Boquillas is a small village in Mexico that sits on the Eastern side of Big Bend National Park. The community features an international port of entry to cross the Rio Grande. The crossing is open Wednesday through Sunday year round from 9:00am until 6:00pm. It is advisable to arrive back at the port of entry 30 minutes before closing time. During December and January, the crossing hours may be changed to open at 8:00am and close at 5:00pm. The doors will be locked promptly at closing time.
1. US citizens must have a valid US Passport , or a passport/crossing card (click for info)
2. International travelers must have a valid passport and be registered with the ESTA visa waiver program (click for info)
3. Documentation must be presented to Mexican Immigration officials both upon arrival and departure from Boquillas.
4. Upon return to the US, documentation is scanned and transmitted to the US immigration office in El Paso, where an official views the document remotely as well as the person presenting. Via a telephone connection, the official asks the standard questions: a. What was the purpose of your trip? b. What are you bringing back? Please note that visitors may not bring back food products, alcoholic beverages, or anything made from animals or parts of animals
5. Big Bend National Park staff are on site to help with the re-entry process and give out information.
What to expect:
1. There is a row boat with a trained oarsman that is available for crossing. The cost is $5 round trip. Tickets can be purchased at Rio Grande Village Store, or directly from a Boquillas Internationally Ferry representative upon landing in Mexico.
2. When the river is low, some people choose to wade the river, which they do at their own risk. The fees generated by the ferry contribute to the livelihood of the ten people involved in the operation and their families.
3. The landing is still approximately one mile from the village, some people choose to walk, and a local guide will accompany you for a gratuity. This is a requirement of the managers of the Federally Protected Natural Area, Maderas del Carmen
4. More popular is the choice to take a horse of burro into town. Horses run $8 per person round trip, and burros $5. A local guide will accompany you, show you the town, and stay close until you are ready to return. Gratuities for good service are always appreciated.
5. Visitors may also ride in a pick up for $5 per head.
Most people who visit Boquillas take a walk through town, where many of the residences display local handicrafts such as wire sculptures of scorpions, road runners, lizards and ocotillos. There are also embroidered textiles and even quilts available. The prices for these are very reasonable.
Most visitors of course enjoy a meal at one of the two local restaurants. Jose Falcon’s restaurant has been a mainstay of the local tourism business for many years. They have recently expanded and have a very pleasant atmosphere overlooking the Rio Grande. Immediately across the street is Boquillas restaurant, operated by another branch of the Falcon family. The food in both places is simple, fresh, and good. Check the menus at both places and see what they have to offer.
In the near future, more extensive tour offerings will be available such as horse trips to the mouth of Boquillas canyon, trips to the several hot springs nearby, combination of truck and horse trips into the mountains, short canoe trips etc.