Texas Mexico Border Guide

At more than 1,250 miles long, the Texas Mexico border is far and away the longest border state in the United States. It shares multiple cities with Mexico, has a massive amount of commerce that crosses in both directions and shares a unique border culture. The Texas border is a fascinating place and somewhere we really enjoy visiting. 

A large portion of the border is formed by the Rio Grande River in Texas. The river and places like Big Bend National Park serve as natural features defining the border. Other stretches have walls and fences and a good chunk of the border is open desert, ranch land and natural terrain. Read more about the Texas Mexico border to plan a trip and understand the culture and important facts in this region.

Driving to the Texas Mexico Border

Driving to the border or along the border is very common. There are cities dotting the border on both sides and even shared cities to some degree with El Paso and Ciudad Juarez being connected. Laredo and Nuevo Laredo are also connected via multiple bridges. If you wanted to know which US city is closest to the Mexican border, either of these would suffice.

Highways run along the border and there are interstates and road systems connecting the big cities of Texas to the border. Driving to the Texas Mexico border is possible from anywhere in the state. It is a big state and drive times can be lengthy depending on where your journey begins and ends.

Border Crossings in Texas

In total, there are 28 border crossings between Texas and Mexico. These are official ports of entry where pedestrians, vehicles and commercial traffic cross in both directions. Some are big border crossings with a ton of traffic and others are small communities with lower traffic. Every option is important however and they act as economic drivers while making connections between the two countries.

You will require Mexican car insurance when crossing the Texas border into Mexico. Here’s a list of your options to get there.

  • Paso Del Norte (PDN) International Bridge
  • Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) 
  • Ysleta/Zaragoza International Bridge 
  • Stanton Street Bridge 
  • Tornillo-Guadalupe International Bridge
  • Fort Hancock International Bridge
  • Presidio International Bridge
  • Amistad Dam
  • Del Rio International Bridge
  • Eagle Pass International Bridge I
  • Eagle Pass International Bridge II
  • Laredo-Colombia Solidarity (Bridge III)
  • World Trade Bridge (Bridge IV)
  • Gateway to the Americas (Bridge I)
  • Juarez-Lincoln (Bridge II)
  • Falcon Dam
  • Roma International Bridge
  • Rio Grande City
  • Los Ebanos Ferry
  • Anzalduas International Bridge
  • McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge
  • Pharr International Bridge
  • Donna
  • Progreso International Bridge
  • Los Indios international Bridge
  • Gateway International Bridge
  • Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge
  • Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates

Interesting Things to Know

There are so many interesting facts about this border area. From big cities that share a border to rural ranches and remote parks, this region has some of the most unique and fascinating culture in the country. It’s also a major commercial vein with imports and exports flowing in both directions.

  • Texas shares 1,250 miles of border with Mexico
  • Two-thirds (68-60%) of the $600+ million/day trade comes across the Texas border
  • Texas has more border crossings than any other state
  • Over $70 billion in trade crosses the El Paso region alone
  • Four states of Mexico share the border with Texas
  • Over 3 million people live in the Texas border zone
  • Big Bend National Park shares the border
  • The Rio Grande River and several reservoirs share the border with Texas and Mexico

Counties in Texas Bordering Mexico

Texas is a huge landmass with 254 counties in the state. 15 of those Texas counties touch the Mexico border. These counties are important to note because they have local law enforcement and municipalities that are tasked with managing unique border issues. 

  • El Paso
  • Hudspeth
  • Jeff Davis
  • Presidio
  • Brewster
  • Terrell
  • Val Verde
  • Kinney
  • Maverick
  • Webb
  • Zapata
  • Starr
  • Hidalgo
  • Cameron

Texas Mexico Border Towns

What is the safest town on the Mexican border in Texas or Mexico? That’s a common question we see and it often comes from folks who haven’t visited but are considering a trip. The border is filled with residents on both sides and there are numerous wonderful communities. Despite the current political climate and issues along the border region, it’s still a very nice place with beautiful towns and cities across the entire length. These are a few of the major hubs to visit on the Texas side.

El Paso

El Paso is a popular destination and charming border city. It’s a tale of two cities really as Ciudad Juarez is located immediately on the Mexico side and multiple bridges connect the two. Bridge of the Americas is a popular one but there are several in the heart of the city as well. 

