It costs me $800 to fly myself and my two kids up to California and back to Tijuana. From Tijuana, you get off the airplane, and at baggage claim, there is an elevator up to this new bridge they built. You will walk about 300 feet, take another elevator down, and you are already in the US. You just have to declare customs or not, and you’re there. There is a nice modern parking lot and passenger drop-off/pick-up zone there, too.
From our house in North County San Diego, it is 35 minutes to the San Diego Airport and 42 minutes to Tijuana Airport. It is only a 7-minute difference, which is nothing in Southern California traffic.
The airport in Guadalajara is an international airport. It has flights to various destinations in Mexico so you can travel all around Mexico from Guadalajara. It has numerous destinations in the Southwestern US including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland, Seattle, a couple in Texas, New York, Chicago, and Florida. You could get direct flights to the US from Guadalajara. You could also get direct flights to San Jose, Costa Rica, Guatemala City, and I believe San Juan, Puerto Rico. The one that they complain a bit about is Canada. I guess we could use more direct flights to Canada but you could definitely get to Vancouver and Toronto directly. Guadalajara is 20 minutes away from Chapala and about 25 minutes from Ajijic.
(Cross Border Xpress bridge, Tijuana International Airport, Mexico, pictured.)