Tijuana City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 19, 2008

mexicoIMAGE200Ciudad de Tijuana, or Tijuana City, is a northwestern pacific coast Mexican city in the state of Baja California.  It is situated at the shared border of the United States and Mexico and lies 17 km south of San Diego, California.  As the first town beyond the border from the United States, Tijuana is often referred to as “The Gateway to Mexico”.  Tijuana ranks as one of Mexico’s largest metropolitan areas with a population of 1,483, 992 in 2005.  Its inhabitants are made up of immigrants from other Mexican regions, such as Mexico City, Oaxaca, Sinaloa, and Jalisco.  Tijuana gas also received Chinese, Japanese, and Korean immigrants, as well as a number of US citizens.

From a sleepy ranching town, Tijuana has developed into an industrial center, which started after 1950 as a result of the devaluation of the peso and the execution of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  This brought electronics assembly factories and other light industrial plants or maquiladoras.  Today, nearly 590 maquiladoras were built in the city such as those owned by Sony, Samsung, Kodak, Toyota, Nabisco, Panasonic, Philips, Sanyo, and Paull Medical.  Tijuana is also drawing high-tech firms and telemarketing companies into the city providing opportunities for people with college degrees and skills in technical trade.  Tijuana also has a thriving tourist industry, attracting tourists whether for a longer stay or a spur-of-the-moment weekend getaway.  Bars, Pharmacies, and medical services are some of the reasons that attract tourists to Tijuana.  All these have made Tijuana a city of opportunity—an opportunity for a better life or just the opportunity to experience the Mexican life.

Residential Places in Tijuana

Tijuana is a city of contrasts, and its residential neighborhoods are no exception.  In some neighborhoods, shanty houses stand side-by-side with big, beautiful houses.  Mostly, it is the influx of immigrants from other regions in Mexico seeking for better opportunities.  Still, there are a number of prime residential locations in the city.  Many families with children and retired people have chosen to live in this vibrant city for reasons more than one. Playas de Tijuana is a tourist destination with its beaches and water sports.  It has also been extensively developed as a residential area with complimentary commercial and service facilities.  Residential development in Playas de Tijuana includes the Simas del Park Towers and prime properties at the Real del Mar residential development. There are other prime locations for residences in /Tijuana.   Zona Rio features a good selection of residential properties as it is the Central Business District of Tijuana, such as the Zona Rio Apartments.  Rosarito is also an excellent location as it is close to the beach.  There are a selection of condominiums and apartments in that area.

Hospitals and Universities of Tijuana

The city plays host to a number of schools, colleges, and universities.  The universities in Tijuana include Centro de Estudios Superiores de Noroeste, Centro de Investigación en Tecnología Electrónica y Digital, Centro de Ensenanza Tecnica e Industrial, College of the Northern Border, Tijuana Institute of Technology, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (Tijuana campus), Universidad Iberoamericana (Tijuana campus), Universidad Xochicalco (Tijuana campus), Centro Universitario de Tijuana, Universidad Univer Noroeste, Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior (Tijuana campus), and Tecnológico de Baja California (Tijuana campus).

Healthcare

Healthcare in Mexico is impressive and costs only a fraction of what it would cost in neighboring United States.  Many doctors and health practitioners in Mexico had their training in the US, and vice versa.  The hospitals are considered to have excellent standards and very accommodating.  One of the hospitals found in Tijuana is Centro Hospitalario Internacional Pacifico (The Gerson Hospital) on Colonia Jardines del Sol which is a community hospital and boasts of its world-renowned integrative medical practice.  Many of its patients have come from all over the world with inoperable diseases hoping for a cure through the integration of alternative and complimentary medicine with traditional western practice.  The hospital has a roster of facilities and services dedicated for the well-being of the patients and convenience of their caretakers. Other major hospitals in Tijuana are the International Bio Care Hospital & Medical Center which is another integrative healthcare center dedicated for the treatment of cancer and other autoimmune degenerative diseases, Centro Medico (Medical Center of Tijuana) on Lugo Governor which is a general care hospital, and Hospital Bajanor which specializes in cosmetic and aesthetic surgeries such as weight loss surgery, and preoperation and follow-up support programs for their patients.

