Tijuana Airport 101

So the content on this page is aimed to help those who are new to the whole concept of flying of Tijuana Airport.

1.- Where is the airport located?

The General Abelardo L. Rodriguez International Airport also known as Tijuana International Airport or Tijuana Airport is located in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.

The airport is just 2.5 miles West or a 5-minute easy drive from the Otay Mesa border crossing; 7 miles East or a 20-minute drive from San Ysidro border crossing and a comfortable 10-minute walk (normal days 10-minute walk, very busy days as much as 2 hours) through the Cross Border Xpress terminal which is located just 4 miles West of the Otay Mesa border crossing. Click here to visit the official Tijuana International Airport website.

Map provided by Google Maps

2.- San Diego and Tijuana Border Crossing Terminals

San Diego and Tijuana share three border crossings;

  • San Ysidro border crossing, the busiest of all three and open (subject to construction delays or national safety) 24 hours. 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for both cars and pedestrian on both sides of the border. It’s 100% free to drive and walk across the border.
  • Otay Mesa border crossing; Otay Mesa San Diego and Mesa de Otay in Tijuana are both primarily commercial area zones. If you need to get to Tijuana Airport, Rosarito or Ensenada, this is not your best border crossing option. Otay Mesa is best to get to Tijuana International Airport, Tijuana Bus Depot, Tecate and Mexicali. The border crossing is open (subject to construction delays or national safety) 24 hours. 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for both cars and pedestrian on both sides of the border. It’s 100% free to drive and walk across the border.
  • Cross Border Xpress in Otay Mesa; Cross Border Xpree also known as CBX bridge is located in Otay Mesa and it is available ONLY for Tijuana Airport passengers with a valid boarding pass. Note that CBX is private, not run by the US and Mexican government. There is a fee associated to use the service. The CBX service is open (subject to construction delays, national safety or any other reason) 24 hours. 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for pedestrian on both sides of the border. It’s required to bring passport. To read all about CBX service click here.

3.- Best Border Crossing To Tijuana International Airport?

The 2 border crossings to get to Tijuana Airport are Otay Mesa border crossing, the old way. And Cross Border Xpress sky bridge, the new way.

CBX vs Otay Mesa border:

So if you have problems walking, health issues, a handicap condition or if you want to avoid getting wet due to rain or avoid the hot sun in the summer or if you don’t feel safe walking late at night at Otay Mesa because you are traveling by yourself, or if you need to pull tons of luggage or if you are traveling with toddles and want to make sure they are safe or have the money to pay for access to use the Cross Border Xpress sky bridge or if you don’t want to drive/walk across the border to pick up or drop of friends or family members, then use the CBX service.

If you want to save money, walk across the border for about 15 minutes to the taxi stand in Tijuana and if you don’t have a passport booklet, then walk across the border at Otay Mesa.

4.- How to get to Tijuana International Airport:

So you can get to the airport driving and walking across at Otay Mesa and San Ysidro. For CBX, walking is the only option available to get to the airport.

If driving through San Ysidro, just connect to I-5 South and drive across the border and follow well marked road signs/instructions in Tijuana. Expect heavy and aggressive traffic conditions in Tijuana, pretty much at all hours, every day.

If driving through Otay Mesa; just connect to CA-905 and drive across the border and follow the well marked road signs to the airport. It’s an easy 5-minute straight forward drive to the airport. Now, driving back across the border is a whole new adventure. If you get lost, just stop a taxi driver, pay to be taken to the airport and follow the the driver. He will take you to the best road alternative. Make sure you tell the driver that you are either using the Sentri Line, Ready Lane or the regular/normal lane. So unless you are well familiar driving in Tijuana, just avoid it. The same applies for San Ysidro border crossing.

Uber/Lyft or Shuttle Driver; if you live close to the border, consider using the service of a shuttle company, uber/lyft driver. If you calculate the cost for parking, gasoline and CBX fees, you might be better off using the transportation service from a friend or a private party.

5.- Should I park my car on the US border side or in Tijuana close to the airport?

This is a personal choice. Tijuana airport parking fees are on average $15 to $17 DOLLARS a day. Parking lots near the airport, in Tijuana, about $3 to $5 Dollars a day. If parking your car for $3 a day in Tijuana is your choice, good luck!

5.- Parking lot options in San Ysidro:

To find parking near the San Ysidro border crossing, just drive down on San Ysidro Blvd and most parking lots are near Mc donalds and Juck in The Box restaurants.

San Ysidro border map provide by Google Maps