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South Texas

At the very southern tip of Texas, near where the Rio Grande flows into the gulf, this is border country, where Texan and Mexican cultures swirl together to form one of the most unique cultural regions anywhere in the US. The population here is about ninety-percent Latino. Everything from the food to the hip-hop music reflects this inescapable Mexican influence.

Aside from a few manufacturing towns and cities, including Laredo, Brownsville and Harlingen, much of the region is agricultural. Between the population centres is an area called the Rio Grande Valley – actually a delta prone to flooding, the 180-mile-long valley is rural, historic country. This is as exotic as Texas gets; few tourists visit the sparsely populated region, and side-trips to small Mexican villages that have so far escaped rampant drug violence are also possible. Tiny downtowns that have barely been touched in 200 years are sprinkled along two-lane Hwy-83, which makes an excellent driving or cycling tour.

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  • The Rio Grande Valley