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Introducing Mexicali

Mexicali is what Tijuana must have been before the tourist boom – gritty, even scary – and most tourists just head southward. The city offers some decent restaurants and some fun nightlife, but be particularly careful around the border areas after dark.

The Zona Hotelera, far safer at night than the border, is on the east side, along Calzada Juárez from Plaza Azteca to Independencia and beyond. In summer, Mexicali is one of the hottest places on earth, so hot that residents joke that if you’ve lived in Mexicali, you’ll think hell feels cool.