San Ysidro Port of Entry

The San Ysidro Port of Entry (aka San Ysidro Land Port of Entry and San Ysidro LPOE)[2] is the largest land border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, and one of the busiest land border crossings in the world[3] with 70,000 northbound vehicles and 20,000 northbound pedestrians crossing each day, in addition to southbound traffic.[4] It connects Mexican Federal Highway 1 on the Mexican side with Interstate 5 on the American side. The San Ysidro Port of Entry is one of three ports of entry in the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan region.

San Ysidro Port of Entry
San Ysidro Border Inspection Station in 2011
CountryUnited States
Location720 East San Ysidro Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92173
Coordinates32°32′36″N 117°01′47″W / 32.54333°N 117.02972°WCoordinates: 32°32′36″N 117°01′47″W / 32.54333°N 117.02972°W
HoursOpen 24 Hours
Exit PortEl Chaparral
2015 Cars[1]14,435,252
2015 Trucks[1]0
2015 Pedestrians[1]7,056,022


There is a northbound and southbound vehicle crossing, as well as two separate bidirectional pedestrian crossings.

Northbound vehicle crossing

There are currently 25 northbound vehicle lanes to cross from Mexico to the U.S.[5] which will increase to 34 lanes (and 62 booths) when the expansion project is complete.[6]

Southbound vehicle crossing (El Chaparral)

The southbound lanes of Interstate 5 which take vehicles into Mexico have been moved west of their previous location through the new El Chaparral Point of Entry (Spanish: Puerta Mexico el Chaparral).[7]). This relocation and expansion was necessary to provide space for the construction of new administrative and border inspection facilities and to increase the number of northbound vehicle lanes. The El Chaparral gateway also has a vehicle and passenger inspection station at which U.S. officials may conduct inspections of southbound traffic, and provides for more thorough inspection of southbound traffic by Mexican officials. El Chaparral was the name of the Tijuana border crossing prior to the 1983 modifications.

Eastern/main pedestrian crossing

Pedestrians may cross northbound immediately east of the northbound vehicle crossing. As of May 2017 they are temporarily processed in the Milo building while a new facility is built to the west.[8] There are currently 15 pedestrian lanes,[5] and more will be added with the current expansion project.

The eastern (main) southbound pedestrian crossing is east of the northbound crossing, immediately south of the San Ysidro trolley station. Pedestrians pass through the 6.9-million-dollar, three-story Puerta Este México-San Ysidro building, opened in August 2015, containing Mexican passport control and customs[9] which since late 2017 exits to a path leading to Frontera street just southwest of Ferrocarril street. Prior to 2012 the southbound pedestrian crossing was west of the northbound vehicle crossing and exited to a bridge leading to Plaza Viva Tijuana.[10]

PedWest (western pedestrian crossing)

The PedWest pedestrian crossing is located at the east side of the Las Americas outlet mall where Virginia Avenue dead-ends at the border, immediately west of the El Chaparral port of entry into Mexico. On the Mexican side a walkway connects PedWest southeastward, ending across the street from the Plaza Viva Tijuana mall, from which there is a bridge to Downtown Tijuana.[11] PedWest opened for northbound pedestrians in July 2016[12] and July 31, 2017 for southbound pedestrians.[13] PedWest improved efficiency as now 63,000 people pass through it each day. There are 10 northbound and 2 reversible lanes. This has also become a better alternative for pedestrian traffic, due to the Southbound I-5 re-alignment.[14]

CBP San Diego Operations - San Ysidro (28601995876)

San Ysidro Port of Entry, 2016.

PedWest US

PedWest building, U.S. side, July 2017.

Linea East 9 2018

Photo taken in Tijuana on walking path to San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, East Pedestrian Facility.

PedEast San Ysidro LPOE August 2018

San Ysidro Land Port of Entry
East Pedestrian Facility
Travelers exiting on U.S. side.

SY LPOE sign

Photo of the sign on the East Pedestrian Facility at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry.


There has been a land border inspection station in the community of San Ysidro since the early 20th century.

San Ysidro Border Station 1922
San Ysidro Border Inspection Station in 1922

Cars, pedestrians, trucks and trains have been inspected at this crossing. In the 1950s, due to congestion, truck traffic was moved a short distance west to a crossing at Virginia Avenue. Then in 1983, the Otay Mesa Port of Entry was opened and all truck traffic is now inspected there. In 1933 the NRHP-listed Old Customs House was built in Mission Revival style, and still stands housing offices.

