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  • Overview

    Mexico is vibrant, colourful and unique. Its varied terrainranges from cactus-studded deserts to white sandy beaches and bluewaters, tropical rainforest and jungle-clad hills to steep rockycanyons and narrow gorges, and from snow-capped volcano peaks tohuge, bustling cities. The extraordinary history of the country isvisible in the ancient Mayan temples strewn across the jungles, theruins of Aztec civilisations, rural indigenous villages, Spanishcolonial cities, silver mining towns, and traditional Mexicanports.

    Since the height of the Mayan and Aztec civilisations, Mexicohas suffered the destructive force of the Conquistadors, Europeancolonial rule, civil and territorial wars, rebellions,dictatorships, recessions and earthquakes. Despite all this,Mexico's people are warm and friendly, much of the countrysideremains unspoilt by development, and its cities have a unique blendof architecture. Mexican Buildings display a striking combinationof colonial and pagan architecture, blending together Art Nouveau,Baroque, Art Deco and Native American design in churches and publicstructures. The country's culture is a similar blend of thetraditional and modern, where pagan meets Christian in a series offestivals, or fiestas, throughout the year.

    Mexico also has several hundred miles of coastline extendingdown through both the Pacific and the Caribbean, home to numerousextremely popular beach resorts. Resort cities such as Acapulco,Cancun and those of the Baja California peninsula are vacationhavens. The countryside enclosing these summer retreats is alsorich in archaeological treasures with pyramids, ruins of ancientcities and great stone carvings of ancient gods standing astestament to a country once ruled by the Aztecs and Mayans.

    Violence linked to the drug cartels is widespread but seldomaimed at tourists. Despite recent reports of drug wars and safetyissues, Mexico remains a hugely popular and predominantly safetourist destination.

    Mexico has consistently proven to be one of the most popularholiday destinations in the world and for good reason. With itsexotic sandy beaches, blue waters and warm climate, extraordinaryhistory and diverse landscapes, it would take a few months, if notyears, to explore and discover all that this magical country has tooffer.

    Spend a few days wandering round the ancient Mayan and Aztecpyramids and ruins, explore the deserts and swamps, marvel at therainforests and discover the hundreds of species of orchid alongthe way, or navigate an eco-tour by mountain bike, jeep, kayak orhorseback. There are 67 National Parks conserving indigenous faunaand flora, and the country is a bird-watcher's paradise, with themost species of birds in the whole of North America.

    The west coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula is regardedas having some of the best whale watching destinations in theworld. The three lagoons on the Pacific Coast that offer the bestlocations for watching Gray Whales are Magdalena Bay, San IgnacioLagoon and Scammon's Lagoon. Humpback Whales and Blue Whales breedin the Sea of Cortez, and Bahia de Los Angeles is the centre forwhale watching expeditions in the area.

    Beach resort cities such as Acapulco, Cancun and those of theBaja California region are considered to be a slice of heaven. Thewonderfully unique architecture and evidence of European colonialrule still exist in the cities, while El Zócalo in Mexico City, thesecond largest city square in the world, is where it all happensand is the best place to experience some real Mexican flavour.

    Mexican cruises mix old world charm with modernamenities, giving a great blend of excitement and serenity to theholiday cruise. Mexican cruises typically only visit the west coastwhile the beautiful and warm waters on the east are usuallyincluded in Caribbean cruise packages.

    Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve

    The Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve, located inthe mountains south of La Paz, provides a rugged home for anincredible diversity of animal and plant life. Declared a UNESCOGlobal Biosphere Reserve in recognition of its distinctive faunaand flora, the reserve is home to mountain lion, coyotes, foxes,kangaroo rats, desert mule deer, gophers and badgers. Thisecological treasure house attracts hikers, mountain bikers andnaturalists keen to see cacti, palms and pine trees grow side byside and picturesque rock pools form underneath towering graniteboulders. The core of the reserve is dominated by scenic oak-pineforests, which although scenic, can make it difficult to spotanimals.

