Tijuana Tourist Attractions
Baja California - State of MexicoHow to get thereThe best way to get to Tijuana from San Diego is by tram. They leave every 15 minutes from behind the Amtrak Station, Broadway and Kettner Boulevard. There are usually parking spaces available at the railway station. The trams take you as far as the American border town of San Ysidro, where they turn round. The journey takes about 40 minutes. From there you can walk to Tijuana over numerous ramps. There are no border-crossing problems in either direction.Location and importanceTijuana is the most important city on the border between Mexico and the United States, and is more influenced by the latter than any other Mexican town. The city lives mainly by tourism and the refining industry. Every year it attracts many millions of visitors, mainly from the catchment areas of the cities of San Diego (15mi/25km) and Los Angeles (160mi/260km).Therefore it is not surprising that Tijuana claims to be the "most visited city in the world", for in the last few years it has grown so fast that the actual size of its population can only be estimated roughly. Certainly, having completed the 10 to 15 minute walk from the border to the main thoroughfare, Avenida de Revolucíon, the tourist is overwhelmed by the masses of people pushing their way through the streets; the Americans, intent on making cheap purchases free of customs duty, and the locals, many of whom stand around on the sidewalks begging for coins. U.S. dollars are very popular because 2,200 pesos can be obtained for one dollar.HistoryTijuana (in the language of the Chochimi Indians "ticuán" means "near water") has a brief history. The city of today developed from a cattle ranch named Tia Juana (Aunt Anna), built by José Maria Echandi in 1829. It began to grow during the Prohibition Period (1920-33), when numerous thirsty souls made the short trip across the border.Border townIts importance lies in the great quantity of duty-free goods on offer together with Mexican folk-art and souvenirs, its various festivals and events and its night-life. The place where it all happens, especially at week-ends, is the main square, the Parque Municipal Guerrero, the shopping area around the Avenida de Revolución and the Bulevar Agua Caliente, with their many hotels, restaurants, shops and varieties of sports.Tijuana is not just a typical run-down border town with cheap junk-shops, it also shows signs of American influence. There is an American shopping-center, an international airport and a glass-box of a hotel. The further away from the Avenida de Revolución you get the more you find the slum areas being replaced by new houses. More and more people are streaming into Tijuana from the provinces, but complete redevelopment is not financially viable because new slums keep appearing, together with new factories which find cheap labor here (people call these factories "maquiladoras").Bull-fightsHowever, Tijuana has kept to the old customs. Bull-fights (no blood is spilled) are still held here on eighteen Sundays in the year: four in each of the months of July, August and September, the rest spread unevenly over the months of May, June and October. They all start at 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance from Ticketron in Los Angeles, in San Diego and at the Amtrak Station, Mexicoach.
Hipódromo de Agua Caliente
In the Hipódrome de Agua Caliente, Agua Caliente Boulevard, there is greyhound racing on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Every day except Thursday Jai Alai is played in the Fronton Palacio (Avenida de Revolución, corner of 7th Street). Jai Alai is a most attractive sport in which the players hurl a small ball against a wall from a basket on a long stick. Games are accompanied by tote betting.
One of the first impressions of Mexico is provided by the architecturally interesting culture center known as Centro, Cultural FONART - which looks rather like a big garage from outside - on the Paseo de los Heroes and Avenida Independicia. Here short films (multi-media shows) about Mexico are shown and there is an exhibition of Mexico's history.