U.S. Custom House (San Ysidro, California) front
The 1933 Mission Revival-style Old Customs House, in a photo from 1981

The current San Ysidro Land Port of Entry facility was constructed in the 1970s to meet the needs of the time and the projected growth in the coming years. This port is considered the busiest international port of entry in the world in terms of individual crossers and vehicle movements from one country to another.[6]

With over 90,000 daily commuters crossing between Tijuana and San Diego, commuting has become a challenge for everyday commuters in the metropolitan region; visitors to and from Baja California spend one to three, and as many as five, hours waiting to enter into the United States. U.S. Border and Customs officials have said that newly implemented inspection technology and properly processing the large number of persons and vehicles who go through the port on a daily basis have resulted in long lines and long wait times.[15]

2018 confrontation

On Sunday, November 25, 2018, groups of Central American migrants tried to forcibly cross the border into the United States. Some of them threw rocks at US Border Patrol agents, who responded by firing tear gas into the crowd which included families with small children.[16][17][18] The firing of tear gas across the international border into Mexico was immediately protested by the Foreign Ministry of Mexico, which demanded a full investigation.[19]

Expansion project

Proposed San Ysidro Port Facility
San Ysidro
Aerial view of artist's rendering of the finished San Ysidro Land Port of Entry in 2015.
General information
TypeAdministrative, Immigration and Customs Inspection
LocationSan Diego, CA
Construction startedDecember 2009
Estimated completionSeptember 2015
OpeningCurrent facility will remain operational during expansion and construction phases.
Technical details
Floor count4
Floor area225,000 sq ft (20,903 m2) of office space, 110,000 sq ft (10,219 m2) of inspection operations space[20]
Design and construction
ArchitectMiller Hull Partnership
DeveloperGeneral Services Administration

The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Expansion Project is a bi-national effort between the United States and Mexican governments which aims for the demolition, relocation, expansion, renovation, modernization and construction of new administrative and operational facilities of the current land port of entry in the San Ysidro district of San Diego. The project calls for a complete overhaul of the current international border inspection facilities on both sides of the border at a total cost of about $625 million which includes $577 million[21] for the expansion of the northbound U.S. point of entry and roughly $48 million (MXN $598) for the construction of an entirely new southbound Mexican point of entry.[22]

The project is being carried out in three phases:[23]

  • Phase I involves the expansion of northbound vehicle lanes, the implementation of dual primary vehicle inspection booths and a higher capacity secondary inspection facility.
  • Phase II involves the demolition of the current administrative building and construction of bigger replacement along with a multi-story employee parking structure. A new pedestrian processing building will also be constructed.
  • Phase III involves the relocation of the southbound lanes entering Mexico. These lanes will be moved west of their current location to make space for the planned expansion of new buildings, parking structure and extra northbound lanes. Their new location will allow for a southbound traffic checkpoint to facilitate U.S. officials to conduct inspection of vehicles heading to Mexico. Mexican officials will greet vehicles and occupants at a bigger and better equipped immigration and customs inspection station known as Puerta Mexico El Chaparral.

After the completion of the expansion project, the total northbound lanes is expected to be 62 automobile lanes. This will also add 110,000 square feet of energy preserving and producing material. Not only is there an expected increase in lanes, but an increase in efficiency to S.E.N.T.R.I. (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) system.[24]


  • On the U.S. side, construction of the new east/west pedestrian bridge was completed on February 15, 2011.[25]
  • On September 14, 2011, part of the wooden panels and support beams from the construction project collapsed on vehicles crossing the border, injuring nine people, two seriously. All northbound traffic was diverted to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry for the rest of the day, causing massive traffic jams.[26]
  • On the Tijuana side construction of links to connect the new El Chaparral Facility with Via Rápida and Avenida Internacional, which leads drivers to the western Tijuana borough of Playas de Tijuana and nearby Rosarito Beach, was built in 2013 (see below).[27]

