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Fishing Boat


La Joya is the destination for nature and history.  Join us for the day or weekend.


Just 15 minutes west of the McAllen metro area are thousands of acres of parklands and wildlife management areas.  In La Joya, Texas, rich farmlands along the Rio Grande River meet gentle rolling hills and lakes and attract birds and other native wildlife.  Visitors are able to fish and hunt, explore trails and enjoy nature throughout the year.

These lands are managed by federal and state agencies as well as private land-owners.  To the east are the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas and the World Birding Center at Bentsen State Park.  Additional recreational opportunities are available at the Lower Rio Grande Wildlife Refuge (operated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area (WMA) (operated by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department).


The City of La Joya’s Parks & Recreation Department also manages three municipal parks with several recreational opportunities.

Heritage Tourism

La Joya is centerally-located along the Caminos del Rio Heritage Corridor which runs from Laredo to Brownsville.  The corridor highlights this section of the Texas-Mexico border’s history and architecture.  The Texas Tropical Trail also runs through La Joya between Laredo, Corpus Christi and Brownsville.  Much of this trail includes U.S. Expressway 83 which is designated as the Texas Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway.

La Joya traces its history to the 1767 establishment of Havana and the 1802 establishment of Tabasco.


La Joya’s original townsite was just north of Tabasco and included it in the 1926 municipal incorporation.


Havana residents joined La Joya as part of the 2016 annexation.

Notable historical sites in La Joya include:

Tabasco historic map

Five minutes to the east of La Joya is the first settlement of Europeans and Africans in North America (Penitas, Texas). South is the historic Tabasco Cemetery, located on private land, south of the historic Military Road.  West of downtown La Joya are:

Details on the history of La Joya and its neighboring communities is on our History page.

Historic Building

Left: Charles Schunior Jr Building in Sam Fordyce, Texas, where U.S. Post Office was located.

(Photo by Ame Gorena-Walsh)

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