Book Cheap Flights to Tucson

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About Tucson

Situated in the biodiverse Sonoran Desert along the Santa Cruz River, Tucson is the second-largest city in the heart of Pima County, Arizona. With a history dating back to early human civilisation, the city boasts a population of over 520,000 people. It’s warm, year-round climate and abundant nature trails make it a popular holiday spot amongst locals.

Explore the diverse landscapes and unique heritage of this friendly city with cheap flights to Tucson! Tucson is home to Tucson International Airport (TUS), a short 15-minute drive from the centre of town. Tucson International Airport serves a multitude of airlines, including Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines. Direct flights to Tucson are unavailable from South Africa, but popular connecting flights depart from Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

Why visit Tucson

outdoor adventures

Outdoor Adventures

With many tours at your fingertips, the unrefined landscapes of Tucson are yours to discover. Explore the vineyards and wineries of Sonoita, or mountain-bike through the scenic desert terrain.

interesting museums

Interesting Museums

Explorers of all ages will be enthralled by the specialty museums in Tucson. From natural history museums and botanical gardens to war museums and art galleries, Tucson’s exhibits will intrigue even the most discerning traveller.

festivals and celebrations

Festivals and Celebrations

With many different cultures and ethnicities calling Tucson home, the city bristles with folk festivals, art shows, culinary fairs, rodeos and film exhibits all year round. One festival not to be missed is the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country United States of America
Currency US Dollar ($)
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.07 USD
Language English / Spanish
Hub Airport Tucson International Airport (TUS)
Airline American Airlines
Time Zone GMT – 07:00
Travel Adaptor Type A / B

Best time to visit Tucson

Visit this quaint desert town during the sweet spots of April-May (spring) or September-October (autumn). These shoulder seasons offer cool, sunny weather - perfect for outdoor exploring, together with affordable hotel rates. With so many festivals and food fairs on show, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do! Tucson summers are sweltering and are best avoided. Although it is the ideal time to experience the city on a budget, outdoor attractions between June and August are hard to come by. Winter, on the other hand, sees flocks of tourists storming the desert landscape in search of warm, balmy weather. Should you decide to visit between November and March, be sure to book accommodation well in advance.

Weather & Climate in Tucson

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 4°C 5°C 7°C 10°C 15°C 20°C 24°C 23°C 20°C 14°C 7°C 4°C
High °C 19°C 21°C 23°C 28°C 33°C 38°C 38°C 37°C 35°C 30°C 23°C 19°C
Rainfall (mm) 24 21 21 9 4 6 59 56 33 24 17 27

Think lazy, hot summer days gazing out over the golden horizon of rugged mountains and bushy cactus fields, while sipping on punchy cocktails as the sun goes down. Think Tucson.

The “Sunshine Factory” and metropolis of south-eastern Arizona is nestled in a valley, edged with hilly landscapes and cactus bristles. This intriguing city invokes a curiosity into its heritage of Native American, European, Mexican and Asian cultures.

With a history dating back to the 1700s, Tucson is home to many distinctive landmarks and museums in the way of Mission San Xavier del Bac and El Presidio Historic District. Other interesting museums include the Pima Air and Space Museum, Franklin Museum, housing a collection of antique and classic automobiles, and Old Tucson Studios - the setting for numerous Western films.

Adventure-seeking nature lovers must visit the Tucson Mountain Park, covering 20,000 acres of Sonoran Desert landscape. The park boasts an extensive trail system for hiking, horseback riding and biking, and is home to a host of wildlife and botanical gardens in the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Have a picnic and swim in the Sabino Canyon; while the Mt Lemmon Scenic Byway is one of the most scenic drives, revealing peculiar rockscapes and deep canyons spilling out onto the deserts.

Compare several airlines, and book your cheap flights to Tucson online at Travelstart!

A United States Tourist Visa is required for South Africans travelling anywhere within the United States. You’ll need to ensure that your SA passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your return and that there are at least 2 pages free for stamps. Visa processing can take a few months, so leave plenty of time and ensure you have all the required documents.

For further information, see the Embassy website

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates are located in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

The town of Tucson is generally very safe, and tourists should feel free to walk around. Many homeless people reside downtown but they are harmless. Should you find yourself in the non-touristic areas of Midtown and the south end, be extra cautious of potential hasslers. Car theft is rife in this region, so always ensure cars are locked with valuables out of sight.

Aside from being up-to-date with regular vaccines, other immunisations are not necessary for travel to Arizona. However, coccidioidomycosis (valley fever) is endemic to the region. It is a dust-dwelling fungus, occurring during sand storms, causing infection when inhaled. Flu-like symptoms may occur and are treatable. If you are visiting during monsoon season, wear a strong mosquito repellent. Use a good sunscreen and stay well-hydrated during the unforgiving summer heat, especially when hiking outdoors.

Should you go walking along the desert paths, take plenty of water and carry a cell phone for emergencies. Beware of snakes and scorpions – long, thick socks are advisable for hiking. It is always recommended to take out travel insurance, in the event of unforeseeable theft and medical expenses.

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Tucson
Meal, inexpensive restaurant R 90 R 100 R 158
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) R 22 R 20 R 53
Cappuccino R 19 R 20 R 52
Taxi 1km (normal tariff) R 10 R 12 R 21
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 35 R 35 R 94
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