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General Info, F.A.Qs. and Tips

Name in local language:  México o Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

Government:  Federal Republic, including 31 states + 1 federal district.

Population:  122.300.000

Capital:  Mexico City

Spoken languages:  Spanish (official). Indigenous languages (Nahuatl, Maya)

Religion:  Catholic 89,7 Protestant 4,9 Hebrew 0,1

Currency:  Mexican peso (MXN or MN)

Taxes:  16% IVA (VAT) in all the states of the country.

Time Zone:  -5 / -6 / -7 GMT.

Good to know!


  • Getting on Mexico time – Usually long travel and jetlag can play havoc with your internal time clocks. To avoid wasting the first few days of your vacation sleeping daytime and being awake at night, we suggest on your day of arrival avoiding taking a nap during the day and instead trying to stay wake until at least around 9 pm before retiring. This way you should wake up on your second day refreshed and on Mexico time.
  • Driving in Mexico is not too different from the USA and most Europeans whilst for visitors from the UK everything is reversed and extra care needs to be taken. You can rent a car or scooter with your own drivers license, no need to go through the trouble of applying for an International license as was necessary some years ago. Everyone needs to take extra care at larger junctions because the traffic lights are on the opposite side of the junction and it is easy to get confused and end up in the middle of a busy intersection with a risk of an accident. Also at these junctions (and similar to the USA) you can turn right on a red light using with caution “con precaucion”. If you are at the lights turning right and being tooted from behind this is your cue that it’s allowed to turn right on the red light. If you are planning to go away from main tourist areas, cell phones often do not work so always leave a note at your front desk on your intended destination for the day so that if you experience technical challenges at least someone will know where to find you and send assistance.
  • Ensure to exercise caution at all archaeological sites where the rules for videography and photography are strictly enforced. If you wish to use your video, you must tell the staff at the entrance so you can pay the tax due on this before using your video or you will be liable to a hefty fine. In order to protect ancient murals and frescos, it is also forbidden to use flash photography.
  • Only cats and dogs are permitted to enter the country and only if they hold all relevant paperwork issued by a veterinary expert in your home country. Please check the rules and regulations online prior to leaving your home country with your favourite four legged family member. You will also need to check ahead of time with your hotel as some accept pets and others do not.
  • Usual opening times for bars and restaurants are as follows

Breakfast from 7 am to 11 am

Lunch from 1 pm to 4 pm

Dinner from 7 pm – 11 pm

110V –In order to use electrical appliances from Italy (mobiles, laptop computers, electrical razor, I Pod). We strongly advise that you get an adapter (American connection type)


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If your stay in Mexico will be for no more than 90 days, you will only need a valid passport and a touristic letter provided by your travel agency, or the return airline ticket. You’ll be required to fill up the inmigration form and presented at customs office at the airport. You will also be given a receipt (the touristic visa) that you will need to present to immigration authorities the day you leave Mexico.


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The South-East area of the country, including the Yucatan Peninsula, Chiapas and the Caribbean, has the following climate seasonality:

November/May: This is our dry season and average temperatures vary between 20 and 25 Centigrade (68 – 77 Farenheit) with some constant light breeze. These climatic conditions make it Ideal for people those who swimming and getting that golden bronze tan.

June/October: This is our more Humid season, with daytime temperatures between 26 and 34 Centigrade (79 – 93 Farenheit) and with very little or no wind. Year round Mexico has weather suitable for visitors from North America and Europe.

For those who visit the middle – north of the country, temperatures can be very different depending on the time of year. For example, in Mexico City, during the winter (December / February) you can use a winter jacket, while in the remaining months of the year you can use a t-shirt.


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Generally, tap water is not drinkable, but it can be used for bathing without risk. Bottled water is cheap and can be bought everywhere, even at grocery stores and minimarkets (open 24 h). Purified water is used to make ice for beverages. American and European drugs are readily available at all chemists / drug stores, usually open 24 hours a day, avoiding the need to stuff your bags with your favourite brands. If you are on specially prescribed medicine from your home GP we do advise bringing these with you however.

Vaccinations are not required for a visit to Mexico. We strongly advise that you constantly use repellents to keep away mosquitoes and other bothersome insects, especially during the humid season.


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Your phone will work if it is set up for tri-band – check with your local phone store before leaving home. In order to receive phone calls, you will need to have some credit in advance of arriving. How much varies on your telephone provider so always check before leaving and always switch on a roaming service, prior to leaving home. A list of country codes from Mexico can be found at the front desk of every hotel. The cheapest way to make phone calls is to use international phone cards, widely available in drugstores or at the numerous international phone centers found in tourist areas. For those with a laptop, tablet or other device, a wireless connection to the Internet is available in most hotel or look for one of many internet cafes for well priced connectivity. International phone code is 0052.
To dial Mexican cell phone numbers, it is necessary to insert “1” between the international code and the cell phone number (example 0052 1 984 123456)


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Prices are shown in US$ or Pesos, please check which it is before paying. Almost everywhere US$ are accepted but you may get chance back in Pesos. Most major credit cards are accepted in tourist related businesses and in some stores even Euros are accepted. We do recommend however, that you bring US$ or if you must change Euros then always use the official banks, which are open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are also money change kiosks, check at each for the best rate before changing your Euros.


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Even if tipping in Mexico is generally not required, it is expected in many situations, specially in the touristic areas. So, our suggestion is that if you receive good service, it is a good idea to show your appreciation by giving a tip and it may help you also to ensure special treatment and attentions throughout your stay at a hotel, or dining in a restaurant to which you could return.

Tipping in either dollars and Euro (bills only, no coins) or pesos is acceptable, though pesos are usually more practical for the recipient. The amount you tip is at your discretion and should be based on the quality of service you received. A 10 – 15% tip is a good benchmark over the total of the bill.


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It depends very much on the area you visit and what time of year. In Yucatan and the Caribbean you can always wear comfortable, light clothing, open shoes, throughout the year, although it is always best to bring even a jersey to use in case of winding evenings and in taxis and transportation in general, due to air conditioning. For other areas of Mexico, we suggest to check online the temperature depending on the time of year you’ll visit.


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