If you live in California, Nevada, or Arizona and are new to Tijuana Airport, then this information is for you.
The information provided here has been reviewed and approved by many people who live in Tijuana and continuously cross the border on a weekly or daily basis. Yes, we have the knowledge and experience and know what we are writing about in this section.
San Diego and Tijuana Border Crossing
San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Baja California share three border crossings:
- San Ysidro, the busiest border crossing among all three, is open to everyone, including cars and pedestrians, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s best for visiting Tijuana downtown, enjoying the Tijuana nightlife, dentist/doctor visits, buying medication, and driving to Rosarito or Ensenada. San Ysidro (US border side) is a very busy commercial city with plenty of places to eat and shop for clothes. Parking is limited due to the high number of people visiting both sides of the border.
- Otay Mesa, the best border crossing for Tijuana Airport, is open for cars and pedestrians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It is not as busy as San Ysidro. It is also a good option if you need to visit a dentist or a doctor or to buy medication. Otay Mesa is an industrial zone and it has no nightlife. For the most part, Otay Mesa (US border side) is a very safe and super quiet industrial city. Parking is very limited due to high traffic at the border when driving back into the USA. People prefer to park on the US border side, walk across the border, and take a cab in Tijuana to a desired destination in Tijuana, including the airport.
- CBX-Tijuana Airport Bridge is available ONLY for Tijuana Airport passengers who have a valid flight boarding pass and a booklet passport. It is not available for free. It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. An overwhelming number of people consider the CBX airport bridge as the best way to get to the airport in Tijuana. Click here to visit the official CBX website for full details.
Four ways to get to Tijuana Airport
1. Driving to Tijuana Airport:
The best border crossing to drive across the border and toward the airport is Otay Mesa. The airport is just 2 miles west of the Otay Mesa border crossing. It’s a very easy drive to the airport. There are plenty of big road signs telling where to turn to get to the airport.
Driving back across the border into the USA is a very different story. In short, as much as you possibly can, avoid driving yourself to the airport. You will spend hours sitting in traffic on your way back to the USA. The alternative is to park your vehicle on the US border side and to use the service of a shuttle company to drive you straight to the airport. It will cost you about $50 each way.
2. Walking Across the San Ysidro border
Walking across the San Ysidro border to get to the airport in Tijuana is just as bad as driving to the airport. The only reason you would opt for this option is that you are not familiar with Otay Mesa or someone sold you the horrible idea of getting to the airport this way. Note that San Ysidro is said to be the busiest border crossing on the whole planet! On a good day, it would probably take you one hour to get to the airport and maybe two hours to get back across.
3. Walking Across the Otay Mesa border
Tijuana is a big city with tons of traffic. Traffic in Tijuana keeps growing on a weekly basis. This traffic problem in Tijuana is a nightmare when tourists drive back across the border, so much so that they are opting for parking on the US border side, walking across the border, and taking a cab in Tijuana. This traffic situation is creating a parking problem in both the Otay Mesa and San Ysidro border crossings. Parking demand many times overpasses parking supply. This problem is more evident in the high season.
If you don’t have a passport booklet or don’t want to pay the fee to use the CBX-Tijuana Airport bridge, then this is your best option to get to the airport. To get to the airport, you would need to walk for about 7 minutes to get to the border crossing. In Tijuana, you would also need to walk for about 7 minutes to go all across the customs terminal. When you are out of the building, taxis are available to take you to the airport or any other place in Tijuana. Taxis are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The airport is 2 miles from the Otay Mesa border crossing. Do NOT walk to the airport from this area. With the way the roads are structured on the way to the airport, walking from here to the airport is NOT safe.
4. Walking across the CBX-Tijuana airport bridge
The CBX-Tijuana airport bridge is sort of a mini Tijuana airport terminal on the US border side with no airplanes, just airlines, and CBX employees where you can check in or buy tickets.
So imagine if Volaris, Interjet, Aeromexico, or Viva Aerobus could have a front desk on the US border side where airport passengers were able to check in and just walk across the border fence through a sky bridge that connects them right at the airport terminal. Well, someone with money thought of this, too. He built a bridge that connects airport passengers on the US side with the airport via a sky bridge.
The CBX project is a private investment, and for that reason, you have to pay a fee. On your way to the airport, you will still have to deal with Customs and Immigration officers on the Mexican side. On your return, you will have to deal with US customs officers. So the passport booklet is required.
If you have elderly parents, this is great for them and for you. It’s safe and secure. If you don’t want to deal with the traffic nightmare in Tijuana, this is a great option for you to get to the airport. You have to try it at least one time to make your own judgment. But based on personal experience and from comments received from thousands of customers who have used the CBX bridge to get to the airport, our conclusion is that this is the best option to get to the airport in Tijuana though San Diego.
WARNING: Expect huge delays during the high season. If you want to avoid big crowds of people and delays, just don’t travel in the high season, otherwise, just relax and enjoy the experience. The ones like all of us at Delta Truck Parking who have to work while you are on vacation will appreciate your patience and understanding.
Delta Truck Parking does not receive any type of compensation from CBX or have any type of business agreement with the CBX owners, agents, or employees. This is merely the opinion of the author based on personal experience and the collection of comments from Delta Truck Parking customers who have used the CBX service in the past.
To learn more about the services that the CBX provide, click here to visit the official website for the CBX.