    Mountain Lion Mountain Lion Tony Hisgett
    El Zocalo

    The enormous paved Plaza de la Constitucion, orZocalo, is the second largest city square in the world. Dominatedon one side by the magnificent colonial Presidential Palace, and onthe other by the great Metropolitan Cathedral with its ornateinterior, the square is Mexico City's centre of government andreligion. The square itself is always filled with activity, withvendors and buskers, informal traditional Aztec dance performances,family groups, workers on lunch break and passing tourists. Everyevening the presidential guards, in a show of great ceremony, lowerthe national flag from the central flagpole. The square isconstantly encircled by the city's ubiquitous green Volkswagentaxis, and is a good starting point for those wanting to explorethe city.

    Ceremony in the plaza Ceremony in the plaza krebsmaus07
    Templo Mayor

    Templo Mayor (Great Temple) was the principal templeof the Aztecs, believed to mark the centre of the universe. It waspart of the sacred complex of the ancient city of Tenochtitlan, andtoday it has been excavated to show the multiple layers ofconstruction. The temple was first built in 1375, and enlargedseveral times, each rebuilding accompanied by a frenzied bloodysacrifice of captured warriors to rededicate the sacred area.Within the site is the excellent Museo del Templo Mayor, displayingartifacts from the original site including a great wheel-like stonecarving of the Aztec goddess of the moon, Coyilxauhqui. Theentrance fee covers admission to both the museum and thearchaeological site.

    Address: Seminario 8, Historical District
    Transport: Take metro to Zocalo. Templo Mayor is off Zocalo, to theright of the city cathedral if you face it.
    Opening time: Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm.
    Templo Mayor Templo Mayor AlejandroLinaresGarcia
    San Angel

    Formerly a separate village, San Angel is one of themore charming of Mexico's suburbs, an exclusive neighbourhood withancient mansions and colonial houses along cobbled streets. It isfamed for its Saturday craft market in the pretty Plaza SanJacinto, which brings colour, crowds and a festive atmosphere tothe area, and has excellent art and handicrafts for sale. Thesuburb is crammed with little restaurants and cafes, severalmuseums exhibiting the works of Frida Kahlo among others, and thelovely El Carmen complex consisting of a triple-domed church, aformer monastery, school buildings, and a museum. San Angel issurrounded by a volcanic rock bed called the Pedregal. Parts ofthis unusual landscape have been declared protected areas wherevisitors can see the endemic flora and fauna.

    Address: Southwest of Mexico City
    Frida Kahlo House Frida Kahlo House Rod Waddington
    Zona Rosa

    The Zona Rosa (Pink Zone) is Mexico City's majordining, nightlife and shopping district. It is a compact areacrammed with bars, shops, boutiques, restaurants and hotels. Thedistrict has subtly shifted in its appeal recently. Once afashionable hub for youth and the upper classes, the Zona Rosa isnow also frequented by the city's gay community and tourists. Thesymbol of Mexico City, a gilded statue of Winged Victory which isthe Independence Monument, looms above the district and is one ofthe city's most photographic features. There is accomodationavailable in the area, but visitors are advised that it can benoisy at night.

    Transport: Line 1 on the metro to Insurgentes Station.
    Zona Rosa Zona Rosa Thelmadatter

    Situated 31 miles (50km) from Mexico City, the UNESCOWorld Heritage Site of Teotihuacan is Mexico's largest ancientcity, dating from around 300-600 BC. Legend has it the Aztecs foundthe abandoned city and, recognising signs of its previousmagnificence, they named it what it is today: Teotihuacan, 'placeof the gods'. The central thoroughfare of Teotihuacan is the Avenueof the Dead, a 1.3 mile (2km) stretch connecting the three mainattractions. The Pyramid of the Sun is the third largest pyramid inthe world, a huge red painted structure over a cave withspectacular views from the top. The smaller, more graceful Pyramidof the Moon contains an alter believed to have been used forreligious dancing. The Citadel is a large square complex that wasonce the residence of the city's ruler. Within the walls is itsmain feature, the Templo de Quetzalcoatl.

