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Acuña sits on the Rio Grande River (locally known as the Río Bravo) and is a city located in the Mexican state of Coahuila, 89 km northeast of Piedras Negras and just across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, Texas, USA.

Acuña stands on the Rio Grande River (locally known as the Río Bravo).

Ciudad Acuña marks the US-Mexico border and offers two border crossings via Lake Amistad Dam International Crossing and Del Río-Ciudad Acuña International Bridge with the neighboring city of Del Rio, USA.

Ciudad Acuña is one of the most varied tourist destinations in the state of Coahuila. Old-timers in Mexico consider Acuña to be one of the nicest and most convenient border crossings along the entire Rio Grande.

Ciudad Acuña also serves as the seat of the surrounding municipality of the same name – Acuña. Ciudad Acuña is one of the largest in the state of Coahuila and also the fastest-growing city in Mexico.

With a vibrant nightlife, Ciudad Acuña stands out for the quality of its restaurants and artisan shops, which have made this city one of the favorite destinations for tourists and holidaymakers from the United States.

Ciudad Acuña offers a unique blend of Mexican and Texan culture.

Acuña is known as the “El Mariachi” (1992) by director Robert Rodriguez.

Climate & Weather

The town is located at 271 meters height above sea level.

The climate in this region is characterized by its arid conditions, which are influenced by its proximity to the Chihuahuan Desert. Here’s an informative post about the climate and weather in the Ciudad Acuña region:

Acuña experiences hot temperatures for much of the year.

Summers, from May to September, are especially scorching, the average highs often exceeding 37°C. Winters, from November to February, are milder but can still be quite warm during the day, with cooler nights.

Average winter highs range from 15.6°C to 21.1°C.

The Ciudad Acuña region has a relatively low annual precipitation rate, with most of the rain falling between June and September during the monsoon season. The annual rainfall in the area is around 200-250 mm.

Extreme weather conditions: Due to the arid climate, the region can experience occasional extreme weather events, including flash floods, thunderstorms, and dust storms, especially during the hot summer months.

Water conservation is essential to meet the needs of the local residents.

The local community and authorities have taken steps to adapt to the challenging climate, including implementing water-saving measures and developing infrastructure to manage the impact of extreme weather events.

Del Rio-Ciudad Acuña Metropolitan Area

The Del Rio-Ciudad Acuña Metropolitan Area (DR-CA) is a large bi-national metropolitan area along the United States-Mexican border. This metropolitan area is also known as “Tierra de la Amistad” (“Land of Friendship”).

  • The Del Rio Micropolitan Area’s population was 55,000 people in 2015.
  • The Del Rio-Ciudad Acuña Metropolitan Area’s population is 240,000.

In October, Ciudad Acuña and Del Rio, its USA sister city across the border, celebrate the traditional “Fiesta de la Amistad”. The main events of this celebration are parades and speeches by the Mayors of both cities.

Origin of the name

  • The first name of the local community was Garza Galán.
  • Later the community received the status of town – Villa Acuña.
  • Ciudad Acuña sometimes called also Las Vacas.

History & Timeline

The first recorded settlement of Acuña took place on 27 December 1877.

Acuña was founded by a group of colonists led by Domingo Urias, Irineo Casillas Arevalo, and his wife Maximina Espinoza. The Governor of the State was General Hipólito Charles who posted a military garrison in the area.

In 1880 the place received the status of town under the name of Garza Galán.

In 1884 the locality was renamed Congregación las Vacas.

Congregacion Las Vacas was then renamed Villa Acuña in 1912 after poet Manuel Acuña. Villa Acuña was finally given the title of the city on 16 September 1951 by Don Jesus, when it got its present name of Ciudad Acuña.

On 24 October 1960, USA President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos met in Acuña to sign the initial agreements allowing the construction of the dam.

Construction plans were not finalized until December 1966.

Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Gustavo Díaz Ordaz met on the international bridge. Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gustavo Díaz Ordaz met for the dedication of the Amistad Dam on 8 September 1969.

“Boy’s Town” was created to serve airmen at Laughlin Air Force Base. It’s an entertainment district south of Acuña. This area has some after-hours bars and brothels, but it’s off-limits for U.S. military personnel.

On May 25, 2015, a tornado struck the city, causing incredible damage.

