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I am trying to determine exactly what documentation I will need in order to make the border crossing into Boquillas, Mexico from the United States in Big Bend National Park. There is a border crossing within the park where you are able to cross the Rio Grande and visit a small Mexican town. They have a Port of Entry for this purpose.

I am a Canadian citizen and United States Permanent Resident. I will also have a NEXUS card at the time of my visit.

On this page on the NPS website it lists what it considers to be the documentation necessary:

U.S. and Canadian citizens can present a valid: U.S. Passport; Passport Card; Enhanced Driver’s License; a Global Entry card, Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST); U.S. Military identification card when traveling on official orders; U.S. Merchant Mariner document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business; or Form I-872 American Indian Card, or (when available) Enhanced Tribal Card.

Is this accurate information? If so, I would like to travel with only my NEXUS card and Green Card and not bring my passport. However, I can't find any information about Mexico accepting it as valid documentation.

Thanks in advance.

  • 2
    Why would you not carry your passport? It wouldn't occur to me to consider crossing an international border without it. – user102507 Sep 20 '19 at 3:15
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    I'm going to be spending several days in a National Park in the desert, and going across the a river to go to this town for a couple of hours. My passport is one more thing to lose or damage. – Matthew FitzGerald-Chamberlain Sep 20 '19 at 3:19
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    @CatchAsCatchCan the US does not require green card holders to present any document other than their green card to enter the US. I'm not sure about Mexico. – phoog Sep 20 '19 at 4:10
  • @phoog I'm aware that many countries accept documents other than passports for people entering. If one didn't have a passport at all or it was unavailable I could understand the question. What puzzles me is why someone would choose not to use it when the alternatives aren't clear, at least in one direction. – user102507 Sep 20 '19 at 5:16
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    @AussieJoe as I said at the end of my comment "often there is no actual passport check..." – Midavalo Sep 26 '19 at 16:36
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I visited Boquillas this weekend so I can now answer this.

No documentation is needed to enter Mexico at Boquillas in the Mexico direction. When you enter, you will be directed to a trailer, at which point you will pay a fee of $2 USD per person for a wristband. Your passport and documents will not be checked, however a Federal Police office is nearby, presumably in case of issues.

To return to the United States, you will need a passport or green card. Boquillas is a Class B Port of Entry:

Class B means that the port is a designated port of entry for travelers who at the time of applying for admission are lawfully in possession of valid Permanent Resident Cards or valid non-resident aliens' border-crossing identification cards or are admissible without requiring a waiver of inadmissibility.

When you return to the United States, a park ranger will check your bags for contraband, do a cursory check of your passport or green card, and then you will be directed to a digital terminal which will scan your passport or green card. Soon, a phone will ring, and when you pick up you will be connected to a CBP officer in another location who will ask you what you're bringing back to the United States. Assuming everything is good, you'll hang up the phone and be let back into the United States without any issues.

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    Thanks for coming back to share your experience. – Zach Lipton Dec 4 '19 at 3:19

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