Tijuana is an important border city, with a population of about 1.3 million people and quickly growing. It’s an important manufacturing location and has a burgeoning craft beer and gastronomy scene. Located in the state of Baja California, visitors come for many reasons including shopping, great dining, soccer games, art festivals, cultural events, and inexpensive dental work and other medical procedures. Tijuana is also the gateway to the whole state which is also home to the beach destinations of Rosarito and Ensenada, as well as Mexico’s wine-producing region, the Valle de Guadalupe. Although no season is a bad time to go, the best time to visit Tijuana is from May through September, when temperatures are warm, there’s no rain, and you’ll find interesting cultural festivals. Whatever time of year you decide to visit, this guide will give you the essential information you need to plan your trip.
The Weather in Tijuana
Tijuana enjoys a mild climate that is similar to that of the Mediterranean, with warm, dry summers and cool rainy winters. Temperatures range between 50 and 75 degrees F (10 to 23 degrees C) most of the year. It very rarely dips below 45 degrees F, and most days are sunny, even in winter. You’ll find the warmest temperatures in August and September when it’s also very dry. Most of the rain falls during the wintertime. During December and January, it will rain on several days, but the overall accumulation is low, with only about 8 inches of rainfall yearly. The summer is the best season to visit for no rain and the warmest temperatures, but springtime is also very pleasant.
Spring in Tijuana
In spring the weather begins to warm up, although it’s likely still too chilly to take part in any water sports, you can enjoy a walk along Tijuana’s beaches. During this season, you may experience highs ranging from the mid-60s F (20 degrees C) to mid-70s (28 degrees C). This is the second busiest time of year for tourism, with a lot of people visiting especially around the Easter and Holy Week holiday, and many students from the United States make their way south for Spring Break, although many of them will just be passing through Tijuana on their way to the beach towns of Rosarito and Ensenada or even farther south.
Events to check out:
- The Guadalupe Valley Festival celebrates food, wine, and music and is held in the region just south of Tijuana every year in March.
- Expo Artesanal is a folk art festival held in May in the area known as the “Andador Centenario” in Zona Ríos. Many artisans travel from other regions of Mexico to display their work, and it's a great opportunity to purchase fine Mexican crafts.
Summer in Tijuana
The summer months see the warmest temperatures, except for when the Santa Ana winds blow and can bring unseasonably hot weather that might last for a day or two during the fall and winter. June, July, and August are very dry, with virtually no precipitation. This is the busiest time for tourism in Tijuana, but don't let that deter you, just be sure to time your border crossing for the days of week and times of day with the least traffic—you can check border wait times online and plan accordingly!
Events to check out:
- The Tijuana Jazz and Blues Festival is held in June with concerts being held on Avenida Revolución between 4th and 6th streets.
- The Tijuana en la Playa festival takes place the last weekend in July along the Playas de Tijuana boardwalk with live bands, lucha libre, a car exhibition, a sand castle contest, booths, surf contests, a flag football tournament, and more.
- Baja Beach Fest, a three-day Reggaeton & Latin Music Festival is held in nearby Rosarito in August.
Fall in Tijuana
During the fall months, Tijuana's weather is mainly clear and dry. Highs hover in the low 70s F, and the climate is ideal for exploring the plazas and landmarks of the city center on foot, enjoy some shopping, and an artisanal beer or meal at one of Tijuana's great restaurants. It’s not a super busy tourist season, but crowds do tend to gather for the special cultural festivals that take place this time of year.
Events to check out:
- Entijuanarte is a festival of creative arts and culture that’s held every October in Tijuana, with events being held at different locations throughout the city. Entijuanarte aims to expose Tijuana’s residents to a wide range of cultural offerings in an informal setting. Events include live performances, urban art, photography, dance, literature, theater, poetry, music, and film.
- Tijuana Culinary Fest offers three days of intense flavors with the participation of the best chefs in Mexico and in the world, plus lectures, cooking workshops, dinners, and contests, conferences, demo cooking workshops, a complete culinary expo, dining experiences throughout Tijuana, and a State Culinary Contest.
- Expo Tequila is the largest tequila fair and offers the opportunity to savor the most coveted and representative drink in Mexico. Held on Avenida Revolución, between 7th and 8th streets, there are stalls with producers of tequila. There’s also an artistic program with mariachi music, live bands, and delicious Mexican snacks. There are also performances, Mexican folklore dances, music, and songs.
- Valle Food & Wine Festival, an event showcasing the food and wines of northern Baja California, is held in October.
Winter in Tijuana
Tijuana’s winters are mild with average temperatures in the mid-60s F and sometimes dipping down to the mid-50s F. In January or February, it can on occasion go down to the high 40s F, though that’s not very common and doesn’t last long. There's also a weather phenomenon known as the Santa Ana Winds. Normally the winds blow cold from the Pacific Ocean and the northwest, but during a Santa Ana, the wind comes from the east and it's very dry and hot. Hence, temperatures may on occasion go up to the high 70s and mid-80s F for two or three days. The rainy season generally lasts from October to May and 95 percent of the rainfall is during this period; however, Tijuana only gets around 8 to 12 inches of rain during a year.
Events to check out:
- Noches de Paz is a Christmas fair with gourmet food products and artisanal items that make great gifts. While you're there you can enjoy live music, great food, and cultural activities.
- Villa Navideña in Mexicali is a Christmas theme park that allows visitors to experience a multi-sensorial Christmas journey. There's an ice skating rink, a monumental Nativity scene, mechanical rides, and more.