Mexico is just 30 minutes away:
There are 2 main cities to visit Matamoros and Nuevo Progreso
Parking: We recommend leaving your car in Texas. There is metered parking, as well as the parking lots of UT Brownsville and the Jacob Brown Auditorium Lot within walking distance of the bridge.
25 short miles by land, Matamoros is a strategic point on the Mexican-American border and receives thousands of visitors each year. Matamoros possesses several unique tourist attractions, all full of history and beauty.
The Casamata Museum is the last remaining fort in northern Mexico and is traditionally associated with the intrigue and struggle of Mexico in the mid 1800’s. Admission to the museum is free.
The beautiful Victorian style house known as La Casa Cross is the most unique in northern Mexico and was constructed in 1885 by Meliton Cross.
The Reforma Theater, also known as “The Athens of Tamaulipas”, was originally constructed in 1861. In 1956 the theater was demolished and replaced with a modern structure that was leased by a private company and operated as a movie theater for the next 30 plus years. In the early 1990’s, the building was remodeled to its original architectural design.
The Main Plaza and City Hall were first built in 1800 and have been reconstructed numerous times over the years. The first “Kiosko” was built in the center of the plaza in 1889. Most of the wood used is of Morocco style, making this one of the architectural treasures of the city.The main City Hall building was recently rebuilt to match the architectural design of the 1800’s and is open to the public for tours.
Alvaro Obregon Avenue opened in 1928 to connect the Matamoros downtown area to the International Bridge. Along the avenue you will also find wonderful restaurants and nightclubs.
Another “not to miss” shopping experience is the Juarez Market located on 9th street between Abasolo and Matamoros streets.
Bagdad Beach “Playa del Bagdad” is approximately 20 miles from the bridge. Bagdad Beach is the center stage for “El Festival del Mar”(Festival of the Sea) and is also a natural treasure visited by thousands of people each year. It is an ideal place for fun in the sun and one of the best places in the area to find the ever elusive sandollar.
Matamoros offers visitors modern services, first-class hotels, unique restaurants with delicious northern Mexican cuisine, and many cultural and business centers. Matamoros is a dynamic and modern city that embraces its culture and history.
Originally called Las Flores, which was the name of the local ranch, this wonderful little town has seen many changes over the years. The river you cross today as you go across the bridge has movedaround a bit over the years. The river used to pass to the South of the town’s current location and the area where the town sits today was previously on the United States side. Following a major flood, the river changed course. Approximately 500 acres of land was transferred back to Mexico and the entire town is now built on land the river took back. In 1933, the name of the city was changed to La Villa Nuevo Progreso, or Progreso as everyone calls it today.
The Pemex Company began drilling for gas shortly after construction of the first bridge in 1952. Camp Trevino was built south of the city to house employees of the drilling camp and businesses startedspringing up to supply the necessary amenities needed by the employees.
The new Neuvo Progreso Bridge was completed in 2003 with it’s broad covered walkways on each side and four lanes of traffic that speed the flow of cars going either way. The soon to be opened truck bridge, located to the east side will remove the heavy truck traffic and will make the crossing even more pleasurable.
Even better, when you cross the bridge you’re right in the heart of one of the busiest, happiest, and most fun shopping places anywhere on the border. Everyone from Winter Texans, to college students on Spring Break, to families during the summer months enjoys the many shopping opportunities, and the fabulous food for every taste. Come and let the friendliest people on the border show you a good time!
TIPS:U.S. Customs Service: All articles acquired in Mexico must be declared. Each visitor is allowed $400.00 of duty free goods, for personal use, every 30 days. Anything over $400.00 is taxed a flat rate of 10% per $100.00. Texas residents are allowed 1-quart or 1-liter of distilled spirits, 3-gallons of wine, or 24-12 oz. containers of beer. Non-Texas residents are allowed 1-gallon of distilled spirits or wine (or any combination of the two), or 24-12 oz containers of beer. There can be no substitutions between the types of beverages. The importation of alcoholic beverages must be for personal consumption and cannot occur more than once in a 30-day period. All alcoholic beverages imported into Texas are subject to a state liquor tax and an administrative fee. You will be advised at the checkpoint of current rates. Certain prescriptions may be purchased in Mexico and brought into the U.S. provided you have a valid U.S. Doctor’s prescription for a reasonable amount. A reasonable amount generally means a 90 day supply. U.S. Customs may exercise judgment in allowing the transport of prescription drugs. Do not bring any type of diet pills or steroids across the border. Hazardous items, guns, switchblades and illegal drugs are just a few of the items strictly prohibited from crossing into the U.S. For up to date information regarding the importation of items from Mexico into the United States, please go direct to the U.S. Customs website and click on "Traveler Information".
Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission: You must be 21 years old to possess alcoholic beverages and carry current valid identification at all times. Minors (persons under 21 years of age) or intoxicated persons may not bring alcoholic beverages into Texas. If you show false or altered identification, the identification will be confiscated and you will be prosecuted. You must be 18 years of age to purchase cigarettes. One carton of cigarettes per person may be imported. For up to date information regarding rules and regulations, please go direct to the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission’s website.
U.S. Immigration Service: Non-residents must present a valid passport, F-1 Visa and valid I-94 and I- 20 forms to enter into Mexico. Any vehicle used in the attempt to smuggle aliens will be seized. Falsely stating you are a U.S. citizen is a criminal offense. You will be prosecuted. Resident aliens must have their resident alien card with them at all times. For additional information please go direct to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
U.S. Department of Agriculture: Items strictly prohibited from crossing into the U.S. are some fruits and vegetables, including mangos, avocados with seeds (the vendors know this and will remove them), citrus (except limes) and potatoes; all poultry, pork, and products made from them; all birds, exotic animals including sea turtles, stuffed or alive; most exotic animal products such as skins and most animal hides except cowhides. Any travelers who fail to declare agricultural items on entry into the United States can be fined a civil penalty of up to $1,000 or more on the spot and will have their items confiscated. For up to date information regarding the importation of items from Mexico into the United States, please go directly to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s website.