You can’t go wrong taking Rich’s Juarez Walking Tour:
Just returned from 4.5 hour walking tour of Juarez and it was totally safe and enjoyable. Like most, I was aware on Juarez’s recent history of drug violence and reputation as the “murder capital” of the world. Even though Juarez has moved pasted this period, the fear of going there still lingers. This is unfortunate since my experience today was totally the opposite. The current exchange rate is $1.00 = $16.7 pesos. Following is my experience in researching Juarez and selecting Rich’s Walking Tour.
1. It is a very easy to walk across the bridge from El Paso to Juarez in less than 5 minutes, paying 50 cents going and 35 cents coming back to Mexican authorities. Going over there was no stopping for Mexican customs or immigration. Parking on the US side was $4 per day. If you want to visit independently, you can pick up a Juarez “Historical Walking Tour” brochure at the El Paso visit information at 400 W. San Antonio Ave. There is also a Juarez Information Office In the lobby of the Camino Real hotel, but it was closed when we went there and phone calls were not answered. Their number is 915-343-4744. There is also a “Juarez is Open” campaign run by the Juarez government, but couldn’t find any useful info from this program.
2. If you goggle “Juarez tours” you will find a lot of dated info on shuttle buses, trolleys, and open air buses between El Paso and Juarez or operating in Juarez. But, all of these are no longer running due to lack of demand. The one bus that is running between El Paso and Juarez is a local bus that is not advertised except by word of mouth. I found out about it after exhausting all other alternatives above. It is a yellow “Transborde” bus running from downtown El Pado to Juarez every 30 minutes from 7 am until 7 pm. A good place to catch this bus is directly behind the El Paso Visitor Center, listed above. It costs $2.00 each way. Once you arrive in Juarez, you are on your own and you should be aware of significant bus delays when returning to the US. This was my original plan until I found Rich’s tour.
3. Since this was our first visit to Juarez, I wanted a guided tour that gave us an overview of the city and made the best use of our limited time in Juarez. This is when I came across “Juarez Walking Tour (El Chuqueno/elchuqueno.com). It is also listed on Facebook under Juarez Walking Tour. After talking to “Rich”, I decided to take his two hour tour for $20.00/per. This is one of the best decisions I could have made. He is an El Paso native with an extensive knowledge of Juarez, travels to Juarez often even when not conducting tours, and tailors each tour to match your interests. You can contact him at 915-820-1628.
4. We arranged to meet at the Paso Del Norte border crossing at the very end of Sante Fe St. where parking is $4.00/day. It took us about 10 minutes to cross into Mexico only because Rich used this walk to explain some of the history between El Paso and Juarez. Although we had schedules a two hour tour, we ended up spending about 4.5 hours from parking lot back to parking lot. We covered the usual historical and commercial sites including Juarez history, Martinio Restaurant, Kentucky Club, Baptist Temple, Casa Sauer Building, History Museum, Site of Benito Juarez Office, Old City Hall, Mission de Guadalupe, Catholic Cathedral, Mercado, and open air market. The highlight of our visit was coffee and dessert at Cafeteria La Nueva Central and lunch and Margaritas at the Club Kentucky. Before we knew it, our two hour tour had turned into a leisurely walk through Juarez with a very knowledgable and patient companion/tour guide.
We have walked in more urban areas around the world than I can count and very few rival the time we spent with Rich touring Juarez. Not one second did we feel at risk. On the contrary, everyone we encountered was very friendly and helpful.
From my perspective and personal experience, the central downtown of Juarez safe and again, “OPEN FOR BUSSINESS”.
The basic tour takes about two and half hours, but if we’re having fun, we can stay longer.
Our family recently visited El Paso and did Rich’s tour of Juarez. I would highly recommend this experience. It was fun, safe and very educational. We did a little shopping and stopped by the Kentucky club for a margarita on the way back. Even my 7 year old had fun. I hope to do this again one day. Thanks Rich
I’ve taken kids as young as five years old over to Juarez (including my own son). The cantinas won’t let children in, but the Kentucky Club is a “restobar” these days, so kids can go in there. They just can’t sit at the bar. We’ll sit at a table.
Best tour we have done. Rich’s enthusiam and knowledge made the tour fun as well as informative. WARNING must like Tequila????
Cindy & Tony from Australia, 2017-01-07
Well, you don’t have to like tequila. You don’t even have to drink, but the history of Juarez is intrinsically linked to its cantinas, so most tours we visit the oldest bar in Juarez (and sometimes the second oldest). If you don’t drink, club soda is a viable option.
I loved the walking tour. I learned so much about a very interesting city. The tour was very safe and fun. I would recommend this to anyone interested in exploring Cd. Juarez!!
Joseph D., 2014-06-09
Perhaps you feel your visit to El Paso is incomplete without a visit to Cuidad Juarez. You may be uncertain how to proceed in an unfamiliar city with a history of violence. You want a guide from an insider who knows the culture, the people and the places. For an insightful, entertaining and very memorable day walk to Cuidad Juarez, I can’t think of a better guide than Rich.
The editor of the El Chuqueño website, and a lifetime student of the El Paso-Juarez area, Rich brings a wealth of experience, thought and courtesy to his individualized tour of a city he clearly loves.
Rich says emphatically that “Juarez is the best part of El Paso”. A big claim. But he was able to show me the city through his eyes, and at the end of his memorable tour, I could see the truth of his statement. Of course, Juarez is much older – and larger – with a much more central role in the history of Mexico than El Paso has played in the US. Rich’s tour bought all of this to life for me.
After a phone call to set things up, Rich met me at the Santa Fe Street footbridge, and we walked across to Juarez while he talked about the turbulent history of the Rio Grande river and the historic flow of people across the border.
Rich has been coming to Juarez since he was a very young man. He knows the history of the streets, the houses that were demolished, the bars that have moved to new locations, the stadiums that almost were built. It was very entertaining to see him greet people on the street who clearly knew him well. You’ll see the street market, the spectacular Cathedral, the Customs House Museum, the Kentucky Club (perhaps the place where the margarita was invented) and many other fascinating locations in a personalized walk that is very relaxed.
I can’t recommend Rich’s walking tour of Juarez highly enough!
I enjoy showing Juarez to people. And I want to show it to you, too.