U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-11-2016, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,448 posts, read 3,754,329 times
Reputation: 9257

Advertisements

If you go to one of the border crossings, you'll cross over, look at some stuff in the market, eat some Mexican food for lunch at one of the restaurants on or near the crossing, market or centro (central square where the Cathedrals and markets usually are in Mexican towns), get hit up by panhandlers & solicitors around the crossing.

That's about it. The "real" Mexico is further in from the border. The border towns are.... well... not representative of either Mexico or the U.S. They are their own thing. I grew up near the border - we'd go across for low-cost health care, to eat good Mexican food, to drink (now not such a good idea with the drug/violence problem, easy way to get into trouble), and to shop for the various curios you can only get in Mexico.

As others have said, Cd. Juarez is probably the closest to your route, although it would be a fairly significant southern detour from the typical route between Arlington and Albuquerque. It has a decent centro, cathedral, 2 museums, city market & restaurants. Go during the day & stick to the tourist areas & you should be fine. Juarez does have a violence problem but not in the main areas typically - it's all in the neighborhoods, etc... where the drug transhipments take place.

There are tours from the U.S. side you can arrange or you can just park on the U.S. side & walk. From the edge of downtown El Paso where you can park it's about a 1 to 1.5 mile walk south to the Centro where the cathedral is. The Museo de la Revolución and the Mercado Juarez are within less than a mile east from there. Generally speaking, daylight hours are fine safety-wise, especially in the main part of the city.

I do not recommend driving across the border. There's a bit of safety concern, but more practically, the crossing via car can take hours vs. walking which takes minutes.

Nogales is another option - it has smaller versions of all that.

If you really want to go to Mexico I would recommend actually going to Mexico, meaning an actual trip beyond the border region. There are some cool places in northern Mexico that are worth it. But if you just want to say you visited Mexico... Cd. Juarez is probably your best bet.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-11-2016, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Garbage, NC
3,124 posts, read 2,046,060 times
Reputation: 8115
Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
If you go to one of the border crossings, you'll cross over, look at some stuff in the market, eat some Mexican food for lunch at one of the restaurants on or near the crossing, market or centro (central square where the Cathedrals and markets usually are in Mexican towns), get hit up by panhandlers & solicitors around the crossing.

That's about it. The "real" Mexico is further in from the border. The border towns are.... well... not representative of either Mexico or the U.S. They are their own thing. I grew up near the border - we'd go across for low-cost health care, to eat good Mexican food, to drink (now not such a good idea with the drug/violence problem, easy way to get into trouble), and to shop for the various curios you can only get in Mexico.

As others have said, Cd. Juarez is probably the closest to your route, although it would be a fairly significant southern detour from the typical route between Arlington and Albuquerque. It has a decent centro, cathedral, 2 museums, city market & restaurants. Go during the day & stick to the tourist areas & you should be fine. Juarez does have a violence problem but not in the main areas typically - it's all in the neighborhoods, etc... where the drug transhipments take place.

There are tours from the U.S. side you can arrange or you can just park on the U.S. side & walk. From the edge of downtown El Paso where you can park it's about a 1 to 1.5 mile walk south to the Centro where the cathedral is. The Museo de la Revolución and the Mercado Juarez are within less than a mile east from there. Generally speaking, daylight hours are fine safety-wise, especially in the main part of the city.

I do not recommend driving across the border. There's a bit of safety concern, but more practically, the crossing via car can take hours vs. walking which takes minutes.

Nogales is another option - it has smaller versions of all that.

If you really want to go to Mexico I would recommend actually going to Mexico, meaning an actual trip beyond the border region. There are some cool places in northern Mexico that are worth it. But if you just want to say you visited Mexico... Cd. Juarez is probably your best bet.
Okay, so now I'm hassling my hubby because I want to cross the border and check it out. I think it would be great to plan a different trip and spend more time in Mexico, but that's just not an option for this trip. I'm sure it's nothing like truly visiting Mexico, but I think it might be a fun experience anyway.

