No More Tours!!! – New Focus on the Website = Food+ and Beer+ Reviews

Why?!

Why would you stop the dream job?!

You get to go around and take people to restaurants, eat tasty food, drink tons of beer and other liquor, and at the end, you make a couple hundred bucks!!!

Sounds like the dream, right?

Well… to tell the truth, I’m just goddamn tired.

There’s been countless groups, bachelor parties, brewery heavy tours, a few all-nighters, crazy fucking stories with people from all over the world, copious amounts of delicious food and late night street tacos, appeared in a couple of TV shows, and other broadcasts (and a disastrous one), and a lot of other crazy things happened in my tours.

The stories I tell.

The crazy South Africans.

How incredibly cheap Tijuana can be for some people.

Vegas on steroids.

And a tour guide in Vegas is going to get tired… in Tijuana… I’m surprised I lasted this long.


Other tour guides hire other people to handle some tours… but without me… Tijuana Adventure wouldn’t be the same. Or so it feels like that.

My friend Haydee helped for a while and I am forever grateful. She did a couple of art tours and a wine valley tour.

My friend Bryan wants to be the new tour guide, and for people asking for a tour, besides recommending all the other tour guides, I’ll mention my friend Bryan.

He is a good kid. But he is a kid.


Another reason for quitting.

I got somewhat of a real job. It still not completely real, but good enough to not seek out the extra cash on tours.

Well… when I think about it… yeah… that extra cash is super nice still.


I’m just a bit tired man.

I said I was quitting on my last few tours and still kept going.

Give me a year or so. Perhaps less. Who knows. But give me some time and I’ll be back with something better. More exclusive.

AND MORE EXPENSIVE!

Sorry.

It’s just… trust me. It will be awesome.


No more strip clubs.

Can’t do those anymore.


Instead of tours, the website will be dedicated for me to write stupid shit about food and beer!

You see… I used to write my opinions a lot but suddenly stopped because of creative differences with the editor. That editor is now gone. But I still don’t want to jump through hoops of an editor to say whatever the fuck I want.

YAY!

I get to say the word fuck.

How edgy and cool of me.


So what can you expect?

Quality pictures and my stupid opinions!

Here’s an example of the latest.


Haven’t been to the enchilado gods in a while, I forgot what I was missing…
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My friend Danger Dave took me to Los Compadres for the first time a few years ago. He guaranteed that they had the best camarón enchilado taco (spicy shrimp), better than Tijuana favorite El Mazateño.
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I have since gone to Los Compadres almost every week for the past couple of years for that very same taco. If I upload a picture to social media, I get flooded with questions as to where to find this taco (and many jealous comments). Here’s the answer:
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You find Los Compadres next to Parque Teniente Guerrero at the corner of 4th street and Cinco de Mayo. Open 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, except Sundays. They start running out of shrimp around 1 p.m., so you need to get there early. They also serve fish and shrimp tacos (with or without batter), caldo de cahuamanta (stingray broth), marlin tacos, and more.
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All of their tacos are big. The battered fish and shrimp tacos are nothing to rave about and sell for around $1 each. They deep fry longer than usual, making the batter dark and crunchy. I prefer that type of taco light and crisp, so for battered fish and shrimp tacos I go to a nearby food truck.

Their caldo de cahuamanta they recommend for hangovers, especially if you add a spoonful of their very spicy salsa. It will sweat your hangover away, and Los Compadres will turn a blind eye if want to drink a Tecate at their taco stand. Their marlin taco is decent and similar to what you would find at any other taco stand that sells marlin.

Definitely the MVP and the main reason to go is the camarón enchilado. I could write a love song about this taco. It’s gigantic, greasy, has lots of melted cheese that gets burnt around the crust of the tortilla, and is loaded with a lot of flash-fried shrimp that was dunked in buttery chili sauce. It is topped (all optional) with cream, cabbage, tomato, cilantro, and chipotle sauce. It’s a complex and messy item to pick up and eat.

It’s not just me that has been addicted to these shrimp tacos. My friend Erik Trejo, who worked at Blind Lady Ale House, would regularly cross the border early morning just to eat the taco and head back north to work. The painful wait of crossing the border wasn’t enough to dissuade him.

