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mistybleu Rosarito - A travel report by Amanda
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Rosarito,  Mexico - flag Mexico -  Baja California
11576 readers

mistybleu's travel reports

Sun drenched Bajan

  20 votes
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Tijuana is popular with young who run for the border to buy cheap booze and party; but out of season Tijuana and the surrounding areas are pleasant introductions to Mexico.

Downtown Tijuana
Downtown Tijuana
Tijuana is a great location to visit at the end of your travels, when you want to do a bit of shopping and pick up the last few presents. It’s like the Brits going to Costa de Sol or Benadorm in Spain; there is a lot of culture to explore but we really just need some sunshine and a beach.

Central Tijuana is only a 10-minute walk from the US border (and costs just $6 return by greyhound) or a 20-minute drive from San Diego. Crossing to border into Mexico is a bit of a formality; basically you have to disembark from your vehicle, wait at a zebra crossing until the ‘traffic’ light turns green after pressing. Should you try to cross without this an official will drag you back. [However, on the way back to the States it’s not so easy!!!!]

The heart of Tijuana, the most visited border town, is not very pretty and is considered by Americans as big shopping mall; most of the excitement centres on AVIENDA REVOLUCION, where there are lots of shops and restaurants.

Way back, Tijuana was just a cattle ranch (aka Rancho de Tia Juana) and didn’t become a town until 1917. The history books have it, that it wasn’t until the prohibitions laws of the 1921 paved the way for Americans to go to Mexico to obtain alcohol and this facilitate the growth in Hotels, Nightclubs, restaurants etc and allowed for Tijuana to become the fourth largest city in Mexico.

However, I think, the real beauty of Tijuana is venturing further afield; driving further down the coast to Rosarito or Ensenada to experience a truer feel of Mexico; where people have more time to be friendly and they are not necessarily trying to sell you something.

For more information check out,, or

Favourite spots:
Rosarito, 4 mile coastline
Rosarito, 4 mile coastline
One of the leading resort towns in Baja California is Rosarito; only 15-minute bus ride from Tijuana it is considered the playground of the rich and famous. It’s on the Pacific Ocean and has 4 miles of beach – ‘Rosarito Beach’ (or Playas de Rosarito).

Rosarito started as a simple fishing village but with prohibition it experienced a boom and glamorous hotel and casino soon took the place of the little fishing huts.

Rosarito is a lovely place to spend the day. There are lot of activities available, for quadbiking, horse riding volleyball and tennis. But I chose to spend the day relaxing on a sun bed and then strolled along the beach. Within the hotel complex, there were some lovely antique, souvenirs and essential beach wear shops, but I ended up in an internet café wasting time. Either way or whatever you do, it’s lovely to have the cool pacific breeze caress your face.

What's really great:
The shopping is really great, at the end of your holiday this can be quite fun and you don’t even have to change any currency, US dollars would be fine!

There is 8 blocks of shopping on AVENIDA REVOLUCION, where you can buy anything from blankets, baskets, pottery, hand-carved trinkets and toys. You can also find an array of Mexican bargains.

Also there is PLAZA RIO, which has a lot of boutiques, upscale leather goods, electronics shops which all can be purchased duty-free.

Then there is PLAZA ZAPATO and I’ve been told this is a place for anyone who has a shoe fetish; this is a two-storey mall specializing in shoes and boots at half price.

Finally, MERCADO HIDALGO is a local market, which specialises in Mexican cooking utensils, hand-crafted hot chocolate whips, tortilla shapers, Aztec grains and also a variety of chillies, spices and Mexican candies amongst other things.

The 1997 movie Titanic directed by James Cameron was filmed on location here. In order to film on set, they had to erect the world’s biggest water tank. The local people were so proud of this, that they turned it into a museum, which is open on Saturdays and Sundays where there is no filming scheduled. Three miles south of Rosarito is FOX STUDIOS BAJA and next door is FOXPLORATION.
There are guided tours available in the exhibition hall and it showcases original sets, props and costumes. If you are a movie buff other films have now been shot there including: Tomorrow Never Dies, Pearl Harbour and Deep Blue Sea. Ticket are priced $12 per adult and $9 for children. If you have children, it’s a great place to keep them occupied.

