Otay Mesa Crossing Map


The Otay Mesa border crossing has become very popular for several reasons.  It lacks the characters of the San Ysidro/Tijuana crossing.  It does not have the congestion of Tijuana.  The Blvd 2000 highway access, from Popotla inland that joins Blvd Industrial, avoids most of TJ’s traffic.

Otay is also a great crossing for SENTRI pass holders hauling visitors back north.  Able bodies visitors can walk the 200 yds of the pedestrian crossing and meet their drivers at one of several restaurants just across the border.  The PED X-ing at Otay is usually a fraction of the wait as the PED X-ing at Tijuana/San Ysidro.  Map for PED and driver meetup is photo #6 below.   I have successfully used  Erik’s Deli for meetup on USA side of Otay for good coffee, food, wifi.

And thanks for D.L.’s council(comment below) on HOW to drop passengers at Otay for SENTRI users.  Kick your passengers to the curb well back of the SENTRI, where you see taxis(photo 8).  The SENTRI lane curves left, just after that taxi station.  Your passengers will have a 250 yd walk, parallel to your SENTRI lane, to the crossing.  After getting through the Ped Xing, it’s a 200 yd walk to reach the stores/shops, so look for Erik’s Deli on your right.

freerd2airportWhen I Otay,  I  use the Free Road at North Rosarito(exit Hwy1 just after the Soriana grocery).  7 Miles after exiting Hwy 1 is a well-signed right turn to AEROPUERTO.  7 more miles and good signage to “GARITA OTAY/AEROPUERTO” and you reach the Otay Mesa crossing.  Photo>>>

Photo 2 is the entry to Otay Ready Lane.  Mariscos Negro Durazo is the big blue building landmark to turn east on Humboldt, across from the TJ airport.

The only negative that I find with Otay Mesa is that the Ready Lane program has made this crossing  as congested as San Ysidro during rush hour.  There are many times during the week when the regular lanes are faster than the Ready Lanes.

That and maybe the food choices at Otay aren’t as much fun as TJ.

Yes, I have done this crossing over 50 times, including a few in 2017, so I am confident in this map and photo accuracy as of May 2017.

Click on photos below to enlarge.

otay1  otay2  otay3  otaycrossing4otay5  otay6



Baja Border Map

Baja Border Map



  1. Posted August 3, 2013 at 21:17 | Permalink | Reply

    thank you! i’m about to try to use the otay sentri for the first time next week, with a non sentri passenger, your maps help a lot. I’ve heard its tricky to find the Sentri entry.

    • Bob
      Posted August 9, 2013 at 07:55 | Permalink | Reply

      How did it go? Can you elaborate on the Sentri Line directions, preferably from Blvd 2000?

      • Dave Lieberman
        Posted January 26, 2014 at 15:28 | Permalink

        From Blvd. 2000, you will follow signs for Garita de Otay / San Diego. You’ll loop around to the left and join Blvd. Industrial. You’ll go for a while and eventually you’ll pass under a footbridge that says PANASONIC. Watch for signs for Blvd. Bellas Artes. Turn right at the sign (the name of the street is Alfonso Vidal Planas, if you’re following along on Google Maps), and then turn left at the second light onto Bellas Artes. A little ways up you’ll see an overpass, with a car wash (red sign) on the right. There are TWO roads there, both of which are two-way roads (it’ll look like they’re not).

        IF YOU DO NOT have passengers to drop off, turn into the further one, closer to the car wash. That is the entry line for the SENTRI. Keep going and you’ll be at the booths before you know it.

        IF YOU DO have passengers to drop off, turn into the first one, further from the car wash, and drop the passengers off where the taxis are all stopped, near a wall of billboards. They will walk up the left side of the wall to the pedestrian crossing. If there’s no traffic in the line, you can cut straight through the little cutoff into the SENTRI line (look at the map, you’ll see what I mean). If there’s traffic, though, you’ll need to go back to Bellas Artes, and make a right-side U-turn to join the line. Don’t drop pedestrians off in the SENTRI line itself—if CBP sees you do it, they can and will seize your SENTRI card.

  2. bajadock
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 16:19 | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks D.L., dasubergeek!

  3. Posted November 4, 2014 at 05:46 | Permalink | Reply

    Great Directions, I’m getting tired of all the damn construction and detours in TJ…Think we’ll give this a try, Thanks for your hard work…K

  4. Anna Buxbaum
    Posted November 18, 2015 at 09:50 | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for sharing! We are taking a flight out of TJ at 6:45 AM. Are there usually taxis on the Mexico side if we decide to be dropped off on the US side and walk across?

    • bajadock
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 14:51 | Permalink | Reply

      dunno, but guessing BIG YES. Ask on Facebook “Talk Baja” page. loads of answers will happen in a few hours. cheers

    • bgraceg
      Posted November 18, 2015 at 14:51 | Permalink | Reply

      Yes there are always taxis on mexico side all hours of the day.

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] Otay Mesa Border Crossing Details and Photos(May 2013) […]

  2. By San Ysidro Crossing « Ensenada Gringo on July 30, 2014 at 08:14

    […] news is that more are learning about the Border Wait Time app, Otay Mesa and Tecate alternatives, Ped crossing with a Sentri holder technique and efficiency of the new southbound El Chaparral crossing into Mexico have brought some smiley […]

  3. […] Our staff of cartographers produced this map in 2013 to assist Otay Mesa border northbound crossers.  The complete entry with detailed photos at locations 1-8 is available here. […]

  4. […] If you need more detail on Otay and the 8 photo locations in above map, click here […]

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