Table of Contents

131 Tips for Mexico Travel – Know Before You Go (2024 Recommendations)

131 Tips for Traveling to Mexico
By
Updated on

Mexico is a vibrant destination with a taste of every attraction you could want: Exotic beaches, stunning landscapes, a rich ancient history, and some of the best food in the world!

After living here for nearly 5 years and visiting 10+ cities, I’ve gathered the essential information that you would need for a successful trip. This list cultivates everything I wish I had been told before coming here and exclusive tips you won’t find anywhere else.

Learn from my rookie mistakes and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime!

Essential safety tips for Mexico travel

1. Do NOT drink the tap water

The tap water in Mexico is not considered safe to drink. Even the locals avoid it and opt for their own purification systems. While the CDC advises you to only drink bottled or sealed water, that may not always be available to you (especially in rural areas, on a hike, out at sea, or anytime you’re away from the resort). 

We recommend bringing your own water bottle with a built-in filter so you can have autonomy over your water supply. The Grayl water bottle is best for Mexico since it removes pathogens, bacteria, viruses, sediment, chlorine, and microplastics. It’s a bit pricey, but a small investment to prevent harmful bacterial infections like e.coli and hepatitis. 

2. Prevent pickpocketing with a Neck Wallet

While people think Mexico is associated with high-stakes crimes, your biggest concern will be smaller offenses like petty theft and pickpocketing. We recommend wearing a theft-proof neck wallet to conceal your passport, credit cards, phones, and I.D.s neatly underneath your shirt. Since they are hidden, no one will view you as an easy target. And the RFID-blocking material means no one can scan your wallet for financial data.

3. Stop hackers with a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Most people don’t think twice about joining a free WiFi network at the airport, coffee shops, restaurants, Airbnbs, hotels, etc. But what most travelers don’t realize is that they are putting themselves at risk of identity theft and cyber-hacking – I learned this when my credit card was stolen at our Airbnb in Paris. Now we never travel without a reliable VPN.

A virtual private network gives you a secure line to surf the internet and visit censored websites (Mexico may also block some of your favorite websites or make it difficult to work abroad). A VPN solves that problem and protects all passwords, credit card numbers, and identities. It’s also wildly affordable!

4. Get travel insurance BEFORE your trip

Our friend went to Mexico and ended up in the hospital with 6-figure bills because she didn’t realize that her American policy did not follow her overseas. Prevent a stressful situation from getting out of hand and protect your investment with travel insurance  – it will cover you against theft, flight delays, cancelations, medical emergencies, COVID-19-related concerns, and more.

Our favorite provider is Faye because the rates are affordable and they offer unique plans to cover you in any emergency, including ‘cancel for any reason.’ 

5. Leave the designer items at home

While vacation calls for a new wardrobe, leave the designer items at home. This is not the place to wear your most expensive jewelry or be flashy about your valuables. This is the place to blend in and take fewer risks. Don’t carelessly flash around your money and know that glitzy items will only draw unwanted attention from thieves or cat-callers.

6. Secure all bags with TSA-Approved Locks

I’ve had items stolen out of my checked luggage at the airport, so now I swear by these TSA-Approved Luggage Locks. You can attach these to your bags when traveling internationally, to your backpack when exploring town, or to secure your items at the hotel while the cleaning staff is going in and out.

Regarding your purse, just bring enough cash for the day and don’t bring your entire wallet or all credit cards, especially for beach days or times when your bags are unattended.

7. Avoid fake ATMs & spot a scam

There are ATMs scattered around the streets and near shopping malls, but sometimes one of those machines will be a fake. Although it’s rare, scammers build counterfeit ATMS or attach a swipe device to legitimate ATMs in order to steal credit card information.

The safest way to prevent this scam is by only using ATMs within established banking facilities. You can also spot clues like if the branding seems suspicious, if the street looks dodgy, or if the card reader and keypad feel loose.

8. Check you’re up-to-date on vaccinations

The most common vaccine requirements for travel to Mexico are against Hepatitis A and typhoid. As of late 2022, travelers are not required to present a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination for travel to Mexico. You can check up-to-date restrictions and CDC requirements through the Mexico Travel Advisory.

9. Ultimately – know that Mexico is safer than you think

Yes, precautions are necessary, but Mexico has a low crime rate compared to many worldwide countries. In general, you will feel very safe and welcomed by the locals.

I would advise staying in popular tourist areas with lots of people and not traveling alone at night or venturing outside major cities. Statistically, the safest cities in Mexico are Merida, Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, and Playa Del Carmen; The least safe are Tijuana, Acapulco, Juárez, and Cancún. 

Cultural norms & etiquette in Mexico

10. Don’t flush the toilet paper 

This may come as a shock, but it is not customary to flush your toilet paper in Mexico. To support the longevity of the pipes, locals throw their TP in the trashcan beside the toilet. Respect the sensitive plumbing and do as the locals do! 

11. Bring your own TP, in case there is none 

You may stumble across bathrooms that are ill-equipped, or you may be in the middle of nowhere (with nothing but a leaf to wipe with!) For situations like this, having disposable TP is a great solution. Simply add water and you have an expandable, hygienic wipe that is ready to use. 

While it may seem untraditional, the ladies may also want to consider a female urination device to pee standing up! Enjoy the privileges of men because, for bug-filled jungle hikes or areas that are less than pristine, you may sincerely appreciate this freedom!

12. Ladies’ restrooms are marked ‘M’

Last note for your bathroom experiences – ‘Mujeres’ means ‘woman’ in Spanish, so female bathrooms may be labeled with ‘M.’ Don’t mistake this for the English word ‘male’ and end up in an embarrassing situation! 

Men’s doors will be labeled with an ‘H’ for ‘hombres.’ This does not mean ‘hers,’ so be very careful 🙂 

13. Punctuality is a loose term (arrive 30 minutes late) 

Time is relative – it means such different things to different cultures and the clock in Mexico is known to run a little slower. Culturally, there is simply less urgency here! While Americans are running around early to appointments, most of the world is taking a siesta nap at lunch, taking Sundays off, and showing up around 30-60 minutes late. 

Know beforehand that this is not personal or a sign of disrespect – it’s simply an art form. I once met a local that joked, “we will show up late to our own wedding, late to work, late to the court, late to church, and merely call it flexibility.” 

14. Learn basic Spanish to get by & impress the locals

Wherever you travel in the world, knowing a bit of the language will help your trip run smoother. Not only will you be able to order food, find the bathrooms, look up directions, and handle basic interactions – but you will also impress the locals by caring enough to engage them. Even if your skills are not up-to-par, they will appreciate the effort and see it as a sign of respect. 

