Ciudad Juarez City Guide
*The following city guide was written and submitted by Matt H.
OVERVIEW: Ciudad Juarez is the largest city in the state of Chihuahua and was previously known as Paso Del Norte (pass to the north in Spanish). Located on the United States border across from El Paso, Texas, it is an important trading post between Mexico and the US.
WEATHER: 13-40°C. In the summer, expect temperatures of about 40°C, and in the winter, temperatures may drop close to 0°C.
SAFETY: Ciudad Juarez was notorious for turf wars between rival drug cartels from 2008 to 2011. But recently, the drug violence has drastically lessened. And local police now patrol the city routinely. However, drug violence is still a problem. But if you're not looking for trouble, you'll be safe. In particular, avoid the northwest section of the city, especially at night.
MUST DO: Mercado Juarez for purchasing souvenirs and for the local cuisine, Paso del Norte cultural center. But outside of downtown, there aren't really any tourist attractions. However, there are sand dunes about 2 hours outside the city that are worth seeing.
RENT AN APARTMENT IN CIUDAD JUAREZ: $150-230 near the city center.
HOSTEL DORM BED/NIGHT $$15. Hostal 697 is the only hostel in Ciudad Juarez, but if you put in some effort, you can find budget hotels near downtown for around that price.
NIGHTLIFE IN CIUDAD JUAREZ: 6/10
Most of the nightlife in Ciudad Juarez is concentrated in and around downtown, mostly along Avenida Juarez. If you're visiting Ciudad Juarez for the first time, Kentucky Bar is a must see. You'll also find bars near Paseo Triunfó de República but not as in abundance as downtown.
BOTTLE OF BEER: $1.00-2.00
CHANCE OF HOOKING-UP IN CIUDAD JUAREZ: 5/10
Because Ciudad Juarez is a border town, the girls (except transplants from interior Mexico) are Americanized, especially if they have learned English at home (the TV stations in El Paso serve Juarez as well). Many upper class girls take plenty of shopping trips to El Paso, and many also attend the community college or UTEP. So this means they may have attitudes that are just as difficult as American women. Other big problems you'll run into here are breaking into social circles and sausage fests. If you try to intermingle with social groups in some nightlife venues like Asenzo Cafe Bar, you may get thrown out. Last but not least, feminism is seemingly spreading there, so girls may not enjoy getting hit on or approached.
***ONLINE DATING: If you want to meet girls in Mexico the easy way, I highly recommend signing up for Mexican Cupid. You can chat with local girls and set up dates before you arrive in the country, which is a major advantage.
ARE GIRLS HOT IN CIUDAD JUAREZ?: 7/10.
Being that Ciudad Juarez is low-class by Mexican standards, hot girls will be fewer and farther between than even four hours south in Chihuahua. So competition is really stiff, and most girls who are even a 7 already have boyfriends. At best you'll be able to get with a 5 who works in the maquiladora or a single mother -- not such good odds. Additionally, obesity is a problem here. I'd say that overall, the quality of women in Ciudad Juarez is very lackluster compared to the rest of Mexico.
If you want to make the most of your time in Mexico, you will need to speak some Spanish. Rocket Spanish is the best resource for learning Spanish quickly and easily.
GROCERIES: Milk (1L)= $3.00, Eggs=$1.60, Water (1.5L)=$0.70, Cigarettes=$2.70
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: If you have a US passport, your best bet is to work in El Paso or teach English. There are many American companies, but they want cheap labor, so they would rather hire a local than an foreigner.
NOTES: This place is good for short term stays or if you're getting your first taste of Mexico. After a while, you'll want to go to the interior of the country. Much of the infrastructure is shabby, and poverty is still rampant. Definitely don't come here for the girls; they're mostly mediocre to low quality.
OVERALL RATING: 5/10
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