Latinamerica Collection
Tourist Information About Mexico

Passport and Visas

The following information is subject to change and should be verified by contacting the nearest diplomatic or consular office of Mexico. Violations of entry and exit requirements may result in serious penalties.

 

i. United States Tourists
A valid U.S. passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Mexico and to return to the U.S. A tourist card is required for visits and can be obtained upon arrival in Mexico. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Mexico, U.S. citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Mexico and are in good condition. If a second nationality passport was used to enter Mexico in the case of dual citizenship, all U.S. citizens must use a U.S. passport when returning to the U.S. Certificates of Naturalization, birth certificates, driver's licenses and photocopies are NOT accepted as alternative travel documents by authorities in the U.S. or Mexico.

 

All U.S. tourists traveling within Mexico should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Mexico. Tourists should also possess the original or a copy of their tourist cards and are required to turn this card back in upon exiting Mexico. Failure to do so may results in a fine.

 

In order to prevent international child abduction, Mexico may require documentary evidence of approval of both parents when the child is traveling alone, with only one parent, or in the custody of someone else.

 

 

ii. Canadian Tourists
A valid Canadian passport is recommended for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Mexico and to return to Canada though Certificates of Naturalization, birth certificates, Certificates of Canadian Citizenship, and driver's licenses are accepted as alternative travel documents by authorities in Canada and Mexico. A tourist card is required for visits and can be obtained upon arrival in Mexico. Though not an official requirement of Mexico, Canadian citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Mexico and are in good condition.

 

All Canadian tourists traveling within Mexico should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Mexico. Tourists should also possess the original or a copy of their tourist cards and are required to turn this card back in upon exiting Mexico. Failure to do so may results in a fine.

 

In order to prevent international child abduction, Mexico may require documentary evidence of approval of both parents when the child is traveling alone, with only one parent, or in the custody of someone else.

 

 

iii. European Tourists
A valid European passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Mexico and to return to Europe. A tourist card is required for visits and can be obtained upon arrival in Mexico. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Mexico, European citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Mexico and are in good condition. If a second nationality passport was used to enter Mexico in the case of dual citizenship, all European citizens may be required to use a European passport when returning to Europe. Certificates of Naturalization, birth certificates, driver's licenses and photocopies are NOT accepted as alternative travel documents by authorities in Europe or Mexico.

 

All European tourists traveling within Mexico should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Mexico. Tourists should also possess the original or a copy of their tourist cards and are required to turn this card back in upon exiting Mexico. Failure to do so may results in a fine.

 

In order to prevent international child abduction, Mexico may require documentary evidence of approval of both parents when the child is traveling alone, with only one parent, or in the custody of someone else.

 

 

Airport Taxes and Customs
Though generally included in the price of the airline ticket, Mexico charges a tourism tax of US$25. Be sure to check with your airline for more information regarding whether this tax is included or not.

 

 

Health and Vaccinations
All tourists should be sure that their routine vaccinations are up to date whether traveling or not. This information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website.

 

 

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, and Rabies vaccinations are recommended, but not required, for all those traveling to Mexico. For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

 

 

Malaria risk exists in some areas that are very infrequently visited by tourists though the risk is generally very minimal. In the event of infection the drug Chloroquine is recommended in this region. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control website for more information.

 

 

To avoid infection of any diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, it is recommended that you wear long sleeves or pants or have in your possession mosquito repellant, especially in areas where infection of Malaria is possible. Additionally, the use of bed nets is recommended in these areas.

 

 

Safety and Security
Mexico is a developing country, and travelers should exercise caution as criminal activity continues to be an active problem. Tourists should avoid carrying with them valuables that may jeopardize their safety.

 

 

Clothing and What to Bring
As mentioned in the climate and weather section, Mexico's vast size provides the country with a wide range of temperatures. Therefore, the recommended clothing to bring definitely varies depending on your destination. If you are planning to travel to the tropical or subtropical areas, be to bring clothes to protect from rain. If you are travel to the more desert like areas or the beaches, be sure to pack some lighter clothes. And be sure to expect the extremes just so you some prepared. Even in the dry season, for example, heavy rain is possible though not probable. Also be sure to bring appropriate footwear for any excursions you partake in, such as visits to the many archaeological sites.

 

 

Currency, Banks, Credit Cards
The currency of Mexico is known as the peso (MXN). Recently the exchange rate is generally 10 or 11 pesos per US$.

 

 

A good option is to bring US$ into Mexico as they can be exchanged in the airport or banks. Upon departure, any surplus may be exchanged back. Canadian dollars may be difficult to exchange in Mexico and US$ are preferred.

 

 

In addition, international debit and credit cards may be used to withdraw money from local ATMs. Also, most major credit cards are accepted in Mexico, especially in tourist destinations. It is always a good idea to check with your credit card companies to find out what, if any, foreign exchange fees exist.

 

 

Bringing US$ traveler's checks to Mexico for exchange is also another viable option. Canadian dollar traveler's checks may be difficult to exchange and US$ traveler's checks should be used.

 

 

Taxes and Tips
Tipping is customary in Mexico as many rely heavily on tip as their main form of income. A 10% to 15% tip in restaurants is the general rule of thumb. Be sure this charge is not already included in the check. Other services such as those at hotels and also for taxis and guides are generally tipped as well.

 

 

Time Zone
The time zone used in Mexico may be Pacific, Mountain, or Central Standard Time depending on which part of the country you are in.

 

 

Telephone Calls
When calling from Mexico to the United States or Canada visitors must dial the following: 001 City Code Local Number.

 

 

When calling from Mexico to another international country visitors must dial the following: 00 Country Code City Code Local Number.

 

 

Electricity and Voltage
Electricity in Mexico is 120V at 60Hz and uses the standard two prong flat blades. These sockets will may not have a third hole for the round ground pin. This means that standard North American devices may still require an inexpensive prong adapter to get around the third ground prong.

 

 

Local Newspapers
Mexico is very large and offers many dozens of newspapers in cities throughout the country. Many of these newspapers are also either available in English or are English newspapers to begin with.

 

 

Transportation and Getting Around in Mexico
i. Cars
Vehicle travel from destination to destination is a viable option in Mexico as they have invested a great deal of money in fixing up their roads and interstates. For that reason, many of the main interstates are now toll roads, which can at times be somewhat expensive. However, the road conditions are acceptable making travel by rental car a good option.

 


ii. Taxis
Taxi travel within cities is an affordable option. Be sure to always use official taxis that have license information posted in clear sight at all times. Taxis are required to either use a meter or a zone chart to determine prices, so be sure at least one of these is available before taking off to your destination.

 


iii. Buses
Mexico has recently invested a great amount in bus transportation and has therefore made bus travel a very effective option. Buses run to generally all major destinations within Mexico and there are first class and regular fare buses available to choose from. Some trips may take a good amount of time, but the buses are generally quite comfortable.

 


iv. Planes
Mexico offers a wide range of domestic flights to many different locations throughout the country. This can also be a much more comfortable option as traveling by car or bus may sometimes be uncomfortable. The airline business is becoming deregulated in Mexico which as led to more affordable prices due to competition.

 

Business Hours
For the most part stores in Mexico open around 10:00AM or 11:00AM and stay open in the late evening until 8:00PM or 10:00PM. Stores in smaller towns may close between the hours of 2:00PM and 4:00PM. Banks are open from 9:00AM until 4:00PM in most cities and stay open even later in some busy areas. Commercial office hours are generally from 8:00AM until 5:00PM or 6:00PM. Again, some business may close for lunch hour.