Prior to September 2012, pedestrians walked from the U.S. to Mexico by crossing a pedestrian bridge, entering Mexico to the west of Interstate 5, and walking through a corridor leading to the west side of the crossing (Avenida de la Amistad). Then a temporary pedestrian crossing facility was built on the Mexican side on the east side of the crossing. This was replaced when in August 2015 Mexico inaugurated a new pedestrian crossing facility to the east of the northbound traffic lanes. For the first time foreigners are required to show passports when entering Mexico at the border, whereas previously they only had to be shown when entering the interior of the country.[28][29]


On July 15, 2016,[30] the PedWest pedestrian crossing and Virginia Avenue transit center were opened. On the Mexican side a temporary, partially enclosed walkway was opened connecting this crossing southeastward to the pedestrian bridge from Plaza Viva Tijuana that heads southwest to Downtown Tijuana.[11] This walkway was nicknamed "Puente Chicanadas" ("cheap/quick fix bridge") and characterized by some as dangerous, suffocating and embarrassing to Mexico. In September 2016, a definitive walkway from Plaza Viva Tijuana costing 25 million pesos (about 1.3 million dollars at the time), was opened.[31]


Phase III began in September 2017, once the realignment of Southbound Interstate 5 had been completed. Once complete, it will result in an increase from 5 inspection lanes to 10. This project also includes an increase in the Northbound inspection lanes by adding 8 new lanes on the east side of the border crossing. This project does not affect existing pedestrian lanes.[32] Architects Miller Hull Partnership are leading the third phase of the project with a budget of $150 million USD.[33]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "US Department of Transportation". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  2. ^ "San Ysidro LPOE Project Facts". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  3. ^ Massive traffic cripples Tijuana border crossing, Reuters, retrieved June 22, 2011
  4. ^ "San Ysidro Land Port of Entry". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b "CBP Border Wait Times". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b San Ysidro Port of Entry Fact Sheet,
  7. ^ Project Overview, Archived from the original on May 3, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ MESA, OTAY (19 May 2017). "Changes to Northbound Pedestrian Crossing at San Ysidro this Monday (05/22) - OTAYMESA". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  9. ^ Dibble, Sandra. "New pedestrian crossing unveiled in Tijuana". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  10. ^ Dibble, Sandra. "New southbound pedestrian crossing opens today at San Ysidro". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Everything You Need to Know About PedWest, San Ysidro’s New Pedestrian Port of Entry", San Diego Red, July 2016
  12. ^ "San Ysidro Port of Entry's New PedWest Facility, Transit Center Opens". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  13. ^ Dibble, Sandra. "New pedestrian entry to Mexico opens at PedWest". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  14. ^ "San Diego Regional Chamber". SD Regional Chamber. 2017-08-04. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  15. ^ "Installation of New Technology Expected to Slow Border Crossings". KPBS. Retrieved April 18, 2011.The article states: "U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are warning of delays this summer 2008 at California border crossings as they install new technology. They say the new tools will ultimately decrease wait times."
  16. ^ Montes, Juan; Perez, Santiago; Whelan, Robbie (November 26, 2018). "U.S. Border Patrol Uses Tear Gas to Disperse Migrant Caravan". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  17. ^ Lind, Dara (November 26, 2018). "How a march at the US-Mexico border descended into tear gas and chaos". Vox. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  18. ^ Averbuch, Maya; Malkin, Elisabeth (November 25, 2018). "Migrants in Tijuana Run to U.S. Border, but Fall Back in Face of Tear Gas". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  19. ^ Specia, Megan; Gladstone, Rick (November 28, 2018). "Border Agents Shot Tear Gas into Mexico. Was It Legal?". The New York Times. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  20. ^ Design Overview, (PDF) Archived from the original (PDF) on January 4, 2011. Retrieved November 9, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ Project Funding,
  22. ^ In Spanish, El Chaparral Expansion Project, Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved November 9, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ San Ysidro Construction Project,
  24. ^ "San Ysidro LPOE Project Facts". Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  25. ^ "New Footbridge Opens to Public". NCB San Diego. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  26. ^ Several injured in border crossing roof collapse, San Diego Union-Tribune, retrieved September 14, 2011
  27. ^ Spanish, El Chaparral Expansion Project,
  28. ^ "New pedestrian crossing unveiled in Tijuana", Sandra Dibble, San Diego Union-Tribune", Aug. 19, 2015
  29. ^ "First day of new pedestrian border crossing", San Diego Red, September 24, 2012
  30. ^ Guerrero, Jean. "Pedestrian Crossing At San Ysidro Opens". Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  31. ^ "Adiós al puente chicanadas; ya funciona la obra definitiva en Ped West", Sintesis TV, September 12, 2016
  32. ^ "The 5 Realign Project". Retrieved 2017-11-30.
  33. ^ "San Ysidro LPOE, Phase 3 | Clark Construction". Retrieved 2017-11-30.

