Tips for tourists traveling to Mexico

Travel Guide

    Mexico is a beautiful country with many unique places to visit, world famous cuisine, beautiful sandy beaches, one of the most diverse ecosystems and landscapes to explore, not to mention an amazingly rich cultural heritage, and there are many interesting facts about This country that will keep you entertained, and a lot of information that you should know before you travel.

If you are planning to visit Mexico, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the important travel tips and recommendations that you will need to know before visiting the country whether you are a first-time traveler or not, in order to have a good travel experience and have an enjoyable, comfortable and worry-free trip.

Important instructions before traveling to Mexico

General tips for traveling to Mexico

The toilets are weird

In almost every state of Mexico it is required not to flush toilet paper in the toilet because the pipes are narrow, and the paper can get stuck causing blockages in the pipes and system damage, just know that you will be reminded of this all the time!

Wi-Fi is available

Wi-Fi works well in most touristy areas, perhaps not in less touristy areas, but you'd be surprised to find free Wi-Fi in the main square in small towns where not many people live, the password might be Sometimes required, but just ask a local, as around the corner you'll find plenty of teens busy with their phones, and they'll be happy to share the password with you.

The only tourist place without Wi-Fi is Holbox Island, but you will be very busy walking around gazing at the blue sea water, snorkeling and watching the sunset.

Mexican indifference to time

The word ahorita means “in a minute”, and it has many other meanings that differ according to the context of speech, such as “tomorrow” or “within 10 years”. Mexican culture.

Need to be patient

You must be patient, and do not forget to take a book with you if you want to go to restaurants. One of the tourists narrated his experience in this regard, as he said that one morning he went to a cafe in Playa del Carmen and ordered a sandwich, and he and his friend were the only customers there at the time However, it took about 40 minutes for him to get the sandwich, then he asked for a tea latte with almond milk, but the waiter offered him a cappuccino, and when he told him that he did not ask for that, the waiter brought him tea with regular milk other than he asked, so the tourist had nothing but to laugh With his friend because of that situation, this may seem like a funny story, but it is not always so, as the waiting time in restaurants can indeed be longer than usual.

Speak Spanish

It can be difficult to speak Spanish, but we recommend learning some basic terms, as this will help you to mingle with the locals, communicate with them, and make friends. It would be useful if you brought a pocket dictionaries with you, or downloaded one to your phone, here are some basic phrases :

Hello = Hola

How are you = Como estàs

Please = Por Favor

Thank you = Gracias

I'm sorry = Disculpa

Sorry? = Perdon

Where is the bus station located? = Done està la parada del bus

juice please = Un jugo, por favor

How much the price? = Quanto Cuesta? ?Quanto cuesta

can you help me? = ?Me puede ayudar

where…? = ?…Don't lie

Sometime in the future = Ahorita

Buy a local SIM card

It is preferable to choose Telcel, and it is always best to have a Mexican sim card if you need to ask for help, make a reservation, use Google Map or even post on Instagram, it is also possible to keep in touch with your family via WhatsApp calls if you do not have access to the Internet .

Download WhatsApp

WhatsApp is widely used in Mexico for communication, messaging, and even in business, and most of the time it can be used to book tours or communicate about any situation or with anyone, and you can keep the application connected to your original number even when you install a new SIM card on your phone, and you can also use it To receive messages from family and friends, while you have to share your old number with your new contacts, if you want them to message you.

Don't think that it's hot everywhere in Mexico

Mexico is a vast country with an area of ​​1.973 million square kilometers, and its climate is diverse. For example, while it snows in Chihuahua in the winter, people enjoy summering on the beaches in Cancun or Puerto Vallarta, where temperatures are 76 degrees Fahrenheit, on the other hand. Mexico City is located 2,000 meters above sea level and has cold winters and hot summers, so be sure to check the weather before planning your destination.

Get the appropriate plugs

There are two types of plugs in Mexico, one has flat parallel pins and the other has two flat parallel pins and a ground pin, you will need an adapter if your plugs are shaped differently, it should be noted that you will definitely find adapters in Mexico, but you definitely don't want to waste time looking for them through Your vacation, remember to bring a universal power plug with you, it can also be used without a ground pin.

Museums are often closed on Mondays

Unlike archaeological sites that are open every day except for New Year's Day, museums in Mexico are usually closed during one weekday for maintenance and cleaning, usually on Mondays as museums are often packed with visitors during the weekends, when locals are free To visit, for your information, they and permanent residents do not have to pay on Sundays.

