Tijuana Adventure for 2015…. Sorry, I’ve been busy

My last post was back in September….

I was going to post that I was taking a break in October, but that never happened. My college roommate from Minnesota visit me at the end of the month and we hung out for a week straight in Tijuana. We had plenty of adventures, but we also learned that we can’t drink as much as we did in college.

This happened on Halloween night in Tijuana:

I’ve been very busy, no time to party all night and write about it the next day. I got a regular job in retail at a soccer store in San Diego to have a more steady income and to get a van for the tours.

I keep getting emails for Tijuana Adventures… I’ve been having all sorts of adventures but no time to post about it and I keep forgetting to take pictures.

I had an important tour some months back with a group of 10 (5 married couples). Before meeting them, I took a nap in a co-workers car in the parking lot outside work.

I’ve had plenty of 1 on 1 tours all over the place. All very much fun, I even received this email thanking me for the tour:

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And in 2015 I have already had two adventures!!!

I had one booked since last year for a Veggie and Brewery tour that is coming up next Saturday (will post about it later). But out of nowhere I got two last minute tours that ended up being really awesome.

The first one of the year had to be an XXX tour with a programmer from Los Angeles. We ate at Cevicheria Naiz, drank at Mamut, talked about videogames and then headed to the XXX world for unrated fun…. Haven’t done those tours in a long time… they uhh.. renovated some areas of the clubs, the usual dirty business remained the same. He emailed me the next day:
Mark review Through the tour he kept thanking me, it was a wonderful time.

The second one was with friends of friends. A guy from Alabama (Ed) and one from Minnesota (Chris) were roommates in France, Chris visited Ed to Los Angeles where he currently lives and they came down to Tijuana. We went on a classic Tj Adventure party blender with live music shows by Innerds and Octagrape at Mous Tache, street tacos and plenty of drinks.

Here we are eating at Cevicheria Naiz before partying until 4 am:
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And we had breakfast tacos at the king, Tacos el Rey, before saying our hungover goodbyes:
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2015 seems promising for a lot of tours! If I am lucky, I might be able to quit my job and party with tourists for a living…. make my dream come true… come party… come have a Tijuana Adventure!

It’s been a year of Tijuana Adventure and there’s much more to come!

Tijuana Adventure turns one year old
It has been a wild ride. I have met people from Canada, Australia, UK, Argentina and all over the USA. I had 5 adventures for the past two weeks and I am booked for the next weekends. Apparently I’ve been recommended on TripAdvisor which has helped on getting a few more adventurers. I haven’t really made money from my tours and I don’t really care. From the start my tours have been heavily improvised, going to places I like and having a lot of fun with incredible awesome “clients,” many that have become friends (and now I have a place to stay in several cities).
Don’t be a tourist, party with a local.

With Aussies
With Aussies at Playas

I spent Sunday and Monday (of the last week of August) with 3 Australians going from taco shop to bar, rinse and repeat. It was awesome times. I’ve been spending every weekend with a different group of people for the past month or more.

My main focus has always been to get people comfortable with Tijuana so they can come back without any assistance. This is a huge complicated city that many fear, but in reality it is one of the most fun and diverse cities (if you know your way around). The direction of TJ adventure is changing, not sure what to, but it has to evolve.
Tours will be free of charge as long as the group is paying for my food/drinks, I’ll take you anywhere your heart desires (tipping your tour guide is encouraged…). Events will happen once a month if possible. With many side jobs besides being a tour guide, I am keeping TJ adventure as casual as I can.
TJ adventure is your opportunity to tour the city with a journalist for the San Diego Reader, who also happens to be a musician and a photographer (that’s me). Contact me to set up a tour and let’s have fun!