There are also many galleries which are worth a visit and also museums including WA-KUATAY MUSEUM which is famed for having Pre-Hispanic and Mesoamericans objects dating back 2300 b.c to 300a.c and from the "post-classic" period from 900 to 1521.

Rosarito Beach Hotel
Rosarito Beach Hotel
I stayed in the Rosarito Beach Hotel which has been a family run hotel since the 1920s. It is a lovely hotel, on the beach front, with lovely gardens which are blocked off and protected by security guards. The inside of the hotel is decorated with a Mexican feel, with lots of bright colours, wooden features and lots of tiles. They have a couple of restaurants and bars which are really nice to spend some time in. The swimming pool also has patterned tiles, which compliments this environment.

On my travels, I came across FESTIVAL PLAZA HOTEL; this is a really funky looking hotel, with has a rollercoaster on the outside of the building.

Festival Plaza Hotel
Festival Plaza Hotel
A block in from the beach many clubs can be found. Boulevard Benito Juarez and Pacific Ocean is the party central for Rosarito. It is a hub activity from restaurants to bars to clubs. I don’t remember the names of any of these clubs, but basically you just have to follow the sounds. The music will carry you and then you see the flamboyant façades. Maybe check out Club tequila and Papas and Beer.

Rosarito Beach Hotel Restaurant and Bar
Rosarito Beach Hotel Restaurant and Bar
Lobster is ‘it’ in Baja California and within Lobster village here is the top of my list:

Situated in Puerto Nuevo, they offer an all-you-can-eat dinning on Sundays for around $7 and they prove that lobster can be in anything including burritos and omelettes. Not quite sure, but you have to give it a go. Blvd Benito Juarez in Quinta Plaza. Telephone 011-52-661-612-0924..

LA FLOR DE MICHOACAN was founded in 1950, and serves traditional Mexican food. This is a taquerias and is approx $2.80 per dish. Also located on Blvd Benito Juarez Tel: 011-52-661-613-0278.
My final chose was this lovely Cuban restaurant - EL JARDIN BOHEMIO, also located Blvd Benito Juarez. Telephone 011-52-613-1150.

Other recommendations:
Rosarito travelogue picture
There are many things to do in the area, I’ve highlighted a few:

1. Love it or hate it, there is BULLFIGHTING (CORRIDAS DE TOROS)
Toreo de Tijuana at Agua Caliente, 011-52 (66) 86-1510
Plaza Monumental at Playa de Tijuana, 011-52 (66) 80-1808.

Agua Caliente at Tapachula 12027, 011-52 (66) 81-7811

Lienzo Charro and Avenida Braulio Maldonado, 011-52 (66) 80-4185.

Whale watching tours can be booked from December through March, 011-52 (66) 78-7192.

Published on Monday March 7th, 2005

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Sun, Oct 23 2005 - 03:41 PM rating by toribio

The corrida de toros in Tijuana is like Las Ventas en Madrid!

Sat, Aug 20 2005 - 12:18 PM rating by eirekay

Misty - TERRIFIC report. You give some marvelous details on a really fun place that has retained its quaint charm!

Mon, May 23 2005 - 02:10 PM rating by sunkist

this article was very nice about baja california. Having grown up about 3hours away from the boarder of mexico, I had visited Rosarito many time throughout my childhood. I have always flet a fondness for mexico. Your decriptions are nice and through. There is a hotel along the hwy. 1 called "La Fonda" it is a quaint, colorful, even musical place to stay. YOu have to travel a little further south. this is the Hotel where we would frequently stay to drink corona's, dance, and play on the beach for a few days. Over the past few years i have heard that the waters are becoming polluted with waste water, so we have stopped going down to this area. In 2001 I took a road trip nearly down to the tip of baja, but we did not make it to Cobo San Lucas. Again this was nice, but hot and dry. I was browsing your site, and decided to read the article, now I see that you have traveled extensively down through south america. I will be curious to read these as well. Nice writing!!

Tue, Mar 08 2005 - 09:23 AM rating by davidx

Well up to your invariable high standard

Tue, Mar 08 2005 - 12:00 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

this is a wonderful report with nice pic

Mon, Mar 07 2005 - 11:42 PM rating by gloriajames

well written!

Mon, Mar 07 2005 - 03:41 PM rating by rangutan

Another report full of information and tips. The border hassle sounds worthwhile to experience a very different culture.

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