Once you find the Mercado, you will also find all the services for tourists like - getting a ride on a horse & buggy. I've never asked for the price, but I should for you all, right? Anyway, they usually start off in front of the Mercado & go up Guerrero street to see the plazas & other shops.
Unique Suggestions: Be nice & friendly.
Fun Alternatives: Walk, you see the same things all along Guerrero unless your guide is going to talk to you about history & what's where, which many won't.
.... go to the Mercado for shopping. You might find some of the same stuff at a lower price (after haggling, of course) in shops not in the Mercado. For example, I needed the regular cheap Mexican blankets (called ____), at the Mercado, the lowest I could talk ANY of the merchants down to was 2 for $10. At the shops right after crossing the bridge, by the 1st plaza, I found several places who sold at 3 for $10 & went with one that sold me 3 for $9. But the Mercado is centralized & some shops have air-conditioning & you can sit & enjoy a drink so most people go there. It's the easiest place to shop for most 1st time visitors.
Unique Suggestions: * Negotiate prices - especially the "I'll buy 2 if you lower the price to..." statement.
* Enjoy a drink
* Enjoy the roving musicians & support them, even if it isn't your "kind" of music - Mexican music is more than mariachi so you will also hear norteño, ranchero, and lots of banda music.
Fun Alternatives: Keep walking and you will find other arts & crafts stores. Also, don't neglect the ones at the beginning of Guerrero street. They will all have about the same type of merchandise unless you go to some of the pricier, better quality shops like Marti's (easily found on Guerrero Street).
The Jalapeño Festival's highlight is a jalapeño eating contest. It's ok, but can be boring throughout the day until the bands arrive at night.
Fun Alternatives: Plan your trip when the MenudoBowl is happening. It isn't as much of a spectator event like Jalapeño Fest. You pay like $3 to get in & try every organization's menudo (tripe soup with Mexican spices) recipe handed to you in sample cups as you walk on by. Your tongue is scalded by the time you finish but you get the pleasure of savoring all kinds of menudo - plus you get to vote for your favorite - another plus is that it goes to benefit Crimestoppers of Laredo.
with a privet US car!
Nobody will stop you, as Mexicans do not check for international INSURANCE ! But, if you have some accident, the situation will be complicated! See for details in my links !