Last weekend, we flew with my sister’s family down to Cabo. We stayed in San José del Cabo for four nights and had the MOST amazing time.
I’ll do a detailed post about where we stayed and what we did next week, but today’s post is all about how we got there. I mentioned on Instagram that we were flying out of Tijuana and had some people reach out with questions, so I thought I’d walk through it all.
We crossed the border at the CBX border crossing location in Otay Mesa and flew out of the Tijuana International Airport down to Cabo. The CBX terminal walkway leads directly into the Tijuana airport, so you basically go through customs and cross the border on the walkway, go through security, and then hop on your flight!
When my brother-in-law first suggested this, I thought it sounded like a major hassle. But the flights were SO much cheaper than flying out of San Diego, and he made the very valid point that airport customs are an actual nightmare in both San Diego and Cabo.
By using the CBX border crossing to pass customs in both directions, we were able to fly domestically within Mexico. This cut a ton off our total travel time.
Our round trip flights from Tijuana cost $90 each, compared to almost $300 per ticket to fly out of San Diego. Even adding in the CBX ticket cost of $32 each, the Tijuana route was much more affordable.
We flew VivaAerobus and had a totally fine experience, lol. Kind of a barebones, charge-extra-for-every-little-thing type of airline, but you get what you pay for, I guess.
Overall, I can’t overstate how much easier this was compared to flying internationally on previous trips to Mexico. The customs process at CBX–going both directions–went SO much quicker than airport customs that we’ve experienced both in Mexico and LAX/SAN in the past.
It felt totally safe, and the CBX is actually only 30 minutes from our house which isn’t that much further than the 20 minute drive to the San Diego airport. I would absolutely recommend this route to anyone traveling from Southern California to Mexico.
The CBX is located in Otay Mesa, about 25 minutes from downtown San Diego. The CBX is located about 15 minutes east of the border crossing in San Ysidro. We drove and left our car in the premium parking lot which cost $20 per day. This lot was really close to the entrance and made getting in and out very easy. I recommend booking your parking in advance to make sure you get a spot in the premium lot, as it can fill up on busier weeks.
A single round-trip ticket to use the CBX costs between $37-45 depending on the season, and you can purchase a family pack for a slightly discounted rate on the website.
United States citizens need the following to use the CBX to get into Mexico:
If you are traveling into TIJ, you can cross the CBX bridge anytime within 24 hours of your flight departure. If you are traveling back into the US from TIJ, you must cross the CBX within 2 hours of your flight arrival.
To get back into the US, you need the CBX ticket, your passport, and your boarding pass.
There are no COVID testing requirements to use the CBX border crossing.
The CBX website suggests arriving 2-3 hours prior to your departure time, the same as any international flight. Our flight from TIJ was at 11:40am, and I think we arrived at 9:20am. We made it over the CBX and through customs and security in about an hour, giving us plenty of time to let the kids run around before our flight boarded.
Getting back into the US was even quicker, actually. The CBX on the Tijuana side is located directly next to the baggage claim area.
The CBX is open 24 hours a day.
It’s never easy flying to Mexico, but I have to say that overall this route was pretty simple and cheaper than flying out of San Diego.
It’s a pre-weekend pick me up: just a little note with links to the latest blog posts, what I’m reading lately, and products I’m obsessed with. Think of it as a friend dropping off a surprise latte in the morning--you know?