Chihuahua Mexico
"The City Of The Doves"
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   Palomas Mexico




Bright paint decorates a building in Palomas, Mexico, just across the border from Columbus, N.M. Inside is the Pancho Villa Restaurant and souvenir shop that used to draw visitors from the U.S. Now the tourism industry has collapsed over fear about the drug violence in Mexico.
Photo by Don Bartletti

Palomas Tourism
Most US tourists come to Palomas to purchase low cost prescription drugs, get dental work done, eye examinations and same day purchases of prescription eye glasses or contact lenses, or to visit "The Pink Store and Restaurant". The store has arts and crafts from all across Mexico, and is known for its dishes made from queso menonita (cheese of the Mennonites)  produced in the state of Chihuahua.

Palomas Services Directory


La Frontera Auto Body & Upholstery



Fierro Dental Clinic

Smiles Dental Care


Martha's Place Hotel

Casa Naturista


Medical Vision Optical


Power Vision


Farmacia Express

La Clinica Pharmacy


The Pink Store


Palomas Oilcloth Designs

The Pink Store


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Meet Columbus icon Ivan Thompson, aka "Cowboy Cupid", and star of the Showtime movie "Cowboy Del Amor".
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Puerto Palomas de Villa, also known simply as Palomas, is a small town of 4,700 people in the municipality of Ascensión, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It borders on the village of Columbus, New Mexico, in the United States.


For those of us who live in southern New Mexico, it 's so close you can see the mountains rising off Mexico's desert floor from your porch.  That in itself is enough to make folks want to take the short drive to Palomas, Mexico.  Less than a half an hour from Deming, and just 3 minutes from Columbus, New Mexico, you can be in another country.

Columbus NM - Palomas MX Border Crossing

You are more than welcome to drive your vehicle into Mexico, but most folks simply utilize the free parking lot on the U.S. side of the border and walk accross.  The parking lot is right on the border--as is Palomas. Everything you'll want to do and see there can be done within 4 blocks of the border.  At this time, you don't need a passport or special papers to visit Palomas.  You can even take your dog.

Coming back to the United States is a different matter. If you don't have a passport, you will need a driver's license and a birth certificate or some other government-issued identification with a photo to prove you are a U.S. citizen.  You may also be asked to prove your pet has all its shots. The rules are ever-changing so it is a good idea to check with customs before you cross the border. It is also a good idea to check and see what you may bring back, such as alcohol and tobacco products.  Some items are prohibited.

The  Mexican welcome wagon usually consists of street vendors selling bootleg copies of American-made movies, "designer" sunglasses and wallets.  Child "entrepreneurs"  make up the second wave with their little hands held out asking for your pocket change.

The streets of Palomas are lined with just  about every type of shop imaginable.  Occasionally someone will try to hand you a sale flyer for a store further in town that offers cheaper prices than those shops on the border.


Geography and Climate

Palomas is located in the Chihuahuan Desert at an approximate elevation of 4100 feet (1250 m) above sea level and as a result of this rather high elevation, in addition to its location in the far north of Mexico, winter temperatures are cool to warm, with an occasional cold snap producing about 5 inches of snow per year.

It's big, it's very pink and you absolutely can not miss it.  It is called the Pink Store and it has developed an almost cult following of locals from Deming, Columbus, Lordsburg, Las Cruces and Silver City.


Watch the Pink Store Video


The Pink Store owners, Ivonne and Sergio Romero, have been serving up old-time Mexican hospitality for a quarter century. "This is going to be our 25th year, holy guacamole," exclaimed Ivonne. "My grandparents had a similar business for 54 years and I said I'd never do it -- and here I am."

The Pink Store and Restaurant is not the typical Palomas establishment.  The wares for sale reflect a broad cross section of Mexican artists.  "We don't sell seconds, we don't take buyers.  We hand pick all of our own stuff and we have artists that we have been buying from for years," Ivonne said.  "That is why people drive here from all parts of the United States."  One of our artists, Mario Lopez, is featured in the Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago."

