American tourists starting to go back to Baja - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

American tourists starting to go back to Baja

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - When was the last time you traveled to Mexico as a tourist? The fact is, a lot of San Diegans stopped going in recent years because of safety concerns.

But that might be changing, as News 8 discovered on a recent trip to the famous lobster village Puerto Nuevo.

The lobster village used to have dirt roads and a handful of family-run restaurants that made inexpensive lobster dinners that were world-famous. Today, Puerto Nuevo has paved roads, over 30 restaurants, dozens of shops and 400,000 visitors per year. Most of the tourists are Americans still coming for the Puerto Nuevo-style lobster. Lobster season just opened earlier this month.

A few years ago, violence in the Tijuana area and a U.S. State Department travel warning scared many American tourists away. You still have to be careful, especially at night.

"Tourist-related incidents have been minimal in the last three years," Baja Secretary of Tourism Juan Tintos said.

Tintos told News 8 security measures are in place to keep visitors safe. Many officers speak English, and your best bet is to take the toll road along the coast.

"We have laws and regulations. We have rules. You can't be driving without your seat belt. You can't be driving while you're texting or talking on your cell phone. You can't drink and drive," Tintos said.

"This year we saw more Americans than some other years. We saw people from Nevada, Arizona, and Washington," he added. "It's a unique place. It's a great experience, it's very affordable."

Lobster season continues through March in northern Baja, and longer in the south.

 

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