Tijuana & Baja California


The themes of our Tijuana and Baja California public treks rotate from weekend to weekend, and most itineraries — with the exception of seasonal tours — happen every six to eight weeks.


Damn-fine Tijuana dive bar hop

7 pm Friday June 29
$49.52
Tickets

Rev up for a run around downtown Tijuana’s damnedest-fine dive bars, a collection of what locals know as the border city’s most quintessential cantinas. Watering holes that double as would-be wormholes in the spacetime continuum, these are hands-down some of our most favorite classic spots in town whose names, in the spirit of suspense, we’ll keep secret until the night of.

Tickets include a round at each cantina, plus an all-you-can-eat feast of tacos varios before calling it a night.

The group meets on the U.S. side of the Pedwest border crossing at the Virginia Avenue Transit Center at 7 p.m., with an estimated return to the border at 1 a.m.


Tijuana waterpark trek

10 am Saturday June 30
$40.03
Tickets

Waterslides that should probably require helmets but everyone rides face first anyway. Collosal beers rimmed with chile and chamoy. Tambora bands, corn on the cob on the grill, Tecate eagle fake tattoos, a Tarzan rope. Join us for what's now a Turista Libre tradition seven years in the making at El Vergel, Baja California’s largest waterpark and home to the borderland's largest and arguably most gnarly waterslide, the Slip N Fly.

Tickets include roundtrip border transportation, park admission, en-route libations and complimentary artillery for the en-route water gun fight.

The group meets on the U.S. side of the Pedwest border crossing at the Virginia Avenue Transit Center at 10 a.m., with an estimated return to the border at 6 p.m.


Meals of Migrants Tijuana food tour

11 am Sunday July 1
$59.02
Tickets

Throughout its short history the state of Baja California has become a kaleidoscope of migrant populations from not just the rest of Mexico but from around the world, too. Join Turista Libre for the next installment of our Meals of Migrants food tours, which seek to offer a gastronomic sampling of the diverse migrant identities that have made their home in Mexico’s northwestern border region.

On this round we'll be traveling to Michoacan, Sinaloa and Honduras via stops at three different eateries specializing in carnitascahuamanta and pollo con tajadas, respectively.

Tickets include roundtrip border transportation, courses at each restaurant and a donation to Espacio Migrante, a Tijuana-based NGO dedicated to the protection of the human rights of migrants and the awareness of migration-related issues.

The group meets on the U.S. side of the Pedwest border crossing at the Virgina Avenue Transit center at 11 a.m., with an estimated return to the border at 5 p.m.


'Feliz cumpleaños, Tijuana!' progressive meal

11 am Sunday July 8
$74.84
Tickets

Celebrate the 129th anniversary of Tijuana’s founding — July 11, 1889 — with a trip down memory lane like none other.

On the itinerary is a progressive meal along Avenida Revolución, with stops at the city’s most historic restaurants: salads at Restaurante Caesar’s (1927), carne asada at La Vuelta del Rodeo (1936), tacos de vapor at Taqueria La Especial (1952).

We’ll also visit the majestic Agua Caliente Casino and Hotel Minaret — which, built in 1930, continues to stand as one of the oldest and most iconic structures in the city — and bust open a piñata at Tijuana III Milenio “La Mona,” a 55-foot concrete live-in statue built by local architect-sculptor Armando Muñoz Garcia to commemorate the city’s first centennial anniversary in 1989.

Tickets include roundtrip border transportation, food and drink pairings at each restaurant and cocktails at La Mona.

The group meets on the U.S. side of the Pedwest border crossing at the Virginia Avenue Transit Center at 11 a.m., with an estimated return to the border at 7 p.m.


Tijuana Toros baseball south of the border

5 pm Saturday July 21
$37.92
Tickets

A cornrowed Kenny Powers is about the only sideshow missing from this dose of pro Mexican baseball (dancing bull-alligator-chicken mascot trio and cheerleading squad aside). Grab your mitt and Big Chew and join Turista Libre in cheering on the Tijuana Toros as they take on the Oaxaca Guerreros at Estadio Gasmart, a 16,000-capacity ballpark that underwent a nearly $2 million renovation in 2013.

Tickets include roundtrip border transportation, en-route libations, a pre-game pint at one of Tijuana's many craft tap rooms and entrance to the game.

The group meets on the U.S. side of the Pedwest border crossing at the Virginia Avenue Transit Center at 5 p.m., with an estimated return to the border at 11:30 p.m.


Baja winery hop

10 am Sunday July 22
$170.85
Tickets

Eighty miles from the border lies the Valle de Guadalupe wine country, a cluster of some 150 vineyards scattered between the hills between Ensenada and Tecate. Often referred to as the Napa of Mexico, it's increasingly perking the curiosity of oenophiles from near and far.