I've done lots of traveling here in the US but have never been to another country. Guess I'll need a passport, but I should be able to pull that off between now and July.

ETA: If we do choose to go to El Paso/Ciudad Juarez, we won't be going through Albuquerque. We'll go straight from El Paso to Las Vegas. Albuquerque was just in my original plan, for our original route.

Last edited by lkmax; 04-11-2016 at 06:13 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2016, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,057 posts, read 9,102,887 times
Reputation: 3424
Just remember if you cross the border you need a passport to get back into the US.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2016, 08:24 PM
 
2,970 posts, read 2,746,293 times
Reputation: 6562
If you like natural wonders outdoor hiking areas I would recommend on way to El Paso via Arlington to drive to (and through) Guadalupe mountain area spend a day hiking some of the trails and then onto the Hueco Tanks (30 miles east of El Paso) on way into El Paso. For an odd stop you can check out the old Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells TX west of Ft Worth at one time they gave tours of the dilapidated mostly abandoned 1930s era resort.


Seeing Mexico from afar versus going into Mexico is up to you (passport and how adventurous you are). Seeing it from Huachuca mountain peaks in Southern Arizona was good enough for me. You will see lots of Cuidad Juarez while driving I -10 through El Paso (shanty stuff that is visible all along route I-10 as you drive through) is enough of a visual along with the smell of the cattle in pens which I recall getting a strong whiff of on the way into El Paso from I-10 east bound.


El Paso to Vegas you've got lots of fun options, like stopping at White Sands and 'sledding' done the mountainous sand, driving northerly route parallel through the Jornada del Muerto and then onto the most desolate part of the lower 48 states via the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and Gila National Forest as you meander the Mogollon rim white mountains. Cut over to Canyon de Chelley, Monument Valley and then down to Flagstaff on way to Vegas. If you like Almonds keep your eyes peeled for the Almond groves and signs for roasted almonds.


You can return more southerly route. I-10 east down to Tucson, San Xavier Del Bac (have some Tohono Indian fry bread-delicious), Tubac (artist community), see Mexico from the Coronado National Monument in Huachuca Mountains, tour Karchner Caverns, hike Chiricahua National Monument area. Lots of interesting beautiful things to see outdoors. Best Mexican food I have ever had was at La Posta De Mesilla restaurant in Mesilla NM just south of Las Cruces, NM. Order the sampler where you get a bit of everything.


Have a great trip!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-11-2016, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,448 posts, read 3,754,329 times
Reputation: 9257
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkmax View Post
Okay, so now I'm hassling my hubby because I want to cross the border and check it out. I think it would be great to plan a different trip and spend more time in Mexico, but that's just not an option for this trip. I'm sure it's nothing like truly visiting Mexico, but I think it might be a fun experience anyway.

I've done lots of traveling here in the US but have never been to another country. Guess I'll need a passport, but I should be able to pull that off between now and July.

ETA: If we do choose to go to El Paso/Ciudad Juarez, we won't be going through Albuquerque. We'll go straight from El Paso to Las Vegas. Albuquerque was just in my original plan, for our original route.
You don't need a passport to get into a Mexico border town but you need one to get back into the U.S

I have not been since 2005 - right before the major drug violence began. The new Mexican president has slackened enforcement, the cartels don't fight as much as a result, so the violence is more rare now, especially out in the open. The basic rule is that if you don't look for trouble you won't find it.

The downside is, from what I've heard, the several years of drug violence from circa 2007-08 to about 2012 hit tourism pretty hard. Tourism still exists, but I suspect it's not as vibrant as it used to be across the border; a lot of businesses couldn't survive that period.

Last edited by redguard57; 04-11-2016 at 10:45 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2016, 12:15 AM
 
Location: League City, Texas
2,900 posts, read 4,605,786 times
Reputation: 6073
Go through El Paso. Drive up Scenic Drive or Transmountain Road. No need to go cross into Juarez. If you really need to, walk over one of the bridges. Don't take your car. It's still a third world country, even though you can see the US.

