Summer Fun in Tijuana

Playas de Tijuana

Summer is finally on the horizon, so let’s talk about Tijuana summer fun! What beaches to go to.  Did you know there’s a waterpark? And of course, the festivals that are coming up.


There’s not much difference between the beaches in San Diego and the ones near Tijuana except maybe what the people wear and what people drink.  The 2 main beaches within 30 minutes of the border are:

  • Playas de Tijuana (10 min from San Ysidro border)
  • Rosarito Beach (30 min drive from San Ysidro border)

Playas de Tijuana is known for being right next to the border. I’m sure you’ve seen the photos in the news a few months back of the migrants sitting on top of the ‘wall’. That’s the place!

There’s also a nice wooden boardwalk and all kinds of food. The beach here has darker sand and is small in width…meaning, it fills up fast! In order to get a good spot, you should arrive before noon.  And just as a heads up, most people don’t wear swimsuits here… the majority will be in clothes :).

Rosarito beach on the other hand, has a popular section near the bars like Papas ‘n Beer, but there’s so much more space here and you can find a quiet spot for relaxing.  The sand here isn’t quite as dark and the majority of people wear their swimming suits.

Whichever beach is best for you, either one allows alcohol in any form.  So pack up that cooler and enjoy a nice cold bev on your day off. If you forget to bring snacks, don’t worry, there will be plenty of opportunity to buy something like pizza, corn in a cup, fruit salad, mangos on a stick…you get the idea 🙂

You can also spend more quality time down here and Rent a house to spend the whole weekend on the beach!


Another great way to enjoy the hot, sweaty summer is to go to the waterpark El Vergel .

El Vergel is less than $10 per person and you can spend the day at the various pools, slides, lazy river, wave pool or kiddie pool.  They also have food and beer to purchase or you can bring your own food and have a carne asada. The only thing you can’t bring in is alcohol.  Get there early to get a good spot!

waterpark el vergel tijuana
El Vergel kiddie pool

Summer festivals

Not into water or the beach?  No problem! There’s plenty of festivals to attend, here’s a few that are currently on the calendar:

Enjoy the summer wherever you are! Maybe I’ll see you at a festival.

Rent a Beach House in Baja!

rent a house in mexico

One of the best ways to really enjoy the beach down here is to rent a beach house. There’s 3 beach towns under 2.5 hour drive from San Diego – Playas de Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada. 

They are perfect for maximizing beach time!  And one reason to pick Tijuana over San Diego = You can drink alcohol on the beach! Second reason = $$$ of course!

What beaches are in the area?

There’s 4 main beach renting areas:

  1. Between Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito
  2. Rosarito to La Misión
  3. La Misión to Ensenada
  4. Ensenada to La Bufadora

If you’re renting at a condo complex or in a colonia of houses, it’s possible you’ll have a more private beach since public access isn’t as prominent. Which also means less vendors on the beach!

Playas to Rosarito Benefits

  • You’re close to 2 large public beaches: Playas de Tijuana and Rosarito
  • You’re close to restaurants and grocery stores/Wal-Mart in either town.
  • Playas is more compact and good for hanging out during the day.
  • Rosarito has nicer sit down restaurants a small artesian market and good nightlife.

Playas de Tijuana

Rosarito to La Misión Benefits

puerto nuevo lobster

La Misión to Ensenada Benefits

  • You’re 20-30 min drive to Valley of Guadalupe (WINE!).
  • You’re close to 1 large public beach: La Misión.
  • Ensenada is a great place for walking around, eating tacos or enjoying a sit down meal.
  • You can also rent boats from the marina if you’d like a sea adventure.

La mision beach

Ensenada to La Bufadora Benefits

  • Ensenada is a fun town to walk, shop and eat.
  • For the beach in this area, you’ll need to check out Cabo Punta Banda.  This is south of the city of Ensenada, but this beach is better than the small one in Ensenada.
  • You’re also about 15 min away from La Bufadora, which is good to view in the afternoon and they also have Mexican souvenirs and food.
  • You’re also a short drive from Las Cañadas if you’re looking for a pool / adventure park.  You can also camp here!

Sunset Cabo Punta Banda

Where do you find these houses?

I usually rent through Airbnb, but I have also used FlipKey and VRBO.

Don’t assume anything!  Here’s a few starter questions to ask the owners when considering a booking:

  • Does the jacuzzi have hot water?  
    • If yes, having it heated is included in the price or extra?
  • Is the pool heated?
  • Is there an oven/stove, and does it work?
  • Is there drinkable water provided?
    • If not, make sure you buy some!
  • Can we get there earlier or leave later!?

Price wise – it can vary depending on the size, location and if there’s a pool/jacuzzi or other nice amenities.  Just do the research and find the one that’s right for you!

Have more specific Qs?  Just let me know!