Tourismo Express RT Bus to Tijuana, formerly Mexicoach, makes crossing the international border relaxed and convenient. No more waiting in long lines and no more costly auto insurance. It’s the easiest and safest way to go to and come back from Tijuana, Mexico.
Tourismo Express RT Bus to Tijuana runs daily express buses from San Ysidro to downtown Tijuana 7 a.m.-6 p.m. These departures are from Border Station Parking in San Ysidro every hour on the hour and until 6 p.m. The fare is ($6) one way and ($10) round trip. Since the drivers and the people at the ticket booths ALL SPEAK ENGLISH confirm the return times from Tijuana with them, but they are a super reliable company yet this is the pandemic.
So, the the best and safest place to park your car is at Border Station Parking on the U.S. side of the border. Border Station Parking #(1) on the map at 4570 Camino de la Plaza (619-428-9477) is easy. To get there take the last exit before crossing the border from the freeway. The signs are clearly marked on the freeway announcing U.S. Last Exit Parking. The sign is referring to Camino de la Plaza as the last exit before entering Mexico.
Ease into the right lane and exit here. At the end of the exit is a traffic light. Turn right at the signal and 20 yards later take a quick right into the Border Station Parking Lot. As you enter the parking lot, glance to your right and you will see a small white building and perhaps see the shuttle bus waiting for passengers to board the bus. The entire experience is simple and smooth.
Border Station Parking does not own the bus line but has as a customer service for decades offered the shuttle stop to the bus line, which results in a reliable round trip bus ride for you to take from Border Station Parking to downtown Tijuana and to Plaza Rio Tijuana and back to Border Station Parking via Tourismo Express. Thus, you don’t have to run the risk of getting into a car accident or finding parking in Tijuana, Mexico. Being an international city, the traffic patterns are confusing.
Border Station Parking offers a 24-hour attended parking lot, which is well lit at night and has surveillance cameras for your safety. It is undoubtedly the best and safest place to leave your car at the border. The parking rate is ($9) for ten hours Monday thru Thursday. Then on Friday and Saturday, it jumps to ($18) for ten hours. Plus, on holidays and special occasions, it’s even higher. So, traveling to Mexico for the day should be Monday through Thursdays. The parking lot includes a tourist information center (619-428-6200), which is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. It’s where you’ll catch the round trip Turismo Express to Tijuana and back. The bus will take you to 1020-B Relolucion Ave, which is the center of Downtown Tijuana’s shopping district. Be sure to read my walking tour of Tijuana. It includes where to bargain shop and recommends awesome restaurants including dining at Caesar’s Restaurant, which was were the world famous Caesar’s Salad was invented!
The good looking modern Tourismo Express Shuttle Bus leaves from the Border Station Parking lot enroute to Downtown Tijuana’s shopping district and the Tourismo Express Depot (8) at 1020-B Ave. Revolucion every half hour from 7 a.m. till 3 p.m. daily. Buses leave Tijuana every two hours at 1, 3, 5, and 7 p.m. returning you back to your well-protected automobile after a FUN day in Tijuana, Mexico.
When you consider the complexity of international travel from one country to another this is an amazingly good and reliable way to get you to Tijuana and back to your securely protected car after a fun-filled day in the International city of Tijuana, Mexico where you have dine and shopped at the best personally researched places. Be sure to bring your Passport, because, without it, you cannot enter or return to the USA. One way fare is ($6) and round trip is ($10). Payment is in cash only.
Of course, you can walk both ways, but why do that especially since the walk from the border to the shopping districts is an additional mile away after walking a quarter of mile to the border crossing itself. Plus, if you have purchased a lot of items to declare at the border, it’ll be a BIG HASSLE. The bus service is the way to go.
I have taken this bus service dozens of times without any incidents. I have also taken my car to Tijuana hundred of times and parked there without incidents, but I know Tijuana like the back of my hand, and you don’t. But the big issue is dealing with the long lines waiting for hours to cross back into the United States unless you wait till 3 o’clock in the morning. PLUS, YOUR AMERICAN INSURANCE IS INVALID IN MEXICO so expect to pay another ($10) for one day insurance. It’s a huge hassle you can easily avoid by taking the shuttle.
Departure times from Tijuana via Turbo Express (619-428-9477) are every 2 hours 1, 3, 5, and 7 p.m.
If you miss the 7 p.m. bus — take a cab to the border
Agree on the price before getting into the cab. It should only be a few dollars. Then when you get to the border, you will have to walk in a block long line and go through customs and declare any items you purchased. Show the receipt if requested. You caln bring back up to $800 worth of goods such as liquor, French Perfume, and silk dresses into the U. S. duty-free port of entry. My shopping tour map is helpful.
If you are coming to Tijuana to shop for Corona Virus fighting drugs, you’ll be amazed at the number of drug stores in Tijuana. The best one with multiple locationss is Farmacias Gusher (10) (01152-664-684-0235). You can take a cab or shuttle to their Plaza Tijuana Shopping Center location (10).
The big hassle is from the port of entry back to your car with whatever you purchased in tow is two long blocks (1/4 mile) and a long bridge you’ll need to walk across to get back to your car. You could catch a cab, but you’ll still have to walk a block to catch a cab to take you a block. I have done everything I am explaining to you here. So, I can attest that taking the bus definitely through the border into Mexico and back is a MUST. Catching the last bus before it leaves Tijuana is my best advice.
Be sure to read my extensive Tijuana Shopping and Dining Chapter with it’s a very useful map. Plus, the map will come in real handy as it’s smartphone friendly. Don’t forget to do some duty-free shopping at the huge Las Americas Duty-FREE Outlet Stores kitty-Corner across the street from the Border Station Parking Lot. Be sure to read the Tijuana chapter and the Factory Outlet chapters, which are extremely helpful.
Versus the buses are clean and well maintained and the drivers are friendly and they speak english.
Don’t forget that American citizens need a valid U.S. passport to enter and leave Mexico. If you are 21 years or older you can bring back one quart of liquor duty-free. Victor and Sons Liquor (10) at 1020 Ave. Revolucion in downtown Tijuana has the best selection.
San Ysidro is home to the world’s busiest land border crossing, where U.S. Interstate 5 crosses into Mexico at Tijuana. Each year over 14 million vehicles and 40 million people enter the U.S. at the San Ysidro port of entry.
Crossing times by car is notoriously slow at San Ysidro. Yes, up to 10 hours during the pandemic, particularly for those entering the U.S. in cars. Plus, your American insurance isn’t valid in Mexico. So, you’ll need to buy Mexican insurance. And parking in Tijuana is a challenge too. For these reasons taking this shuttle is 1,000% better than driving or walking across on foot. See and read my Tijuana chapter and study my maps. This is my 54th year in offering my walking tour of Tijuana.
Tourismo Express (619-428-9477) also takes people to the airport border crossing CBX for a fee of ($10) each way. Until the city of San Diego builds a bigger parking lot, the best way to avoid getting a ticket for parking too long on the street near the terminal and getting your car towed away and having to pay a huge fee to get it back is to opt for a shuttle service. Tourismo Express makes multiple stops at CBX, The Tijuana Airport Terminal — in San Diego Daily.