Another friend who teaches English in Saudi Arabia stayed in my apartment for a month last summer. He ate two tacos de camarón enchilado every morning for his entire stay. He still randomly messages me that he misses the taco.

And it’s not just my friends. I have also bumped into owner of Baja-Med restaurant La Justina, Javier Cair, at Los Compadres. A former neighbor of mine, a white guy that partied too much, would take hordes of Americans and Europeans for that taco and kept the party going while drinking Tecate on the street.

None of the ingredients are gourmet or fancy. It’s a dirty fish taco truck just like the Tijuana Gods intended, and they happen to serve the best camarón enchilado taco I have ever tasted. They have a tip jar in form of a Tecate bottle. Drop some coins in when you are done with your meal and shout “por la causa!” Which means “for the cause,” the cause being to buy more Tecate.


That was actually an old article I wrote here. But they will follow a similar pattern and around that many words.

Just a bit more word vomity.


Most pictures will be taken with the iPhone X which is superb and posts will be posted in the Tijuana Adventure Instagram and Facebook pages. Pick whatever social media poison suits you best.

Then the posts will be later posted here. If there was a way for WordPress to simply post directly, that would be great. Alas, there is not.


Other pictures will be taken with my actual camera (Canon 7D for now). That’s the other job I’ve been also doing a lot.

I never really wanted to be a tour guide. This city needed one. I fulfilled my duty.

I can go back to photography work. Writing work. And now more work.


Tijuana Adventure will remain a hobby of food and beer reviewing.

I’ll try to be as honest as one can be without much hyperbole. Re-reading what I wrote about the sushi place sounds a tad exaggerated, but I meant every word. That place is fantastic and can’t wait till I’ll be back.


Both, Instagram and Facebook, pages grow by themselves without my need to sponsor them. And it’s stupid, now that I don’t do tours, I feel like throwing a couple dollars over to Zuckerberg and the social media void. At the same time, the real challenge is to grow those fuckers organically.


Oh.

And Reddit karma.


I basically promote and defend the fuck out of this city for free. They should pay me for it.

And somehow they do. Tijuana rewards me.

Tijuana has been good to me.


I might also get back into booking math rock shows. Hopefully, playing music again.


You see, it’s always been in this order:

I am a musician, writer, photographer, videogamer, and tour guide.

That last one was an additional one. It’s fun to be one and I’m very good at it. But it’s not my passion. It was paying me.

Video games I fucking adore and they had paid me for it in a few occasions (game tester for a couple of Guitar Heroes as well as the Transformers game and other little shitty things here and there). That doesn’t pay me now, but I still love it more than being a tour guide.


Writer and photographer right now are competing for which one makes more money.

They are sort of equal.

Some weeks I make more money writing. Some weeks I make more money doing photography.


Music is what I’ve always loved but has been a forgotten lover lately. I’ve been playing more guitar and a bit more inspired. So I need more time for this.


It’s the end of an era!

Thanks to everyone that came on an adventure with me. It’s been real. I seriously loved every single one of them except two.


And you all know this…

If you ever back in Tijuana, and I’m available. Just buy me a beer and let’s hang out. I like talking about all the new shit that the city has been going through and new places where to eat and drink!

I made friends with most of you. And I’m sorry if I don’t remember all of you clearly… it’s been a lot of tours. And they all blur into one crazy huge mega tour.


Oh. And one more reason to do this silliness. Last year I wrote more than 1,000 words a day but it was all about my personal life. Well, now it will be just about this. Keep my personal life out of this for a while (though I give 0 fucks).

And also. Because there are a lot of shitty people that do this and are no good. I feel like I’m better. So what?

I’m doing it for fun. Not for you. More for like myself and Tijuana. If you don’t agree with me, that’s okay. I probably don’t agree with you!


Thanks for reading and hope y’all enjoy a silly blog of food and drinks in this marvelous city. Let’s see how long this project will last…

 

Tours! TOURS! Tours! – Tijuana Adventure Activate! – Julie’s Bday Tour a Month Ago…

This webpage and blog has been somewhat abandoned.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been given tours.

