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San Diego is truly a two-nation vacation, with Mexico just 17 miles from downtown. Just across the border you'll find Tijuana, a bustling city with historic markets, unique art galleries and an emerging culinary scene including celebrated chef Javier Plascencia's Mision 19.  Traveling along the coast South on Highway 1, approximately an hour out of Tijuana is Rosarito, a resort community known for its beautiful beaches, desert hills and warm hospitality.  Further South, is Ensenada a port city with a host of recreational activities, a full cruise ship terminal and a main downtown district lined with shops and restaurants.  Just outside of Ensenada's city center you'll find the Valle de Guadalupe, the wine region of Baja.  Here you'll find a sophisticated wine lover experience complete with gourmet dining and stunning resorts.   

For more information on visiting Tijuana visit the Tijuana Convention & Visitors Bureau

Travel Tips

Guests who plan to visit must have a valid passport. Visitors traveling no further south than Ensenada returning to the United States within 72 hours do not need a tourist permit. Guests traveling by land who plan to stay longer than 72 hours and travel beyond Ensenada must obtain a tourist permit at the Mexican consulate in the United States or at the Immigration office near the border entrance. The migratory from must be turned in when leaving the country and minors must be accompanied by their parents, or have a notarized letter from the absent parent, authorizing the leave the country.

When crossing back into San Diego, U.S. citizens are required to show passport, U.S. passport card, Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry or FAST) or an Enhanced Driver’s License, resident aliens must possess a green card. Voter’s registration card, military ID, driver’s license and social security cards are not considered valid forms of citizenship identification.

Citizens of other countries must carry a valid passport with a valid I-94 or multiple entry visa or visa waiver to re-enter the United States; verify details with the Mexican Consulate before traveling.

Land and Sea Travel

U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry are required to have documents that comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), most commonly a U.S. passport, a passport card, a trusted traveler card such as Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST, or an enhanced driver's license. See below for the complete list:

  • U.S. Passport - This is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies a person's identity and nationality. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea.
  • U.S. Passport Card - This is a new, limited-use travel document that fits in your wallet and costs less than a U.S. Passport. It is only valid for travel by land and sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda.
  • Enhanced Driver's License (EDL) - Several states and Canadian provinces are issuing this driver's license or identification document that denotes identity and citizenship. It is specifically designed for cross-border travel into the U.S. by land or sea.
  • Trusted Traveler Program Cards - NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST enrollment cards can speed your entry into the U.S. and are issued only to pre-approved, low-risk travelers. The cards are valid for use at land or sea; the NEXUS card can be used in airports with a NEXUS kiosk.
  • Special Groups - Information for Children, Groups of Children, Native Americans, "Closed Loop" Cruises, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents, U.S. Military, Merchant Mariners, Ferries and Small Boats, and Boaters.

Air Travel

When traveling by air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, you are required to present a U.S. passport, except as noted below. This applies to everyone including newborns, infants and children.

The only exceptions to this requirement are for:

  • U.S. citizens on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces, traveling with military ID and travel orders
  • U.S. citizen merchant mariners traveling in conjunction with maritime business, with U.S. issued Merchant Mariner Document
  • Travelers with a NEXUS card used at a NEXUS kiosk at Canadian Preclearance airports
  • U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents with a Permanent Resident Card or other evidence of permanent residence status and required documentation; refugees and asylees with a Refugee Travel Document

Procedures for Children

U.S. citizen children under age 16 arriving by sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean may present an original or certified copy of his or her birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or Certificate of Citizenship.1

U.S. citizen children under age 16 arriving by land from Canada or Mexico may present an original or certified copy of his or her birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or Certificate of Citizenship.1

Groups of U.S. citizen children ages 16 through 18, when traveling with a school or religious group, social organization, or sports team, will be able to enter under adult supervision with originals or copies of their birth certificates or other proof of citizenship. See the Department of Homeland Security's GetYouHome.gov for more information on the changing travel requirements.

  1. Source: U.S. Department of State

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Events

Baja By The Sea
Baja By The Sea

8/1/15 - 8/1/15

Julian StarFest 2015

8/13/15 - 8/15/15

Santee Summer Concert Series

6/18/15 - 8/27/15

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