    Transport: Teotihuacan bus departs from Gate 8 of Mexico CitysTerminal del Norte every half hour
    Opening time: Tuesday to Sunday 9am-5pm.
    View from the Pyramide de la Luna inTeotihuacan View from the Pyramide de la Luna inTeotihuacan Jackhynes
    Chichen Itza

    Chichen Itza, with its famous pyramids and temples,is the Yucatan's most visited ancient Mayan site, set in the jungleand said to have been inhabited for more than 2,000 years. The mainattraction at Chichen Itza is the Pyramid of Kukulkan (the plumedserpent god), or El Castillo, a grand pyramid topped by a templethat dominates the site and has been declared one of the 7 NewWonders of the World. Inside the pyramid is a smaller pyramid, theinner sanctum, containing one of the greatest finds on the site,the brilliant red jaguar throne with jade spots, inlaid eyes andreal jaguar teeth. Another building of interest is El Caracol (TheGiant Conch Snail), an observatory with slits in the dome alignedwith certain astronomical appearances at specific dates. Visitorsshould bring drinking water, sunscreen and comfortable walkingshoes.

    Transport: Bus services from Cancun or Playa del Carmen (2.5hrs bybus)
    Opening time: Daily 8am to 4.30pm. Light and sound show begins 7pm(autumn and winter) and 8pm (spring and summer).
    Chichen Itza Chichen Itza David Stanley
    Santo Domingo

    Santo Domingo is the most beautiful of SanCristóbal's churches, with an intricately carved pink Baroquefacade that is especially impressive when lit up at night. Theinterior is richly decorated and shimmers with gold. The ornatepulpit and golden altarpieces are the main focus of this16th-century architectural monument. Visitors are welcome atservices but should prepare to be scolded by local worshippers ifthey don't show proper respect. The area in front and around thechurch is filled each day with craft stalls and village traders andis a great place to find Mexican souvenirs like woven blankets andshawls and amber jewellery.

    Address: Lázaro Cardenas Street
    Santo Domingo Santo Domingo omar91
    San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan villages

    These two highland villages are the home of theTzotzil people, descendants of the ancient Mayans, and some ofMexico's most traditional indigenous communities. San Juan Chamulais a centre for religious festivals. The main attraction is thechurch where, every Sunday, men in loose homespun white woollenponchos and women in embroidered finery congregate for the weeklymarket. The typical dress of the Zinacantan villagers is a red andwhite striped poncho decorated with tassels and a flat, round hatdecorated with ribbons. The countryside is dotted with crosses andofferings dedicated to their ancestor gods or the Earth Lord.Visitors should respect the local traditions and customs; villagerscan be unfriendly and are wary of tourists. The best way to visitthe villages is with a local guide. Photography is forbidden.

    Church of San Juan Church of San Juan Rob Young

    The setting for this spectacular ancient Mayan cityis splendid, a hauntingly beautiful site engulfed in the endlesstropical jungle that bristles with the shriek of insects. Thearchitecture is fantastic and for many Palenque is the mostremarkable of the major Mayan sites. Early morning is the best timeto capture the setting at its most photogenic, when swirlingvapours encircle the temples and the jungle. The highlight is thetallest and most important of Palenque's buildings, the magnificentTemple of Inscriptions. Constructed on eight levels, the rearinterior wall is decorated with panels of Mayan hieroglyphicinscriptions describing the history of Palenque and the temple.There is a museum near the entrance of the site.

