top of page

How to ¡Viva Terlingua!


So you want to Viva Terlingua? To truly do so is one of those kind of things that you will either get or you won’t, and that’s okay. It’s not for everybody, but neither is anything good. Luckily for you though, you have found this guide, and we’re here to help you do it right.


You should first know that Terlingua is more of a state of mind than it is a specific place. It’s not a city with designated boundaries, and the lines blur as many locations deep in the Big Bend reference the name Terlingua. There is the Terlingua Ghost Town, Terlingua Ranch, and Terlingua Abajo, miles apart from each other. And then there is Study Butte, which is sometimes referred to as Study Butte-Terlingua—just don’t tell anyone who lives in Study Butte. The point is, even the most basic things can be a little confusing if you aren’t from around here. 


We’re well over 100 miles from the nearest interstate and only a few miles from Mexico, and that suits us just fine. Hell, it’s a four-hour drive to the nearest Home Depot or Whataburger, much less a major airport, and don’t get us started about how far we have to drive to get good sushi. But in return, our existence is enriched daily by the raw and rugged beauty of the land, the darkest skies, the mysteries of the desert, the blend of cultures, the endless vistas of wide-open spaces, and the fact that there is not one single traffic light. It’s a place you have to want to be, because for the most part it’s not somewhere you’ll just end up. Either way, we are happy you are thinking of us, and we hope this guide gets you where you want to go.

If you are reading this, you’ve probably already made the decision to come here at some point soon or in the future, and if you have not, then you should because no amount of reading or Internet searching or hashtag following will ever do it justice. You have to see it for yourself. 


Our aim is to prepare you for what lies ahead, give you some hard lessons learned about desert life, answer many questions, and provide you with as much real-time, up-to-date information as possible without giving away our most cherished local secrets. If you take the time to read this guide and take it to heart, you’ll experience the Big Bend in a way that will burn a lasting impression on you that you might never forget and enjoy your stay no matter how long or short it may be.


With all the beauty to uphold and the fun to be had, the Big Bend is a vast expanse covering many thousand square miles, and the desert can be a harsh and unforgiving environment. One small mistake could be your last, but don’t be afraid. With some common sense and a little knowledge, we’re confident that you’ll survive to tell your tale and return home safely, dreaming of your next journey to this magic, sacred place we call home. While we’ll attempt to be thorough and generous with our advice, never forget that you alone are responsible for keeping yourself alive. Never, ever forget that.


Now that we’ve said all that, let’s get into it. Welcome to Terlingua, welcome to the desert, welcome to the Big Bend of Texas. Let’s party!

 Casa Patron

One of the finest lodgings in Terlingua. Seconds from Ghost Town.

Basecamp Web - 18 of 34.jpeg

The Rio Grande offers river trips mild to moderate to mad!


Find one-of-a-kind treasures, souvenirs and local artwork.

bottom of page