External links

Bullring by the Sea

The Plaza Monumental de Tijuana (also unofficially called "Plaza Monumental de Playas de Tijuana"), and commonly known in English as Bullring by the Sea, is a bullring in the city of Tijuana, in the state of Baja California, Mexico. It is currently used for bullfighting; the bullring has also been the scene for great boxing matches, concerts, cultural, and sporting events that have benefited the Tijuana community greatly. The stadium holds 21,621 people and its opening was held on June 26, 1960. Located just 60 meters from the U.S. and Mexico borderline at Paseo Playas de Tijuana No.551, Sección Monumental, Tijuana, Baja California 22504.

Tijuana bullfights were broadcast in Los Angeles in Spanish during the 1960s. Sidney Franklin, the Bullfighter from Brooklyn, provided commentary in English, via FM simulcast.

Downtown Tijuana

Downtown Tijuana, officially Colonia Zona Centro, is an official neighborhood of Tijuana, Mexico. It is located within the Central Borough ("Delegación Centro") of the city, immediately southwest of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. It is bordered by Calle Artículo 123 and the Zona Norte neighborhood (and red light district) on the north, by Calle Ocampo and Zona Este and Zona Río on the east, and by the colonias (neighborhoods) Castillo, Lindavista, Altamira, Independencia, Morelos, and Juárez on the west and south. Avenida Revolución is the main tourist thoroughfare while Avenida Constitución is a main traditional shopping thoroughfare.

East Otay Mesa, California

East Otay Mesa is an as-yet undeveloped area in the South Bay region of unincorporated San Diego County, southern California.

It is located along the northern side of the U.S.-Mexico border, with plans for future developments, including an order crossing and business park. East Otay Mesa is immediately east of the Otay Mesa neighborhood of the city of San Diego, west of the San Ysidro Mountains, and north of the Centenario borough of Tijuana, Mexico.

The Otay Mesa East Port of Entry (also "Otay Mesa II"), a new planned border crossing, is to connect East Otay Mesa with Centenario, Tijuana, starting in 2023.

El Paso PDN Port of Entry

The El Paso Paso del Norte (PDN) Port of Entry, is among the United States' busiest border crossings. More than 10 million people enter the US from Mexico each year at this location. Upon arrival, the admissibility of each person is determined by an officer of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Frequently the vehicle and/or possessions of those entering the US are inspected by CBP in an effort to prevent contraband from being brought into the US.

The PDN Port of Entry is located at the Paso del Norte International Bridge, and is limited to northbound non-commercial traffic (although pedestrians may also cross the bridge in the southbound direction).

Bridges between El Paso and Cuidad Juarez have existed at this location for over 250 years, and they have been rebuilt many times due to floods, expansion and international treaties. PDN is sometimes called the Santa Fe bridge, because its predecessor (prior to 1967) emptied traffic onto Santa Fe Street immediately to the west. Approximately 2000 trains enter the U.S. each year on an adjacent rail bridge. Streetcar traffic also once entered the US on the Paso del Norte Bridge, but that service ended in 1974.The El Paso PDN Port of Entry ranks second only to the San Ysidro Port of Entry in the number of pedestrians entering the United States from Mexico each year.

Immigration sign

The immigration sign was a U.S. highway safety sign warning motorists to avoid immigrants darting across the road. It depicted a man, woman, and child with pigtails running. The signs were erected in response to over one hundred immigrant pedestrian deaths due to traffic collisions from 1987 to 1990 in two corridors along Interstate 5 along the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the Mexico–United States border and approximately 50 miles (80 km) north at the San Clemente United States Border Patrol checkpoint in Camp Pendleton.

Las Americas Premium Outlets

Las Americas Premium Outlets is a 560,000 square feet (52,000 m2) outlet mall in San Ysidro, San Diego, California located directly on the Mexico–United States border just west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the new PedWest crossing from Tijuana to Virginia Avenue on the U.S. side.