Quite the contrary. I was busy with tours all of January. February is going slow, but March will already start with a tour.

The tour above was super fun and probably one where I walked the most. We walked and walked and walked. I offered Ubers or taxis. But they wanted to walk.

nsudmux

This is what a Tijuana Adventure usually looks like. A lot of food and beer and fun times.

And I’m sorry I rarely update the blog. I write in my life blog daily. Which is completely different.

Besides Julie’s bday tour, I also had a tour with a couple of crazy South Africans.

I have never partied in my life as much as I did with those South Africans. They showed me that I truly have no limits when it comes to my Tijuana tours. We spend so much money drinking, eating, … and more.


It is time to make my tours a bit more official. There needs to be an online payment method. There needs to be a public tour at least once a month. I have been doing my tours mostly as a side gig for fun. Not as a real business. But Tijuana Adventure has grown and it is time to take it a bit more seriously.

Even the US consul in Tijuana emailed me asking me about how to improve tourism.

More tours are coming.

More public events.

The page will get better.

The Tijuana Adventure Instagram will also be active…. if I remember the password.


A very good friend of mine named Brenda, aka Shappu, has also been doing tours. She is going her own way about it. Truly puts effort in giving people tours. Unlike me where I just wait for people to email me and tell me they want to book me. If I pushed my services. Get business cards. Do some posters… etc etc etc. Then it would truly be a tour service.


For now, I’m busy with writing stories, my new girlfriend, daily blog, and my cat. Tours are still available. Tours are still highly improvised. Tours are still hella fun.


I forgot where I was going with this. Point is. Tijuana Adventure will activate! More tours! Better tours! Online payments! Other tour guides! More beer! More food! MORE MORE MORE!

Want to visit Tijuana. Hit me up!

A New Tijuana Adventure Year – What’s 2017 for TJ Adventure

Ahhhh!!

The beginning of 2016 I wanted to take Tijuana Adventure into a whole new direction. I wanted it to be an open source for Tijuanenses write about their favorite place and stuff like that and for them to give their own tours. You know. Get more people involved, make the website grow, and for them to make money as well.

It went nowhere.

Well… Except Haydee. She did a couple of tours last year. I did a bunch of others.

In fact, I had two great tours on December. A couple of Aussies, and a medium/psychic from Oregon.

There is nothing new for this year. I write daily on my blog. But that’s about my life, not really about Tijuana.

I thought about quitting Tijuana Adventure many times. But people keep contacting me for a tour, and I keep having a fun time with strangers. The extra cash is always welcome.

So Tijuana Adventure will remain improvised private tours by yours truly (and sometimes Haydee). I know if I actually posted anything on Instagram. Or if I posted more in here. Or if I truly tried to organize monthly beer tours. I know I would go somewhere. But that I have had the option to do that and have done nothing is pretty obvious that I am not meant to keep a tour guide business going. I do a lot of other things on a daily basis. The tours are just an extra thing I do for fun, that I also do for extra cash, but I mainly due for the love of this city.

Improvisation is the name of the game. My game.

This website still continues to have way more hits than my actual blog and it has next to 0 activity. Sorry about that. If you are reading this and want to know more about me, there’s my other blog. If you want to have a tour with me because it seems like we will get along, then please contact me.

Otherwise. There are tons of other tour guides for you.

Tijuana Adventure basically means tours with Matingas (or Haydee).

Happy new year Tijuana!

Let’s hope for many , but not too many tours!

New Tour Guide Joins the Team – A Lot of Tours – Sorry: Page was Neglected

So….

I got really fucking busy for the past couple of months.

Last thing I posted was about the beer fest over a month ago. And I said was going to post here weekly. Not only did I got a lot of work from the real job that is my bread and butter…. I also did a lot of tours! I mentioned a price hike forever ago, and a few people wanted to hit me up before I became more expensive…

It’s not like I am more expensive, I just have less time to go on wild Tijuana Adventures. Thus I’m more expensive. AHH FUCK IT! Yes. I value my time more (I mean… tours used to be free!). I still hate charging people though. I always have too much fun.

