Last fact-checked: 14 February 2020
Make substantial savings on plastic surgery in Tijuana, as well as a range of other cosmetic, beauty and medical treatments. Travel just south over the US-Mexico border and discover quality-checked surgeons performing procedures for up to 70% less.
Find out more about medical tourism in Tijuana, including a destination overview, price comparisons, tips and advice for when you’re there—and how to book your free appointment with Medical Departures.
Tijuana is the largest city in Baja California, a Mexican state that shares a long border with the US. It is a bustling industrial and financial center and a popular manufacturing hub for large companies in the U.S. It is also known as a medical device manufacturing capital thanks to the lower cost of living and cheaper labor expenses.
Tijuana is easily accessible from the U.S. and Canada thanks to the Tijuana International Airport and nearby San Diego Airport, just over Border. Large numbers of people regularly make the trip by road, or foot, from over the Border.
This makes it a favored destination among people from the US—particularly residents from the southern states that are close by. The city has numerous hospitals and clinics that attract medical tourists who come for excellent medical care at affordable rates.
For the holidaymaker, Tijuana has a vibrant nightlife with bars, restaurants and clubs, endless shopping options and many cultural attractions. You can go golfing and check out the many museums in this city. It is also famous for its music and you can see Mariachi bands at many spots. It hosts music festivals like the Hispano American Guitar Festival and the Bi-national Mozart festival for the music lover.
Only 20 minutes away from downtown are the fabulous beaches of Rosarito. With numerous plazas and cultural centers, Tijuana offers something for all tourists.
Tijuana is in Mexico and is located at the west of Mexicali, close to the Tijuana River. It is bordered by Imperial Beach, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa, California.
Among the reasons for undergoing plastic surgery or other cosmetic procedures in Tijuana are:
Unless being carried out after disease or accident, plastic surgery is not covered by any form of insurance. Such elective surgeries carried out for aesthetic reasons are notoriously expensive in Canada and the US, so heading to a thriving (and nearby) medical tourism destination like Tijuana that offers specialized plastic surgery at affordable rates just makes sense. Even when including the added cost of travel and hotel nights, many patients are still able to save several thousand dollars compared to having the same work back home.
This will obviously depend on the nature and complexity of your treatment; for instance, you might save a couple of hundred on Botox in Tijuana—which isn’t going to merit flying across the States (although it could be worth it if you are planning a trip over the border anyway).
On the other hand, procedures like breast implants, nose jobs, tummy tucks and liposuction present the chance to make huge cost savings, as shown below:
Breast enlargement in Tijuana average cost: USD 4,000;
compared to USD 7,500-12,000 in the US and CAD 15,000 in Canada.
Facelift in Tijuana average cost: USD 4,500;
compared to USD 10,000 -15,000 in the US and CAD 12,000-15,000 in Canada.
Tummy tuck in Tijuana average cost: USD 4,500;
compared to USD 7,000-12,000 in the US and CAD 10,000-12,000 in Canada.
Tijuana has excellent medical facilities that compare favorably with the good ones in the US and Canada. We have partnered with scores of luxurious hospitals and clinics with great amenities, sometimes better than you would find in your home country.
Additionally, doctors here are well trained and highly experienced. Many of them have completed all or part of their training in western countries including the U.S. As they see many patients from these countries, they are well-versed in dealing with them and they speak English, as well.
In Mexico, medical studies start straight after school unlike in the U.S, where medical education starts only after graduation. However, studies can last up to eight years and subsequently, the student has to do one year of training in a rural area or government-supported network that serves the underprivileged. After that, the doctor can then study further for a specialty or opt for general practice.
For plastic surgery, specialized training is compulsory. If the surgeon is a member of reputed boards in America or International Boards, then you can be sure that they have the required training and certifications.
Whether you're seeking minor or major plastic surgery, you will be able to find a doctor in Tijuana that’s right for you when looking through our listings.
Popular procedures in Tijuana include:
You’ll also find that cosmetic and beauty treatments are widely available, like Botox, dermal fillers, hair removal and laser skin resurfacing. Diagnostic tests, blood work and imaging tests are also done for less in this city.
Tijuana has a wide range of accommodation options ranging from branded chain hotels and luxury resorts to smaller, budget accommodations and self-catering. Hyatt, Holiday Inn and Marriott are some of the chain hotels that are in Tijuana.
Smaller two and three-star hotels, as well as short-term rental accommodation, are available all over Tijuana. You may want to select a place that is close to your hospital or clinic, particularly if you have to make a few visits there. Check out the amenities offered, the distance from the airport or other transport options before doing your booking.
Tijuana sometimes gets a bad rap, but just like any other city, if you avoid trouble and don’t hand out in the less salubrious parts of town then your time here should pass by incident-free. There are always stray incidents of petty crime, but that is true of any big city anywhere in the world. Don’t flaunt your wealth or expensive goods, be aware of your surroundings and use your common sense.
While you or anybody can suffer from reactions or allergies or other complications during surgery in any place, if you have done your due diligence, if your doctor is board certified or otherwise well qualified, then you are minimizing your risk. As long as you feel that your doctor has taken a comprehensive medical history, ordered all the required diagnostic tests and is competent, nothing should go wrong.
All doctors have completed their medical studies before getting their degree as well as their required practical work or internship. Additionally, plastic surgeons should have finished their specialized training and be certified. Many doctors may be expats or local doctors and may have completed part of their training in western countries, including North America, and may even be affiliated to prestigious boards. There are some hospitals in Tijuana that are JCI accredited, testifying to the high standard of care available.
