Across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, Nuevo Laredo is very large and has one of the prettiest town plazas in a Mexican border town with some good handicrafts shops. In fact, it used to be the largest shopping mecca anywhere along the border outside of Tijuana. The city is also home to the famous (and overrated) El Dorado Bar and Grill.
Be aware, however, that drug-related violence—including kidnappings, car hijackings and murder—is a problem. Some has been targeted at Americans. Unless you have business to attend to there, it is better to head south after crossing the border—or avoid going there altogether. The violence has caused such a drop in numbers of day trippers from neighboring Texas that many shops around the main plaza have had to close.
Located 155 mi/250 km southwest of San Antonio, Texas, Laredo is the second-most popular crossing between the U.S. and Mexico, and frequently has long lines at the border. If you must go there, use the Puente Solidaridad Bridge in Columbia (35 mi/50 km to the west) instead.
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