Given the distance and rural terrain, we'll be forgoing our usual mode of bus transportion for a van with space for 11.

Tickets include roundtrip border transportation, tastings at three wineries and dinner at celebrity chef Javier Plascencia's famed Finca Altozano.

The group meets on the U.S. side of the Pedwest border crossing at the Virginia Avenue Transit Center at 10 a.m., with an estimated return to the border at 9 p.m.


Tijuana market hop

10 am Sunday July 29
$35.81
Tickets

On Sundays, the hilltop streets of Tijuana are filled by swapmeets so massive – blocks and blocks of vendors selling mountains of the most random secondhand loot. Even if you make your way out of the bargain bin maze without dropping a single peso, you’ll walk away having lived an essential Mexican experience: the mercado.

We'll do stops at four of Tijuana's most iconic tianguis, including the city's longest-running flea market, the Mercado de Artesanías and Mercado Miguel Hidalgo, the city's oldest open-air market in Zona Rio.

Tickets include roundtrip border transportation and complimentary pan dulce upon arrival.

The group meets on the U.S. side of the Pedwest border crossing at the Virginia Avenue Transit Center at 10 a.m., with an estimated return to the border at 4 p.m.


Ensenada craft brewery hop

11 am Saturday Aug 11
$111.77
Tickets

Join Turista Libre in raising a glass to Baja California's craft beer scene — the epicenter of cerveza artesanal in all of Mexico — with a visit to three Ensensada craft breweries that are on the rise. Also on the itinerary are a pair of taco stops, too.

Tickets include roundtrip border transportation, tastings at each stop and tacos at two of the town's famed taquerias.

Given the distance, we’ll be forgoing our usual mode of bus transportation for a van with room for 11.

The group meets on the U.S. side of the Pedwest border crossing at the Virginia Avenue Transit Center at 11 a.m., with an estimated return to the border at 7 p.m.


'Mariscos & Margaritas' Tijuana-to-Ensenada progressive meal

10 am Saturday Aug 18
$98.05
Tickets

It’s arguably one of the more majestic stretches of freeway south of the border, but the road from Tijuana to Ensenada makes for more than just one sweeping ocean view after another. Join us for our inaugural progressive meal 80 miles down the Baja peninsula, a literal buffet of incomparably amazing mariscos.

We’ll do fresh oysters seaside in Popotla, a small coastal cove where fishermen haul their catches out of the waves for purchase atop the sand, and tostadas at Ensenada’s La Guerrerense, whose some dozen varieties of ceviche — from scallop to sea urchin — have been deemed the world’s best street food by Anthony Bourdain. And, being the birthplace of the fish taco, no trip to Ensenada would be complete without a taste of what is without a doubt the most authentic incarnation of the taco de pescado, at Tacos El Fénix.

The itinerary includes a stroll through Mercado Negro, one of Mexico’s most iconic fish markets, and a round of timelessly potent margaritas at Hussong’s, the first cantina to open in Baja California in 1892.

Given the distance, we’ll be forgoing our usual mode of bus transportation for a van with room for 11.

Tickets include roundtrip border transportation and courses at four food stops.

The group meets on the U.S. side of the Pedwest border crossing at the Virginia Avenue Transit Center at 10 a.m, with an estimated return to the border at 7 p.m.


'Against the Wall' border proximity pilgrimage

10 am Sunday Aug 19
$55.85
Tickets

See the U.S.-Mexico border like never before, with this expedition to three iconic spots along the already-existing San Diego-Tijuana border fence, erected during Operation Gatekeeper in 1994.

Among the stops are the eight 30-foot prototypes for the Trump Administration’s proposed border wall in Otay Mesa and Friendship Park in Playas de Tijuana, the northwestern-most corner of Latin America where the border fence trails some 100 yards into the Pacific.

Also on the itinerary are three of the historic 276 boundary monuments that were placed by the International Boundary Commission after the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty in 1848 and Gadsden Treaty in 1853, which redefined the border after the Mexican-American War. Historic but often overlooked, as most are just south of the current border fence, these obelisks stand half in one country, half in the other.

Tickets include roundtrip border transportation, lunch at one of Tijuana’s many gastro parks and a donation to Espacio Migrante, a Tijuana-based NGO dedicated to the protection of the human rights of migrants and the awareness of migration-related issues.

The group meets on the U.S. side of the Pedwest border crossing at the Virginia Avenue Transit Center at 10 a.m., with an estimated return to the border at 4 p.m.

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