The center attracts shoppers from San Diego County, California as well as the Tijuana metropolitan area in Mexico immediately to the south.In 2013, the Shamrock Group opened the 98,000-square-foot (9,100 m2) Plaza at the Border on Las Americas' west side, which includes a Ross Dress for Less and TJ Maxx, while on the east side immediately adjacent to the border crossing is the smaller 140,000-square-foot (13,000 m2) Outlets at the Border, which opened in the fall of 2014.

Nogales-Morley Gate Port of Entry

The Nogales Port of Entry evolved over time, rather than being planned. When an international fence divided Nogales in the early 20th century, vehicles were inspected at a gate at Grand Avenue, trains were inspected just east of there, and pedestrians were inspected further to the east at Morley Avenue. A small tile-roofed inspection station was completed in 1931 and was expanded in 1949. Substantial renovations were performed in 2011.

In 2011, the Morley Gate facility was renovated to improve throughput and to provide more space and better lighting. On busy days, over 10,000 people enter the United States through Morley Gate. It is one of only four land border pedestrian-only crossing in the United States, the others are the Boquillas Port of Entry in Big Bend National Park in Texas, the Cross Border Xpress at the Tijuana International Airport, and the PedWest component of the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Operation Gatekeeper

Operation Gatekeeper was a measure implemented during the Presidency of Bill Clinton by the United States Border Patrol (then a part of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)), aimed at halting illegal immigration to the United States at the United States–Mexico border near San Diego, California. According to the INS, the goal of Gatekeeper was "to restore integrity and safety to the nation's busiest border."

Operation Gatekeeper was announced in Los Angeles on September 17, 1994, by U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and was launched two weeks later on October 1.

The United States Congress allocated additional funds to the Border Patrol and other agencies. By 1997, the budget of the Immigration and Naturalization Service had doubled to 800 million dollars, the number of Border Patrol agents had nearly doubled, the amount of fencing or other barriers more than doubled, and the number of underground sensors nearly tripled.

The merits of Operation Gatekeeper were debated extensively, including during Congressional hearings. The Department of Justice, the INS, and the Border Patrol maintained that Operation Gatekeeper was a success. Some Congressmen and others sharply criticized the program and declared it a failure.

Otay Centenario

Otay Centenario is a borough of the municipality of Tijuana in Baja California, Mexico. It is the result of a merger between the former boroughs of Mesa de Otay and Centenario which took place on January 1, 2014.The borough is located east of the Centro borough and the Zona Río; south of the U.S. border and San Diego's Otay Mesa neighborhood; and north of La Mesa.

Tijuana International Airport, and many maquiladoras are located here.

Main shopping centers are the Centro Comercial Otay and Plaza Americana Otay, which is located in front of Centro Comercial Otay. The area is noted as the second gastronomic hub of the city, with many restaurants.

The former Centenario borough has the largest number of factories and maquiladoras in the city. Its largest neighborhood (colonia) is Ciudad Industrial ("Industrial City"). Three of the city's most important streets, Boulevard Bellas Artes, Boulevard Industrial and Mexican Federal Highway 2, are located here.

Parque de la Amistad (not to be confused with Friendship Park at the border in Playas de Tijuana) is a large park in the borough.

Otay Mesa, San Diego

Otay Mesa ( OH-ty MAY-sə) is a community in the southern section of the city of San Diego, just north of the U.S.–Mexico border.

It is bordered by the Otay River Valley and the city of Chula Vista on the north; Interstate 805 and the neighborhoods of Ocean View Hills and San Ysidro on the west; unincorporated San Diego County on the north and east including East Otay Mesa and the San Ysidro Mountains; and the Otay Centenario borough of Tijuana, Mexico on the south.

Major thoroughfares include Otay Mesa Road/California State Route 905, Otay Valley Road/Heritage Road, Siempre Viva Road, and California State Route 125. Otay Mesa is the second-least walkable neighborhood of San Diego.