Practice through learning apps like Duolingo or Babbel, and download the Google Translate app for translating on the fly or communicating with someone who may not speak English.  

15. Haggling isn’t popular in Mexico 

While it may seem intuitive to barter at a local market, it is not common to ask for a better deal in Mexico. Just as it is in America, prices are firm and you should not expect brick-and-mortars to offer a large discount. This is also true for food markets because prices are already quite low. 

You can attempt to barter in flea markets or antique craft markets like Bazaar Sábado or La Lagunilla, but ask for the price first. Respond with a bid that is half of what they proposed, probably leading to an immediate no from the vendor. Sometimes they will meet you in the middle but don’t push too hard because firm negotiating is not customary here as with places like Thailand, India, Saudi Arabia, and China.

16. Inland cities are more conservative than coastal cities 

While this may seem obvious, it’s worth noting that coastal cities in Mexico are a bit more of the party zone. Beachwear and skimpy outfits are more acceptable in places like Cancún, Tijuana, Cabo San Lucas, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Guadalajara, and Puerto Vallarta. 

Conversely, Central Mexico and inland cities will be a tad more traditional. With Catholic morals and a conservative style, you should wear clothes that are more modest in places like Puebla, Oaxaca, Merida, and Querétaro. Mexico City will be the exception; as the capital city with the highest national population, there is more of a metropolitan vibe and free-spirited nature.

Top-rated attractions in Mexico – the BEST things to do

17. Climb ancient Mayan ruins that are 4,000 years old! 

While in Mexico, you absolutely must visit the ancient Mayan ruins. The pre-Hispanic history of this region dates back to 2600 B.C., more than 4,500 years ago. These stunning architectural triumphs show proof of language through glyphs and an impressive knowledge of mathematics, astrology, and primitive engineering. 

The bulk of locations are found in the Tulum Archaeological Zone and the most popular is definitely Chichén Itzá, but be sure to also check out lesser-known spots like Palenque, Monte Alban, and Teotihuacan (the Temple of Quetzalcoatl). 

18. Relax in a lagoon-like Cenote 

Cenotes are stunning natural sinkholes, almost like a lagoon in a sunken cave. These turquoise pools are mostly found along the Yucatán Peninsula near Tulum. I recommend exploring Gran Cenote and Taak Bi Ha Cenote, and kayaking through the Riviera Maya or taking a day trip from Cancún to visit Cenote Mariposa and Playa Del Carmen.

Pro tip Bring water shoes that provide great traction on slippery surfaces around the cenote, but are still breathable and lightweight for land hikes. 

19. Experience world-class diving & snorkeling

Mexico has some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world! People come from far and wide to experience things like Cozumel’s colorful marine life, Riviera Maya’s shark diving, and the Mesoamerican Reef (the largest in the Western Hemisphere).   

Check out snorkeling at popular locations like Palancer Reef near Cozumel, the Sea of Cortex near Cabo, and the hidden beach of Puerta Vallarta

20. Take a luxury cruise around the coast

Cabo San Lucas is probably the most popular destination for water activities. Buzzing with yachts, catamarans, and sailboats – this is the place for sunbathing on the deck and sipping margaritas until the sun goes down. 

Some of the most popular tours include a sunset cruise with dinner, letting stress melt away on a calming jazz cruise, sailing around Baja California, and snorkeling after lunch. Luxury lovers should book a catamaran from Isle Mujeres from Cancún, and low-key travelers will swoon over the calm waters of Bacalar.

21. Dive into the creepy but amazing – Museo Subacuático de Arte

The other-worldly exhibit known as MUSA (Subacuático de Arte) is the largest underwater museum on earth. With 500 statues anchored to the ocean floor, the vision for this installation was to protect endangered coral reefs by preserving a diving space. They welcome almost 200,000 adventurers every year and you can easily visit if staying close to Cancún. 

Multiple tour options are available – snorkeling above the statues is the most common, but others invest in the ability to scuba dive through the exhibit (certified divers can book a separate tour). This allows you to explore the museum fully; through shipwrecks, abandoned vehicles, mangroves, and caves. And swimming through the statue garden is both a haunting and seriously beautiful experience!

22. Capture memories with an underwater camera

Whether diving, snorkeling, or swimming, you will want to capture the moments that were most special to you. This underwater camera is ideal because it doesn’t break the bank but isn’t as precious (or expensive) as a GoPro or traditional DSRL. Don’t forget the tripod to take seamless pictures on the beach at sunset and include everyone in the shot. 

23. Fly over Teotihuacán Valley in a hot air balloon 

The Teotihuacán Valley holds a deep history and boasts one of the largest pyramids in Mexico. What better way to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site than from a bird’s eye view? 

Fly 10,000 ft. high over the Sun & Moon Pyramid in a massive hot air balloon! This is one of the most unforgettable ways to see the mesoamerican region – with an up-close look at the archeological site and transportation to and from Mexico City, which is 45 minutes away.  

24. Experience the amazing local wildlife scene 

There are so many exquisite wildlife tours in Mexico that will totally enhance your trip!  Swim with the turtles of Akumal Bay, ride horseback through the hillsides of Puerto Vallarta, and spend time with the sea lions of La Paz.

While it sounds scary, swimming with the sting rays in Cozumel is one of the most exhilarating things you can do (and the sting rays loooove humans since they keep them well-fed). And if visiting in the colder parts of the year, whale-watching in Cabo San Lucas simply can’t be missed! 

25. Swim with wild dolphins in Cancún

As one of the most popular and anticipated excursions in paradise, swimming with the dolphins is a cliché for a reason – it’s seriously magical and a perfect activity for the whole family. You can opt for a direct tour to swim with dolphins or combine this with a catamaran cruise around Isla Mujeres. 

26. Explore the state capital

Don’t sleep on the major cities! Mexico City is the state capital and the most densely-populated area of Mexico. It is known for things like Templo Mayor (an Aztec temple from the 13th century), the buzzing canals Xochimilco, and incredible street food. It’s also home to the Frida Khalo Museum (La Casa Azul, The Blue House), set within her former art studio. Then, you can finish the evening with a REAL lucha libre wrestling fight.   

27. Get off the beaten path on guided day trips 

Some of the best attractions are outside of the big cities, lost in the middle of the jungle or on the edge of civilization. If you have some gaps in your itinerary, consider filling them in with exotic day trips to places off-the-grid. 

