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The Down Low On Mexico ( Border Towns )

Oct 27, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Extremely cheap gift items ... lots of party places .

Cons:Too many to list .

The Bottom Line: Be safe and follow all the precautions in this trip to insure a happy and memorable experience .

Mexican border towns are easily crossed in to and full of cheap thrills . This review will give you my perspective and some warnings to insure you have a safe and memorable trip .


Crossing The Border

There are more than ten Texan cities that you can cross from the American border into the Mexican border . I have crossed mostly from Del Rio , Texas into Citidad Acuna , Mexico . Most of this review is based on my experiences there . However , all border towns are nearly alike so it will not make much difference .

While you are on the American side , you need to decide what your means of transportation will be and whether or not you need a passport . A passport is not needed if you will be spending less than 72 hours in Mexico . On most border towns there are parking lots where you can walk , be ferried , or taxi across .

I don ' t suggest walking across . There are almost always suspicious looking characters on the Mexican side . Even if the American border patrol officers see you get attacked , there is nothing they can do once you are on the Mexican side of the border . There is a toll that must be paid to walk across per person . The rate changes , so you can call the toll free number I will include at the end of this review .

It ' s not a good idea to drive your own vehicle into the border towns . American insurance is not valid in Mexico . To add to that most Mexicans do not have car insurance . All the streets in Acuna were one lane . Traffic went both directions through these lanes or drove up on the sidewalk . I saw quite a few wrecks in my visits .

Call a taxi or use one of the taxis available to get across . Most everything is easily got to on foot in these towns . You don ' t want to go too deep in anyway . It just gets nastier the further in you go . The taxi rides are fairly inexpensive and you still have to pay a fee to cross over . The rate changes , but it is per car not person . The taxi drivers are not picky about making there is enough seat belts to go around , so you can stuff the whole family in one car and escape paying extra taxi and cross over fees .

It 's not a good idea to take pets across the border with you . I have heard that the people there eat dogs or cats . This may be just rumor , but I saw no stray animals , or domesticated animal while I was there . Let me assure you it was not because of the excellent up keep of the city either . There 's also a sign when you go over the border to keep your pets with you and restrained at all times . Better to be safe than sorry and leave Fido at home .


Shopping And Currency

There are plenty of shops and people selling items in the road . You can really get some great deals if you take the time to look and bargain efficiently . You can haggle with almost all store except the ones that look like they belong over here . Those stores are far and few between however . One of the great deals that can be gotten there for example is a wedding dress that would be way over $1,000 here for like $150 there .

American dollars seem to have the most pull over there . The American dollar is worth more than their pesos . You can convert your money at the border . I would suggest that even if you don ' t convert your money , that you pick up a guide showing what the American dollar is equal to in their money . This will keep you from getting ripped off . Like if you see a pair of jeans and they cost 187 pesos , but they charge you 15 dollars , this may be more expensive than the original price ! Know what you are dealing with so you don ' t get taken advantage of .

You can buy up to 400 dollars worth of goods over there tax free . After that , there will be a small tax added . Nothing like what you pay here . You can also buy one liter of alcohol or less and import it . If you try to conceal more alcohol than that , large fines and possibly imprisonment will be done . Tobacco is also allowed over , but is taxed .


Food And Resteraunts

There are many vendors on the road selling fruits , tamales , and other delicious goodies . It is not wise to purchase food from these people . They do not have to have a license to sell their wares to you . The meat used is not inspected , and there are also pesticides and such used on the fruits not allowed here for health reasons .

If you are in the Acuna town a great place to eat is Ma Crosby's . The food is reasonably priced and very delicious . For a small sum you can have a gentleman serenade your lover at the table , or serenade the table just for the fun of it . There have been many western films made there and the atmosphere is so beautiful . From the outside , most well to do places look pitiful . It would be best to look around before going and get an idea of where you are going to eat .

Lastly , take bottled water . You do not want to drink the water there . That is a precaution that should be taken anytime you leave the states . The least that could happen is you get upset stomach , but I know of one person whom was hospitalized for drinking the water .


The Night Life ( Party ! Party ! )

All border towns have extensive bars that stay open and party all night at a fraction of the cost it does here . However , your rate of safety drastically reduces also . There is no legal drinking age there either . It ' s sad to see a ten year old drinking their life away .

If you are going to be in the Acuna area , the Corona is a cool bar to visit . It is very large and pretty as far as a bar goes . There ' s dancing and drinking . The waiters light your cigarette for you , and even the poorest person feels like a king with the royal treatment . While you are there , check out their gigantic wall full of stars ' signatures , like Garth Brooks .

If you do decide to indulge in the night life , refrain from getting drunk . Keep small amounts of cash on you , and a large sum hidden . The police officers often will arrest a drunk American unless a certain sum of cash is paid . This is after they have taken the obvious from your wallet . ( No , this isn ' t rumor , it ' s legitimate advice . )


Medical And Prescriptions

Most everyone is aware that you can buy prescription drugs in Mexico at a fraction of the price here . There 's no need for a prescription to buy any drug in Mexico . However , to bring it back across , you need a prescription from a Dr. . I don ' t know what happens if you get caught , but it must be bad or everyone would be high all the time on Mexican drugs .

There are also tons of people who make a long drive to get dental or medical work done there at a fraction of what it costs there . Even with gas and meals involved , it can be a lot cheaper to commute to Mexico . I know several people who got their teeth worked on there by a Dr . Flores and were extremely happy with the result and price .

If you want to get work done on you , please check into the matter deeply . Make sure they are certified . Mexico ' s laws are very slack and you have no means of suing if they cut off your arm rather than pulling a tooth . Otherwise , it is a great way for people who are too poor for insurance or other means to get what needs to be done - done .

Crossing To Get Home

This is tricky even for veterans . You will encounter the Mexican border patrol first . Getting back over at night is significantly harder than during the day . It ' s better to get in early afternoon and head back the next day .

You will be asked what all you bought . This is not a time for humor of any kind . They will inspect all you packages , the trunk , and behind the seats . There are drug dogs on the premises . If you get caught with so much as a pot seed in your car it ' s go to jail , do not pass go , etc . Mexican jails are not the fantasy wonderland that they are here . Once you are in jail there , it is extremely hard to get out .

Do not buy any flowers or fruit from over there and try to bring it across . Immediate trouble . My husband bought me some roses on our first trip . It ' s a long story , but we like to have not got back home just over those flowers !

You will need to have on you at least two forms of ID . Your driver ' s license is not enough . Take your birth certificate and social security card too . Don ' t go across without these or you may not be able to get back anytime soon . If all this scares you , be on the safe side and go ahead and purchase a pass port .


In Closing

There 's all my knowledge passed on to you . I hope this helps you have a safe and happy trip . For more detailed questions that this review may not have covered you can call:

Mexican Government Tourist Office
1 - 800 - 446 - 3942

Thanks for reading - sweetycaroline .

Recommend this product? Yes

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