When you book through Medical Departures, you can be confident that your treatment will be performed by a fully-qualified surgeon or doctor with the necessary experience at a clinic or hospital with a great reputation. This is because we carry out our own investigations, which include:
Checking the background and education of the doctors we work with
Looking into their qualifications, experience and training
Checking the amenities at the hospitals and clinics we list on our site to ensure they meet international standards in all aspects.
Interviewing past patients and collating online reviews
Take a look at three of our most popular partner providers in Tijuana now; click through to see surgeon profiles, photos, price comparisons, location maps, patient reviews and more:
Don’t forget, when you book through our site, you can take advantage of our Best Price Guarantee, change or cancel your appointment at any time and use our Customer Care Team if you need any assistance, day or night.
We are all unique and our bodies respond differently to treatment; due to this very fact, things do, on very rare occasions, go wrong—no matter where in the world you are.
If you want to ease your apprehensions, you can purchase extra insurance for an additional small charge. If, in the extremely unlikely event you have to return to your surgeon and you do incur extra accommodation, travel and other expenses, you will be covered so that you are not left out of pocket.
Most people speak good English in Mexico’s tourist destinations and major cities; you’ll also find that in most towns located along the Border pretty-much everyone speaks English.
All international credit and debit cards are accepted in Tijuana. You can also use other payment methods for pre-payments like wire transfer if accepted. Many places in Tijuana will also accept U.S. dollars. However, you should keep pesos with you for small payments like flea markets, roadside shopping and street foods as well as tips.
All hospitals and clinics are open throughout the year, but you need to check out weather conditions before making your booking. Usually, July to September may be somewhat hot and humid, but not uncomfortable. The rest of the year should be okay to visit. On the whole, Tijuana is warmer than many states in North America and Canada and you won’t find any hostile weather or extreme temperatures. In November to January, the weather is relatively cool, but not chilly. In fact, you can enjoy the sunshine even during winter days.
If you have made up your mind to have plastic surgery in another country, then you should be mentally and emotionally prepared for the experience. You will be in an unfamiliar place and you may not have a comfort level with the doctors and other staff. So there has to be an element of trust involved and you should have an open line of communication with the doctor and other staff.
If you are having major surgery, it’s advisable to take someone with you (your partner, a sibling, friend or even adult children) to help out a little after surgery. At the same time, you do have some things that will work in your favor; you will be staying in a hotel so you don’t have to worry about your daily life and chores or work responsibilities. You also have the time to rest and recuperate and get your needs attended to.
Do check that your hotel provides room service if required, that you have Wi-Fi, entertainment and other amenities that you need. Check out the transport options close by as well.
There is so much to see and do in this city where something is always happening. Tijuana is a renowned party destination with restaurants, nightclubs, lounges and bars. There are many live shows that are on at any time.
You can also check out tourist sites like the Wax Museum and the Tijuana Cultural Center, which is a hub of activities like exhibitions, plays, recitals, opera and ballet. There is also the Morelos State Park that - an ecological reserve with a lake, garden, playground and other attractions. Don’t miss a visit to Revolution Avenue (popularly called La Revo) that showcases the best of Mexican culture and food for tourists. Head to the Hipodromo Caliente where you can bet on live greyhound racing and other sports.
The beaches at Rosarito are another big tourist attraction and have been the site of many famous movies including Titanic and Pirates of the Caribbean. It is also home to many real estate complexes for expats. While there are many commercial bars, Tijuana is also known for its local and craft beers. You can even learn how to make beer at some establishments.
Shopping is another activity you can indulge in and local boutiques have good and reasonably priced clothing. You can also go to malls and local flea markets for bargain shopping.
Tijuana has its own international airport, General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport, which is also called Tijuana International Airport. It is a gateway in and out of other areas of Mexico. Tijuana is also serviced by San Diego International Airport that’s only 35 kilometers away.
Los Angeles – 45 minutes (2 hours, 40 minutes by road)
New York – 10 hours
Toronto – 10 hours 25 minutes
Ottawa – 12 hours 40 minutes
London – 22 hours
Flight times will vary and depend on the airlines, the number of stopovers and the waiting time to catch another flight (or even the same one).
You can use local transport in the form of buses, but do note that these are manned by Spanish-speaking drivers (although they are very cheap). You can also get local taxis, usually, Yellow Taxis and Taxi Libre, which are quite affordable, use a taxi app or rent a car yourself.
From the US and many western countries, you only need your passport to enter Tijuana and stay for up to 180 days. For other nationalities, do remember to check online about visa requirements.
Get started now by browsing our complete list of verified clinics and hospitals in Tijuana here.
Medical Departures can help you book affordable treatment at a top-quality clinic or hospital. Our Customer Care Team is on hand 24/7 to answer all your questions and guide you with the booking process. You can also complete your booking directly through our site and be on your way in just a few clicks.
15 Best Things to Do in Tijuana (Mexico). The Crazy Tourist. 2019. https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-things-to-do-in-tijuana-mexico/
Murray, Don. Mexican Healthcare Is Excellent and Affordable. International Living. 2018. https://internationalliving.com/countries/mexico/health-care/
Getting to Mexico. Rough Guides. Website accessed: 14 February 2020. https://www.roughguides.com/destinations/north-america/mexico/getting
Mexico: among the Top 6 countries with the Best Healthcare in the world. The Yucatan Times. 20 June 2019.
Tijuana. Lonely Planet. Website accessed: 14 February 2020. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/mexico/baja-california/tijuana
International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Website accessed: 14 February 2020. https://www.isaps.org/
What are the steps of a tummy tuck procedure? American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Website accessed: 4 February 2020. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/tummy-tuck/procedure
Norling, Hannah. Wrinkles: What to Expect at 20, 30 and Beyond. Real Simple. 27 March 2018. https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/skincare/types-of-wrinkles
Mexico. Lonely Planet. Website accessed: 14 February 2020. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/mexico
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