Some of my favorite adventures were the Tolantongo Caves outside of Mexico City (bucket-list item!), hiking through the Sumidero National Park, and touring the epic Iztaccihuatl volcano.

You can also chase waterfalls near Puerta Vallarta and partake in a Mayan Temazcal Purification Ceremony with a traditional Mayan feast.

28. Book in advance for skip-the-line and discounted tickets 

Ultimately, no matter the excursion – you should book in advance to ensure your entry to the amazing sights. We use Get Your Guide because they offer the most authentic tours. You can book directly with local companies to support their tourism industry, and they allow cancelations up to 24-hours before the excursion. Plan ahead and reap the benefits of an unforgettable getaway! 

See all Mexico attractions at GetYourGuide.com ➜

Mexico packing list (things that people often forget) 

29. A Mexico Power Adapter 

Mexico has the same power supply as the U.S., so your appliances should work in both countries. However, Mexico is more prone to power outages or not having electricity across all regions, so we recommend bringing along a universal power adapter that has a built-in fuse protector. This one works in 100+ popular countries and has a lifetime replacement warranty. You can also bring an extra power bank or lipstick-sized charger to keep your devices powered on-the-go. 

Learn more in our complete guide – U.S. to Mexico Power Adapter: What Plug Do I Need? (2024)

30. Reef-safe sunscreen (Illegal to use normal sunscreen in some areas)

The sun is strong in Mexico and you will absolutely need protection from the UV rays. While it is not illegal in most areas, there are regulations against swimming with regular sunscreen in the cenotes, coral reefs, the Xel-Ha/Xcaret parks, and regions with endangered species.  

To preserve wildlife and protect our reefs, use biodegradable and reef-safe sunscreen with no harmful chemicals. Zinc-based products are safer for your skin and prevent your body from absorbing dangerous parabens and oxybenzone.

 

31. A Dry Bag to protect your cash, clothes, and perishables 

As someone who has watched their backpack slide around a soaking wet deck, I recommend a dry bag or waterproof backpack to protect your belongings. It’s quite a humbling experience to watch your cash crumble into a ball of worthlessness! 

This dry bag by Earth Pak is my favorite because it’s well-made and everything comes out dry. You’ll be boating, snorkeling, docking (sometimes far from the pier and walking ashore), so protect all perishable items. 

32. An affordable waterproof phone case

Along those same lines, purchase a universal waterproof phone case. It allows you to use the touchscreen through the case so you can film awesome underwater videos with sound. I recommend attaching a flotation strap because if a phone falls in a sharp coral reef, it’s a goner. You can attach these to keys, devices, or anything you want to remain buoyant and retrievable! 

33. Packing cubes = A game-changer! 

Packing cubes are one of those mild luxuries that you may not think is necessary, but once you travel with organizers, you never go back! These cubes are made by a family-owned travel company and are smartly designed with labels on each cube so you can easily find tops, bottoms, sleepwear, essentials, socks, etc. Never losing an item is a serious game-changer, I can’t recommend them enough.

34. Sun Protection to avoid sunburns

Mexico offers year-round sunshine. The UV rays are more powerful since they are close to the equator and you shouldn’t underestimate their effects. Any suntan is actually considered skin damage in a dermatologist’s eyes. So plan ahead with a sun hat to keep the bright sunshine out of your eyes, sunglasses, and a rash guard for long days at the beach.
 

35. Aftercare for long beach days

When the inevitable tan or sunburn does happen, have some aloe vera and moisturizer with vitamin E on hand. Honey also makes a great healing agent for wounds (and a sunburn is technically a wound).  

36. Cooling Towels to beat the heat

Cooling towels are a scientific revelation that will truly change your experience in Mexico! Simply add water and the towel will become 20-30 degrees colder than the outside temperature for up to an hour. This will pay off BIG when you’re dripping in sweat on a hike or standing in long lines. I never travel to tropical destinations without this affordable set.  

37. An Unlimited SIM Card for your phone 

Many travelers aren’t aware that a pre-paid SIM card allows you to unlock the local privileges of a normal phone bill. Instead of being overcharged and price-gauged by your at-home provider, purchase a Telcel Prepaid Unlimited SIM. This will grant you 4GB Cellular Data for 30 days and unlimited calls (that would typically cost a minimum of $3.50 per minute!) 

A SIM card will give you a local phone number that you can share with your loved ones while abroad. It’s the easier and cheaper way to stay connected to the internet, communication abilities, and streaming.

 

38. A Portable Hotspot 

If you need to work remotely or maintain a connection to your favorite websites, you may consider bringing a portable hotspot device. While many places will offer free WiFi, (and you should add a layer of defense through a virtual private network), you could also just bring a hotspot that will remove extraneous factors like remote location or signal reception.

39. Remember to pack lightly & consolidate where you can 

Overall, these recommendations are thoughtful precautions, but you should aim to pack lightly and consolidate items where you can. Things like a waterproof backpack will keep you hands-free during sightseeing days, while a hanging toiletries bag will be a fool-proof solution for limited counter space at hotels.

Aim to stay at a place with a laundry service or washing machine and then you can pack even less (to do some shopping during your visit)! I pack along this “just in case” bag for those unpredictable purchases; it tucks easily underneath my plane seat and counts as a personal item. 

For more information, check out our in-depth packing lists based on specific locations: 

Mexico | Central AmericaCancún | Cabo San Lucas | Cozumel | Merida/Yucatán | Playa Del Carmen | Puerto Vallarta | Punta Cana | Tulum 

How to eat in Mexico without getting Montezuma's revenge

40. Stay ahead of food poisoning with activated charcoal

Food poisoning is undeniably common in Mexico; Known as ‘Montezuma’s revenge,’ this classic case of traveler’s diarrhea is caused by things like the tap water, new and spicy food (that is often left out in open-air markets or street carts to be prone to bacteria-growth), and even Michelen-star, gourmet restaurants. 

Needless to say, no matter where you dine, there is a risk of getting sick.

If you get hit by food poisoning, immediately nip it in the bud with 1-2 tablets of activated charcoal. It’s a natural detoxifier that will remove harmful bacteria from the system, putting a stop to Mexico’s infamous TD (traveler’s diarrhea). These supplements will save you a day on the toilet and help prevent any distress.

41. Bring probiotics & fortify your gut

Along with activated charcoal, you should fortify your gut before your travels and pack things to strengthen your digestive system. I always bring Align probiotics (a solid brand with an effective product), or Global Healing has a fantastic probiotic that targets yeast, sugar, and candida-based fungus. 

