I imagine lots of people who visit Padre expect to get spectacular savings on prescriptions in Mexico. That may be true in Matamoros, but we went to Progreso and, though getting cheaper drugs, were disappointed that the savings were more in the 25% range than what we expected. Trade in Progreso is in US Dollars, so prices didn't reflect the recent decline in the Peso's value. Although we had prescriptions from our Doctor, we were told that no prescriptions were necessary. The prices were fairly consistant in all the pharmacies. We were not checked when coming back across the border, but I suggest that you take a look at
before bringing things back from Mexico.
Unique Suggestions: Just buy what you need. However, we were able to pick up some non-prescription drugs (ie-Zantac) fairly cheaply- Zantac was $7.50 for 100- 150mg tablets.
Fun Alternatives: It's easier to go to Matamoros than Progreso, and trade there is in Pesos, so it might be cheaper for prescriptions than Progreso.
Once you've gone into a few gift shops, you've seen them all here. Don't bother going into every one that you see because its all the same!
You can still find fun things inside them that make for silly pictures...
Fun Alternatives: If you want to go to many gift shops, go to ones that are smaller and less 'glitzy.' Those places tend to have better quality and more original items.
Don't waste your time going in EVERY gift shop here when you could spend your time doing something a lot more fun and interesting. They all have the same merchandise.
Unique Suggestions: Limit yourself to 3 MAYBE 4 at the most.
Fun Alternatives: There are so many more things to do like the lighthouse in Port Isabel, deep sea fishing, Schlitterbahn, the Sea Turtles
Its only a few hours drive to Matamoros and the mexican border, the east coast version of Tijuana. Its worth the few cents to get in as shopping is very cheap, spirits can be a bargain and you will be offered bags of grass by shifty looking Mexicans.
Cross the border on foot, buy vanilla which is less than 4 dollars US. It is made in Mexico and wonderful plus very cheap. Also Kaluha and Tequila you have to pay tax when you cross the border of about 1.35 a bottle. I only bought one bottle.