If you’re going to be visiting Big Bend National Park, we encourage you to the little border crossing town across the Rio Grande River called Boquillas, Mexico on the Southwest side of the National Park. We’re sure you’ll enjoy this cool little day-trip across the notorious mighty river and create a memory you can tell your kids and grandkids…
Boquillas is surrounded by a 520,000 acre Biosphere Preserve. The Maderas del Carmen includes deep desert canyons and rugged mountain peaks over 10,000 feet. Its home to over 400 bird and 70 mammal species.
Natural Protected Area may charge a small admission fee per person (about $1.50). Sometimes those fees are collected in Boquillas and may be charged during peak seasons without notice. Those fees are critical in helping protect the wildlife habitat.
Your adventure starts here…
You can cross over a couple different ways. The Rio Grande offers an easy and relaxing canoe trip for about 2-3 hours on the water. Your river adventure starts at the boat landing and paddle down to the entrance of Boquillas Canyon. You then, take a truck ride a mile upstream to visit an archeological site and thermal springs before paddling down to the canyon. Both tours include a hike into the canyon and visit the Crystal Cave. A truck will transport you back to the village.
You can also take a short tour to Boquillas Canyon and ruins of the original Boquillas via burro, vehicle, horse or canoe. For more info, you can contact their office by email firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 432-386-5635. Walk-ins may be available. You can inquire at the boat landing.
Once you get there…
Once you arrive in the town of Boquillas, you’ll notice that most resident families selling their handcrafts along the street like a vendor fair to support their families. You can see how they created interesting wire and beaded art in the form of Roadrunners, Scorpions and Ocotillos. Other handcrafts include walking sticks that are hand-painted with desert motifs, and-embroidered shopping tote bags, placemats and pillow covers. Before deciding what to buy, we encourage you to walk through the whole town as other vendor families may have something different than the others. Oh, and its okay to negotiate prices.
The town operates year round. They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays but are open all other days. During the spring, summer and fall months, their hours of operation are 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and 8:00 am – 5:00 pm in the winter months.
There are some important notes and requirements. ..
Most importantly, you must have your valid passport or passport card with you at all times. There will be no exceptions.
You will only board the boat after it has landed and the operator gives the go ahead. Once you board the boat, you must be seated until the boat operator gives permission to disembark. No standing in the boats are permitted.
The boat ride will only take about five minutes. After leaving the boat, you will walk up the small river bank to be met with the choice of riding to town in a pickup truck or a donkey for $5 each or a horse for $7 one-way.
Before walking into town after disembarking your truck, donkey or horse, your guide will show the way to the Mexican Immigration trailer where you must check in. You will need to fill out a small document. Once your tour of the town is finished, you must also check out with Mexican Immigration before proceeding back to the boat.
Your driver/guide will show you around town and wait while you eat and shop. It is up to you if you want the guide with you as you walk through town. Restaurant prices are the same as what they are in the States. Be sensible about your alcohol consumption and situational awareness.
One last thing, visitors may not bring tobacco, alcohol, produce or raw food products or animals or parts of animals. Do not engage in any illegal transactions or activity.
We hope this information is helpful in giving you a nudge to experience this epic adventure. If you are unable to go but want to read about OUR epic adventure, click on…….
For more information, please visit www.boquillas.org
Our related blogs you may enjoy:
Our Excellent Mexican Adventure
Bigger Than Life: Big Bend National Park – Coming Soon!
Living Ghost Town: Terlingua, Texas – Coming Soon!