Saturday, July 6, 2013

Let's Tijuana!

The other day, my husband and I found ourselves without any children for 48 hours . What?!
We decided to scram and headed south of the border to Tijuana for a {cheap} mini {cheap} vacation.
We had a ton of fun and stretched our $ as far as it could go. I thought I'd recap my vay-cay and share a few tips for those interested in exploring TJ (does not stand for Trader Joes). So, without further adieu...


UntitledBienvenidos! You've made it across the border and you're officially in Mexico! Que quieres hacer? If you're like me, you go eat. My suggestion is to make it through the border traffic and head to the beach for a coconut. Tijuana Beach is low key and away from the crowded downtown area. Park your car on Pacifico Ave, grab a coconut from one of the many Cocos Frios stands and drink up. You can either sit and drink your coconut water or ask the owner to separate the juice and get the coconut meat all chopped up and ready for you to munch on. Don't worry, you can order with or without chili. Cocos Frios cost about 30-35 pesos, usually around $3.00 usd. Tijuana merchants will gladly take your US money, but you should use your judgment and math skills to decide if you should use pesos or not.
Hint-they like USD and will round down prices to get those bills, y'all.

After getting your coconut fix, you should probably figure out where you are going to stay for two reasons: You don't want to find yourself stranded in TJ at night without a room and you will want a bathroom after Cocos Frios. We stayed down by the beach on Pacifico Ave, where we found a great room (with a view!) for $34.00. You really can judge a book by it's cover when it comes to hotel rooms in Tijuana, so take a good look at where you're thinking of staying. We had no interest in rooming near night clubs and Avenida Revolucion, so Motel Jardines Monumental was perfect for us.
The room rates are as follows: $20 USD to stay for a "little bit", $30
for the night and $34 for a beach view. We paid the extra $4
because we're fancy like that.
There was hot water (they turned it on only in the mornings..found that out the hard way), free secure parking and wifi that we didn't use.
Hint-Ask to see the room before paying!

Now that you're parked and roomed up, the rest of the day is yours. If it is not too late, you should definitely adventure into the city and look around. There is more to do than clubs and trinket shopping; there are sights to be seen, like The Cristo Rey! Of course my husband and I would be drawn to visit an 80 foot tall statue of Jesus. Since our smart phones did not work in Tijuana, figuring out how to get there was half the journey. Once we trekked up the steep residential streets leading to the Catholic (duh) Parish housing the statue, we parked and took a self guided tour of the church. By self guided, I literally mean there was no one on the grounds so we just poked around and took pictures. Click here for more great Tijuana art venues.
With some sight seeing done, you might want to eat again. There are taco carts and dives all around Tijuana or you can find a restaurant with a cantina if you're in the mood hang out. We pigged out on a Molcajete at El Faro, a restaurant right outside Plaza Monumental, about 3 blocks from our Hotel. With 2x1 Tecates and a lively rockola, we ate, drank, watched the sun set and then drank a little more before taking a stroll down the board walk and exploring other bars and hang outs along the beach. 
Molcajete: Carne, pollo y camarones cooked in
salsa and served in a bowl made of volcanic rock. Why
wouldn't you order this?
Hint: Always order the Molcajete if it isn't the most expensive thing on the menu, or you're not paying for dinner. This is not just a Tijuana hint, but a life hack to remember.
Other hint: Order beer or the drink special in TJ. If you order a Gin&Tonic, the barman will look at you like you're crazy before dusting off a bottle of gin and charging you 3x the price of a regular drink.

I can't really give much advice as to what TJ night clubs to go to since getting into trouble isn't my favorite thing to do anymore. So for now, let's call it a night. Buenos Noches y stay tuned for Let's Tijuana Part 2 coming soon!


  1. What a great sounding trip!

  2. I so wish my Husband wasn't afraid of mine and my step sons heads getting cut off by the cartel! We could take such fun, cheap vacas like this if he would lighten up. I loved going to Ensenada/Rosarito in my pre-marriage years lol

  3. Molcajete!!!!! Could not agree with you more :) The best.