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Los Ebanos, Texas: Only Hand-Operated Ferry Across USA-Mexico Border

Get 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. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Car $5, and per person $2
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Visitor Tips and News About Only Hand-Operated Ferry Across USA-Mexico Border

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

US-Mexico Ferry crossing.

Only Hand-Operated Ferry Across USA-Mexico Border

The ferry is $2 per person (and $5 for car if you take vehicle). The nearest town in Mexico is two miles further in. Drive your car or take a taxi. On the USA side, there's nothing. Rode across and back. We were glad we did. Only open Monday - Friday. Last ferry into USA is at 3:45.

[2rakoons, 02/26/2021]


Hand-Cranked Ferry between U.S. and Mexico

We visited on a Wednesday and were happy to find the ferry operating. We drove our truck on with two other cars and crossed to the Mexico side of the river. We did not go into any towns in Mexico. We rode back to the U.S. on the ferry. The shops are no longer open, but the old buildings give it a ghost town feel.

[Jack M, 02/18/2019]
Hand-Operated Ferry

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 Ferry.

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]
Only Hand-Operated Ferry Across USA-Mexico Border

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]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Rock 'n' Roll Heaven MuralRock 'n' Roll Heaven Mural, McAllen, TX - 21 mi.
Killer Bee Capital of the WorldKiller Bee Capital of the World, Hidalgo, TX - 21 mi.
Stained Glass MuseumStained Glass Museum, San Juan, TX - 26 mi.
In the region:
Freddy Fender Grave and Memorial, San Benito, TX - 59 mi.

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