Visiting Ojinaga Mexico with Angell Expeditions
Angell Expeditions has been taking visitors to Ojinaga for a long time, and it’s a lot of fun!
When Anthony Bourdain and his crew contacted us for his river trip, we made sure to suggest Ojinaga as an ‘Unknown’ destination with great food and great people. The Mayor of Presidio and the Mayor of Ojinaga hosted Tony and his crew. They had a great time at the same places we go all the time too. Presidio and Ojinaga are sister cities with hundreds of years of family connections.
It’s an old old town (founded about 1200 AD) and occupied ever since, with lots of history right there on the Rio Grande.
Originally named by the Spaniards as “La Junta”, or “The Meeting”, where the 2 rivers meet, the Rio Grande and the Rio Conchos, the settlement then became Presidio del Norte, which was on both sides of the river. After the Mexican-American war the Rio Grande became the new boundary, and the US side retained the name Presidio and the Mexican side became Ojinaga, named after General Manuel Ojinaga, who fought in the Mexican war to drive out French occupation in the 1860’s.
See the recent article on Anthony Bourdain’s visit to OJ while he was down here. Mr Bourdain visited “El Palace”, “El Olvido Bar” and “El Mexico de Ayer” – names speaking volumes with just a name (He Forgot Bar) and (The Mexico of Yesterday).
Family owned boot and hat store, large selection and low low prices!
Things To Do in Ojinaga
Some of the attractions and things to do in and around Ojinaga are driving to the 1600 ft. Peguis Canyon overlook, or the small reservoir and spillway on the Rio Conchos, or taking a canoe trip into the canyon on the Rio Conchos. Very few people float this trip, most times we are the only persons seen on the water.
The Rio Conchos feeds into the Rio Grande at Ojinaga, providing most of the water that runs through Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park, it also is a clearer, cleaner running stream that is fed from the Copper Canyon region of Chihuahua state, high in the Sierra Madre mountains. This is a working trip, plenty of paddling effort is required but the payoff is amazing scenery, similar to Santa Elena canyon in the National Park.
Serving hot and spicy Menudo, known in Mexico as the hangover cure!
Excellent shrimp cocktails!
One of many small snack shacks!
Anthony Bourdain dined on shrimp cocktails and oysters at this outdoor patio restaurant!
Shrimp cocktails and Clamato cervezas served right up!
Peguis Canyon Overlook
The town square in downtown San Carlos, also known as Manuel Benavidez.
Ojinaga is as safe to visit as any other town of it’s size; in the decade-plus of Angell Expeditions traveling there we have never experienced any problems. As with any destination it is wise to keep valuables out of sight and secured in your vehicle, also be aware that NO FIREARMS are allowed in Mexico, or ammunition/bullets. This is a serious crime that will result in imprisonment, leave all guns and bullets at home, do not cross the border with them – even an empty, spent bullet casing can get you into trouble.
To visit OJ (as Ojinaga is known in the region) we go to Presidio and cross the border. You need a passport of course.
We offer day trips to Ojinaga, or overnight, with a minimum of two people. See the Rates Page for current pricing.
Overnights in San Carlos can be booked in a bed and breakfast by reservation, rates and room sizes from $100 -$200 per night, rates vary by season and room size. This facility is in a beautiful, safe location at the mouth of one of the best hiking canyons in Northern Mexico!
This part of Big Bend is far off the beaten path, and has not had the problems other border towns have experienced. Generations of families live on both sides of the river, and have maintained a friendly laid back way of life with bars and restaurants your grandparents would recognize – if not by name, then by their cuisine and atmosphere.
Burro in a no-parking zone in San Carlos, a small village an hour drive from Ojinaga