    Address: Four miles (6.5km) from Palenque town.
    Transport: Frequent minibus services from Palenquetown.
    Opening time: Daily 8am to 4.30pm.
    Palenque Palenque Judith Duk

    Guanajuato is a colonial gem, founded around the richsilver deposits discovered by the Spanish in 1558. The city has anunusual layout, crammed into a narrow valley, with houses andstreets forced into irregular positions due to the naturally hillytopography. Brightly painted houses perch on slopes reached bynarrow cobbled alleyways, hidden plazas, steep stairways andunderground tunnels. The most narrow, and most visited, alley isthe Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss) where the balconies ofthe leaning houses on either side almost touch each other, afeature in the local romantic legend about furtive loversexchanging kisses. Every weekend the famous strolling musicians, orcallejoneadas, in traditional dress, lead processions through thenarrow winding alleyways, strumming, singing and telling stories tothe crowds that follow.

    Transport: Bus from Mexico City (about four hours).
    Guanajuato Guanajuato Jose Juan Figueroa

    The rustic logging town of Creel is the gateway tothe Copper Canyon, popular as a starting point for exploring thecanyons and Tarahumara Indian country. The Ferrocarril Chihuahua alPacifico (ChePe) train runs along the main canyon between Chihuahuaand Los Mochis. The trip takes about 15 hours, passing throughdramatic scenery and several villages and is a popular way toexplore the region. Creel is the largest town in the canyon andoffers accommodation, restaurants, Tarahumara craft shops, toursand guides. Situated high in a valley, the cool mountain air at7,677 feet (2,340m) makes a pleasant escape from the humidity onthe coast. Travellers should note, however, that there have beenincidents of cartel-related violence in the vicinity of the CopperCanyon, and should take all possible safety precautions.

    Copper Canyon, church near Creel Copper Canyon, church near Creel Judith Duk
    Isla Mujeres

    Located just a short ferry ride from the resort, IslaMujeres is a stunning island with quiet villages and beautifulviews that make for a great excursion from Cancun. The calmatmosphere is a relaxing break from the bustle of Cancun's busybeaches, and Isla Mujeres offers some excellent restaurants servingfreshly-caught seafood. Hidalgo Street in El Centro is the maindining, shopping and entertainment area. Popular activities on IslaMujeres include lounging on the pretty beaches, swimming withdolphins, snorkelling and scuba diving, exploring the remarkableUnderwater Sculpture Museum, swimming with sharks, deep-seafishing, and kayaking. The most popular beaches are on the northand west sides of Isla.

    Transport: Regular ferries are available from Puerto Juárez or GranPuerto on the mainland.
    Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres Cameron Wears
    Bosque de Chapultepec

    Bosque de Chapultepec is a truly immense urban park.Mexico's answer to Central Park spans over 686 hectares (1,695acres), and on any given day is brimming with people. The park ishome to boating lakes, monuments, a zoo, playing fields, andChapultepec Castle. The castle stands on a hill in the centre ofthe park, housing the Natural History Museum and offeringincredible views of the city. There's plenty to see and do in thepark, but most people come to relax on lunch breaks or weekends.Kick back, grab a taco and indulge in some people-watching.

    Address: Bosque de Chapultepec I Secc, 11100 Mexico City, CDMX,Mexico
    Chapultepec Castle Chapultepec Castle Nuno Tavares
    Wet n Wild Cancun

    The Wet'n Wild Waterpark in Cancun claims to be thebest waterpark in Latin America. The park works in conjunction witha splendid dolphinarium which is a very popular attraction inCancun. Many resorts offer joint packages to the waterpark anddolphinarium. Attractions at the waterpark include a wave pool, alazy river, a kiddies pool, bumper boats, and four or fivewaterslides including the Twister, the Kamikaze and the BubbleSpace Bowl. There are also plenty of beach loungers for those whojust want to relax in the sun. Tickets are expensive, but includeunlimited beverages, ice-cream, snacks and meals. There arelifeguards on duty and medical attention on standby.