Otay Mesa Port of Entry

The Otay Mesa Port of Entry is one of three ports of entry (POE) in the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan region, in the U.S. state of California, connecting Otay Mesa in the City of San Diego with the Otay Centenario borough of Tijuana. The facility was opened in 1983, and was constructed primarily to divert growing commercial truck traffic from the busy San Ysidro Port of Entry. Since then, significant passenger vehicle and pedestrian traffic has grown as development in the area around the crossing has grown. Commercial importations through Otay Mesa accounts for billions of dollars' worth of freight.The port of entry is the third-busiest commercial port of entry on the Mexico-United States border. To reduce wait times a facility built by the Mexican federal government, manned by United States Customs and Border Protection officers and Mexican customs officers, will be opened on the Mexican side of the border. It will be used to screen produce, which are considered low-risk commodities. A similar facility will be located at the Laredo International Airport, where Mexican customs officers will pre-inspect air shipments into Mexico.

Plaza Viva Tijuana

Plaza Viva Tijuana is an open-air shopping center in the Empleados Federales neighborhood of Tijuana, immediately in front of what was formerly the only exit to Mexico for pedestrians crossing from San Ysidro, San Diego on the U.S. side of the border. It houses numerous pharmacies targeted at U.S. customers, handicraft and souvenir shops, restaurants, and one of Tijuana's largest gay nightclubs (formerly "Éxtasis" now "Club Fusion").It is located at what has been the exit point for pedestrians crossing southbound into Mexico via various configurations of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. In 2012, the Puerta México pedestrian crossing on the west side of the southbound vehicular crossing, controversially, closed, replaced by the new Puerta México Este pedestrian entry to Mexico on the east side. It still allowed pedestrians to walk westward 500m and exit to Tijuana in front of the Plaza, but gave pedestrians easy access to areas on the east side of the border such as the Zona Río. Business plummeted for merchants in the center, by up to 80% in one instance.In July 2016, Plaza Viva Tijuana returned to its role as a focal point for pedestrians walking from Tijuana to San Ysidro when it became the starting point of the new pedestrian walkway to and from the new PedWest pedestrian crossing, via which pedestrians cross to Virginia Avenue and the Las Americas Premium Outlets on the U.S. side. Since then, there has been a reconfiguration and the pedestrian terminus is immediately west of the Plaza, across Aves. Alberto Aldrete and José María Larroque.

San Diego–Tijuana

San Diego–Tijuana is an international metropolitan conurbation, straddling the border of the adjacent North American coastal cities of San Diego, California, United States and Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. The 2012 population of the region was 4,922,723, making it the largest bi-national conurbation shared between the United States and Mexico, the second-largest shared between the US and another country (after Detroit–Windsor), and the fourth largest in the world. In its entirety, the region consists of San Diego County in the United States and the municipalities of Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, and Tecate in Mexico. It is the third most populous region in the California–Baja California region, smaller only than the metropolitan areas of Greater Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

The largest centers of the urban area maintain global city status and as a whole the metropolitan region is host to 13 consulates from Asian, European, North American, Oceanian, and South American nations. Over fifty million people cross the border each year between Tijuana and San Diego, giving the region the busiest land-border crossing in the world. Since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, San Diego–Tijuana has become a dominant commercial center in the United States and Mexico. The economic success of globalization has allowed San Diego–Tijuana to grow to the third richest region in the former Californias region, with a GDP of $136.3 billion in 2002. Renowned for natural beauty, tourism is a leading industry in the region and its coastal environs have been paramount factors in the growth of action sports-lifestyle companies. Other key industries include military, biotech, and manufacturing.

San Diego–Tijuana traces its European roots to 1542 when the land was explored by Portuguese explorers on behalf of imperial Spain. In 1601 it was mandated by the Spanish viceroy in Mexico City that safe ports be found, one of which would be San Diego Bay, for returning Spanish trade ships from Manila to Acapulco. During this mission, the explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno was also told to map the California coast in great detail; leading to the further exploration of the modern day site of San Diego–Tijuana.

San Ysidro, San Diego

San Ysidro (Spanish pronunciation: [san iˈsiðɾo]) is a district of the City of San Diego, immediately north of the U.S.-Mexico border. It neighbors Otay Mesa West to the north, Otay Mesa to the east, and Nestor and the Tijuana River Valley to the west; together these communities form South San Diego, a pene-exclave of the City of San Diego, thus making it possible to travel (by water) between central San Diego and South San Diego without ever leaving the city limits. Major thoroughfares include Beyer Boulevard and San Ysidro Boulevard.