I also use Mary Ruth’s liquid chlorophyll because it is naturally anti-cancerous and a pure detoxifier. In bad cases, you can try immodium to relieve diarrhea, cramps, and bloating. Aloe is also very soothing for the stomach and will calm any inflammatory pain, I never travel without it. 

42. Don’t eat raw vegetables

Unless you are eating in an upscale restaurant, avoid eating raw vegetables as they can often carry bacteria that only is killed when cooked in high temperatures. For example, you will want to order your tacos without the raw onion or cilantro that usually comes on top. If you purchase your own, scrub them thoroughly and cook them well. 

43. Know the safe fruit combinations (and the not-so-safe ones)

One of the most random but useful tips I’ve ever received for Mexico travel is not to mix papaya with oranges. These two fruits combine to create a strong natural laxative! This is especially useful information for resort buffets so you can choose your combinations carefully before a fast-paced day of adventures at sea or deep in the jungle! 

Most washed fruits will be safe. Keep in mind that pears, apples, kiwis, prunes, and figs can also stimulate the bowels.

44. Avoid certain street vendors 

As mentioned above, there is a slightly higher likelihood of food poisoning at open-air eateries and food trucks  – however, don’t avoid them altogether. It would be a shame to miss a REAL Spanish taco, and most people generally do not get sick. 

Immerse yourself in this new country, but still be selective. Do this by:

  • Looking for long lines of people (proving the food has fast turnover and is made-to-order)
  • Seeing where the locals are drawn towards (residents know how to avoid food poisoning)
  • Finding places with a minimum of 2 employees
  • Using your intuition to discern what food is clean (is the food on ice, heated, or preserved in a way that prevents bacteria?)

45. Avoid the open markets (CDC recommendation) 

With that being said, the CDC recommends that tourists avoid open-air markets. This is another rule that doesn’t need to be hard-and-fast. 

Many people visit and feast on expensive meals, then end up getting sick. Others spend their whole trip consuming street food and never get sick. These are the laws of unfairness and there are no guarantees either way. 

46. Book with a trusted local food guide

You can lower your chances of food contamination by ensuring your food is served hot and fully cooked, going on a food tour that is guided by a local (to ensure they are picking the safest spots), and simply being judicious about the produce you are purchasing. Many dishes are cooked with produce that has been washed in the unclean tap water, so consider this in your deliberation.

47. Bring hand sanitizer wherever you go

I met a woman at the hotel who had been very sick from food poisoning. She mentioned that she regretted not carrying hand sanitizer since she was confident this was the reason behind her illness: touching door handles, cars, walls, railings, etc. 

48. Stick to drinking bottled water at the hotel

Most tourists stick to the bottled water provided by their hotel. This is great for meal-to-meal, and you can bring 1-2 with you on a day trip, but many people stay at hostels or Airbnbs that are not as stocked. Pack along a filtered water bottle in case you have no access to a purified option. Don’t drink from plastic water bottles if they have a broken seal. 

49. Pack a backup LifeStraw for peace of mind

Sometimes, food poisoning is just psychological. This sounds like an exaggeration but the mind is a powerful thing. If you fear food poisoning strongly, this can worsen the preemptive fear in your body, so perhaps bring a LifeStraw, just in case. 

This product has literally saved lives and helped people that had no access to clean water. It can be used directly in a glass of tap water or a flowing river to keep you ahead of water-borne illnesses like e. coli. 

50. Be cautious with ice 

Ice cubes are a tricky one… Bars will often make your cocktails with ice cubes that are safely store-bought. But if they’re using the local tap water, it may be best to use bottled beverages like beers, liquor, or White Claws. For mixers or chasers, you may also consider a canned soda instead of any drinks on draft. Or you may go European vibes and stick to a no-ice policy.

51. Use purified water for brushing your teeth

The same goes for brushing your teeth. You can significantly reduce your chances of water-borne illness by playing it safe (even with small things like brushing your teeth!) I recommend using the water bottles provided by the hotel or your personal filtration system. 

52. Ask your host or concierge about safe local spots 

Some travel websites are going to have paid reviews and won’t reflect the reality of what’s good (and safe) in the area. Trust the local word – If staying at a resort, your concierge will offer recommendations and can book a car for you to the destination. An Airbnb host will often send their favorite nearby eateries and it’s best to rely on a resident’s perspective. 

53. Prevent alcohol poisoning by staying hydrated 

This is a big one if you plan to sip on margaritas and mezcals all day. The Mexican sun will increase the likelihood of dehydration, worsening any effects of alcohol poisoning and drying you out like a Spanish raisin! 

While your resort may encourage the ‘bottoms up’ lifestyle, you could be paying for it the next day with alcohol poisoning. Get ahead of this by incorporating more water and taking it easy on the inclusive drink package. You can also plan ahead with Cheers hangover preventative supplements.

54. Bring electrolytes in case you DO get sick 

In the off-chance that you still get sick (even after incorporating all of these wondrous tips!) be sure to have some electrolytes on hand. Some people favor the old-school Pedialyte Electrolyte Packets, while others prefer Liquid IV Electrolyte Packets.  These truly save lives and you will feel so much better with a surge of electrolytes soothing the war on your body! 

55. Visit the pharmacy to see an affordable doctor

Also, most pharmacies have a small doctor’s office where they give walk-in consultations and will prescribe any medications you may need. The doctor’s fee is usually less than $5 USD and worth knowing about if nothing else works.

Where to stay in Mexico – best areas & resorts

56. Select your location based on your expectations 

Instead of playing the guessing game when planning your dream trip, get specific about what you’re expecting. Are you craving the beach or the rainforest? Active sports or a spa-like treat? A historical lesson or a party-centric vibe? 

Here’s a cheat-sheet for the popular destinations: 

  • Best for beaches, nightlife, and partiesCancún, Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Morelos
  • Best for snorkeling, diving, and water activities Akumal, Isla Mujeres, Playa Del Carmen, Riviera Maya 
  • Best for history, cenotes, and Mayan ruins Guadalajara, Mérida, Tepoztlán, Tulum, Veracruz, Yucatán 
  • Best for mountains, hiking, and vineyardsOaxaca, Sayulita, Loreto, Valle De Guadalupe, Valle de Parras
  • Best for culture, foodie scene, and barsMexico City, Monterrey, San Miguel de Allende, Tijuana 

You should also consider your personal budget for the trip, if you prefer all-inclusiveness or want more flexibility to leave the resort, and the safety of that given area.

