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Mexico

Mexico is home to volcanoes, mountains, lakes, vineyards, incredible beach towns, lush rainforests, and ancient ruins. So whether you’re lounging on a beach in Tulum, exploring the historic city of San Miguel de Allende, or chasing waterfalls in Grutas Tolantongo, this Mexico travel guide has everything you need to know!

Mexico is one of the Top Destinations To Visit In March

The food and drink culture in Mexico is amazing, so no matter where you are in the country, you’ll want to sample the local cuisine. Food tours, winery visits, and tequila and mezcal tastings are my favorite foodie activities here!

Ready to plan your trip? Then here’s the ultimate Mexico travel guide!

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Top Places to Visit

Grutas Tolantongo

Guadalajara

Los Cabos

Mexico City

Oaxaca

Puerto Vallarta

Riviera Maya

San Miguel de Allende

Valle de Guadalupe

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Typical Travel Costs

Exchange Rate

The currency in Mexico is the Peso. 1 Peso (M$) is equal to about £.04 British Pounds, $.05 U.S., €,04, and .32 Chinese Yuan.

Accommodation

A hostel or budget hotel is in the M$400–650 a night range (£14-23., $20-33, €17-27, 130-210 Yuan). A mid-range hotel can be anywhere from M$800–1500 a night (£30-55, $40-75, €33-62, 260-485 Yuan), and more luxury accommodations will start at M$2000 a night (£70, $100, €83, 645 Yuan) and go up from there. There are Airbnbs in most cities, which average M$1600 (£57, $80, €66, 517 Yuan) a night.

Food

A comida corrida (fixed-price lunch) in a casual restaurant is relatively inexpensive, around M$60–90 (£2-3.25, $3-4.50, €2,50-3,75, 19.50-30 Yuan). A nice dinner at a rooftop restaurant is M$250–350 (£9-12.50, $12.50-17.50, €10,50-14,50, 80-112 Yuan), and a fine dining meal with drinks will start at M$500 and go up from there (£18, $25, €20, 160 Yuan).

You should NOT drink the tap water here, so plan on buying bottled water, though most hotels have complimentary drinkable water available to their guests.

The Best Food and Drinks To Try in Mexico
Transportation

A one-way bus trip between cities averages M$230 (£8.50, $11.50, €9,50, 75 Yuan). A city taxi will be around M$50 (£1.80, $2.50, €2, 16 Yuan). Renting a car will cost around M$220 a day (£8, $11, €9, 70 Yuan), and hiring a car and driver will start around M$3200 per day (£115, $160, €130, 1030 Yuan).

Uber is available in several cities, such as Guadalajara, Merida, Mexico City, Monterrey, Puebla, San Miguel de Allende, and Tijuana. Lyft doesn’t operate in Mexico.

Other Expenses

I’d budget around M$500 a day (£18, $25, €20, 1160 Yuan) for entrance fees to archaeological sites and museums, guides, snacks, tips, and souvenirs.

In most markets, some haggling is expected, and unmetered taxis will often take some pesos off the initial asking price if you negotiate.

Banks exchange cash, but casas de cambio (currency-exchange offices) are usually quicker and offer better rates. ATMs are widely available. Most restaurants and hotels take credit cards, but most markets and shops only accept cash.

Mexico Travel Guide
Tipping

Restaurants: 10% to 15% of the bill (always check to see if this is automatically included in the check).

Hotel Cleaning Staff: 5% to 10% of your total room costs.
Taxis Drivers won’t expect a tip unless they provide some extra service.
Airport and Hotel Porters should get M$50-$100.
Car parking and gas station attendants should get M$5-10.

Suggested Daily Costs

These daily estimates include eating and drinking out at least once a day and doing a couple of excursions during your trip.

Lower End: M$3500 (£125, $175, €145, 1130 Yuan). Midrange: M$7000 (£250, $350, €290, 2260 Yuan). Higher End: M$10,000 and up (£360, $500, €415, 3230 Yuan).

Money-Saving Tips

1
Visit During The Off-Season May - November has lower hotel, tour, and transportation prices than the rest of the year.
2
Bring Snacks While eating out is relatively cheap in Mexico, avoid spending money on snacks at tourist cafes when sightseeing. Instead, buy food from local markets to snack on throughout the day.
3
Take Buses These are a cheap way to get around cities and the country, but tourists can get overcharged at times, so check what the locals are paying and offer the same amount to the caller (the person who collects fares).
4
Self-Guided Walking Tours With some research and pre-planning, a self-guided tour is a free way to explore the city.

Mexico Travel Guide Books

Lonely Planet Mexico travel guide

Cancun and Cozumel Mexico travel guide

The Rough Mexico travel guide

How to Prepare for Mexico

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required to enter Mexico. However, it’s smart to be up-to-date on yellow fever, typhoid, tetanus, rabies, and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) shots. A hepatitis vaccine is also a good idea. Although malaria medication is not required, if you’re visiting Mexico’s rural areas, it might be a smart choice. If you’re going to take malaria medication, you need to begin taking it a few days before traveling.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has current information on vaccinations and disease in Mexico, and I recommend visiting their website for the most up-to-date travel requirements.

Visas

Citizens of the EU, U.S., Canada, Australia, and Great Britain need a valid passport, but they DO NOT need a return ticket or a visa. If you’re a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check your country’s requirements for visiting Mexico. The World Travel Guide has more information on Mexico’s visa and passport requirements.

If you do need a visa, iVisa is an incredibly helpful resource for obtaining visas. iVisa makes the usually complicated and confusing process of getting a visa easy by taking care of everything for you. You fill out a simple online application, and then iVisa takes care of everything else.

