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Is it safe?
Yes! Thousands of Americans and Canadians visit Tijuana every day without incident. The few people who run into issues are usually younger tourists visiting Tijuana for the notorious night life.
How to get there
Tijuana is located just south of San Diego and can be accessed via the San Ysidro border. If you are driving, it is highly recommended that you do not drive across the border. The San Ysidro crossing is the busiest border crossing in North America and getting back into the U.S. can take hours in a vehicle. Also, if you are renting a car, your rental agreement may prohibit you from taking your car across the border. There are parking lots on the U.S. side that charge about $20 a day for parking.
If you are coming from the airport and do not wish to rent a car, have a taxi take you from the airport or your hotel to the Old Town Transit Center for direct transportation to the border on the San Diego Trolley. The trolley is the fastest and cheapest way to get to Tijuana from San Diego. The website shows the routes, timetables, and travel information for the trolley.
There are numerous taxis directly across the border that can take you to your clinic quickly and cheaply. However, many of the drivers are inexperienced and tend to get “lost.” It helps to have the clinic email you the address and directions from the border in Spanish.
Where to stay
While there are hotels in San Ysidro very close to the border, there are far more -and better- options in San Diego. Alternately, you can stay in Tijuana if you wish to save a little money and avoid the hassle of multiple border crossings. Make sure to check reviews on the hotels in Tijuana.
If you are going to spend a good deal of money with your credit card, consider obtaining a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction (FX) fees. Most credit card companies charge FX fees up to 4% on all purchases, so if you spend $5000, you will be charged $200. In North America, Capital One is the only credit card company that does not charge FX fees. Alternately, many clinics offer up to a 5% discount on cash transaction. Check with your dentist to see if they offer a cash discount.
Also, prior to travel, phone your credit card company and register a travel notice with them. This will save you the potential hassle of having your credit card frozen for suspected fraudulent activity.
Where to find a quality dentist
There are dozens of dentists in Tijuana, and the standards of care can vary greatly. Find excellent hand-selected dentists in Tijuana that specialize in working with dental travelers and offer a high level of service and standards on Dental Departures. Compare clinic photos and information, prices, credentials, and patient reviews. Get a low-price guaranteed quote, speak to the dentist and book an appointment all in one location.