BasicsTime: Mexico spans three different time zones: South, Central and Eastern Mexico GMT 6 (GMT 5 from first Sunday in April to second last Saturday in October); Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa and southern Baja California GMT 7 (GMT 6 from first Sunday in April to second last Saturday in October); Northern Baja California GMT 8 (GMT 7 from first Sunday in April to second last Saturday in October).
Electricity: 110-120 volts, 60Hz. Two-pin flat blade attachment plugs are standard.
Money: Mexican currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN), divided into 100 centavos. Credit cards are widely accepted, particularly Visa, MasterCard and American Express. ATMs are available in most cities and towns and are the most convenient way to get money, but for safety reasons should only be used during business hours and vigilance is advised. Although many businesses will accept foreign currency (particularly US Dollars) it is best to use pesos. Foreign currency can be exchanged at one of many casas de cambio (exchange houses), which have longer hours and offer a quicker service than the banks.
Currency Exchange Rates
Language: Spanish is the official language in Mexico. Some English is spoken in tourist regions.
Entry requirements for Americans: US citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for stays of up to 180 days.
Entry requirements for UK nationals: British citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for holders of British passports endorsed British Citizen, British National (Overseas) or British Subject for stays of up to 180 days.
Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for stays of up to 180 days.
Entry requirements for Australians: Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for stays of up to 180 days. Note that visa exemptions apply to holders of an APEC Business Travel Card, provided that the card is valid for travel to Mexico (i.e. endorsed with "MEX" on its reverse side).
Entry requirements for South Africans: South African citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Mexico. A visa is required. Passengers with a valid visa issued by Canada, Japan, USA, United Kingdom or a Schengen Member State are visa exempt for a maximum stay of 180 days.
Entry requirements for New Zealand nationals: New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for stays of up to 180 days. Note that visa exemptions apply to holders of an APEC Business Travel Card, provided that the card is valid for travel to Mexico (i.e. endorsed with "MEX" on its reverse side).
Passport/Visa Note: All foreign passengers to Mexico must hold a Mexico Visitor's Permit (FMM), which is issued free of charge, and obtainable from airlines, Mexican Consulates, Mexican international airports, and border crossing points. As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers transiting through the United States are required to present a passport, or other valid travel document, to enter or re-enter the United States. Foreign passengers to Mexico should ensure that their passports and other travel documents are in good condition - even slightly torn passports will not be accepted. NOTE: It is highly recommended that your passport has at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
Travel Health: Those entering Mexico from an infected area require a yellow fever certificate. There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Mexico, however visitors should take medical advice if travelling outside the major tourist areas. A malaria risk exists in some rural areas, but not on the Pacific and Gulf coasts, and dengue fever is on the increase. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A and typhoid. Travellers who may come into close contact with animals and may be at risk of bites should consider a rabies vaccination. Sensible precautions regarding food and water should be followed and visitors are advised to be cautious of street food and stick to bottled water. Medical facilities are basic, so comprehensive medical insurance is recommended. As medicines may be in short supply in certain areas travellers should consider taking along prescription medications, in their original packaging, and accompanied by a signed and dated letter from a doctor detailing what it is and why it is needed. Note: Zika is still a risk in Mexico. Because Zika infection in a pregnant woman can cause serious birth defects, women who are pregnant should seek advice from healthcare providers before travelling to Mexico.
Tipping: Tipping is customary in Mexico for almost all services as employees are not paid sufficient hourly wages and often rely on tips. Waiters and bar staff should be tipped 10 to 15 percent if a service charge hasn't already been added to the bill. The American custom of tipping 15 to 20 percent is practiced at international resorts, including those in Los Cabos.
The Yucatan Peninsula, including Cancun, is the hottest and most tropical part of Mexico, especially from June to August when humidity is high and average highs peak at 93°F (34°C). Low temperatures rarely drop below 68°F (20°C) and humidity tends to be high all year, although coastal breezes have a pleasant cooling effect on hot days. The rainy season runs from May to October and is characterised by late afternoon tropical showers, usually lasting for a short time only. Cancun lies within the Atlantic Hurricane Belt and the flat terrain makes the Yucatan Peninsula especially vulnerable to storms, particularly between June and October. In fact, big storms can affect Cancun at any time of year, but although they can be violent they are usually short-lived. On average April is the driest month and October is the wettest.
The peak tourist season in Cancun runs from December
to April, when the weather is warm and the sea reliably calm,
making it a good time for watersports and scuba diving. Out of this
peak season, prices at the resorts tend to drop dramatically and
the peninsula is less crowded. Although the threat of hurricanes
puts some travellers off, between June and October the weather can
be wonderful - hot with cooling winds - and can be a great time to
visit if no storms hit.
Travel Guide powered by Word Travels, copyright © 2019 Globe Media Ltd. All rights reserved. By its very nature much of the information in this guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. Neither Globe Media nor The Global Travel Group can accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.