How safe is it to travel to Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey?

My annual Baseball Trip will be taking me to Texas in a couple of years. (Yes, my traveling companion and I do plan these things way ahead of time.:))

There are lots of Minor League teams in the state and the Rangers will have a new stadium, so there’ll be plenty of options. Now, thanks to this thread, I’m becoming intrigued about the possiblilty of checking out some Mexican League ball as well. There’s a team in Laredo/Nuevo Laredo that splits its games between the Mexican side and the US side, and another team about an hour and a half south in Monterrey.

I’m not normally a nervous traveler, though I do have a few reservations about hanging around a Mexican border town, and I actually know very little about Monterrey. What can you tell me about how hospitable these places are to American tourists?

I was in both a long time ago; things have gone downhill since, sadly, but Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo are relatively safe. US government’s travel advisory (note that the link tends to shift every time the US government switches hands or changes the alphabet soup). I find similar information in Spanish: don’t go to the towns around Monterrey, but the city itself is safe so long as one takes normal “this is definitely not your grandma’s backyard” precautions. Nuevo Laredo is more of a suburb of Laredo than anything else (it’s no movie Tijuana).

I recommend doing what I did way back when and not taking your car: the buses between both locations and the public transportation network in Monterrey are good.

Note that things may have changed again “in a couple of years”; check for renewed information when the trip gets closer.

That’s a really good point. We’ll have a rental; international travel might be prohibited or require an additional fee. I’ll have to look into transportation options.

I’ll say there’s a 99.999% chance you won’t be allowed to take the rental into Mexico.

You’re probably right, and I see that the stadium in Nuevo Laredo is a good five or six miles from the border, so walking is not a feasible option.

I’m also not crazy about the idea of taking a bus to Monterrey. Could be transportation issues and not safety concerns that sink this idea.

You may be thinking Greyhound. Think this instead. That particular one happens to be Italian rather than Mexican, but my American travelmate almost sat down on his ass when he saw our ride. A/C, comfy seats, TV, movie is either in Spanish with English subtitles or in English with Spanish subtitles.

I travel to Monterrey on a regular basis. Twice a year normally, February and August. I fly in. It is a very wealthy area and very safe. Don’t do anything stupid like walking around alone at night with wads of cash and loaded down with gold chains and you will be fine. If you don’t speak fluent Spanish, children in Monterrey speak fluent English. It’s mandatory in private schools and anyone at all who has higher education will be fluent in English. In a lot of parts, you will feel like you are in Texas.

Nuevo Laredo is another story. It is a drug town overrun by a Cartel. Riding around in a car with USA plates is not a good idea. Your car rental company prohibits it but people do it all the time. Look at travel advisories to see what roads to stay away from if you are going to drive anywhere.

Its been a couple years but Nuevo Laredo was about the same as most larger American cities; pretty safe during the day and a little sketchier the later you went into the night. My general rule was to get back out before sunset and further from the border by the time I was going to sleep. Pickpockets can be an issue as at any generally tourist trap and you are on foreign soil and the locals know that. But most of the residents don’t want to hurt that tourist trade too badly.