San Ysidro Transit Center

San Ysidro Transit Center is a San Diego Trolley station on the Blue Line and the southern terminus for this line. The previous station northwest is Beyer Boulevard. South of this station is the San Ysidro Port of Entry at the Mexico–United States border. The station serves primarily as a way to provide access to downtown for the thousands of international commuters and tourists who travel between San Diego County and Tijuana, Mexico. Its secondary purpose is to provide access to the large shopping areas, including the Las Americas Premium Outlets which are connected to the stop via a pedestrian walkway. An intercity bus station is located adjacent to the station.This station was scheduled to undergo renovation starting December 2014, as part of the Trolley Renewal Project, though actual renovation construction did not begin until January 2015. Renovation construction at the station continued through December 2015 before completion.

South Bay, San Diego

South Bay is a region in southwestern San Diego County, California consisting of the communities and cities of Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, Lincoln Acres, National City, and South San Diego.South Bay is a mix of heavy industrial complexes and shipyards, alongside classic Southern California style neighborhoods. One of its cities, Imperial Beach, bills itself as Classic Southern California for being relatively untouched in terms of other coastal cities.

Tecate Port of Entry

The Tecate Port of Entry is one three ports of entry in the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan region. The land port is located between Tecate, California in San Diego County's Mountain Empire and Tecate Municipality in Baja California. It connects California State Route 188 with Paseo Lazero Cardenas, a spur of Mexico Federal Highway 2, as well as Federal Highway 3 to the south. It is a minor port in comparison to the larger San Ysidro Port of Entry and Otay Mesa Port of Entry. This is attributed in part to the fact that reaching the crossing on the US side requires driving on narrow, winding mountain roads.


Tijuana ( TEE-ə-WAH-nə; Spanish: [tiˈxwana]) is the largest city of both Baja California State and the Baja Peninsula. It is part of the San Diego–Tijuana transborder urban agglomeration and the larger Southern California megalopolis. As the 6th-largest city in Mexico and center of the 6th-largest metro area in Mexico, Tijuana exerts a strong influence in education and politics – across Mexico, in transportation, culture and art – across both Californias (the U.S. state and Baja), and in manufacturing and as a migration hub – across the North American continent. Currently one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in Mexico, Tijuana maintains global city status. As of 2015, the city of Tijuana had a population of 1,641,570.Tijuana is located on the Gold Coast of Baja California, and is the municipal seat and the cultural and commercial center of Tijuana Municipality (Mexican states are divided into municipalities, rather than counties as in the U.S.). Tijuana covers 70% of the territory of the municipality and 80% of its population. A dominant manufacturing center of the North American continent, the city maintains facilities of many multinational conglomerate companies. In the early 21st century, Tijuana became the medical-device manufacturing capital of North America. Tijuana is also a growing cultural center and has been recognized as an important new cultural mecca. The city is the most visited border city in the globe; sharing a border of about 24 km (15 mi) with its sister city San Diego. More than fifty million people cross the border between these two cities every year. This metropolitan crossing makes the San Ysidro Port of Entry the busiest land-border crossing in the world. It is estimated that the two border crossing stations between the cities proper of San Diego and Tijuana account for 300,000 daily border crossings alone.Tijuana is the 45th largest city in the Americas and is the westernmost city in Mexico. According to the 2015 census, the Tijuana metropolitan area was the fifth-largest in Mexico, with a population of 1,840,710, but rankings vary, the city (locality) itself was 6th largest and the municipality (administrative) 3rd largest nationally. The international metropolitan region was estimated at about 5,158,459 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in the former Californias region, 19th largest metropolitan area in the Americas, and the largest bi-national conurbation that is shared between US and Mexico. Tijuana is becoming more suburbanized like San Diego.

Tijuana traces its modern history to the arrival of Spanish explorers in the 16th century who were mapping the coast of the Californias. As the American conquest of northern Mexico ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Tijuana's new international position on the border gave rise to a new economic and political structure. The city was founded on July 11, 1889 as urban development began. Often known by its supposed initials, T.J., and nicknamed Gateway to Mexico, the city has historically served as a tourist center dating back to the 1880s.

United States Custom House (San Ysidro, California)

The United States Custom House (also known as the Old Customs House) in San Ysidro, San Diego, California, is a 1933 Spanish Revival building located 50 feet (15 m) north of the Mexico–United States border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with the full historic name U.S. Inspection Station/U.S. Custom House and common name U.S. Custom House.

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