    Address: Blvd. Kukulcan Km. 25 Hotel Zone Cancun.
    Opening time: Open daily 9am to 5pm.
    Pool lounging Pool lounging Solitude
    Museo Maya

    Cancun's archaeological museum, the Museo Maya, isnew, modern and air-conditioned and a visit can be a welcome relieffrom the heat outside. The museum consists of three largeexhibition halls and houses about 350 Mayan artefacts discovered inthe region. Artefacts include carvings, pottery, weapons, tools,ritual objects and burial masks. One of the highlights is the14,000-year-old skeletal remains found in Tulum's underwater caves,which greet visitors as they enter. The museum is enclosed bylovely landscaped grounds and nestled within are some fascinatingMayan ruins, including a small pyramid. This site, called the SanMiguelito Archaeological Site, is possibly the best part of a tripto the museum.

    Address: Blvd. Kukulkan km. 16.5, Zona Hotelera, Cancun
    Opening time: Open Wednesday to Monday 8am to 5pm.
    Ancient ruins Cancun Ancient ruins Cancun Jok2000
    Cancun Beaches

    When it comes to watersports, people watching,sun-lounging, clear blue water, beach bars and restaurants, andgreat tourist facilities, Cancun is unbeatable. Beach resorts andpowdery white sand are the order of the day. The northern stretchof Mujeres Bay includes the popular Playa Langostina, Playa LasPerlas and Playa Tortugas, all great for watersports, bars andrestaurants. Playa Linda is a launching point for boat and divetours, while Playa Caracol and Punta Cancun are excellent forfamily fun. East side beaches are breezier with rouger surf. ChacMool, Playa Marlin, Gaviota Azul and Playa Ballenas are ideal forparasailing, windsurfing, while Punta Nizuc and Playa Delfines arebeautiful beaches perfect for a day of sand and surf. The best divesites lie between Cancun and Isla Mujeres, at the colourful reefsof El Tunel, Grampin, Chuchos and Largo. The Cancun UnderwaterMuseum (MUSA) is also a fantastic option for divers.

    Cancun Beach Cancun Beach Rick Gonzalez

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    The Tropic of Cancer divides Mexico into a tropical south andtemperate north, which means that the northern region experiencescooler winter temperatures, whereas the south is hot all year withlittle seasonal variation. The coastal plains and Yucatan Peninsulaof the south experience average annual temperatures ranging between75°F and 82°F (24°C and 28°C). The annual average temperatures inthe northern lowlands are somewhat lower, ranging between 68°F and75°F (20°C and 24°C), mainly because there is greater seasonalvariation. The whole country tends to be hot and humid between Mayand August and is pleasantly warm throughout the year. Rainfallvaries widely according to region and terrain, but Mexico does havedistinct wet and dry seasons: most of the country experiences arainy season between late May and mid-October, with significantlyless rain the rest of the year. February is the driest month andJuly is the wettest. Hurricanes are possible between June andNovember.

    The best time to visit Mexico is between November and early May.It is best to avoid the peak summer months (June to August), whenit is uncomfortably hot, and the Easter holidays (March and April),when it can get unbearably crowded.


    Angelopolitano is a very popular restaurant which serves classicMexican dishes with a modern gourmet twist. The setting is trendyand intimate and the portions are generous and extremely tasty.Downstairs there is a restaurant store selling traditional Mexicanpreserves and sauces of high quality. They serve lunch and dinnerdaily. the restaurants open between 10am and 10pm, and stays open alittle later on weekends.

    Address: Puebla 371, Colonia Roma, Mexico City
    Les Cepages

    For a stylish gastronomical experience in Cancun, Les Cepages isthe favourite. The restaurant serves international cuisine, with aFrench influence, and meals are creatively and beautifullypresented. Specialties include lamb chops with mint sauce, duckwith honey caramelized apples and roasted quail. There is a goodwine selection and the service is superb. This world-classrestaurant is slightly off the beaten tourist track in Cancun butwell worth seeking out. Les Cepages is open 6pm to 11pm on Monday,2pm to 10pm from Tuesday to Saturday, and is closed on Sundays.