This is why we suggest you visit the museums between Tuesday and Friday as they are less crowded at that time unless you are an expatriate in Mexico with a permanent resident visa, in which case go early on Sunday and bring identification documents with you to avoid paying.

Bring a reusable shopping bag with you

Many stores are becoming environmentally friendly and no longer provide plastic bags to customers, you can contribute to the environmental awareness campaign by taking a reusable shopping bag whenever you go shopping, so we can all help build a plastic free world.

Safety and security tips when traveling to Mexico

Traveling to Mexico is generally safe, with some exceptions

Some news spreads about how dangerous it is to travel to Mexico, which may raise many concerns about security in the country, but be aware that Mexico is a vast country and there is no danger everywhere, of course there are dangerous places to avoid, but there are also wonderful safe destinations worth visiting Without worrying, for example, the state of Yucatan is considered the safest state in Mexico, in addition to the state of Baja California Sur and several other regions.

Use common sense

It is important to use your common sense while you are on the move in Mexico, because risks are everywhere if you are naive, here are some helpful tips and tricks that you should follow to avoid getting into trouble and have a relaxing and safe vacation:

  • Don't show off your valuables.
  • Avoid walking in the dark in isolated areas.
  • Only spend your time with people you know and trust.
  • Do not use ATMs at night, and generally be careful when using them.
  • Carry a little cash with you.
  • Carry your cash, cards and documents in a money belt.

It is recommended to purchase travel insurance

You need to buy travel insurance when you visit Mexico, it is possible that you will get sick or have a sudden accident during your visit, moreover you can be late and miss the flight or it may be canceled for certain reasons, but the insurance would cover the costs of health care during your illness or compensation during Exposure to unexpected accidents.

How to prevent diseases in Mexico

Do not drink tap water

Be aware that tap water in Mexico is not safe to drink unless they tell you otherwise due to the use of a special water purification device, so always carry a bottle of filtered or agua de manantial water with you. On the other hand, you can brush your teeth with tap water, but it's still a good idea to have bottled water as you definitely don't want to waste your vacation time in the bathroom.

You can eat vegetables

There are misconceptions that tourists in Mexico should avoid eating vegetables, and this includes various leafy vegetables that are consumed raw such as lettuce, as it is believed that they are washed with tap water, which is not suitable for drinking and therefore even vegetables will also become contaminated, but the locals wash the vegetables Well antibacterial and waterproof, so you don't have to worry.

Don't worry about ice cubes left in your drinks

Ice cubes are made from pure water, so you can put them in your soft drinks and enjoy drinking them especially while you are at a beach destination where it is very hot, you can use them without worrying about your health.

Enjoy street food but be careful

Eating street food is one of the best things to try in Mexico, where street vendors show their best food, however not all dishes are good, not all of them serve good quality meat and they may not apply hygiene standards; This also applies to fruit merchants. Be sure to buy from the most reputable sellers. If you want to eat fruit, ask the seller to cut and prepare it in front of you at that moment. Avoid buying fruits that are on display for a long time in the heat.

Always keep antibacterial wipes in your bag

Now more than ever it is recommended to keep your hands clean all the time thus contributing to your health, it would be a good idea to always carry some wet wipes with you wherever you go.

Stay hydrated

Beach destinations are very hot and vacationers are exposed to the scorching sun, so you should stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, remember to carry a refillable water bottle with you and fill it up whenever possible, especially if you are on tours to the cenote caves Or the Mayan ruins where you are more exposed to the sun.

Use sunscreen

Make sure to wear sunscreen even if it is cloudy outside, especially if you are on the Mexican coast, as it is very easy to get sunburn after prolonged exposure to the sun without taking the necessary precautions, which would ruin your vacation.

Use mosquito repellent

It is noticed that a lot of mosquitoes spread in the country, especially during the rainy season, and a few cases of Zika virus infection and other diseases have been recorded, and it was found that they are spread by certain types of mosquitoes, so be sure to use mosquito repellents to avoid bites and disease.

Pay in pesos

The Mexican peso MXN is the official currency in Mexico, and you can make money transfers at Casa de Cambio or at banks, although the first option usually has a better exchange rate, it is always advisable to exchange your money for Mexican pesos, because even if there is a supermarket or Stores that accept payments in US dollars, exchange rates will often be unreasonably high, and be aware that credit and debit cards are accepted almost everywhere, except for many restaurants and hotels in Tulum or in remote towns where there is only a cash option.

