Boutique Travel Experts

Mexico Travel Information

Traveling to Mexico offers a vibrant tapestry of culture, nature, and history. Here are practical travel tips to help you navigate this fascinating country with ease.

Visa and Passport: For British, EU, USA, Canada and Australia passport holders, Mexico allows visa-free entry for 180 days for tourism purposes. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of departure from Mexico. For other countries, please check the latest entry requirements from your government’s travel advisory or the Mexican consulate. Always carry a copy of your passport and immigration form while exploring.

Minors: Children under 18 traveling alone, with one parent, or with someone other than their parents, may need additional documentation. This could include a notarized letter of permission from the absent parent(s). Carrying a copy of the birth certificate is advisable.

Time Zone: Mexico spans four main time zones, from UTC-5 in the east (Cancun, Quintana Roo) to UTC-8 in the west (Baja California). Notably, the country observes daylight saving time. Please check the local time zone before your trip.

Connectivity: +52 Wi-Fi available 

Electricity: Bring an adapter for Type A and Type B power sockets

Money: The Mexican Peso (MXN) is the official currency. While USD is accepted in some tourist areas, it’s best to use local currency for purchases. ATMs are widely available, but carrying some cash is recommended for small transactions, tips, and in areas where card payments aren’t accepted. Inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage.

Language and Communication: While Spanish is the lingua franca of Mexico, while indigenous languages are also spoken throughout the country, Spanish is the most universally used. Here are some basic Spanish phrases that might come in handy during your travels:

Hello, how are you?: Hola, ¿cómo estás?

Good morning!: ¡Buenos días!

Good afternoon!: ¡Buenas tardes!

Good evening/night!: ¡Buenas noches!

What is your name?: ¿Cómo te llamas?

My name is…: Me llamo…

Please: Por favor.

Thank you: Gracias.

You’re welcome: De nada.

Great!: ¡Qué bien!

Can you help me?: ¿Me puedes ayudar?

I am lost: Estoy perdido/a. (use “perdido” if you’re male and “perdida” if you’re female)

I don’t understand: No entiendo.

Can you speak slowly, please?: ¿Puedes hablar más despacio, por favor?

How much does this cost?: ¿Cuánto cuesta esto?

Having these phrases at your disposal can significantly improve your interaction with locals, making your journey through Mexico more enriching and enjoyable.

Accommodation: Mexico offers a broad spectrum of accommodations, catering to every preference and budget. From luxury resorts in Los Cabos to boutique hotels in the heart of Mexico City, charming B&Bs in colonial towns, and beachfront cabanas on the Mayan Riviera, you’ll find the perfect place to stay.

Check-in and check-out times can vary, but typically, rooms are available by 3 pm, and check-out is usually by noon. It’s always a good idea to confirm these times with your accommodation in advance.

Getting Around:

By Air: Mexico’s size and varied geography make air travel an efficient way to cover large distances quickly. Major airlines connect a network of airports across the country, from large international hubs in Mexico City (MEX) and Cancún (CUN) to smaller regional airports. Direct flights often connect major tourist destinations, making air travel convenient for visitors.

By Bus: Mexico boasts an extensive and reliable long-distance bus network that connects virtually all corners of the country. Buses range from basic to luxury services, with higher-end buses offering amenities like wi-fi, reclining seats, and onboard entertainment. Bus travel is a popular and affordable option for both locals and visitors alike, providing a great way to see the country’s diverse landscapes.

Trains: Mexico has a limited passenger train service. Exceptions include the scenic “El Chepe” train that traverses the Copper Canyon (Barrancas del Cobre) in Northern Mexico and the “Tequila Express” in Jalisco. These routes offer unique views and experiences but are more about the journey than a practical means of transportation.

Boats and Ferries: In coastal and lake regions, boats and ferries can be a practical and scenic way to travel. Ferries connect the Baja California Peninsula with mainland Mexico and the popular islands off the Caribbean coast, like Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, with the mainland. In destinations like Xochimilco in Mexico City, boat tours are a popular way to experience the area’s unique cultural landscape.

Health & Hygiene: Mexico provides health services to foreigners, but it’s essential to have travel health insurance to cover medical treatments and emergencies. For urgent care, Mexico’s nationwide emergency number is 911. While public hospitals offer services at lower costs, private hospitals tend to have shorter wait times and staff who are more likely to speak English.