    Address: Plaza Nichupte Local 15, Downtown, Cancun
    Café de Tacuba

    Café Tacuba has a very colonial atmosphere, dating back to 1912.Its décor features brass lamps, oil paintings and a mural of nunsworking in a kitchen. The authentic Mexican menu offers traditionaldishes including tamales, enchiladas, chiles rellenos and pozole,and their pastries and hot chocolate are legendary. Open daily forbreakfast, lunch and dinner; reservations recommended.

    Address: 28 Tacuba, Centro Histórico
    La Opera

    La Opera is a luxurious dining venue with dark wood booths andlinen-covered tables. The décor features gilded baroque ceilingsand beautiful oil paintings, and an added feature is the bullethole which revolutionary general, Pancho Villa, supposedly put inthe ceiling when he galloped into the restaurant on horseback. Themenu offers an array of sumptuous cuisine including Spanish tapasand red snapper with olives and tomatoes. It's open Monday toSaturday for lunch and dinner, and Sunday for lunch. Reservationsare recommended.

    Address: 10 Cinco de Mayo, Centro Histórico
    Restaurant Danubio

    Open since 1936, many celebrity diners have frequented theclassic-European dining room of Restaurant Danubio, in the CentroHistórico. The restaurant's menu offers superb Spanish cuisineprepared on an ancient coal and firewood stove. The seafood atRestaurant Danubio is excellent - be sure to try the (baby crayfish). It's open daily forlunch and dinner, and reservations are recommended.

    Address: 3 Republica de Uruguay, Centro Historico

    This small, simple restaurant serves fantastic, authenticMexican food in a friendly and laid-back setting. Tacun is greatvalue for money - a rare thing in Cancun - and serves yummy food inliberal helpings. Locals and tourists alike consistently rate thespot highly. The restaurant doesn't accept credit cards so be sureto take cash. Tacun is open daily for lunch and dinner.

    Address: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 11.5, Cancun
    La Dolce Vita

    Consistently rated as one of the top restaurants in Cancun formany years, La Dolce Vita serves fresh seafood, pizza and home-madepasta in the Italian tradition, and has a good selection ofinternational wines. One of their signature dishes is BoquineteDolce Vita, which is local snapper topped with shrimp andmushrooms, enclosed in puff pastry, and served with lobster sauce.La Dolce Vita is elegant but friendly. The restaurant is open dailyfrom 8am to 11pm.