3 Day TJ Adventure and Valle de Guadalupe (new Instagram!)

I got an email on June 9th from Jillian, a student at SDSU and redditor who saw a post of mine, saved it and decided to contact me. For weeks we emailed back and forth planning a Tijuana Adventure and a Valle de Guadalupe winery tour for her, her boyfriend and other friends. The group ended up being the most diverse I’ve tour around and also the longest tour I’ve done.
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We met up on Friday afternoon for a classic TJ adventure that ended up before midnight. We walked a lot and did some light eating and drinking, saving our energy for Saturday morning. I dropped my group at a quaint and old hotel in the downtown area where they got two double rooms for cheap.
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By 8:30 am on Saturday morning we were all eating a quick breakfast of tacos varios in one of the best Mexican restaurants (especially for breakfast) in downtown. We met our tour guide, who I nicknamed Hectour, from Baja Viajes right outside the restaurant who had a nice van waiting for us. I previously have spent days trying to get my own van and driver, but I did not succeed and had to succumb to another travel agency. I didn’t have to join them in this tour, but felt like learning more about the wineries myself that I spent half of what they originally paid me to go on a tour with them. It was a wondrous tour going through 4 different wineries with samplers included (I’ve been to one of them before).
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The ride back to Tijuana was quiet that some of us took a quick nap. Though the plan was to spend all night of Saturday partying, everyone was too tired so we decided to eat in an Argentinean restaurant and call it a night.

We met up on Sunday to close the tour where we had breakfast at the same place. Then we went to Mercado Hidalgo to experience a classic picturesque Mexican market. From there we did a quick visit through the museum near the border, CECUT (Centro Cultural Tijuana). And finally back to the border, where a painful 2.5 hours awaited to go back to America.

Tijuana is the only place where you go on a ride and then have to wait in line.

– Your tour guide in Tijuana, Matt (Matingas)

Tijuana Adventure gets an Instagram! Follow here:
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Independence Day in TJ: Fifth wheeling an adventure during America’s birthday

“It might be a little odd, but my girlfriend and I are coming down to TJ on July 4th, maybe with a couple of friends.”

I received an email from a client that saw a post of mine on Reddit asking for a tour. This was right after dealing with another TJ Adventure that will involve the wineries on Valle de Guadalupe (for July 19th and I’m so excited about it!)

“Got nothing going on this Friday, if you want to play it by ear, let’s do this! A friend of my roommate and his girlfriend (that has never been in TJ) are staying in my apartment, you don’t mind if they come over do you?” – I replied to the email.

I met the redditor and his girlfriend (who met on Match.com) on the border  a bit after 11:30 am after some mix-up about the meeting spot. His “maybe” friends never made it, they told me that their friends think they are crazy for visiting Tijuana.

We headed to La Corriente Cevicheria Naiz for some fish tacos and ceviche tostadas where we met with the other couple. A cute couple moment happened when both the guys ordered the same thing and the girls did the same almost in a mirror image.

From there, we did the classic TJ Adventure downtown walk around, which involves Zona Norte, art walk, breweries, stopped by some of the oldest bars in Tijuana (where we watched the World Cup) and other destinations.

The cute couples walking through Pasaje Rodríguez
The cute couples walking through Pasaje Rodríguez

We walked back to the border at 5:30 pm to a very busy border crossing line. After spending the day drinking in Tijuana, they still wanted to make it back in time for the fireworks to celebrate America’s birthday. I, in the other hand, went to pass out from all the day drinking and all the fun.

Tijuana Adventure is getting more emails everyday, but my other jobs keep me very busy. This page will be updated, reformatted soon and will be getting more action!

Brewery and Tacos Tour!

Since I have a friend that is willing to drive around customers in a van now…. Tours from now on will be twice a month and will have a special theme. The very first one is BEER AND TACOS this Saturday March 22nd. An easy approach to something that everyone loves.

The plan is to pick-up the visitors on the San Ysidro border (meeting spot) at 4:00 pm. Cross the border walking, my friend will be waiting with his van near the border. First stop, BCB bar (Baja Craft Beer), it features beers from all over Baja in a tidy neat presentation. Next stop is Cerveza Tijuana, the oldest of the breweries in Baja. And finally to Mamut brewery, the first brewery in downtown TJ has grown very quickly and now features some of the best beers in the area.

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The van will take everyone back to the US border by 9 pm. People can stay and keep partying in Tijuana, but the van will not be available anymore (taxis are cheap).

