The Border Crossing at Progreso
Have you ever thought about going to Mexico? Yes! Why haven't you gone? Why should you go? Well, here is a little introduction to what it is like to cross the border of the United States into Mexico at the Progreso International Bridge.
Understanding the System
A lot of times we don't do things we want to because we don't understand the system. Let me explain the system along the border of Mexico so that you can eliminate that from the reasons holding you back.
Going to Mexico is different than coming into the US. Mexico has two borders instead of just one like the US. Mexico has a free zone along its northern border that Americans can freely go into and out of without much hassle; especially if you WALK in. This zone is pretty much unregulated on the Mexican side if you walk in. There is another border deeper into Mexico where you will have to apply for a visa and go through customs if you want to go down into the rest of Mexico.
Although you do need a passport or a passport card if you plan to travel to Mexicos free zone, you will probably never have to show it to get into or out of Mexico. Where you need it, is to get back into the US. This is one of the few places you can use a Passport Card is in this free zone along the Mexican border. You will need a real passport to go anywhere else in the world. Personally, as a world traveler, I just don't see the purpose for the Passport card; but for those who are just interested in crossing the border of the US an Mexico to the free zone, it is all you need. Just know that if you want to go further into Mexico, you will need a real passport book. CLICK HERE for information about applying for a US passport.
Walking across is the border crossing at Progreso is Best
Unless you are physically unable to do so, I highly recommend walking across the border at Progresso. Not only is it way simpler than driving your car across, but it is also just a whole lot of fun. Don't worry about being alone, because you won't be. You will be in a crowd of people, mostly retired Americans of upper years walking across with you. It is a very fun walk and there is a lot of scenery to see along the way. The experience alone is worth the journey.
Where to park your car at the border crossing at Progreso?
So you ready to walk across, but where do you park your car? Not to worry. Millions of people do this every year and they have everything you need all set up to make your adventure as smooth and comfortable as possible. There is a parking lot right up on the US side of the border to park your car. Parking here is a reasonable $2 for all day parking. The parking lot is on your right side just as you get to the border.
Border Parking Toll Booth
Progreso, TX Border Parking Lot
US Side Border Facilities
The US side of the border offers a lot to walking border crossers. They have made it easy and enjoyable. There are nice walking paths with good handrails and handicapped-accessible ramps. You can tell that they are catering to seasoned Americans. They also have some unexpectedly nice landscaping too. Just before you cross the border there is the all-important BATHROOM that you will want to visit.
South Pathway from the Parking lot up to the border
East Pathway from the Parking lot up to the border
Pick Up Rest Pavilion at Southwest Corner of the border parking lot
US Side Bathroom Facilities
What it is like to actually walk across the border?
Once you reach the actual border itself, you will come to some turnstiles where you will have to pay a small bridge fee to cross over the bridge. At the time of this writing, the fee is $1 on the US side. You will have to pay the bridge fee when leaving Mexico as well, which was $0.25 (25 cents) at the time of this writing. Once you pay this fee you are off to cross the bridge under the protection of a nice cover roof. It is really not that far to walk, but there are some benches along the way for those that might need to rest or who just want to enjoy the view of the Rio Grande River.
Bridge Fee Turnstiles
Covered Bridge Walkway