I had like 7 tours in the past 2 months. All sorts of tours as well. The latest was a bachelor party with 11 people. This is the last time I do a party this big. It was difficult to coordinate, however… IT WAS A LOT OF FUN.

We covered a lot of ground.

Went to ORYX Capital for a nice fancy dinner. Got the chicken. It was grand. Everything there is on point. A full on review will come out later and I’ll link. One of the best features of ORYX is that there’s a speakeasy in there somewhere. The “secret” might be ruin soon, so I’ll just say that it’s in there somewhere for now.

The pics are not from the tour, but from when I discovered ORYX and Nortico originally. The bachelor party loved the food and the speakeasy detail. There’s a pic of the 11 of them somewhere (and I might be able to use it here).

Then we went to Plaza Fiesta, the amazing beer plaza (read more about it here). A lot of craft beer, and a lot of classic bachelor party banter. The group was huge and had a lot of colorful individuals. A bunch living in California, some in Minneapolis, one from New York… the bachelor is a very popular guy.

From beer plaza we hit up downtown. Where more beers and mezcal shots ensued. And around midnight… the real bachelor party fun. That stays under wraps. But I must say… Tijuana is ten times better than Vegas for bachelor fun…

LETS MOVE TO HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!

Haydeé (aka HidHawk) Joins the Team

I haven’t posted anything not only because I’ve been busy as fuck… but because the other guys I invited to join ended up doing nothing (thanks guys!)

Talking to a good friend and Tijuana local, I mentioned the direction of Tijuana Adventure. She liked the idea and actually WROTE HER BIO and is excited to join in! To read more about her, CLICK HERE!
haydee
Haydeé traveled the world and when she came back, she discovered that Tijuana had changed a lot. Like me, she basically became an accidental tour guide. With the many projects and events she handles, she takes hoards of people from all over the world through the places she loves in Tijuana. She is in charge of Borderland Noise – music events both sides of the border.

Haydeé is on the right - Group of visitors at Public House tap room
Haydeé is on the right – Group of visitors at Public House tap room

Haydeé also has AirBnB available, for those who want to get a whole package of a place to stay that includes a tour guide… then… THAT’S A NEW AWESOME POSSIBLITY. I’m going to try to do this myself (currently looking for a house).

I’ve been kinda burnt on doing tours, that the bachelor party was the last tour I’ll be doing for a while. But now there’s Haydeé! A complete different approach to Tijuana Adventure. She has her own price, her own ideas, her own taste in music, drinks and food, her own limitations, her own tour, her own adventure.

Also, I believe she speaks fluent German (I might be wrong though… I’ll check soon and confirm).

I’m hoping the team will grow even more, and for visitors to have the option to choose what type of tour adventurer they would prefer. I know, I know, I’m using the word adventure too much that now it seems like a kids game… but seriously… you have no idea how many times I woke up in the morning and think to myself… holy shit… that was one crazy Tj adventure. No city that I know off can offer so much of everything in such a bizarre presentation that you would never know it existed unless you are a local.

Visiting Tijuana, don’t hesitate to contact either Haydeé (aka HidHawk) or myself (Matt aka Matingas).

Matingas

It wouldn’t be an adventure if I knew where I was going… VEGGIE TOUR

Of course I know where I am going… but Tijuana has changed so much in so little. Seriously… just at the start of 2015, new breweries and restaurants opened up, that my tours sometimes end up in places brand new even for me!

This time, fellow SDreader writer, Vanessa Horne, emailed me for a tour of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in TJ, inspired by Chad Deal’s column on the Reader “Veggiejuana.” The tour was going to be a present for her boyfriend, Gavin, and another couple would come join the tour. Little did I know that the other couple, Courtney and Derek, had already visited Tijuana 7 times in 2014. They have also visited the places I had in mind to take them. So like many times, I improvised and took them to places I have never been. After all, it wouldn’t be an adventure if there was some unknown frontiers in the mix.