"There's beauty here, everything is just so beautiful," said Dolores Chaves of Deming.  "They have a lot of stuff you just don't see in a regular store." The Pink Store does carry a number of what you might consider traditional Mexican souvenirs, such as hats and paper flowers, just so "regular" tourists won't be disappointed.

The Pink Store Plaza General Pershing & Pancho Villa Shaking Hands

Photo by Khder

For many, the authentic Mexican food is the main draw to the Pink Store.  The cheese for the chile rellenos and other Mexican favorites is actually made by a nearby Mennonite community.  "What a great place," said Bayard resident Mark Richard.  "It is so much fun.  We have been come here for years -- the guacamole is the best."

The peoples you meet make Palomas an interesting place.  It is sort of like one of the watering holes of the Old West.  "It's like a melting pot," said Deming resident Vicki Bellinger. "I meet people from all over the world here."

For decades, U.S. residents have come to Mexican border towns seeking more affordable dental work, prescription medication and eyeglasses.  Others come in search of cheaper grocery and fuel prices; many just for trinkets.  There are still bargains to be found.

Other area attractions include Columbus, three miles north of Palomas.  It was here that Gen. Francisco "Pancho" Villa made his raid on U.S. soil on March 9, 1916.  He even has a state park named after him.

Note: Original article written by Sam Conn. It has since been edited to reflect the changes in Palomas.

Palomas History

It was from here that Pancho Villa launched his attack on Columbus, New Mexico, on March 9, 1916. In retaliation, the United States launched the Pancho Villa Expedition, under General John J. Pershing, to capture Pancho Villa. Despite over a year of effort, including one of the first large scale uses of motorized transport by the U.S. Army, Pancho Villa was not captured. During this campaign, a young officer Lt. George S. Patton, later to be known as General Patton, was to become famous. During his service, Patton, accompanied by ten soldiers of the 6th Infantry Regiment, killed two Mexican leaders, including "General" Julio Cárdenas, commander of Villa's personal bodyguard. For this action, as well as Patton's affinity for the Colt Peacemaker, Pershing titled Patton him "Bandito".

     Columbus, NM Historical Society

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Border Crossing Information



Columbus, New Mexico Website


<alt>Border Partners Logo</alt>
Border Partners
A nonprofit organization, is creating a model to improve life and build hope in communities on the US-Mexico border. We promote cooperative efforts. Visit us!

Our Lady Of Las Palomas
Our Lady of Las Palomas is a multi-faith multi-cultural community of contemplation, prayer and action committed to the life of simplicity, presence, and service in right relationship with God. We are a beyond borders interfaith community with people of the United States and Mexico participating in a cooperative community of justice and sustainability.
Visit Us!

Mexico College Fund Helping the poorest of the poor in Mexico send their kids to college

You can follow their progress on FaceBook here:

Our students live in Palomas, Chih, a very small border town with no opportunities for higher education. Our college fund helps young people go on to college by helping them to pay room, board, transportation, books, and supplies. Like  Monse Lopez,  who is studying Nursing in Casas Grandes, Chi.

Monse loves her classes and is adjusting to living away from home. Good for you, Monse!

Tap Tap English
Tap Tap English is an emerging organization dedicated to bringing Mobile education via donated tablets to the many children in Mexico that have no education or have had
to leave school at an early age because
their family can't afford to send them to school beyond the primary grades. Mobile education is one way for these kids to continue their studies.

You can follow their progress at:
Contact for more info and Tablet donation
Juan Rascon 575.545.1334
Sherry and Ruth 575.973.0305



Martha's Place Hotel
For Overnight & Long-term Lodging
In Columbus, New Mexico

Just 3 minutes from Palomas!
Call for reservations
(575) 531-2467

Pancho Villa
State RV Park & Museum

Click Here For Park Website
Gates open 24 hours
(575) 531-2711