Hydration and Sun Protection: Given Mexico’s varied climate, staying hydrated is crucial, especially in hot and arid regions or when exploring coastal areas. Always opt for bottled water, as tap water is not consistently safe to drink across the country. Protect yourself from the sun with hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen, particularly during peak sun hours from 10 am to 4 pm.

Insect Protection: In tropical and forested areas, insect repellent is essential to protect against mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, Zika, and chikungunya. Wearing long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk can provide additional protection.

Food Safety: Exercise caution with street food or in areas with questionable hygiene. Opt for food that is cooked thoroughly and served hot. Avoid unpeeled fruits and vegetables that you haven’t washed yourself. Consuming poorly prepared seafood can lead to foodborne illnesses, especially in warmer months.

Personal Hygiene: Regular hand washing with soap is advised, especially after using public transportation or visiting crowded places. Carrying hand sanitizer is a good practice for situations where soap and water aren’t available.

Vaccinations: No specific vaccinations are required for entry into Mexico for most travelers, but it’s recommended to be up-to-date on routine vaccinations such as tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, and polio. Vaccination against Hepatitis A and Typhoid is advised due to the risk of these diseases through contaminated food or water. While not required, the CDC recommends vaccination against Hepatitis B and Rabies for certain types of travel.

Altitude Sickness: If you’re planning to visit high-altitude areas, like Mexico City or the mountains of Chiapas, be aware of altitude sickness. Acclimatize gradually, stay hydrated, and consider medication if prone to altitude sickness.

Travel Health Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive travel health insurance that covers medical evacuation. Check the terms and conditions, particularly if you plan to engage in adventure sports.

Security: Staying vigilant, especially in larger cities, is essential for a safe trip. 

Airport Arrival: Opt for official taxi services or pre-arranged airport transfers to your accommodation. Avoid unofficial cabs to reduce risks of scams or overcharging.

Handling Cash and Valuables: Be discreet with cash and avoid displaying large amounts in public. Keep wallets and phones in secure, front pockets or a travel pouch, not in the back pockets of your pants.

Carrying Belongings: Carry only necessary cash in local currency and a credit card for daily expenses. Consider using a money belt or a neck pouch worn under your clothing for additional security.

Important Documents: Leave your passport and other valuable items in a hotel safe, carrying only a photocopy of your passport for identification.

Staying Alert in Crowds: Be extra cautious in crowded places, such as markets, public transportation, and tourist sites, where pickpocketing and theft are more likely.

Local Guidance: Heed advice from locals and your accommodation on areas to avoid, especially after dark or if traveling alone.

Beach Safety: When visiting beaches, don’t leave belongings unattended. Consider using waterproof pouches for valuables if you’re going into the water.

Vehicle Security: If renting a car, keep luggage and personal items out of sight and park in secure, well-lit areas.

What to Bring:

  • Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring Mexico’s diverse terrains, from urban centers to natural parks.
  • Sun Protection: A sun hat, high-SPF sunscreen, sunglasses, and lip balm are essential to protect against the strong Mexican sun.
  • Electrical Items: Mexico primarily uses Type A and B plugs at 127V. Bringing a universal adapter will ensure you can charge devices.
  • Photography Gear: Don’t forget chargers and extra batteries to capture your memories. Consider waterproof options for beach and adventure activities.
  • Insect Repellent: A good repellent is crucial, especially in rural and forested areas. Look for products containing DEET.
  • Clothing: Prepare for varied climates with a lightweight, waterproof jacket and layers. Long sleeves and pants can offer protection from the sun and insects.
  • Water Safety: Though many areas have access to clean water, carrying a water bottle with a filter or purification tablets is wise for remote regions.
  • Local Currency: Access to ATMs can be limited outside major cities. Carrying some cash is advisable for small purchases and places where credit cards aren’t widely accepted.

Sustainability: Embracing sustainable tourism practices enriches your travel experience and supports local communities. We prioritize partnerships with local businesses and employ local guides to deepen your understanding of Mexico’s cultural diversity while contributing to the local economy. We encourage respectful engagement with Mexico’s varied cultural and natural landscapes, promoting conservation and cultural appreciation.

Supporting Local Communities: Contributing positively to the communities you visit adds value to your travel experience and supports local development. Instead of giving money or sweets to children, consider donating educational supplies, sports equipment, or other items that benefit the community in sustainable ways. This approach fosters goodwill and supports the future growth of the places you visit.

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