We started at Mamut brewery, were we had 2 beers each though it was just over 1 pm. We also had vegan food delivered from Raices and Happy Vegan.  Of course Derek and Courtney had been there before, being one of the most popular spots in Tj at the moment. That’s when I remembered about this tiny brewery no one knows about in a different alley nearby. Azteca brewing served us one of the best IPAs I’ve tasted in Tj.veggie tour
3 or more beers in and it wasn’t even 4 pm. We had to slow down and the plan was to go to Veggie Smalls over at the Food Garden, but again, it would have been a repeat. That same morning, a friend told me about a new place called Bresca, with plenty of vegan choices. So we headed over there instead. We had some coffee and a delicious vegan mac and cheese that they wouldn’t believe it was vegan. Luckily, we ran into the chef on our way out and he told us the secrets behind the recipe.

After that we were set for more drinks. They requested to go to Dandy’s del Sur, the cantina where Anthony Bourdain was at, and then to La Mezcalera. On our way there, I noticed TJ China, an art gallery that is rarely open, was in fact… open!

vegige tour 2
We had plenty of beer, tequilas and mezcales in both Dandy’s and Mezcalera, all before 7 pm. From there, we ventured to new Telefónica Gastro Pub, where unfortunately many places were closing because it was near 8 pm. However, they had the chance to order a vegetarian Pho and again, more beers. And not to sound like a broken record, but again, they said it was one of the best they ever had.

From there we cab to Plaza Fiesta to a new brewery by the name of Paralelo 29. By then I was pretty drunk but we kept drinking until around 11 pm when we called a cab and they headed back to the border before they missed the last trolly.

I wanted to go home after that and sleep…. but somehow I was awake until 2 am after stumbling into more parties in downtown Tijuana.

This post was longer than I intended…. Anyway, more Tj adventures coming up since more emails come my way!

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!

Tijuana Adventure takes you to TRF!

May 31st, Tijuana Rumble Fest:

Presenting math rock, experimental, garage and more bands from all over California!

Here’s the official website TRF

Tickets are $25 and are sold here!

It includes entrance to the festival, transportation from the border to the festival and back and 2 drinks.

Ride the Rumble Bus next to the bands that will be performing!

trf poster upf

Buy your tickets now!

Three completely different adventures in one week. Beer fest tour up next!

Tijuana Adventure hasn’t really been my priority that of late. I was too busy with all the other pretend jobs I have to really work on givings tours. But last week was a busy one. First, my friend (Waves) and his wife (Betty) from LA, who canceled on me twice before, finally made it down to TJ. They needed to come down to TJ this time looking to save money on medicinal goods. Instead of paying $350 for Betty’s inhaler, they paid $35…

They saved hundreds of dollars, which meant they have plenty of money to spend. We ate in Playas at Hunab-Ku, where they serve vegetarian tacos. Spent some time in downtown and drank at Mamut Brewery. Unfortunately, they had to leave early back to LA and by 5:00 pm on Wednesday they headed back.

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On Friday, I was supposed to host two girls via Couchsurfing. But they also had to leave early and did not spend the night. They already had a host and a guide, but I decided to join them for some time at the beach. We hung out for a couple of hours and for a while, I showed them the Tijuana I know (and I ate a lot of food!). Unfortunately, they also could not spend the night and left early, but they seemed extremely satisfied with the city.

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And finally on Saturday….

A group of adventurers who have been to many places in Baja before but never in Tijuana, that group of friends that likes to go new places and try everything once (they even ate crickets). They contacted me via Reddit, thus they got the Reddit discount of $5 per person. A lovely group of people who I had a blast with.

We met at the US border at 4:00 pm. Started drinking at Mamut by 5:00 pm, at around 6:30 pm dinner and more drinks at La Corriente (Cevicheria Nais). Downtown happened to have a lowrider and motorcycle show (it happens once a month). More drinks at La Mezcalera. Last stop before the border was bar Zacazonopan, but 10:00 pm came too early so they stayed for a couple more drinks, more tacos and finally got all 7 inside a cab to the border at around midnight (it was hilarious and very Mexican style).

Eating at La Corriente (potato quality pic)
Eating at La Corriente (potato quality pic)

Week-long Tijuana Adventure complete. Now back to reality and my other jobs.

Want to have a Tijuana Advnture? Check the upcoming tours or personalize a tour of your own!! NEXT TIJUANA ADVENTURE, BEER FEST April 26th!

cerv

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).

tj van

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!