57. Best Hotels in Mexico For Families 

For adventure and thrill-seekers, definitely check out our article on the 7 Best Cancún Hotels with Waterparks (2024 Reviews). Many of these resorts will offer child care or a kid-zone that will entertain your young ones all day! They can also meet children their own age while you’re enjoying the spa, inclusive bar, or more ‘adult’ festivities! 

Some top-rated resorts for families are: 

 

58. Best Places to Stay for Couples 

For those seeking a romantic getaway, you may consider an adults-only resort. There’s nothing that ruins the mood quite like a gaggle of kids screaming their heads off while you try to relax on the beach.

Hit the spa, enjoy the on-site bars, and consider picking a resort with live entertainment or a dance club to keep you occupied in the evenings. 

The most romantic hotels in Mexico include: 

59. Best Resorts for Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties 

Mexico is an incredible spot for a girl’s or guy’s getaway. Gather up the gang and head to the beach for a celebratory weekend that you’ll never forget. Keep in mind that discounted group rates are available for larger parties and you can request special perks like champagne brought to your suite. You’ll want to book your accommodation 3-4 months in advance to secure a good group rate. 

Check out these popular resorts for celebrations: 

Also check out our in-depth guide, 17 Top Resort Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

Tips for a better hotel experience in Mexico

60. Book through a reputable site like Booking.com

Authorities have noticed a major rise in fake travel package scams and tourist-targeted fraud. This is especially prevalent in Mexico and the Caribbean region, leaving some tourists paying a high price for a sadly non-existent offering.

The best way to protect yourself against this hustle is to book through well-known booking services. We use Booking.com to compare verified listings and take advantage of free cancelations on nearly all bookings.

61. Bring your own Quick-Dry Travel Towel

If you’re staying in a hostel, meditation retreat, or eco-lodge – you may be offered a useless cloth or no towel at all. Larger resorts are more likely to provide one, but it will be fluffy and oversized, too bulky to lug from beach to beach.

We advise bringing your own quick-dry travel towel; this one dries 10x faster than cotton and is super absorbent. Since it’s light as a feather, we pack a few in our daypack and use them for a variety of needs (seat cover, picnic blanket, sweatband, etc.)

62. Look for newer hotels

Many of the hotels in Mexico were built in the 1970s and 80s. The pictures may look nice, but guests are sometimes dismayed to find their hotel is musty, dirty, and majorly outdated. Unless you are intentionally seeking a bit of history, stick with newer hotels that are built after the year 2000 or so.

You can also see what hotels have done renovations in recent years, which can result in some very cool updates. A new statistic shows that 75% of new hotel rooms in the world are being built in the Mexican Caribbean area, which means you have TONS of options for a sexy, modern experience!

63. Don’t fall into the Instagram trap

While Instagram research can open your eyes to travel inspiration, you shouldn’t always take it at face-value. Sometimes an accommodation or destination is marketed to look like a slice of paradise but once you arrive, the pictures don’t match the reality.

Keep in mind that pictures are taken by professionals, with expensive lighting, on the brightest and sunniest days, with post-production editing. You may visit during a rainy afternoon and things may not be exactly as you anticipated. A good tip is to search for reviews and images posted by guests instead of the hotel. This will help you gain a realistic perception of your stay and determine if it meets your needs.

64. Some resorts pay for fake reviews

Sadly, we live in the age of influencer marketing and paid reviews. You can spot this on Amazon (or any site) by looking for things that feel illegitimate. For example, sometimes an amazon product has 25,000+ reviews and every picture looks exactly the same, as if the purchaser was instructed on how to photograph it.

The same goes for hotels, pictures can be sponsored and hotels can incentivize influencers with free rooms and comped amenities. You’ll also notice repetitive phrases in the reviews like, “Our stay was amazing!” “Everything was amazing!” “Just amazing!” Look for buzzwords, too much consistency, and things that feel prompted. Legitimate reviews are unique and can fairly acknowledge a hotel’s flaws.

 

65. Try searching for a YouTube video of the hotel

A pro-tip that has really changed the game for us is looking up YouTube videos of a resort! If we are considering a few locations, this can really help us visualize what each of them would be like. Sometimes the pictures don’t do it justice, while at other times, we’re spotting glimpses of moldy bathrooms, water stains, unkept areas, and things that simply can’t be encapsulated in a paragraph review.

 

Transportation hacks – Getting around Mexico like a pro

66. Pack snacks for the road

Mexican airports usually don’t have the wide variety of fast-food and dine-in restaurants that you may be used to in the US. And if you’re traveling by land, you can drive for hours before finding a place to grab a bite. Pack a snack or small meal to make sure you have something to your liking to eat when you’re on the go.

67. Beware of scammers and book safely

It pays to do your research. Check what reputable car rental companies are available in the destination you’re traveling to and book directly with them. You’ll avoid possible third-party scams or fees. If you’re after the cheapest deal, try using Discover Cars to do a side-by-side comparison of your options to help you find the best deal.

68. Know that Uber isn’t available country-wide

As a general rule, Uber (or their Chinese competitor, DiDi) is available in large cities. This includes 60+ cities like Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo, Merida, and Oaxaca. But that doesn’t always mean Uber is available at these cities’ major airports. It is illegal for Uber drivers to pick up passengers at the Puerto Vallarta, Cancún, and Merida airports, for example. You will need to rely on taxis or private shuttles at certain airports, in smaller towns, and pueblo magicos.

 

69. Steer clear of rough neighborhoods

As long as you stick to neighborhoods with tourist sites, you won’t have to worry about ending up in the wrong neighborhood. Avoid walking around late at night, keep your phone and wallet out of your pockets, leave the expensive jewelry at home, and you’ll be in good shape.

70. American and Canadian citizens can skip the long line at customs

Recently, Mexico has started rolling out new automated border control kiosks in Mexico City, Los Cabos, and Cancún airports. I recently flew into Mexico City, and with my American passport, I was able to skip the long line to enter via a border patrol agent and go directly to one of the automated kiosks. This can easily save you a couple of hours as customs often takes forever to get through in Mexico City.

71. Avoid the fictional ‘airport upcharge’ (a tourist trap)

It’s not uncommon for private shuttles or drivers to take advantage of a turned-around tourist and upcharge them or have the meter running before the trip has even started. Don’t fall for their scams. Walk up to the official taxi booth (you can’t miss them), give them the address of your destination, pay the predetermined amount, and stand in line for a secure taxi.

72. Negotiate your taxi fare BEFORE the ride starts

If you’re hailing a taxi off the street, be sure to first give them the address and have them tell you the price beforehand. Most taxis in small towns don’t have meters, so it’s best to know what the driver’s rate is before you agree to ride.

