How Far Is Mexico From Houston?

As one of the largest US cities close to the Mexican border, many Houstonians find themselves making the trip to Mexico for vacations, family visits or business. If you’re wondering, how far is Mexico from Houston? Here’s a quick answer: It’s roughly 600 miles driving from Houston to Mexico City.

In this guide, we’ll look at the distances to key Mexican destinations like Cancun, Monterrey, the Texas border and more. You’ll also learn optimal routes via air, driving or bus and discover some of the gems you can explore on the way.

Distances to Major Mexican Destinations from Houston

Mexico City: ~600 miles

Located in the heart of Mexico, Mexico City is approximately 600 miles away from Houston. This bustling metropolis is not only the capital of Mexico but also one of the largest cities in the world. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine, Mexico City is a must-visit destination for travelers.

Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, visiting world-class museums, or indulging in mouthwatering street food, Mexico City offers something for everyone.

Cancun: ~980 miles

If you’re dreaming of pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife, Cancun is the place to be. Located around 980 miles southeast of Houston, Cancun is a popular vacation destination known for its luxurious resorts, water sports activities, and lively atmosphere.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, snorkel in the Great Mesoamerican Reef, or explore the nearby Mayan ruins, Cancun offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

Monterrey: ~500 miles

For those seeking a shorter travel distance from Houston, Monterrey is a fantastic option. Situated approximately 500 miles southwest of Houston, Monterrey is a major industrial and business hub in Mexico.

This vibrant city is known for its modern architecture, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cultural scene. From exploring the iconic Cerro de la Silla mountain to indulging in delicious regional cuisine, Monterrey offers a diverse range of attractions for visitors to enjoy.

McAllen, TX (Mexican border): ~330 miles

Just a short drive from Houston, McAllen serves as a gateway to the Mexican border. Located around 330 miles southwest of Houston, McAllen offers easy access to several Mexican cities, including Reynosa and Nuevo Progreso.

Whether you’re interested in shopping for unique Mexican crafts, trying authentic Mexican cuisine, or simply experiencing the vibrant border culture, McAllen provides an excellent starting point for exploring the richness of Mexico.

Travel Times to Mexico from Houston

By air: Flights to Mexico City about 2.5 hours

If you’re looking for the quickest and most convenient way to travel from Houston to Mexico, hopping on a flight is your best bet. The flight time from Houston to Mexico City is approximately 2.5 hours.

This means that in just a short amount of time, you can go from the bustling city life of Houston to the vibrant culture and rich history of Mexico’s capital city.

There are several airlines that offer direct flights between Houston and Mexico City, so you have plenty of options to choose from. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, flying allows you to save time and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to explore.

By car: Driving to Mexico City around 10-11 hours

If you prefer a more adventurous mode of transportation, driving from Houston to Mexico City is also an option. The distance between the two cities is approximately 800 miles, which can be covered in around 10 to 11 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Before embarking on your road trip, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure to have all the necessary documents, such as a valid passport and driver’s license, as well as any required permits for crossing the border.

It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the driving laws and regulations of both the United States and Mexico.

The journey itself can be quite scenic, as you’ll pass through different landscapes and witness the beauty of both countries. Just be sure to plan your route in advance and make any necessary stops for rest and refueling along the way.

By bus: Buses to Monterrey around 6-8 hours

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option and don’t mind spending a bit more time on the road, taking a bus from Houston to Mexico is a viable choice. One popular destination is Monterrey, which is approximately 350 miles south of Houston.

The bus journey from Houston to Monterrey typically takes around 6 to 8 hours, depending on the route and traffic conditions. Several bus companies offer services between the two cities, providing comfortable seating and amenities to make your trip more enjoyable.

Traveling by bus gives you the opportunity to sit back, relax, and take in the scenery along the way. It’s also a great way to meet fellow travelers and experience the local culture up close. Just make sure to check the bus schedules in advance and book your tickets in advance to secure your seat.

Drive Routes from Houston to Mexico

When planning a road trip from Houston to Mexico, there are several drive routes to choose from depending on your destination. Here are three popular options:

I-69E to Laredo border for Monterrey, Mexico City

If you’re heading to Monterrey or Mexico City, taking I-69E to the Laredo border is a common route. It’s a straightforward drive that takes you through the heart of Texas before reaching the border. Once you cross into Mexico, you’ll have easy access to major cities like Monterrey, known for its industrial and business opportunities, and Mexico City, the vibrant capital with its rich history and culture.

US-83S to McAllen for Valley border cities

If you’re looking to visit the border cities in the Rio Grande Valley, taking US-83S to McAllen is a great option. This route will take you through scenic landscapes and charming small towns. Once you reach McAllen, you can explore cities like Reynosa and Matamoros, known for their unique blend of Mexican and American cultures.

The Valley also offers beautiful nature reserves, delicious Tex-Mex cuisine, and lively festivals throughout the year.

Split the drive into multiple days for safety & sightseeing

While the drive from Houston to Mexico can be done in a day, it’s worth considering splitting the journey into multiple days for safety and sightseeing purposes. This allows you to enjoy the trip at a more leisurely pace and explore interesting attractions along the way.

For example, you could stop in San Antonio to visit the historic Alamo and enjoy the famous River Walk. Another option is to visit the charming coastal city of Corpus Christi, known for its beautiful beaches and cultural offerings.

Remember, when traveling to Mexico, it’s essential to have the necessary documentation, such as a valid passport and any required visas. Additionally, be sure to check for any travel advisories or entry requirements before your trip.

For more information on road trips and travel tips, you can visit websites like Lonely Planet or Visit Mexico.

Key Stops Between Houston and Mexico

San Antonio, Texas for the Alamo & River Walk

One of the key stops between Houston and Mexico is San Antonio, Texas. Famous for its rich history, San Antonio is home to the iconic Alamo. History buffs will be fascinated by the stories and artifacts that recount the famous Battle of the Alamo.

After exploring this historic site, visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the scenic River Walk. Lined with shops, restaurants, and beautiful landscaping, the River Walk offers a delightful blend of culture and nature.

Don’t forget to indulge in some authentic Tex-Mex cuisine while you’re in San Antonio, as the city is renowned for its delicious food.

Monterrey for hiking and Mexican culture immersion

Another must-visit destination between Houston and Mexico is Monterrey. Located in northeastern Mexico, Monterrey is a vibrant city known for its outdoor activities and immersive Mexican culture. Hiking enthusiasts will be thrilled to explore the stunning landscapes of the nearby Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range.

The city itself offers a mix of modern skyscrapers and historic architecture, providing a unique blend of old and new. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to try traditional Mexican cuisine and experience the warm hospitality of the locals.

South Padre Island in Texas for beaches and nature

If you’re looking to relax and soak up some sun, a stop at South Padre Island in Texas is a must. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, this beautiful island is known for its pristine beaches and abundant wildlife.

Whether you want to swim, sunbathe, or try your hand at water sports, South Padre Island has something for everyone. Nature lovers will also appreciate the island’s diverse ecosystems, including coastal dunes, wetlands, and bird sanctuaries.

It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast.

These key stops between Houston and Mexico offer a variety of experiences, from exploring history and culture to enjoying outdoor activities and relaxing on beautiful beaches. Whether you’re planning a road trip or looking to break up your journey, be sure to include these destinations in your itinerary for an unforgettable adventure.


Mexico is enticingly close to Houston, just 600 miles or so to amazing cities like Mexico City and Monterrey by car or quick 2.5 hour flights. With a world of culture, cuisine and natural beauty just next door, visiting Mexico is a breeze from Houston.

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