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Price is $40 per person! Only 10 spots available in the van, price includes the first beer at BCB! Reserve your spot now by emailing me at TijuanaAdventure@gmail.com or through the contact page.

After party is free of charge! Music shows, bar hopping and the crazy TJ night life!

Tijuana Adventure is Evolving… and so is the city.

There’s so much new to announce about Tijuana Adventure, about myself and about this city. But most importantly is that the tours are going to get much better and now there’s a TJ Adventure van to take us around the city.

1. Tijuana Adventure is getting a van. Also, it’s worth mentioning the driver is the bass player for punk band DFMK and your tour guide is actually a writer for the San Diego Reader. Didn’t think that was worth mentioning it before, but of course people feel more comfortable with someone that has proof that he knows the city. This is my profile in the Reader and my other website with all my information. The van is going to help the tours to be more established and not just random improvisations of what the city has to offer. Tours will be twice a month and will be better.

2. Tijuana Adventure is sponsoring a festival on May 31st. Rumble Fest will be showcasing the best new upcoming music from SoCal and Baja. $4 cover, $2 beers, 24 bands, camping on site from 4 pm to 4 am. It’s going to be an amazing festival and I am so happy to be a part of it.

3. Tijuana Adventure’s future as a hostel is a possibility. I have so much work with all the jobs I have, but the hostel is always in the back of my mind. Guillaume, another French traveler arrived to Tijuana with the idea of opening a hostel. There would be so much work to be done for a hostel, but it is not a wild dream and it could seriously be a possibility. There’s been interest by several investors from different countries and I will find out everything to make it happen.

4. Random adventure with couchsurfers! I went to my first couchsurfing meeting in Tijuana, I have previously attended this type of meetings in Vancouver, Seattle, Denver and more. The couchsurfers came from Wales, Spain, an American that grew up in South-East Asia, Los Angeles and the Frenchman, Guillaume. It was a crappy rainy Thursday night and they weren’t really even aware that they were led by a tour guide until the very end.

The next tour with a van, multiple locations and complete organization will be coming up soon!

“I think I want to move to Tijuana,” says Redditor on his first visit

So… announcing my tours on Reddit has generated me some clients and much interest on the website. This past Friday I announced a tour that included all the shows going on in Tijuana, but there were too many  at the same time that it was pretty much impossible to go to all of them. An impromptu tour was booked basically at the last minute.

A Redditor (who prefers to remain anonymous), sent me a message – “Hey me and a friend are crossing over to TJ tonight. I’ve been a couple of times, but it is going to be his first time. What do you recommend we do? I was planning on tacos, beers, and stoping by hk just to see lol.”

I replied about all the shows going on, my personal recommendations and I told him I was willing to meet him if they paid for my beers and what not. He answered “Hey im down to meet up and get a brief tour im drinking at restaurante el torito on revolucion. I have data reception here.” I fucking hate el torito on revolución. Please if you read this and you visit Tijuana, never go to that place. It even inspired my first published article in the San Diego Reader. Also, apparently telling people I’m a writer for the Reader can help validate my credentials as a tour guide, since this particular redditor was a fan of the magazine.

The Redditor that contacted me and his friend decided to remain anonymous for a a good reason. I forgot the basic rule that XXX tour sales very well, so let’s called them “Pepe” and “Esteban.” I met them before 7 pm outside that shithole of a place named el torito and headed for some craft beers at Mamut. Then we walked around downtown but the people in Tijuana do not come out to party until around midnight. Since there was not much to do, we decided to go check out the famous Hong Kong, aka adult Disneyland.

There I had a conversation that I thought I would never have with Esteban, who is a recent college grad thinking about moving to San Diego. “I think I might move down here to Tijuana, do you think you can find me a place with parking?” Esteban asked me as a girl danced completely naked in front of us and were surrounded by hundreds of other beautiful women. They were both keen on a cute girl with glasses, but both were very shy when it came to talking to the girls, though they claimed to be fluent in Spanish (Pepe has a girlfriend, so we can pardon him).