73. Travel comfortably and affordably via the private bus system

Mexico has several private bus companies that are well-connected across the country. ADO is one of the bus lines with the most routes. If you’re looking to take a day trip to a pueblo magico, or want to travel all over the country, private buses are much more affordable than planes while still being safe and comfortable.

74. Still take advantage of the public transportation network

Mexico City has an excellent public transportation network. From the bus system to the metro, to an excellent bike-share program – it’s easy, affordable, and enjoyable to get around this megacity on public transport alone.

75. Try out a colectivo (ride-share)

Most commonly used in beach destinations like the Yucatan peninsula, colectivos are a great way to carpool with other travelers and save money on private transportation. However, if traveling outside of large resort towns, travelers should note that colectivos are not catered towards tourists. In most other parts of the country, colectivos are used by the working class to travel to and from work and are not suggested for general tourism purposes.

Mexico’s Unique Finds & Hidden Gems

76. Visit the Isla de las Muñecas (the haunted island of dolls)

Tucked away between the canals of Xochimilco lies the bizarre but intriguing haunted island of the dolls. Legend has it, a little girl mysteriously drowned near the island and her doll was placed in a tree as a sign of respect. The caretaker of the island felt the girl’s spirit in the doll and continued adding more dolls until there were hundreds! It’s a surreal sight that many horror love and folklore fans simply must witness.

77. Las Posza: Xilitla Surrealist Gardens

Edward James’ surrealist gardens are a spectacle for the eye and the imagination. Tucked away in the lush rainforest, these surrealist structures are so much fun to discover. Wander the grounds and uncover waterfalls and swim in crystal clear natural pools. We recommend visiting during the week, as it can get very crowded on weekends, and you may very well end up standing in line for over an hour just to get in.

78. Take a selfie in the Biblioteca Vasconcelos

The architecture of this library could have easily inspired Interstellar’s bookshelf scene. The floating bookshelves make for an epic selfie and to get people asking where in “the world are you!?” It’s a must-visit when in Mexico City.

79. Do a real photo shoot in paradise

If you’re looking to document high-quality images of your vacation, consider hiring a professional photographer to capture moments you’ll remember for a lifetime! You don’t want to risk people getting in the way of your shot, miserable tripod experiences, or blurry photos.

80. Witness actual magic at Los Pueblos Magicos

Mexico is filled with colorful colonial towns that have been honored with the title of “Pueblo Magico.” Whether you’re visiting Mexico City, Oaxaca, or Cancún, there are beautiful Pueblo Majicos to visit nearby for a perfect day trip. There’s the mystical, prehispanic town of Tepoztlan, a beach-lover’s paradise in Mazunte, Oaxaca, and the jungle town of Valladolid, Yucatan.

81. Walk through the home of Frida Khalo (an art lover’s dream!)

Step back in time as you visit the home of Frida Khalo in Mexico City’s historic neighborhood of Coyoacan. The marvelous Blue House was once Frida’s home and now is a wonderful art museum where you can learn about her inspirational life as a female painter in the mid-1900s.

82. Take a day trip to Las Coloradas (the Pink Lakes)

Witness magical pink lakes by boat on a day trip from Cancún. This natural wonder is surrounded by mangroves that attract a variety of bird species, including pink flamingoes! Visit a nearby virgin beach for you and your fellow travelers to enjoy all to yourselves as you eat a fresh seafood lunch.

83. Honor the indigenous culture of Mexico

San Juan Chamula is a famous town in Chiapas where prehispanic culture still thrives today. This day trip from San Cristobal de las Casas will let you experience indigenous ceremonies and meet local artisans. Be respectful and leave your cameras behind. If you’re looking for a keepsake from your experience, consider purchasing local indigenous crafts.

84. Try AtlasObscura.com for more “hidden wonders”

If you’re looking for even more off-the-beaten-path experiences, then it’s worth checking out Atlas Obscura. They offer details about hole-in-the-wall places, unknown treasures, and things that most people don’t know about worldwide destinations are waiting to be discovered!

The cost of traveling to Mexico for every price-point

85. High-end resort cost

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort or a luxury hotel experience, there’s really no limit on how much you can spend. All-inclusive resorts start at around $300 USD a person per night and can easily exceed $1,500 USD per day.

86. Average-priced accommodation cost

Mid-range accommodation is between $100-$300 USD a person per night. You can still expect attention to detail, excellent customer service, and amenities at this price range. Most of Mexico’s accommodations fall into this price range, and honestly they feel pretty high-end without the price tag.

87. Budget-friendly stay cost

Mexico is a budget traveler’s paradise! From social hostels to cute B&Bs, there is an affordable option for every type of traveler for less than $50 USD per person per night.

Traveling Mexico on a budget & ways to save money

88. Hold on to your coins

While cash can sometimes feel obsolete in the United States, it’s still the payment method of choice by most vendors in Mexico. Many restaurants and small stores are cash-only. Coins are a necessity when tipping the gas station attendant or when using a public bathroom.

89. But use your international credit card when you can

Whenever you can, opt for using a credit card with no international transaction fees. Withdrawing cash or exchanging currencies can start to add up. It’s best to save your cash for the times when cards aren’t accepted so you don’t rack up ATM fees.

90. Save currency exchange as a last resort

Exchanging currencies is not the most cost-effective way of accessing your money in Mexico. Airport kiosks normally don’t have the best deals, and currency exchange stores in town can easily rip you off. Stick to paying with a credit card or withdrawing cash from an ATM, and exchange USD for Pesos as a last resort.

91. Stay in hostels to save money and meet people

Reserve a bunk in the best hostels in Mexico with hostelworld.com (I try to snag ones with a score of 9.0 or higher). Mexico’s hostels tend to have a smaller capacity, making them feel more personal and conducive to friendly community vibes. With that being said, it’s important to reserve your spot in advance because hostels fill up quickly.

92. But good resorts and hotels don’t have to break the bank

If you’re looking to save on accommodation but still want the amenities and comfort of a resort or hotel, you’re in luck. Your US dollars will go far in Mexico, and you can experience all-inclusive resorts and boutique hotels at a fraction of the price you’re used to in the United States.

93. Eat at “comida corridas” to save major dinero

Across Mexico, there are local, and affordable lunch spots called comida corridas that serve up traditional Mexican cooking. For around $5 USD, you get a drink, starter, main course, and dessert. They are only open for lunch and are very popular with locals to go and eat during their lunch break. Search comida corrida in Google Maps and choose from one of the many options that will pop up near you.

