For those of you who are beer connoisseurs, the name Tecate will sound quite familiar. Tecate is one of Mexico's most famous beers - sort of the Pabst Blue Ribbon of Mexico.
In its more terrestrial incarnation, Tecate is a medium-size town in the state of Baja California about an hour east of Tijuana that borders the Unites States. However, unlike most US/Mexico border towns, there is no town on the US side which is probably why Tecate retains a relaxed Mexican feel rather than the hustle and bustle of other crossing points. It is the site of a small US Border Crossing Station, where people can park there cars on one side and walk over the border to the other – in either direction – if they so choose and, frankly, its one of the most relaxed sports to cross. However, most people traveling through or to Tecate take their cars with them.
Some travelers find the city to be a quiet, welcoming place with affordable, comfortable hotels and homey restaurants. Family run businesses are common in Tecate. In a restaurant in downtown Tecate, a visitor might be waited on by mom, cooked for by dad, and rung up by sis, and let’s not forget bro, who’s in the back checking inventory. To the uninitiated, Tecate may be a pass-through town on their way to bigger places, not realizing that Tecate and its surrounding area has a few promising points of interest, even if they are just passing through.
Tecate Points of Interest
Visit the Tecate Brewery - Tecate is the proud home of the Tecate Brewery, whose beer is extremely popular throughout Mexico. The brewery offers tours.
Take a trip down “La Ruta del Vino” – along this road there are approximately 30 wineries, many offering wine tours and free wine tasting. The nearest winery to Tecate is the Vinicola L.A. Cetto Winery, which does offer tours and free wine tasting.
Visit the health spa at Rancho La Puerta – Also known as “The Golden Door”; it won the 2010 Travel + Leisure reader’s poll for the World’s Best Destination Spa. It’s a fitness resort that features health and wellness for the mind, body, and spirit.
Visit the Guadeloupe Canyon Hot Springs - Sizzling hot water bubbling from the Earth feed flourishing orchards of native fan palms, and visitors relax in rock-rimmed hot tubs filled with sparkling-clear geothermal (heated by the earth’s natural heat) mineral water. All that amongst cascading waterfalls, ancient Indian caves and endless opportunities for hiking on trails with sightings of petroglyphs – prehistoric drawings done on rock.
What is there not to like about Tecate? It's a border town done right.
How to Get to Tecate
From San Diego, take Highway 94 east. From Tijuana, take the toll road ("cuota") that parallels Mexico Highway 2 and drive 30 miles east. From Ensenada, take Mexico Highway 3 east. The highway is two lanes and is about a 75-minute drive to the border crossing.