    Address: Avenue Coba N. 87, Downtown, Cancun
    Mexico City International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated six miles (10km) east of MexicoCity.
    Time: Local time is GMT -6 (GMT -5 between the firstSunday in April and the second last Sunday inOctober).
    Transfer Between Terminals Passengers can ride the free Air Train between the twoterminals. The general public have to take the publictransportation bus between the terminals at a nominal charge.
    Getting to the city: The Mexico City Metro subway system links the airport todowntown Mexico City. There are also suburban bus servicesincluding Autobuses del Oriente (ADO) and Autobuses Estrella Roja.Some hotels offer a pick-up service; it is worth checking theircharge as it is generally cheaper to take a taxi.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies include Avis, Budget and National.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are regulated and passengers can pay in advance at thetaxi counter in Arrivals. Authorized taxis are mustard yellow withan aeroplane logo. It takes about 45 minutes to the citycentre.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include ATMs, banks, bureaux dechange, business facilities, a post office, restaurants, shops,hotel reservations and tourist information.
    Parking Parking at Mexico City International Airport is charged at MXN44 per hour, up to a limit of MXN 288 per day.
    Cancun International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated eight miles (13km) from downtownCancun and 12 miles (20km) from the Hotel zone.
    Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5 between the first Sunday in Apriland the second last Sunday in October).
    Transfer Between Terminals A shuttle bus runs between the main entrances of the terminalsevery 10 minutes.
    Getting to the city: Taxis can be used to get to the town. An official taxi companyprovides services from the airport and can be paid for at theairport. Airport ADO buses leave the airport from all threeterminals every 30 to 45 minutes and go to downtown Cancun as wellas Playa del Carmen.
    Car Rental: Major car rental companies are represented at the airport, alongwith a number of local companies.
    Airport Taxis: Official taxis provide services from the airport and can be paidfor at the airport just outside the arrivals hall. Taxis go to bothCancun and Playa del Carmen.
    Fascilities: Cancun airport has all the facilities one would expect at one ofthe world's mega-airports. Facilities include ATMs, a bureau dechange, restaurants, shops, a pharmacy, medical services andtourist information. There are facilities for disabled passengersbut those with special needs are advised to contact their airlinein advance.
    Parking Parking is available near to each terminal entrance, starting atMXN 28 per hour, up to a maximum of MXN 165 per day.
    Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara InternationalAirport
    Location: The airport is situated 10 miles (16km) south ofGuadalajara.
    Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5 between the first Sunday in Apriland the second last Sunday in October)
    Transfer Between Terminals The second terminal is for cargo only. Passengers should onlyhave to make use of the Passenger Terminal and therefore notransfer should be necessary.
    Getting to the city: Many local hotels offer transfers that are cheaper than taxifares.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Sixt, National, Fox,and Europcar.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available at both terminals 24 hours a day.
    Fascilities: There are shops, bars and restaurants at the airport. Otherfacilities include ATMs, banks, currency exchange and VIP loungesand tourist information. Disabled facilities are relatively good;those with special needs are advised to contact their airline inadvance.
    Parking There is parking available at the airport.
    General Juan N. Alvarez InternationalAirport
    Location: The airport is situated 14 miles (22km) southeast ofAcapulco.
    Time: Local time is GMT -6 (GMT -5 between the firstSunday in April and the second last Sunday inOctober).
    Getting to the city: Airport shuttles are the safest way to transfer from the airportto the city centre and should be pre-booked. Many local hotelsoffer shuttle service to guests.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Thrifty, andHertz are represented at the airport.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available outside the main terminal. Rates are basedon a zone system, the type of vehicle, and number of passengers.Passengers can buy tickets at the taxi kiosk.
    Fascilities: There are shops, bars and restaurants at the airport. Otherfacilities include banks and currency exchange services. Disabledfacilities are good; those with special needs should contact theirairline in advance.
    Parking Parking is available, costing MXN 30 for the first hour, and MXN15 for every 30 minutes thereafter. The maximum daily rate is MXN250.
    General Roberto Fierro Villalobos InternationalAirport
    Location: Chihuahua International Airport is about 11 miles (18km)from the city.
    Time: GMT -7 (GMT -6 from the first Sunday in April tothe last Sunday in October)
    Getting to the city: Taxis are available. Fares depend on destination. There is nopublic bus servicing the airport. Car rental is also an option.
