Tijuana.

New Border Crossing Regulations:

1.- You must now have a US passport to cross the border:  

Just like the US Government requires everyone crossing the border into the US to have passports, the Mexican Government also now requires all persons crossing into Mexico to have a passport. Things have historically been a little lax, but now they are tightening up on the regulations. Make sure you get your passport before crossing into Mexico, to avoid any delays or hassle, by the US Customs, as well as Mexican Customs.

If you haven’t yet gotten a US Passport, we strongly recommend that you get the “Passport Card”, rather than the “Passport Book”. You can actually apply for both, or either one. But the reason the Passport Card works better than the Book, is because it has the RFID electronic chip, which qualifies you to use the faster moving “Ready Lanes” either as a pedestrian or riding in a car. Here is a link to the government website:


2.- You will need to get a Tourist Visa at the border:  

Pedestrian Crossing: If leave your car parked at the border, and are walking into Mexico, you will need to present your US passport, and fill out a tourist permit form. It will just take 5 minutes. However, make sure you keep your tourist permit on your person. In case you are stopped in Mexico for any reason, you will now have proof that you entered into the country legally. The cost of a tourist permit, to visit Tijuana for a week, is free. But, if you plan to stay for more than a week, plan to return for a second trip, or are thinking of going on to Rosarito or Ensenada, you will need to get the 180 day permit, costing $25.   

Crossing the border by car: If you are stopped in Tijuana, you will need to show that you have legally crossed the border. So, even though you could just drive through Mexican Customs, and they don’t ask you for any documents, don’t neglect to first stop and get your tourist permit. The process will just take a few minutes.

When you first cross into Mexico, do NOT get into the lines of cars that are going through the lanes through for inspection. Rather, keep to the right, and go straight ahead to the area for Voluntary Declaration. Most of the cars going in here, and parking, are stopping to declare products that they purchased in the US, so they can pay the “Importation Tax”. But this is the same area where you will find the “Immigration” office, in order to get your tourist permit. Just park your car next to the others, and go into the building. Inside you will find the Immigration office, and tell them you want a tourist permit. It will be easiest if you just tell them you are coming to visit and shop, otherwise they will ask you for the exact address of the clinic, and hotel address where you are staying. Just a little less hassle.

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