But if you want to withdraw money from ATMs, know that when withdrawing an amount in US dollars, you will be asked to pay a commission of $ 50 for each withdrawal, on the other hand, it is preferable to get a modest amount in Mexican pesos or to bring some cash with you and exchange it for some expenses On your way to your destination, if you are going to rent a car, keep in mind that credit cards are not always accepted at gas stations, so it would be a good idea to inquire before getting gas.

The cost of travel to Mexico

Although it is difficult to determine the exact cost, some examples can be given. Local restaurants in non-touristy areas may charge as low as $6 for tacos, and ceviche can be as high as $12 to $15.

While the cost of a full dinner with drinks can reach 40 USD in restaurants in hotels and nearby areas, the cost of a 1 liter bottle of bottled water is 15 pesos, while a bus trip from the hotel area to the city costs 12 pesos, and the cost of renting a car without insurance starts from 30 dollars a day.

Avoid ATMs during payday

Mexicans get paid every 15 days, on the 1st and 15th of every month, so keep in mind that there will be long queues in front of ATMs during the payday and for the next 2-3 days, so it is best to avoid withdrawing your money during these days to save your time .

How to move around in Mexico

Public transportation is safe and efficient

The network of shuttle bus routes is well-organized and covers major cities, making travel around the country easy and comfortable. Besides the good choice of airlines, you also have a choice of local and national bus routes that connect major cities and towns, although it is safe to travel by bus. In general, however, do not leave your valuables such as cash, camera or laptop in the overhead compartment, it is better to keep them near you or under your legs.

Uber is not always available

Uber has had difficulty getting into Mexico, particularly in the touristy towns of Quintana Roo, so don't aspire to take advantage of this service in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum. While Uber is available in all other major cities and is the best choice for travelers.

The need to agree on the fare before getting into the taxi

If you are going to take a taxi, be sure to agree on the fare before you get in, and it is always preferable to pay in pesos. If you want the driver to pick you up, pay the known cost and ask for his number; This is another reason why WhatsApp is useful in these situations.

Helpful tips for restaurants in Mexico

Spicy food can be found anywhere

Whether you like spicy food or not, be careful when reading the word habanero, it is a small hot pepper that is called the king of all spices . A little” differently than we do, and that means “very hot” to us, just ask if the food contains chili peppers, and if so, know that it will be spicy.

Tipping culture in Mexico

Tipping is as usual in Mexico as it is in the US, and although it is not obligatory but nicely requested, some restaurants include it in the bill, but it is just a suggestion where you can decide the amount of tip starting from 10% to 100%. Tips are left at restaurants, gas stations and parking lots, and are also given to workers who bag groceries.

Requirements for traveling to Mexico

Entry visa requirements

You will need to apply for a visa if your passport is from the countries listed on this page . But if your country is not on the list, you can enter Mexico with your valid passport and obtain a tourist permit for a period of 3 to 6 months. For your information, working in Mexico is more complicated, so you must appoint a good lawyer who can take care of the various necessary documents and settle the situation to spare you the trouble.

Keep the immigration form

When entering Mexico by air or land, you must fill out two forms: one is presented to customs after it is collected by customs agents before leaving the airport, and the other is submitted to immigration, half of the form will be given to you once you pass through the immigration agent, and you must keep it in your passport and hand it over to a company If you lose it, you will have to go through immigration again on your way out, fill out the form again and pay a fine, so make sure you keep it in a safe place.

The most frequently asked questions about traveling to Mexico

In which month should you avoid visiting Mexico?

There is no specific month during which you should avoid traveling to Mexico. It depends on the tourist destinations you want to visit and the type of experience you want to go through, but you may need to know the following:

  • Merida is very hot in March and April and the whole summer.
  • The Riviera Maya sees more typhoons in September and October when it is hot and humid
  • Mexico City is cold in the winter months, especially during January and February.
    • Whale season in Mexico runs from December to March on the Pacific coast, where you can swim with whale sharks in Cancun. Best to go in the summer, preferably from mid-July to August.
    • La Paz has hot summers, but the water is warm and suitable for swimming.

You can read the following article:  What is the best time to visit the Czech city of Prague?

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