Tourist Attractions & Sightseeing

  • Monumento a las Aguilas
  • Monumento a Tlaloc
  • Casa de la Cultura Elsa Hernandez
  • El Mirador
  • Plaza de la Cultura

Main Plaza

Ciudad Acuna was designed around its central plaza and cathedral.

The plaza continues to be the main social gathering place for residents and tourists alike. Buy wares from local artisans, watch the street performers, and sample Mexican dishes at the restaurants around the square.

Visit the iconic Ma Crosby’s, a bar known for its margaritas and mariachi music. This bar has been a staple of Acuna since the 1920s.

Benjamin Canales Public Plaza

It is a traditional and pleasant site that brings together its inhabitants and those just passing through. Its spaces house distinct elements of the city: stores, arts and crafts shops, the Municipal Presidency, the museum, and the church.

Santa Maria de Guadalupe Church

The oldest church in the city was built in 1958 in the same location that housed the old church and stands out from its setting due to its modern, Cubist architectural design.

On its exterior, it displays three angel sculptures and decorative elements in granite.

Internacional Puerta de Mexico Bridge

Built at the beginning of the twentieth century, this work of engineering connects and strengthens the business relationships between Ciudad Acuña and the city of Del Rio, in the United States.

Through customs, it is a daily occurrence for people and vehicles to pass in both directions across the border.

Presa de la Amistad (Friendship Dam and Reservoir)

This marvelous engineering work was built across the Rio Grande jointly by the United States and Mexico. Fishing is one of the most common forms of recreation here.

On both sides of the reservoir, there are tourist facilities such as food vendors, camping sites, and boat rentals.

Los Novillos National Park

An important attraction near Ciudad Acuña is the “Parque Nacional de Los Novillos”. This national park boasts beautiful scenery, forests, hot springs, and “Presa de la Amistad” (Friendship Dam and Reservoir).

An extensively protected area, this park is appreciated for the richness of its flora and fauna.

Once inside, it is very common to observe the large variety of birds, squirrels, rabbits, and other animals among the colorful foliage of pines and oaks, surrounded by crystal-clear streams. It has basic facilities for camping.

Jose Angel Villarreal Municipal Museum

The simple cultural and historical building illustrates different stages of Ciudad Acuña’s history.

It exhibits land and marine fossils, pre-Hispanic tools (grinding stones and arrowheads), and old, everyday objects (coins, hills, arms, photos, and musical instruments, among others).

Alamo Village movie set

Another Acuña attraction is the Alamo Village movie set.

Built in 1959 for a John Wayne flick, “The Alamo”; the ornate set has been featured in countless movies and television shows since.

Today, when it is not occupied by a movie crew, it is open to tourists who want to stroll through an old-time western set; sometimes, the set will hold western-themed shows.

Other attractions open seasonally are the set’s gift shop and restaurant.

Corona Club

Rodriguez featured Ciudad Acuna’s Corona Club, a popular nightclub and dancehall, in “El Mariachi” as well as his 1995 film starring Antonio Banderas, “Desperado.”

The brightly decorated club has a fully stocked bar with top-shelf tequilas and a wide selection of foreign and domestic beers.

The Corona Club often features concerts at its 1,500-capacity venue; you’ll hear rock, mariachi, blues, and country bands perform here.

Nightlife in Ciudad Acuña

If there is any place in the state that can boast of fascinating nightlife, it is Ciudad Acuña. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are part of everyday events for Mexican and foreign tourists alike.

Traditional places in their festive environment and decoration in the purest of Tex-Mex styles welcome you at all-night hours.

How to get to Ciudad Acuña

Getting to Ciudad Acuña in Mexico can be done by various means, depending on your starting location. Ciudad Acuña is located, near the U.S.-Mexico border. Here are the general directions to get to Ciudad Acuña:

Many bus companies offer services from various cities in Mexico to Ciudad Acuña.

By Air: The nearest major airport is Piedras Negras International Airport (Piedras Negras is a city located right next to Ciudad Acuña). You can book a flight to this airport and then take a short drive to Ciudad Acuña.

By Car: If you’re coming from the USA, you can drive to Ciudad Acuña. You’ll likely cross the border at Del Rio, in the USA. Make sure to have the necessary documentation for international travel and a valid passport.

Please note that when traveling to Ciudad Acuña from the United States, you’ll need to go through the USA-Mexico border customs and immigration processes, so be prepared with the required travel documents.

Check the latest travel advisories and border crossing information, as these may change over time. Research transportation options, and any entry requirements, as they may vary depending on your point of departure.

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