Etiquette

Always greet people with buenos días (good day), buenas tardes (good afternoon), or buenas noches (good evening) when you enter a shop, restaurant, or your hotel.

When you’re introduced to someone, say ‘mucho gusto’ (a great pleasure). Handshakes are common among people of the same gender. If two people of the opposite gender are meeting, the woman initiates a handshake if she wants to.

An invitation to a Mexican home is an honor for a visitor, so take a small gift, such as flowers, for the host and something for the children (if there are children).

For Planning Your Mexico Trip

When To Go

For the best weather, you’ll want to visit Mexico from December – April during the dry season. The temperatures are cooler and more pleasant, the humidity is less, and hurricane season is over. Prices are higher during these months, though, especially around Easter and the holidays, so book in advance to save some money and ensure availability.

May and November are the shoulder months. Temperatures will still be mild, there won’t be rain every day, and prices and tourist numbers will be lower than in the dry season. Hurricanes are still likely in November, so I’d avoid the Caribbean side of the country until December.

June – October is the low travel season because this is the rainy season. Temperatures and humidity will be high, you’ll want to prepare for rain every day, and it’ll be hurricane season on the Caribbean side of the country. If you don’t mind the weather, though, you can score some great hotel deals during these months.

WHAT TO PACK

Mexico has a pleasant climate year-round, with temperatures rarely falling below 50°F or going above 90°F. But temperatures vary widely depending on region and elevation.

The coastal areas tend to be warmer throughout the year, while the mountainous highlands can get very cold at night and in the early mornings, especially during the winter. So you’ll always want layers wherever you go.

Sunscreen, insect repellant, and head protection from the sun are must-bring items. Most towns and cities have uneven cobblestone streets and sidewalks, so bring comfortable shoes with good traction. If you’re here during the rainy season (May – November), always have a raincoat with you.

If you’re doing any treks or hikes, make sure you have any specialized clothing or equipment you might need.

Electrical outlets in Mexico are Types A and B. So if you’re from the U.S., you won’t need an outlet adaptor. But British, European, and other travelers will need an adaptor.

What To Wear

Mexico’s coastal cities are very casual and informal. So for the beach towns, you’ll want swimsuits, coverups, shorts, t-shirts, rompers, and sandals.

Inland Mexico is more conservative. Women will want to wear pants, dresses, and skirts that cover their knees and blouses that don’t show cleavage. Avoid crop tops, shorts, mini-skirts, and showing off too much skin.

Men will want to wear pants (not shorts) and casual-nice shirts.

You can wear sleeveless shirts, but many churches and historical sites require you to cover your shoulders, so have a scarf or layer with you to cover up.

Have you been here? Comment below with anything you’d add to this Mexico travel guide!

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Shop My Mexico Essentials
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Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is it safe to travel to Acuna, Mexico?

    Acuna is a relatively safe destination in Mexico because of its proximity to the U.S. border. It’s easy to cross the border at Acuna, which has great shopping and dining. As with any destination, though, you need to take precautions to keep yourself safe – don’t walk by yourself at night, always have a charged cell phone with you, etc.

  • Is it safe to travel by bus in Mexico?

    In general, bus travel in Mexico is relatively safe. Security Guards always patrol bus stations the same way they do at train stations and airports. But you should always be alert for pickpockets and bag snatchers. Keep your valuables secured and out of sight, and use slash-proof, lockable, and RFID-protected bags and purses.

  • Is it safe to travel to Colima, Mexico?

    Colima is a relatively safe destination in Mexico. Colima is both a state and city in Western Mexico, and most visitors who visit this region stay in the city of Manzanillo. As with any destination, though, you need to take all precautions to keep yourself safe – stay at secured and well-located accommodation, buy travel insurance, etc.

  • Is it safe to travel to Mexico with an infant?

    Yes, traveling with an infant to Mexico is about the same as traveling to any other destination. You’ll want to visit a travel clinic or consult your family doctor about any required or recommended vaccinations for Mexico. Mexico is hot and sunny, so bring a sun hat, rash guard, and other items to give your baby the best sun protection possible.

  • Is it safe to travel to Nuevo Progreso, Mexico?

    Nuevo Progreso is a relatively safe destination in Mexico because of its proximity to the U.S. border. It’s easy to cross the border at Nuevo Progreso, which is known for its shopping. As with any destination, though, you need to take precautions to keep yourself safe – don’t walk by yourself at night, always have a charged cell phone with you, etc.

  • Is it safe to travel to San Felipe, Mexico?

    San Felipe, along with the rest of Baja California, is a relatively safe destination in Mexico. As with any destination, though, you need to take precautions to keep yourself safe – stay at secured and well-located accommodation, buy travel insurance, etc.

  • Does Greyhound travel to Mexico?

    Yes, Greyhound operates buses in parts of Northern Mexico. There are daily buses between Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo and between Neuvo Laredo and San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas.

  • Is 50 pesos a good tip?

    Suggested Tipping Amounts:

    Restaurants – 10% to 15% of the bill (always check to see if this is automatically included in the check).

    Hotel Cleaning Staff – 5% to 10% of your total room costs.
    Taxis Drivers won’t expect a tip unless they provide some extra service.
    Airport and Hotel Porters should get 50-100 pesos.
    Car parking and gas station attendants should get 5-10 pesos.

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This Mexico travel guide is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this Mexico travel guide are entirely my own. Some of the links in this Mexico travel guide are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission from this Mexico travel guide.

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