For casual travelers, Ciudad Juarez isn’t a great destination. It’s one of the more dangerous places to visit in Mexico currently. Many residents on both sides of the border share family ties and there are even daily commuters who utilize both sides for work and school. Both cities offer plenty of places to stay, eat and recreate however. For folks who have a reason to visit, there are several El Paso Mexico border crossings.

Things to Do in El Paso

El Paso is filled with fun things to keep you busy. It’s a vibrant community with great restaurants, nightlife and events to attend throughout the year.  

Eat TexMex – The shared border has resulted in unique culinary flavors and this city is somewhere you will want to sit down for a meal or two. The entire border has great food but it’s hard to beat the local restaurants here.

Visit the Border Patrol Museum – The border patrol has an interesting history and the national museum is located in El Paso. Read the stories, see the equipment and learn about the history and importance of border control.

El Paso Museum of Archaeology – Located adjacent to the Border Patrol Museum, it’s easy to combine the two stops in a single day. The prehistory in the El Paso area is rich with artifacts and archaeological sites. See the artifacts for yourself and learn about the sites that have played a critical role in our understanding of how the area was used before European settlers arrived.

Take a Scenic Drive – While there are a number of scenic drives in the El Paso area, one particular route is literally labeled as Scenic Drive. The road meanders to a high point with views encompassing the entire area. It’s a wonderful place to visit, especially around sunset.

Presidio

If a smaller community with a ton of outdoor opportunities is more your speed, consider a trip to Presidio. It’s also worth crossing the border to visit Ojinaga which is also a wonderful small community. Located on the Rio Grande River, you can visit Big Bend Ranch State Park, Fort Leaton State Historic Site and Chinati Hot Springs. 

Or, cross into Ojinaga, Mexico to visit the unique Elephant Rock or visit the cultural museum. Floating the Canyon de Peguis on the Rio Conchos is an unforgettable experience as well. Overall, it’s one of the safest border towns on the Texas Mexico border and is very welcoming.

Del Rio

This wonderful community has roughly 35,000 residents and it’s located just across from Ciudad Acuna. Visit the Amistad National Recreation area if you enjoy watersports and the unique Rio Grande country landscape. The river turns into Amistad reservoir at this location. The are also has wineries to enjoy, art galleries and the stunning Devils River State Natural Area.

Eagle Pass

The border crossing from Eagle Pass to Piedras Negras is one of our most popular options. It’s generally quick, friendly and it has room for RVs to cross over. Eagle Pass is also a great town for staging before a border crossing. It’s easy to navigate and has a number of hotels, RV parks and tasty restaurants. If you’re looking for things to do, visit one of the local museums, walk around town, try your luck at the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino or get outside at Maverick county Lake.

Laredo

This is the city that shares a name and border with the Mexico counterpart – Nuevo Laredo. It has over 250,000 residents in the US and the town is filled with parks, great food and plenty of recreation. La Casa Blanca International Park is a very interesting stop to make along the border here. The Republic of the Rio Grande Museum is another one to consider. 

McAllen

If you love the Rio Grande Country, don’t miss McAllen, Texas and Reynosa, Mexico. McAllen is a really nice town and it’s actually among the safest border towns in the country. People rate it highly as a place to live as well. Even if you don’t have plans to move there, it’s worth a visit on either side of the border. The International Museum of Art and Science is excellent, they have multiple quaint parks in town. It’s also an easier option for crossing the Mexico border.

Brownsville

The farthest east you can travel to cross the Mexico border is Brownsville. This modest sized city was once a perfect crossing point. It’s still decent but Matamoros has recent issues with crime and cartels just south of the border unfortunately. That said, Brownsville itself is very nice

Texas Mexico Border Map

We like Google Maps for navigating the Texas Mexico Border region. It’s extremely accurate and can show traffic delays and detailed border information. Toggling between street view, standard views and satellite view can also offer a good view of different roads, parks and even border crossings. There are street view gaps in the immediate border zone but we are creating videos for each crossing to help navigate the process. View an interactive Texas – Mexico Border Map here.

Will You Visit the Texas – Mexico Border Region?

It’s often overlooked as a destination for tourism and exploring but the border in Texas is a beautiful region. You will find reservoirs for fishing, rivers, places to hike, museums and a ton of history. The food is mouth watering at every turn and the people are often inviting and kind.

We understand the border is a hot topic in the news and in different political climates but we absolutely love this region. There are safe border crossings and unforgettable experiences to have on both sides.