94. Off-season travel – save money and evade the crowd

Shoulder season is an excellent time to visit Mexico if you’re looking for good deals. Usually, hotels and tours offer discounted rates during these months. For example, March-May in Baja California and the Yucatan is considered to be shoulder season. You can expect fewer people, better deals, and good weather. What more could you ask for?

95. Stay longer with a volunteer exchange

A volunteer exchange allows you to save money, stay in one palace longer, and get to know the community. I used Workaway to volunteer in hostels in Mexico City and Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, in exchange for free accommodation and breakfast. I met so many incredible people and had the best time.

96. Or get temporary residency to stay 6+ months

If you’re a digital nomad and want to call Mexico home for more than 6 months, then getting a Mexican temporary residency could be the right option for you. You won’t have to leave the country every 6 months or worry if customs will grant you the full 180 days every time you enter Mexico. You’ll need to prove economic solvency and jump through a few bureaucratic hoops, but it can be worth it if you’re serious about being in Mexico full-time.

When to visit Mexico – seasonal tips & insider secrets

97. Rainy Season is no joke in Mexico

Mexico’s rainy season starts around May and runs until September/October, depending on the year. Whether you’re in Central Mexico or the Yucatan Peninsula, you can count on a daily downpour during these months. The good thing is that they come at the same time every afternoon and don’t last too long, so you can easily make plans around these summer showers. If you’re traveling to Mexico during these months, a windproof travel umbrella and a quick-dry travel towel are a must.

 
98. But Hurricane Season continues for 1 more month

It’s important to note that whether you’re traveling to Mexico’s Pacific or Atlantic Coasts, hurricane season can last through October. During the late summer months and early fall, you can expect heavy rainfall, potential hurricanes, hotter temperatures, and higher numbers of mosquitoes. Bug repellent will be your best friend if you travel during this time of the year.

99. Seaweed Season (sargassum) is May through October 

Unfortunately, if you were looking to visit Mexico’s Caribbean coast during the summer months, you’d likely encounter sargassum seaweed on the beaches. Your best bet is to visit the Yucatan Peninsula during the winter months and head toward Mexico’s sargassum-free Pacific beach towns like Puerto Vallarta during the summer.

100. Whale-watching is an epic experience (December to March)

Mexico offers incredible whale-watching opportunities during the wintertime. From Baja California to Oaxaca, expect to see grey and humpback whales galore. Get up close and personal with these gentle giants in Cabo or snorkel with whale sharks in Isla Mujeres.

101. And the monarch butterfly migration is breathtaking (January to February)

Every year, millions of monarch butterflies from as far as Canada and the United States migrate to one small part of Mexico for the winter. You can witness this natural phenomenon in the forests just outside of Mexico City. Observe monarchs by the thousands as they huddle together on tree branches and flutter about against the clear blue sky.  

102. Semana Santa (Easter) is Mexico’s holy week 

Semana Santa always falls the week before Easter, in late March or early April. It is Mexico’s second-largest holiday, where most of the country is off on vacation. That means tourist destinations are packed with locals enjoying their time off. If you want to avoid the crowds, don’t plan your visit to Mexico during this week.

103. Celebrate Dias De Los Muertes (the day of the dead) in November

You have to experience Mexico’s magical day of the dead at least once in your life! Festivities usually start October 31st and go through November 2nd. Some of the best towns to experience this spell-binding holiday are Pátzcuaro, Mixquic, Mexico City, and Oaxaca City. Experience lively parades, marvel at the colorful and candlelit ofrendas, and eat pan de muerto.

104. Sunrays are stronger in the summer

If you plan on traveling to Baja California, the Pacific Coast, Atlantic Coast, or the Yucatan Peninsula between June and September, be prepared for the heat and humidity. You’ll want to bring along a rash guard to protect your skin when you’re under the sun all day and a handheld fan or cooling towel to refresh yourself on outdoor excursions.

105. But surprisingly, Mexico gets cold 

Don’t underestimate Mexico as just a tropical haven. It has desert climates and high-altitude cities that tend to get quite chilly in the evening. Even in the summer, bring a waterproof jacket, just in case. In the Winter, opt for layers that you can peel off or put on, as the temperature can drastically change when the sun goes down. 

 

106. Local tip: Spring is the best time of year to visit 

From a loca perspective: The weather has warmed up, the rainy season has yet to start, trees and flowers are in full bloom, and the crowds are slim. Mexico in the spring is a wonderful time to visit. It’s also shoulder season for a lot of destinations, so airplane, hotel, and tour prices are often lower.

Advice for Families bringing kids to Mexico

107. Resorts often have babysitters, nurseries, or kid zones

An awesome amenity that some hotels and resorts include or offer for an additional fee is childcare. If you’re hoping to spend a date night or go on an excursion child-free, then be sure to check out one of the many hotels that offer mom-approved babysitting services. The kids will have a blast enjoying games and activities catered to their age group while you can relax and enjoy quality time with your partner in paradise.

108. There are tons of fun activities for kids in Mexico!

Mexico is filled with rich culture and stunning natural beauty, both of which offer fun and unforgettable activities for your kiddos. Take them to Mexico City’s museum of chocolate, discover the underwater world by submarine in Cozumel, and uncover hidden beaches in Cabo. Mexico’s culture is very family and child-oriented. You’ll be received with nothing but patience and kindness when traveling with little ones here.

109. Go to a theme park

Whether your kiddos love adrenaline-pumping roller coasters or nature and water-filled activities, there are plenty of fun theme parks to take them to. Mexico City has its very own Six Flags. The Yucatan peninsula is filled with unforgettable water parks and jungle excursions that include ziplining, amphibious vehicles, and underground rivers.

110. Feel the adventurous spirit of Mexico

Bring your kiddos’ wildest dreams to life by sailing aboard a real pirate ship on the Sea of Cortez. If your little ones are nature and animal lovers, take them snorkeling with sea turtles or visit a wildlife sanctuary in the Yucatan Peninsula. Whatever their interests are, kids will get their fill of adventure in Mexico.

111. Note: There aren’t too many playgrounds in Mexico

Many resorts have on-premises waterslides and playgrounds, but you won’t find as many public ones. Larger cities like Mexico City and Oaxaca City have several parks with playgrounds. If having a playground near you is important, try and book accommodations that are close to green spaces. Playground Buddy is an app that will help you find the nearest public recreation areas.