I also second checking out White Sands in New Mexico. It's unforgettable, & really spectacular. Here's a pic.
That's white gypsum sand--not snow. It stays cool even when the air temperature is 100!
Attached Thumbnails
Cross-Country Trip, Wanna See Mexico-US Border-image.jpeg  
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2016, 01:31 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,370 posts, read 21,213,499 times
Reputation: 24195
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
Just remember if you cross the border you need a passport to get back into the US.
That's a total lie!!! You don't need a passport to get back into the U.S.!!! And you don't need your birth certificate either! Just your driver's license!

Ever since that "scare" came about, needing a passport, every time I've gone to Tijuana, I've asked any number of customs guards, producing my passport, asking: What would happen if I had forgotten my passport in Las Vegas?

Answer? You go into a different, designated line!

I've also crossed in Nogales, same story, I got behind someone in line, just last year, who crosses back and forth once a week, and no passport!

They can't keep you from crossing the border if you're a U.S. Citizen, it's international law! When have you heard of a U.S. citizen who crossed the Mexican border, and is still stranded over there, weeks, months later, because they didn't have a passport?

If you're scared off by Juarez (no reason to be) or Nogales (no reason to be), then pull over to Yuma, and 7 miles west of there is Algodones, a town of only 35-40,000, which would be the safest city of all the Mexican border towns, although you may get tired of dental hustlers, on the streets, trying to get you to go to any of the 40 dental clinic's in that town. Lots of Canadians choose this city for their dental work. And from Algondones/Yuma it's a straight shot north to Las Vegas, some 300 miles.

And if you have some prescription drugs you need, price them out at different pharmacies, and you don't need a prescription to buy medicine there unless it be a controlled substance.

And, no, you don't have to go all the way into Mexico to experience a true Mexican town, as I find any border town to be as Mexican as any other city in Mexico, and I've been all over that country.

I've been to Tijuana way, way too many times, and if you venture out into any of the colonia's, it's Mexico, Mexico, Mexico!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2016, 01:40 AM
 
14,253 posts, read 23,969,886 times
Reputation: 20035
Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
You don't need a passport to get into a Mexico border town but you need one to get back into the U.S

I have not been since 2005 - right before the major drug violence began. The new Mexican president has slackened enforcement, the cartels don't fight as much as a result, so the violence is more rare now, especially out in the open. The basic rule is that if you don't look for trouble you won't find it.

The downside is, from what I've heard, the several years of drug violence from circa 2007-08 to about 2012 hit tourism pretty hard. Tourism still exists, but I suspect it's not as vibrant as it used to be across the border; a lot of businesses couldn't survive that period.


That is fairly accurate. At THIS point, most border areas have been somewhat quiet.

However, the last time I had a Mexican official tell me that all the talk about violence was overstated, as he was talking with us, five police officers were shot down in a cafe a block away. (Nuevo Laredo, 2005)

I crossed into Nogales, Sonora last Monday. I walked through the city museum, walked through the big church and had lunch at Cafe Leon. I walked around the mercado for about 40 minutes, walked across the bridge and crossed back into Arizona.

Personally, if i was passing through, I would rather stop at San Xavier del Bac Mission and stop by at the Tohono O'odham farm store to see what is available. Then I would head north on I-19 to Valencia Rd and head east to 12th Ave. From there, head north and for two miles you will see many of the best Sonoran Mexican restaurants in Southern Arizona - Perfectos, Merenderos, BK's, etc.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2016, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Eureka CA
8,239 posts, read 11,102,038 times
Reputation: 12552
If you DO make it to NOLA , don't skip Mother's in the Quarter. Great food!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-12-2016, 03:43 PM
 
Location: League City, Texas
2,900 posts, read 4,605,786 times
Reputation: 6073
Quote:
Originally Posted by eureka1 View Post
If you DO make it to NOLA , don't skip Mother's in the Quarter. Great food!
Mmmmmmm. Black ham.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Travel
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top