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Old 07-08-2011, 01:35 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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Any Mexican border towns currently relatively safe to visit?

The Mrs. and I will be in Tucson soon, and while we don't plan to go south of the border, we did wonder if there were any relatively safe, interesting places nearby to visit in Mexico, if we were so inclined. We'll have a rental car, so we'd need to park on the US side and stroll over. We're not interested in discount pharmaceuticals of any type, but we would consider such a trip just for the variety.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:52 PM
3:20:59 or bust 3:20:59 or bust is offline
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While I think parts of Mexico can be perfectly safe, none of them would be the border towns.

I'm probably way too careful, but if you don't really have a reason to go over the border, I don't know why you would.
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Old 07-08-2011, 01:58 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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Nogales is a relatively popular tourist town and is the closest to Tucson (still about an hour's drive). I don't know how safe it is now, but my family would occasionally go down there to wander the markets when I was young.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:11 PM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
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Well, there are certainly travel warnings making the news.

That being said, a short trip to Nogales to just get something to eat or buy a sombrero is probably not too bad. If you want to go a little further, you could take the car and go to Rocky Point.

Just be careful, there is a lot of fighting going on in just about every border town and the biggest things these days is being held for ransom. I suggested rocky point because it is the place a lot of Americans go, it's not too far from Tucson and I'd consider it much safer than a border town.

Edit: Never mind - Rocky Point is a lot further than I thought...

Last edited by Phlosphr; 07-08-2011 at 02:14 PM.. Reason: I looked at a map
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:18 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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Ouch. Here's the specific travel warning:
Quote:
Nogales and Northern Sonora: You are advised to exercise caution in the city of Nogales. Northern Sonora is a key region in the international drug and human trafficking trades, and can be extremely dangerous for travelers. The U.S. Consulate requires that armored vehicles are used for official travel in the consular district of Nogales, including certain areas within the city of Nogales. The region west of Nogales, east of Sonoyta, and from Caborca north, including the towns of Saric, Tubutama and Altar, and the eastern edge of Sonora bordering Chihuahua, are known centers of illegal activity. You should defer non-essential travel to these areas.

You are advised to exercise caution when visiting the coastal town of Puerto Peñasco. In the past year there have been multiple incidents of TCO-related violence, including the shooting of the city's police chief. U.S. citizens visiting Puerto Peñasco are urged to cross the border at Lukeville, AZ, to limit driving through Mexico and to limit travel to main roads during daylight hours.
Sure sounds a lot less pleasant than when I last went, although that could well be because I didn't know all that was going on.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:46 PM
Yarster Yarster is offline
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Tijuana has always been a pit and not worth visiting even without the drug violence. That said, if you head out East of San Diego to the Campo area, park on the U.S. side, and walk into the border town of Tecate during daylight hours, I can't imagine you'd ever have a problem. That place doesn't get as many tourists and consequently doesn't have as many problems.

That said, I haven't been in at least five years, so I can't speak for what it's like over there today. We used to camp in the Portrero and Lake Morena area by the border, and it was a given that part of that trip would involve going to get lunch across the border. It was a great way to feel like you were doing some exotic travel when you were totally broke.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:28 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Couldn't pay me to go anywhere south of the border at this point. It's just a matter of time before druglords or terrorists decide that the big resort towns are easy pickings.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:20 PM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Couldn't pay me to go anywhere south of the border at this point. It's just a matter of time before druglords or terrorists decide that the big resort towns are easy pickings.
Ditto - and many of them [cartels] already have.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:57 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is online now
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okay, all of the above just confirms our plans to give Mexico a miss on this trip. We'll probably go no further south than Bisbee.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:11 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
okay, all of the above just confirms our plans to give Mexico a miss on this trip. We'll probably go no further south than Bisbee.
About ten years ago, friends of mine were considering moving to Bisbee. I mentioned it to my favorite Uncle, who has lived in Tucson for nearly all of his 84 years, and his immediate response was: (slowly shaking his head side to side) "Bisbee's bad news."

Granted, the context was my friends buying a house there.

For whatever it may matter, my Uncle is Mexican. American born (east of Tucson), english most definitely the family's second language. And he happens to be the friendliest, most easy-going, people loving person in the world. Which made his Bisbee remark all the more surprising to me.



.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2011, 09:53 PM
Mesquite-oh Mesquite-oh is offline
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I know you are visiting Arizona, but if you ever wanted a taste of Mexico, just visit the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and stay on the US side! Go to a money exchange house, get yourself some pesos, and drive around downtown Brownsville for a while. You got friendly people, good food, a little adventure, and you won't hear English for a while. You get to see "The Wall," and a bunch of Border Patrol agents and their friendly dogs. You even get to go through a checkpoint or two if you drive in. It can be very exciting at the CP if you give off the smuggler vibe. Just about everything you find in a Mexican border town (other than the discount medical stuff) you can find in The Valley. This post is only halfway joking.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:21 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Piedras Negras was still relatively tranquil when we passed through in January. We chose that as our route returning from the D.F. because of that.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:50 AM
koeeoaddi koeeoaddi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
okay, all of the above just confirms our plans to give Mexico a miss on this trip. We'll probably go no further south than Bisbee.
Tubac is also nice and not too far from Tucson. Lots of artsy-fartsy-craftsy pretty.
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