Tecate is a city of 73,000 people (2015) in Baja California on the border with California, about an hour east of Tijuana. Unlike most US/Mexico border crossings, there is no town on the US side. Well known for its traditional infrastructure and looks, Tecate remains true to its origins with its main plaza in the center of the city and its city hall and historic church within walking distance. Tecate is best known for Tecate beer, which is one of the most popular in Mexico, and for being the home of author Daniel Reveles.


Tecate plaza

It is in a valley and is surrounded by several hills and mountains, the most prominent and famous of them being Kuuchamaa (also spelled Kuchamaa and Cuchama) Mountain. Kuuchamaa Mountain, also known as Tecate Peak in the United States, is a sacred mountain for the Kumeyaay people (known in Mexico as Kumiai) people, and the Kumeyaay language is still spoken in the mountains near Tecate at Juntas de Nejí. Kuuchamaa is rich in greenery, wildflowers and birds. Tecatenses as well as tourists are often seen enjoying hikes and bike rides along its many trails.

Tecate is hot and dry during the summer and cool and sometimes rainy during the winter.

Get in


By car


Take Highway 94 east. Tecate Mexico is a 58-minute drive and 65 km (41 mi) away from San Diego, California.

Take the toll road ("cuota") that parallels Mexico Highway 2, 45 km (30 mi) east. Highway 2 then leads east about 130 km (80 mi) to Mexicali by way of the notorious "Rumorosa Grade". Tecate is 52 km away and approx take 57-minute drive from Tijuana, City of Baja California States.

Take Mexico Highway 3 east. The highway is two lanes and is about a 75 minute drive to the border crossing.

From the border


Tecate's border crossing is probably the easiest in California. You can pay a few dollars to park at one of the lots on the US side and walk across the border. It can also be an alternative border crossing to get back into the US; it's less crowded than the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa border crossings (to get back into the US). It will be a long drive from Tijuana, but it will save you some time.

By bus


There are many ways to get here from Los Angeles or San Diego, California, U.S.A.

Mode of Transport From To Price Time Remarks
Bus Los Angeles


Tijuana (Int.Airport)

Baja California


$22-$36 Time 2 hr 30 min

There is a bus every three hours from Los Angeles.

There is no direct bus service from Los Angeles or San Diego USA. Tijuana is big town near Tecate.
Bus San Diego / El Cajon (USA) Sr 188 & Tecate Mart, Tecate, CA (USA) $8 Time 1 hr 9 min MTS Bus # 894
Bus Tijuana Tecate $5-15 35-minute drive

Bus every four hours

By car Los Angeles


Tecate 250 km

Time 2 hr 50 min

Get around





  • 1 Rancho La Puerta. Health spa. The Golden Door is another Spa that was later established by Deborah Szekely, a co-founder of Rancho La Puerta.
  • The yearly Tecate-Ensenada bike ride.
  • California Motorsport Adventours (Based in San Diego). Off-road adventure tours for people of all riding abilities. Full day excursions or longer tours available also. Ride in the dunes and take a guided adventure into the surrounding mountain trails. Trips to Tecate are 2 to 4 days long. Contact the office for reservations and inquiries.



Tecate has a central shopping plaza, but those crossing the border and looking for souvenirs will be disappointed.





Tecate is home to the namesake 1 Tecate Brewery, which offers tours. Through the guide you will get to know how it was created and what's unique about Tecate Beer.

The old Mexicans knew the culture of fermented alcoholic beverages, with the aroma of a corn beer. After the Mexican War of Independence in 1845, a barley beer was introduced in Mexico. In the 19th and 20th centuries, many breweries were opened in various region of Mexico. The industry was infused with taste and technology from the German and Austrian immigrants, further developing its taste.


  • 1 Rancho Tecate Resort, +52 665 655 5226. A small ranch hotel south of Tecate that also offers a range out outdoor experiences.
  • 2 Hotel El Dorado, Av. Benito Juárez 160, +52 665 654 1333. This is a decent practical place to stay for when you need to make a run for the border, or just hang out in Tecate. It has a restaurant, a/c, and wifi. starting from M$750 (M-W), M$900 (Th-Su).

Go next

  • The Vinicola L.A. Cetto winery, along Highway 3, offers tours. More than 100 wineries are located in Valle de Guadalupe along Highway 3 and some have tasting rooms in Ensenada.
  • California Motorsport Adventours Off road adventure tours to the LA Cetto Winery. Begin the San Diego or Puerto Nuevo Baja. Minimum 4 riders. Contact the office for reservations.
  • Guadelupe Canyon hot springs, with nearby hiking and petroglyphs, is located 30 miles (48 km) down a dirt road east of La Rumorosa.
Routes through Tecate
ENDTijuana  W  E  MexicaliJct N S
END  N  S  EnsenadaJct N S

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