We spent a few dollars on titties and beer but we left before things got to heavy. We found our way back to 6xth street were a number of events were going on. Mezcal shots went down in La Mezcalera which got Pepe and Esteban a bit drunk, but it was still too early for Tijuanenses to be out in bars.  So we went back to the XXX area, where is always packed with people, and into Adelita bar. There we sat next to four Americans (3 guys and 1 girl) who claimed to be regular patrons of the area. Esteban chatted up the girl, even though she seemed to be with her boyfriend. The girl gave us dollars so we could spend them on the strippers, Pepe refused to partake. In fact, Pepe was getting tired and by 11:00 pm he decided he had his last beer and the party was over. Esteban insisted in walking a few more times through the XXX area while drunkenly try to talk to the hookers, but a few minutes later I accompanied them to get a taxi that would take them to the border.

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Again, there were no pictures of the adventure, but it looked something like this other previous adventure.

After they left, the party was just starting in Tijuana so I headed down to Mous-Tache and La Mezcalera for an Adventure of my own. Both places were packed to the brim, Phantoms (two DJs from LA) played and an awesome show at Mous-Tache. I made it back to my place a bit past 3 am and downtown Tijuana had no signs of slowing down. I heard my roommate come back at around 6 am.

The party in Tijuana goes on for much much longer than what people imagine (it’s virtually 24/7). But this is not that practical for tours, especially for those who do not want to stay in a hotel and plan to make it back home. I’m sure that most people want to cross back to the USA before 10 pm, which defies the purpose of a true Tijuana Adventure, but nonetheless they are a blast. I hope next adventurers stay for long to have the true experience, but TJ is a blast no matter what.

How to TJ: Music shows south of the border

Upcoming weekends, January 31st thru February 8th

The music scene in Tijuana is steadily growing. Despite that the audience is not easily won and they are cheap, but playing in TJ has a certain prestige. It is almost like unlocking an achievement in a band’s career. A show south of the border means that a band has gone international and survived the insanity of the city. TJ is a great resume builder for upcoming bands, if you succeed to make the crowd rock.

All shows are free of charge unless otherwise indicated.

Friday, January 31st – Saturday, February 1st

El Tigre Bar is hosting a night of hip-hop… in Spanglish. Presenting local rappers Danee & Friends, fresh rhymes inspired by the beaches of Cali. Subheads a promising next big thing in TJ and Sikareo Achedosele who claims to be the best local beat-boxer. Sopitas con huevo (soup with egg) might be the stupidest name in history, but this is a large crew of talented freestyle flowers. DJ Tijuas and MikeOld will be spinning the records for open-mic freestyle battles. And the party does not end there, after the show everyone is invited to the store Sexy Homie with free carne asada until the sun rises.
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Hip hop not your thing? TJ Art & Rock Cafe is hosting hardcore band from San Diego, Age of Collapse. The show is benefit of Areli, a friend of the bar who got diagnosed with cancer, cover charge is $4. Other hardcore bands from Tijuana will also make an appearance, BioCrisis, Fractal, Escasez, Verbal Desecration and Tijuana Suicida.

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Rather just dance instead of listening to musicians attempting to freestyle or hardcore singers shouting into microphones? Mous-tache bar is the answer. Phantoms are two 23-year-olds under Sonny “Skrillex” Moore’s label, OWSLA. The pair plays catchy beats with a touch of dark chord progressions that reminiscences raves from a decade ago. usually avoid the limelight but their sound is rapidly gaining popularity which might push them out from the underground. Inspired by anime, Warm Places plays electro-pop with female vocal samples that takes you exactly where it intends, to a sunny day at the beach. DJs ReneMonkey and Hein E. Shuriken will be warming up the dance floor.

Saturday night, does not promise much excitement. Mous-tache will continue playing music to make you dance with less known DJs Modul 01, Mad Waves and Jose Luis M. YouRevolution will offer an alternative to your dance needs with more DJs Jesse Suun, Alfonso Alvarez, Red.S, and Oskar Rodrik.

