Apr 13, 2011, 8:03 PM
It isn't that no one wants to go there. There is plenty to see in Tamaulipas, first and foremost El Cielo, a protected mountain sanctuary with four or five distinct eco-systems tucked away in the Sierra Madre oriental. It is truly the state's jewel in the crown. And there are also wonderful waterfalls near the town of Mante (a jumping off point for El Cielo. Tamaulipas has alot to offer, much more than would be apparent to the average tourist.
The main problem is that in state travel has now become somewhat risky, if not downright dangerous (particularly night travel) within the main corridor. Warning to travelers: do not travel these highways at night, stick to the toll roads during the day and you should be okay. The various cartels (the Gulf Cartel vs. the Juarez one) are battling for control, and the government is having a hard time containing the violence. Border cities such as Reynosa and Matamoros can be dangerous as violence is sporadic and unpredictable. (in February of 2009 a notorious gun battle took place there). An ICE agent was shot and killed there last month.
Of special concern is the town of San Fernando, which is said to be under control of the Gulf cartel. San Fernando is approx. 80 miles south of Matamoros, and along the highway to Ciudad Victoria, the provincial capital. It was the site last year of a mass killing (mostly central and south american migrants) and last week 59 more bodies were discovered. Moreover, thugs working for the cartels have been known to drag tourists and other passengers off buses using the state's highways.
Those skeptics reading this, take note: this is no joke nor is it an exaggeration and these thugs do not discriminate with nationality. There is a very definite risk involved, if you do not take proper precautions.
On a brighter note, unlike Chihuahua and other Mexican states the violence seems to be confined to the border region, forementioned towns, and along the highway from Reynosa to Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state. Don't let all the hoopla keep you from enjoying the wonderful treasures this state offers. Just make sure your bus will not be traveling at night through the region or if driving stick to the toll roads during the day time hours only.
(This post was edited by vwbus1969 on Apr 13, 2011, 8:11 PM)