Sprawling CIUDAD JUÁREZ, just across the border from El Paso, Texas, is possibly Mexico’s nastiest border town. Vast, dirty and riddled with visible social problems at the best of times, its spiralling drug-gang violence led to the Mexican army being deployed to patrol its bullet-spattered streets in 2008. This followed the already notorious rape and murder of over four hundred women since 1993, “las muertas de Juárez” portrayed in the depressing Jennifer Lopez movie Bordertown (2007) and Roberto Bolaño’s seminal novel 2666. There’s an element of paranoia to this of course; Juárez is a city of two million people that, by and large, functions like anywhere else in Mexico, and tourists are very rarely affected by drug violence (it’s also just as famous in Mexico for being the home of Juan Gabriel, the nation’s most successful singer). The security situation has improved dramatically in recent years (murders had dropped almost 75 percent by 2014), but it’s still a good idea to pass through Juárez as quickly as possible – you won’t miss much. Travelling between the main transit points is perfectly safe during the day.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Mexico features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
12 cool places to visit in Mexico

12 cool places to visit in Mexico

Times remain tough for Mexico, but the truth is that there’s never been a better period to visit Latin America’s most diverse nation – most of the country…

16 Jan 2017 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month