112. You should consider bringing your own booster seat

Booster seats at restaurants are virtually non-existent in Mexico. Bringing your own can be really helpful for meals out as well as car, bus, and airplane rides. Consider packing this lightweight travel booster seat that meets US federal car safety standards to keep your little ones comfortable and safe.

113. Bring good walking shoes for the whole family

Help your kiddos keep up on all of your adventures by outfitting them with comfortable shoes they’ll love to wear. Our kids like both these Keen and Chaco sandals because they can splash around in the water with no problem, and the soles are extra-grippy, so we don’t worry as much that they’ll slip and fall. Some adventures are better suited for tennis shoes, and these ones by Merrell do just the trick.

114. For your sanity – pack some activities for long distances

There are times when traveling when you need your kids to be able to entertain themselves. Games like these ISPY travel cards, trivia cards, or this wipe-off activity pad will keep your little ones entertained at the airport, during car or plane rides, while waiting to eat at restaurants, and any time in between.

Advice specifically for women solo-traveling to Mexico

115. Choose your location wisely

When booking your accommodation, choose places that are close to all the action. For starters, tourist areas are always safer as they are filled with other tourists and tourist police. Secondly, the closer you stay to the sites/areas you want to see, the less likely you are to walk or take a taxi through less-safe neighborhoods.

116. Meet up with people (power in numbers!)

If you’re hesitant to travel to Mexico alone, there are tons of options for meeting other travelers to explore with. The easiest way to meet fellow travelers is by staying in a hostel, but you can also meet other travelers on guided tours, meet-up apps like Couchsurfing or Meetup, and by volunteering through sites like Workaway.

117. Watch your belongings

As soon as you arrive in Mexico, get into the habit of not keeping anything in your pockets. Cell phones, wallets, and keys should all go in a bag that you can keep an eye on at all times. Don’t hang your bag on the back of your chair or elsewhere out of sight. If you’re working at a coffee shop, it’s best to ask a neighbor to watch your belongings or take your things with you to the bathroom. As for items like passports or jewelry that you can’t afford to lose, leave them locked away in your hotel safe.

118. Watch your drink

Even at the resorts, keep an eye on your drink and ensure no one slips anything in your cocktail, water, or soda. You can prevent spiked drinks with these disposable party drink covers that will give you peace of mind and an added layer of defense.

119. Keep your wits about you

Don’t get distracted by text messages or Google Maps on your phone while you’re out exploring. You don’t want to look like a target that could easily be caught off-guard. Walk on well-lit, busy streets and keep the headphones off until you get to where you’re going.

120. Walk confidently and dodge cat-calling

Cat-calling is more likely to happen in town or away from your resort. But if someone is being overly friendly or offering you help that extends beyond your personal boundaries, simply say ‘no gracias’ or just ignore them and move on. Keep your head high and be a woman on a mission. If you walk with purpose, like you have somewhere to be, people are less likely to pester or harass you.

121. Ensure someone knows your location at all times

Give a friend or family member a copy of your itinerary with all addresses and phone numbers to reach you or the hotel or information they would need to find you in the event of an emergency. Let someone know when you leave for a night out and when you make it back to your accommodation. Consider sharing your location with a family member or friend via Find My Friends or a similar app.

Best travel resources to bookmark

122. Skyscanner.com: To track cheap flights

With Skyscanner, you can search what the cheapest destinations to visit from any given airport as well as when are the most affordable dates to travel to specific places. You can plan your trip in advance around these stats, or if you’re looking for a spontaneous getaway, you can see the cheapest options Skyscanner comes up with and travel there on a whim!

123. LonelyPlanet.com: Expert Advice 

A crisp new guidebook from LonelyPlanet hits differently, and their online resources are no different. They have experts on the ground that give a fresh perspective of what it’s like to travel to most destinations around the world.

124. Rome2Rio.com: Find directions to anywhere 

If navigating isn’t your forte, you can count on Rome2Rio to tell you exactly how to get to where you want to go. It analyzes the different types of transportation offered in any town or city to give you the best way to get from point A to B. If you’re looking to go from Mexico City to Puerto Vallarta, simply search those destinations and explore the different land and air transportation options that appear to compare prices and travel times.

125. HappyCow.net: Discover Vegan & Vegetarian Food Options

Mexico has a growing vegan and vegetarian food scene. Especially in bigger cities like Mexico City, Oaxaca City, Tulum, and Merida, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants to choose from. HappyCow makes it easy to find all the best veggie spots in Mexico and beyond. The community reviews are super helpful and trustworthy since you know they’re coming from someone within the vegan community.
 

126. VisitACity.com: Pre-Built Itineraries 

If you’re short on time and don’t want to plan an itinerary for every stop you make in Mexico, consider getting inspiration from one of the many pre-planned itineraries from VisitACity. It’s especially useful for destinations where you’ll be just passing through and don’t want to spend too much time or energy creating a detailed itinerary yourself.

Final tips for traveling to Mexico

127. Pack a copy of your passport (email it too)

A tip for all future travels – make a paper copy of your passport in case it were to get stolen or become misplaced. Something I did a long time ago was email myself a backup copy in case (somehow) I lost the other two copies. Having a physical and virtual option on-hand adds peace of mind in potentially stressful situations. 

128. Don’t be shy! 

Make an effort to speak Spanish for basic greetings, when ordering at a restaurant, or when asking a question. Don’t be the rude gringo that assumes everyone speaks English. Locals will be delighted when you make an effort, even if you make mistakes. So don’t be shy and practice your Spanish while in Mexico!

129. Always asks the customs agent for a 6-month visa

A 6-month tourist visa isn’t always a given in Mexico. While customs agents usually give out the maximum 6-month visa, no questions asked, they have recently become stricter with how long they let tourists stay in the country. If you know you may potentially want to stay the whole 6 months, be sure to tell them that. Otherwise, they will give you just enough days to last you until your departure ticket, if you have one, that is.

130. Display good manners

Being friendly and polite is instilled in Mexican culture. A greeting always starts with “Hola, como estas? “ to ask how someone is doing before further communicating what question you may have or what you might need. 

Elders are spoken to using the word “usted,” the formal version of “you.”

And don’t be surprised when locals leaving the restaurant tell you “buen provecho” as they pass you by to wish you a good meal. If you want to impress, try implementing these manners during your time in Mexico.

 

131. Have the experience of a lifetime! 

Mexico is so much more than what you see on the news or on social media. It’s a welcoming country full of culture, adventure, and natural beauty. It’s a vast and diverse country with exceptional experiences awaiting you. You’ll be ready to plan your next trip before you even get back home from the first!