Los Ebanos, Texas: Only Hand-Operated Ferry Across USA-Mexico BorderGet hand-pulled across the Rio Grande into Mexico, then turn around and get pulled right back.
- Hwy 886, Los Ebanos, TX
- From McAllen/Mission take US 83 west ten miles to Sullivan City. Turn south onto Hwy 886, drive into the town of Los Ebanos, then keep bearing southwest until you reach the Rio Grande and the Ferry. The road on the Mexican side is much nicer than the road on the American side, which at the end is nothing but a dirt track.
- Daily 8-3:30, weather permitting.
- Round-trip $7.
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Visitor Tips and News About Only Hand-Operated Ferry Across USA-Mexico Border
The ferry landing area has been updated and homeland Security has a new inspection station. Take your passports. The area has all-new concrete. Ferry hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. seven days a week. If the river gets too high from rain, the ferry does not operate. We paid $4 to go over and $3 to come back. We had lunch in Mexico at restaurant that starts with a "V." We have eaten there for several years. Cash only. They will take U.S. dollars. They have a menu in English. It is on a corner of the one-way street that comes back out of town. A popular place for French-Canadians who winter in Texas.[Joseph Dorsey, 09/13/2016]
Los Ebanos Hand-Drawn Ferry
"The only hand-drawn ferry in the U.S." (according to its sign) is still in operation, although the duty-free shops have seen better days. There were a lot of cars on the U.S. side when I visited, but the stores were closed and looked as if they had not been open for a long time. One looked like a ghost town relic in contrast to the modern Border Patrol facility at the crossing.[Rick Kincaid, 12/24/2014]
Many people cross and then come right back because they are buying smokes and liquor at the nearby Duty Free store. This satisfies the requirement to leave the USA, even if just briefly.[PirateJohn, 09/06/2012]
Cost $2.75 one way. Make sure you have a passport for all to come back. US border patrol seem to hate life.[Jim And Suzie, 04/07/2010]
You can find the Los Ebanos Ferry, the only existing hand-operated ferry on the U.S.-Mexican border. It is very unusual. It will carry three cars at a time. Men actually pull cables to make the ferry go across the water. We rode it across the river and turned around and came back. But don't be surprised to see the Border Patrol watching the area. It seems to be a crossing point for Mexicans coming across to Texas.[Beverly Short, 02/15/1998]
Perhaps only those that can't part with their cars.