Juarez Mexico Travel Mindset
You need to have the correct travel mindset to visit a place like Juarez, Mexico. I do believe mindset to be the most important thing in life regardless of what you are doing. Most people are too afraid to travel here. Even the locals in El Paso, Texas advised us against it. However, we love Mexico & the intrigue of going here was just too much. We make a conscious effort to not allow fear to stop us from doing things.
You need to believe that you will be fine. Believe that most people are good and want to help. However, you should also plan contingencies if something is to go wrong. Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to be back. Possibly have travel insurance that covers ransom in case of a kidnapping. Do not make it look obvious if you are a bit scared as that alone can make you a target. Be extra courteous, and do not do anything to offend anyone. If you are good to people, generally they are good back to you.
Do your research. Don’t go to the worst areas. For example, during our research we discovered Uber is the safest way to travel in Juarez. Without research we would have never thought to use Uber in Mexico. Our research determined that Juarez is not nearly as bad as it was 10 years ago, but the violence has started to escalate again recently. Keep in mind, most of the violence is isolated to those in the drug trade.
Put things in perspective. Yes, Juarez is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. However, so is Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, & New Orleans. Most people from the United States think the USA is safe everywhere because they are from there. In fact, the USA is not the safest or most dangerous country but falls somewhere in the middle.
Walking Into Ciudad Juarez
There are 3 bridges crossing from El Paso to Juarez. We decided to park on the El Paso side and walk over the Santa Fe Bridge. This way you do not need to buy Mexico car insurance. Before you get to the bridge there are a lot of shops and cafes on the El Paso side, some of which are duty free. Once in Juarez, it looks considerably different than El Paso. Below is a video of our walk across the bridge and a glimpse of our ride through town.
What We Did In Juarez
After getting across the bridge we walked to Mercado Juarez. It is not a very impressive market but everyone was nice. We did walk by a few sketchy areas, but the only thing that ever approached us was a couple of friendly stray dogs. We made our way to Cafe Apolo where I had a $5 shrimp plate with $1.50 beers, and Shawna had a burrito. The service was good and the waiter was very friendly. The food was middle of the road but decent. Not many tourists go to Juarez anymore, so they are very appreciative for the business.
We wanted to go to a Mexican brewery, but I guess something was lost in translation. We thought La Cerveceria De Don Chepe was a brewery, but it was just a bar. They did have some Mexican craft beer, but they do not brew themselves. We had a couple beers and then decided to find something else to eat.
Across the street was a restaurant called Barrigas. This place was excellent on every level. We shared a tortilla soup, and had the alambre tacos (fine chopped beef steak, seasoned with green bell pepper, bacon, onion and grated Oaxaca cheese).
From here we took an Uber back to the bridge and walked back into El Paso. We will definitely spend more time in Juarez next time we are in El Paso. We would love to check out La Rodadora which is rated the best museum in Juarez and great for kids.
In closing, we challenge you to get outside your comfort zone. Don’t let fear stop you from living the best life you can. Fear is the single most inhibiting feeling; it stops you from doing so many things you should do. Having said that, don’t be stupid either!
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