Commercial Establishments in Tijuana

Avenida Revolucion has a reputation both in and out of Mexico, for being the most shopped street in all of North America. Its entire eight blocks are filled with stores and stalls selling bargain items.  Handicrafts of excellent quality are found here, as well as silver jewelry, beadwork, leather goods, handmade furniture, terra cotta, home furnishings, papier-mache items, Cuban cigars, Mexican liquors, and various duty-free imported goods.  Aside from the colorful shops on Avenida Revolucion, Tijuana also features a number of shopping malls that sells a variety of merchandises as the shops along the Avenida would.  The most upscale of these shopping centers is the Plaza Rio Tijuana located at Paseo delos Héroes on Avenida Independencia.  It is an outdoor plaza that features large department stores, several cafes and restaurants, three cinemas and a double-decked carousel.   Agua Caliente Mall is another exclusive shopping center which features   boutiques selling top of the line brands and shoes.  Handicraft stores that sell local and international crafts are also found here.  The Carrousel Shopping Mall provides the same convenience of shopping in a single location with over 50 stores and large department stores. There is also Plaza Mundo Divertido, Plaza Monarca and Plaza Coronado.  Lastly, Sara’s is a sophisticated department store established in 1929 near the downtown area.  It offers a selection of well-known perfumes as well as other luxurious commodities.

Dining Comforts and the Nightlife

Dining in Tijuana can be as informal as buying Churros from a street vendor to sitting down in an intimate fine dining restaurant.  Many food establishments are found along Avenida Revolucion, some filled with tourists and others in a secluded setting.  Some notable establishments along Avenida Revolucion are Cafe La Especial found between Calles 3 and 4 and serves inexpensive typical Mexican dishes in a casual setting, the fine seafood restaurant La Costa located near the Avenida in Aona Centro, and the Spanish taverna Chiki Jai found at the corner of the avenida and Calle 7 inZona Centro.  Other notable establishments around Tijuana are Carnitas Uruapan along Bulevar Díaz that expectedly specializes in Carnitas which is a favorite dish in Mexico, Cien Años on José María Velazco in Zona Rio which serves Mexican dishes which have a reputation to have existed for 100 years, as well as dishes prepared during the Mayan and Aztec times, and La Diferencia in Zona Rio which is famed for its handmade salsa and fried crickets.   A night out in Tijuana usually means a sip of margarita and a shot of tequila in their lively nightclubs and discos.   Many of these lively nightspots are located along Avenida Revolucion.  Some of its frequented establishments are The Caves situated between Calles 5 and 6 and has “stone age” interior as its name would suggest, Tilly’s Fifth Avenue at the corner of the Avenida and Calle5, and the Latin style disco Las Pulgas which sits right across the Jai Alai.   Avenida Revolucion also has sports bars that feature satellite wagering as well as various sports facilities.  Television sets are mounted on the walls to monitor sporting events for the wagering.  Some sports bars in Avenida Revolucion are Fiesta Sports Bar, predominantly a pool house and Senor Maguey located between Calle 5 and 6 and features a dance floor, pool tables and a basketball court.

Service Establishments of Tijuana

Electricity in Tijuana is supplied by the state owned Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).  It has a monopoly in electric generation and distribution as the Mexican constitution declares the State as the sole control and development of the national electric industry.  CFE has branches in all Mexican states. Telephone services are provided by a number of telecommunication companies.  One of these is Telmex which is a Mexican telecommunications company that has wide service coverage, including Chile, Peru, Colombia, Brazil and even the US.  It provides fixed line services, Internet connection (jUninet), mobile services (Telcel), and data hosting. Other telecommunication service providers in Mexico are Axtel, a telephone service and Internet Service Provider, Avantel for accessibility to long distance calls and internet connection, and Nextel, telephone and mobile services provider.

Security in Tijuana

Law enforcement in Mexico is the responsibility of the Federal Judicial Police.  Its main activities are investigating and making arrests in drug related cases, as well as in espionage, robbery, and arms trafficking cases.   It has an entire jurisdiction of Mexico divided into13 zones with 52 smaller detachment headquarters.

Embassies in Tijuana

Most countries have their embassies located in the capital, Mexico City.  However, there are a few consulates found in Tijuana. They are the Consulate General of China, Consulate General of Guatemala, and the Consulate General of the United States. The British Embassy in Mexico is located at the capital, Mexico City.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: