Mexicali is what Tijuana must have been before the tourist boom – gritty, even scary – and most tourists just head southward. The city has the largest concentration of ethnic Chinese in Mexico and offers some decent Chinese as well as Mexican restaurants plus some fun nightlife, if you can handle a rougher scene.

In summer, Mexicali is one of the hottest places on earth – stay away, if possible.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Mexicali.