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Wild Foodie Tours: Tijuana Zoo, Park, and Food Tour

Tijuana Zoo inside Parque Morelos

Eighteen plus miles and nine hours is what it took to complete my journey from the San Ysidro border to the Tijuana Zoo and back, all on foot. I love taking walks and exploring, so it’s only natural that I’d find my way to Parque Morelos in Tijuana, home of the Tijuana Zoo and one of the most fun places to escape to.

A while back, I’d heard about this secluded zoo in Tijuana where wild animals roam, and the resident bears frolic in the woods. The image of a wild frontier came to mind. Undeveloped land. Grazing animals. Makeshift markets. I envisioned no barriers between people and animals. The idea sparked my imagination. I eagerly awaited the day I’d set foot in the Tijuana Zoo.

On a Saturday, I parked my car at the border in San Diego and made my way into Tijuana. In the spirit of adventure, the plan was to find my way to the Tijuana Zoo. The journey would be completely on foot and without using any navigational tools other than some notes I had jotted down. I first walked to Revolution Avenue, then all the way to Agua Caliente, passing by the Vegas-like Hipodromo Casino to end up at Boulevard Gustavo Diaz. After some adobada tacos and churros, I continued on to pass 5 y 10. Finally, I made it to the enormous Siglo XXI swap meet. From there, it took another thirty minutes until I arrived at Parque Morelos.

I walked inside the busy-but-not-packed park and fumbled my way around. “Where are the resident bears hiding?” I wondered. I passed by several groups of students and some couples lying on the scattered grassy areas. I continued past a torta stand and churro cart. I then turned into a corner to see two black bears prancing about. They looked up at the onlookers. I reached out to wave to the resident bears. “Hola, Oso,” I said. One of the bears paused and shook its body. I quickly pondered whether and how far bears could leap. The hair on my arms stood. I subtly nodded, knowing that I was completely safe. To be only feet away from such wild and majestic animals, was a surreal moment.

Black Bears at the Tijuana Zoo

From that day on, I’ve returned regularly to this charming park and zoo to see the resident bears, tigers, monkeys, deer, and seven hundred other animals. "Parque Morelos is a place where many have fond memories growing up," I'd hear. It brings me joy to see the local Mexicans of all ages relaxing on a lazy weekend or some other weekday.

Hamburger Stand at Parque Morelos

Parque Morelos is one of the best hidden secrets for people living in San Diego. Aside from the locals in Tijuana, the majority of San Diegans and other outsiders simply do not know such a place exists. I was only able to discover it after much trial and error. I enjoy finding hidden gems in a city, and Parque Morelos and the Tijuana Zoo is definitely one of them. I hope you’ll join me and Wild Foodie Tours on our zoo-, park-, and food-tour, all in one. This is one off-the-beaten-path adventure not to miss.

Our Tijuana Zoo, Park, and Food Tour is ideal for:

  1. Nature lovers who wish to re-connect with the wild.

  2. Animal lovers who appreciate getting up close and personal with animals.

  3. Food lovers who wish to experience a day in the life of a Mexican local.

Besides the Tijuana Zoo, Parque Morelos also has a zipline, a kids area with rides and games, a small waterpark, a go-kart race course, a train that snakes around the park, a lake with peddle-boats for rental, and several food stations all along the park. Parque Morelos is the perfect place in the woods to get away from it all to spend time with family and friends.

Train inside the Tijuana Zoo

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