30 September 2015

Expo Tequila Tijuana - 2015

Expo Tequila Tijuana

DATE: October 14 - 18, 2015
TIME: 2:00p - 11:00p
Where: Av Revolucion at 7th - Zona Centro

The festival is a cultural event because its main focus is on educating visitors about the types of Tequila in Mexico. Participants will have the opportunity to taste dozens different Tequilas from different parts of the Tequila region.  Other national beverages will be available for tasting as well. The festival will also have music, stage shows and a drawing for prizes.  See the Facebook page for more information.

For those coming from the US who don't want to drive, the festival location is a 5-6 minute taxi ride from the San Ysidro / San Diego border crossing. You can also take Mexicoach on the US side to arrive at the Av Revolucion (down town) bus depot about a block from the festival

Make sure you know the Entry Requirements to visit Tijuana. 


18 September 2015

Important Changes to Entry Requirements

Shortly after the new pedestrian crossing, Puerta Este, opened at the San Ysidro crossing things changed dramatically.  Pedestrians are now segregated in to groups of Mexicans and Foreigners. Each person identified as a foreigner is required to present their passport and fill out a visa form.  More about the process at El Daily Post.

 It is reported that  as of September 2015, the “free zone” (trips within the 20 kilometer border zone for less than 72 hours) is no longer valid and everyone entering Mexico will need to obtain an FMM. A passport or passport card is required to obtain an FMM.
Some information from DiscoverBaja.com:
  •  Every non-Mexican citizen entering Baja will need to obtain an FMM regardless of length or location of visit. Also as of September 2015, visitors are no longer required to return their FMM to the Mexican government when exiting the country.
  • FMM tourist permits are issued for 180 days. Please be aware that FMMs are not valid for multiple entry. When you stop at the border to get your FMM stamped at immigration, we recommend telling them that you would like the permit for the full six months. This way, you are covered if you decide to extend your trip.
  • Keep your FMM in a safe place. Mexican immigration agents and federal police have the authority to ask for proof of legal status in Mexico at any time.
  • For Mexican insurance to be valid you must be in compliance with Mexican laws. Since having an FMM is a Mexican law, not having an FMM can invalidate your insurance and land you in jail.
  • Make two copies of your FMM tourist permit before traveling and leave one copy at home and carry one copy with you in a separate place from your actual FMM.
  • If you lose your FMM, you will need to go to the nearest immigration office to get a new one.
These changes are coming at a very bad time for the Baja economy so it will be interesting to see to what degree the FMM requirements will be enforced and how the application process will be handled when crossing by car.

04 September 2015

TJ Beer Fest

Date:  September 18 & 19
Location: Xolos Stadium (Estadio Caliente)
More info on Facebook 
Local beers, artisanal beers and food!   What could be better?

28 August 2015

Strong Dollar buys more in Mexico

If you have been looking for a reason for visit Mexico the exchange rate of the US Dollar to the MX Peso may be the encouragement you need.

The USD has been at or above an exchange rate of 15 Pesos for some time. While shopping on the street or going in to stores the vendors will often post their own exchange rate or "Tipo de cambio". This rate can change from store to store and usually is updated only when the Peso is stronger. Stores with electronic cash registers on a network may update the exchange rate throughout the day. The best option is for shoppers who can use a credit card that does not have an international exchange fee. Usually the 'bank rate' will be 1-1.5 pesos higher than the street rate.

See the current exchange rate on X-Rates.

19 August 2015

Tijuana pedestrian crossing opens

The US and Mexico have been working for several years to modify and upgrade the crossing points in to Tijuana for several years.  The US has fully rebuilt the San Ysidro crossing going North to the US and continues to expand with additional auto lanes and streamlined pedestrian crossing.

Likewise in Mexico the El Chaparral crossing has created numerous additional auto lanes but not so much for pedestrians until now. The new Puerta Este for pedestrian crossers looks much more like you are arriving at an airport than any pedestrian facility seen before at a US border crossing.

What is generally true is that this crossing point sees more than 20,000 people a day on average. For the most part crossers will be requested to push a button that will give a green light or red light. The green light means go on your way while the red light means you will be asked a few simple questions such as how long are you visiting Mexico, where you will visit and if you have anything to declare. It should be noted that the immigration rules require foreign border crossers to show their passports and they may be required to complete entry form.

What is true, no matter if you are crossing by vehicle or on foot in to Tijuana, there is much more scrutiny than ever before. The number of Customs Officials has increased dramatically. Click here to view a previous post regarding visa requirements to visit Tijuana.

Full story at San Diego Union Tribune.

01 August 2015

Wine Harvest Festival > August 7 - 23

Suggested events: 

Friday August 7, 2015: Muestra del Vino 2015

The kickoff to the Vendimia takes place at one of the most iconic buildings in Ensenada, the Riviera del Pacifico. This event has wine from over 50 wineries and food from around the region accompanied by music. This year will celebrate the 25th annual Vendimia celebration.

Sunday, August 16: Party at the Riviera

Wine tastings, music, culture and dance at the Riviera del Pacifico in Ensenada. Enjoy a wonderful time with family at this free event.

Thursday, August 20: Party in the Valley

This free event offers wine tastings, food and artisanal craftsfrom the Valle de Guadalupe in the Parque el Porvenir

Sunday, August 23: Paella Contest 2015

This huge event concludes the Vendimia festival. A magical event with more than 50 winemakers and 80 teams competing to offer the best paella, this is always a favorite. 

Full list of events at DiscoverBaja

10 July 2015

Tijuana Festival at the Beach

Festival Tijuana en la Playa

Date: July 24 - 26, 2015
Time: starts at 9:00am
Cost: Free
Place: Malecon (boardwalk) in Playas de Tijuana

The festival will showcase food, music, art and culture of the San Diego-Tijuana border region. There will be three pavilions with different foods, vendors and  services available to visitors. Items for sale and services include foods of the region, travel and tourism, massage, clothing, and beach accessories. Exhibitions and activities include paintings, sculpture and body paint, among others.

Other activities include:
 - dog parade    - volleyball tournament    - body boarding competition
 - surfing exhibition    - skateboarding exhibition    - Zonkey photos  
 - sand castle building    - swimwear show (men and women)    - many more!

Playas de Tijuana is located approximately 8 miles from the San Ysidro / El Chaparral border crossing. The drive takes only about 10 minutes along the international highway. Taxis from the border are available for approximately $10 USD.