By Far, the most popular across the border destination for winter visitors to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas is Nuevo Progreso, Mexico.
Other border towns include:
Matamoros - South of Brownsville
Reynosa - South of McAllen
Miguel Aleman - South of Rio Grande City
When my wife and I first came to the RGV in 1999, we would visit each of these towns without concern of any nature. However, in the past 5 or 6 years, rising confrontations between rival cartels and gangs in Mexico have made travel to the larger Mexican cities of Matamoros and Reynosa undesirable. Not that these entities target American citizens, but they have no regard for innocent bystanders safety as they quarrel among themselves, often with increasing violence.
This is unfortunate as it has greatly affected tourism in these cities in a negative way.
Nuevo Progreso, being a small town, has not experienced the same fate as the larger cities. It remains a safe area for tourists to enjoy: shopping for souvenirs and pharmaceuticals, taking advantage of low priced dental service, and enjoying the local cuisine and beverages.
Many Winter Texans visit Nuevo Progreso on a regular basis while they are wintering here in Texas. You can read what people have to say about visiting Mexico's border towns in the RGV. Be sure to post comments about your experiences as well, at the link above.
Every year in December, Nuevo Progreso hosts a celebration to welcome visitors from across the border to their small town. In the US we call this Winter Texan Appreciation Day while in Mexico it is Dia de la Turista. No matter what you call it, it is a day of Fun, Food, Music and Dancing. There is a similar day in the Spring when the Winter Texan population starts to plan their departure to the North.
Watch for more information about these special days in the Public Service announcements at the WTC Bulletin Board.
As of June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens returning home from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, by land or sea,
are required to present one of the travel documents listed at this web site . . .
Is Travel to Mexico Safe?
to read what the US Government says.
If you are a bit adventurous and really want to "discover" Mexico ...
The comments below are submitted by viewers and have not been verified by The Winter Texan Connection
I am a single older female and I've been going to Nuevo Progreo for years now. I'm not scared at all, even in the evening hours.
Many of the vendors know me, so they watch out for me. Not all dentists are as honest as can be - most want to give you an implant,
tho it isn't necessary. I eat from the street vendors, and their street hotdogs are stupendous! I've never gotten sick, no one has spiked my drinks.
I do suggest your first stop is Jessica's Pharmacy, across the street from Benevidas Pharmacy. Jessica's will give you a free drink whether you buy
from them or not. They also have live music most of the time, catering to the Winter and Summer Texans. There is room to dance there, too, along
with meals to eat.
Anonymous ... Posted May 6, 2012
Mary Keiser says, We went to Progreso last week, Nov 9th. We saw no Mexican Army anywhere. Texas tax on each liter bottle has been raised from
$1.25 to $3.25 a bottle. That was a shocker! - posted 11-15-11
Nvo. Progresso remains the SAFEST tourist town on the border. A unit of Mexican marines patrols the town and even simple incidents are rare.
The town is hurting as visitors avoid all Mexican border towns, even the safe ones. We continue to go there for lunch, the dentist,and to see one of
the best "asthetic" (skin) doctors anywhere. When traveling into these border towns just act the same as you would when in any big US city.
Remember that you are MUCH safer in Progresso than you would be in, say, Detriot!
A warning to those coming into Monterrey from Matehuala: They'll stop you, ask for drivers licence, insurance info and entry visa.
They'll proceed to ask you if you have family in area and that you've been detained for speeding. You'll be threatened with
speeding fine of 1200 pesos! Actually what they want is a "mordida", a bite. I suggest you take the toll road.
Good Luck, Larry
I normally go to Progreso every week and feel as safe there as I would on this side of the river, in fact it probably is safer there now.
I was at Arrebas in Progreso on the day of the shooting. The place was locked down and all the patrons were escorted upstairs to a storage
area until it was safe to return downstairs. I would definitely not go to Reynosa or Matamoros but will continue my weekly trips to Progreso.
Anonymous (posted 1-30-11)
Progreso does remain quiet following the unfortunate experience of Oct. 2009. We still travel there once or twice a month for our
medications and dental appointments. The town is tiny and only one or two streets are safe for tourist travel. Remain in site of other tourists,
don't get too brave and venture off on your own. The citizens of Progreso remain alert and in tune with the dangers.
No one ventures out after dark and the merchants do close early. Progreso has much to offer, but must be balanced with the reality of possible attacks.
Always keep your wits about you and be alert to your surroundings at all times. Remember that you ARE in a foreign country.
Any criminal offenses or stupid behavior on your part could result in harsh consequences.
Anonymous (posted 4-5-11)
Read more comments and/or post your own experiences regarding traveling to Mexico in our Talk About It section
Information regarding crossing the US border into Mexico along the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Safety issues, shopping in Nuevo Progreso, festivals and more.