February 6th-8th

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Thursdays in Plaza Fiesta can get pretty wild with the variety of bars neighboring each other. A bar that resembles a prison will have a show featuring new band Represión, the popular punk rockers, DFMK and in case you missed their show at the Casbah, Bumbklaatt will be the headliner.

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“Guess who we are opening for on Friday?” Edgard Collins, the bass player of San Pedro el Cortez tells me with a radiant smile. “Mother!@%ing Japanther! You know them right? They are from New York.” Of course I know who Japanther is, I saw them live in 2009 at FYF in Los Angeles. And now Mous-Tache promises a night of psychedelic rock and noise-pop with a not-so-secret special guest appearance. There’s other bands that will be crossing the border as well, from San Francisco Sweatlodge will be playing their “pow wow punk.” White Night from Los Angeles, will continue with sloppy yet tasty riffs. Los Adictos Violentos from Mexicali and San Pedro el Cortez will be in charge of showcasing local Baja talent. Cost of the show = $2.50
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A very tough act to follow the next night, but local indie rock bands will show up to Mous-Tache. A show debut by Syrup… they have no recorded music yet. Los Fancy Bastards will follow before the headline, Deer Dear, who celebrate their 2nd year anniversary since their first show. El Tigre bar in Plaza Fiesta will host The Cardielles from San Diego with local bands The End, Origami Zoo and Toloache.

Adventure booked through Reddit!

I’m a Reddit addict. Thus, whenever someone mentions Tijuana or there’s a post about visiting, I invite them to check out Tijuana Adventure. That’s how I met /u/allthingsforeign, a fairly new redditor that contacted me for his adventure. It was his second time in Tijuana. His first time he had a tour guide that apparently did not know anything about the city (or spoke Spanish). Instead of paying for my tour services /u/allthingsforeign help me and a friend move some furniture to a new apartment.

Then we went for Tacos Guanajuato, some of the best tacos in TJ. On the way to the tacos, we walked by Zona Norte so /u/allthingsforeign could see that area in the daytime. We started the party early at around 7 pm at Mamut brewery with a couple of craft beers. The real party doesn’t start till past 11 pm, so we decided to take a break and regroup again at a later time. We went to La Mezcalera to start drinking again. From there we went to Moustache, where the party was going on full blast. At some point of the night we were surrounded by women, /u/allthingsforeign and I tried our luck, but to no avail.

We ended the night at Porky’s bar, a place that plays 80s music. It was also full of people and beautiful women. But close to 2:30 am, the party took a toll on us and we decided it was best to eat some Tacos Varios and call it a night.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of our adventures… but here are some pictures of a show on Thursday night at el Tigre Bar. The band Anti You from Italy played to a crowd of over 100 people.

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Photo credit: World in my eyes. 

Saving Private French Guy

I was playing guitar in my favorite café which is hidden in the depths of some apartment building in Tijuana, when a random guy that looked like Luigi (from the videogames) walked in asking for work. His name was Alex and he was clearly not from the area. After a brief chat I learned that he was from Paris, he was traveling around the world and that his credit card, camera, laptop and more things were stolen in a hostel in San Francisco. He arrived in Tijuana because his visa in the USA had expired and he had to leave the country. I told him about Tijuana Adventure gave him my business card and offered my help.

A day later he called me asking for a place to stay. He reminded me of the first person I hosted, another French world traveler. Just like the rest of people that have joined me in many of my Tijuana adventures, he fell in love the city and hopes to visit it soon again.

He stayed in and out of my apartment for 2 weeks and also bounced back and forth between some of my friends, hotel rooms, other couchsurfing hosts and more. His adventures were more enthralling than those of Bilbo Baggins.

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Unfortunately, not that many pictures were saved from all the time he spent in Tj. The only pictures that were saved came from friends or other world travelers that we met, like Joaquin (Argentina) and Zoe (San Francisco) who were hitch-hiking to their way south in Mexico and beyond. Alex is also on his way south. He intends to spend two more weeks in Mexico before making his way to Costa Rica, from there he will fly to Sao Paulo (Brazil) and finally back home to France.

Edit: Forgot about uploading this video! More pics might come soon!