    Car Rental: The car rental desks are located inside the terminal building.Booking in advance will result in a lower fee than an on-the-dayrental. Companies available at the airport include Avis, Europcar,Greenmotion, and Hertz.
    Airport Taxis: Three taxi companies service the airport. Rates are based on azone system and the number of passengers. Tickets are availablefrom a counter inside the airport.
    Fascilities: ATMs are located on the lower level of the main terminal. Otherfacilities include a shoeshine service, magazine stands, fashionstores, duty-free shopping, local crafts and souvenirs, bars, andrestaurants.
    Parking Parking lots are open around the clock for rates of MXN 26 forthe first hour, and MXN 13 every 30 minutes thereafter. The maximumfor a day is MXN 160.
    Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz InternationalAirport
    Location: The airport is located 5 miles (8 km) north of PuertoVallarta.
    Time: Local time is GMT -6 (GMT -5 from first Sunday inApril to second last Saturday in October).
    Getting to the city: Areomovil taxi transportation is the main source of transportfrom the airport, as well as combi bus (Colectivo minivan) whichcharge rates based on the zone of travel. The fare must be paidbefore departure at a small kiosk located just outside theterminal. also provide a service for passengers from theairport. Taxis can be flagged down from the highway. The local busalso travels through to Puerto Vallarta.
    Car Rental: There are several car rental agencies located in theterminal.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available just outside the terminal and rates arecharged based on the zones of travel.
    Fascilities: The airport features a bank, a bureaux de change, cash machines,several small shops on the ground level of the airport, duty-freeshops, a café, restaurant and a bar.
    Parking There is short-term parking available.
    General Mariano Escobedo InternationalAirport
    Location: The airport is approximately 15 miles (24km) fromMonterrey city centre.
    Time: GMT –6 (GMT –5 between the first Sunday in Apriland the last Sunday in October)
    Transfer Between Terminals Complimentary minibus shuttles operate between Terminals A and Cevery 10 minutes between 5am and midnight. Terminals A and B arewithin walking distance of each other.
    Getting to the city: A new express Skybus service runs between the city and theairport, on luxury buses with premium facilities. Departures fromthe airport start in the early mornings and run until beforemidnight, dropping passengers off at Valle Oriente Station onAvenida Lázaro Cardenas. Reservations are advised. Several hotelsalso offer their own shuttles.
    Car Rental: Car rental kiosks are located outside the arrivals area inTerminal A. The companies located here include Avis, Alamo, Dollar,Europcar, Greenmotion, Hertz, Payless, Sixt, and Thrifty.
    Airport Taxis: A broad selection of taxis service Monterrey Airport, departingfrom in front of the terminals. Rates are based on a zone system,and also depend on the kind of vehicle and number of passengers. Ittakes around 30 minutes to the city centre. Travellers can pre-payfor their fare at kiosks outside the arrivals area in Terminals Aand C.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include hotel reservations, currencyexchange, regional bus services, airline VIP lounges, a minimarket, fashion stores, duty-free shopping, restaurants, giftsshops, bars, coffee shops, a shoeshine service, and ATMs.
    Parking Parking is available near each terminal. Short-term parking isMXN 32 for the first hour, and MXN 16 for every 30 minutesthereafter, up to MXN 360 per day. Long-term parking is MXN 68 perthree hours, up to MXN 190 per day. Premium parking is availablenear Terminal B. In all parking lots, payment is made at theAutomated Payment machines located near the parking lot exit, andboth cash and credit cards are accepted.
    Bachigualato Federal International Airport
    Location: Culiacan International is located approximately six miles(10km) southwest of the centre of Culiacan city.
    Time: GMT -7 (GMT -6 between the first Sunday in Apriland the last Sunday in October).
    Transfer Between Terminals The secondary terminal is a General Aviation terminal used forprivate planes and helicopters.
    Getting to the city: Visitors should arrange collection with their hotel, take ataxi, or hire a car from one of the reputable car rental companieslocated in the airport. There is no public transport from theairport.
    Car Rental: A variety of rental cars are available for hire from desks onthe lower floor of the main terminal building. The companiesinclude Advantage, Alamo, Europcar, Budget, and Hertz, amongothers.
    Airport Taxis: Authorised taxi companies Aero Gris and AutotransportistasFernando Amilpa service the airport. Tickets are available from thetaxi kiosk.
    Fascilities: Facilities at the airport include vending machines, ATMs, a bar,magazine stands, fashion stores, and a range of restaurants.
    Parking The parking lot is located directly opposite the main terminalbuilding. The first hour of parking costs MXN 32. After that, itcosts MXN 16 per 30 minutes, up to a maximum of MXN 150 per day.Payment can be made with cash or credit card at the parking lotexit.
    Manuel Crescencio Rejón InternationalAirport
    Location: The airport is located five miles (8km) fromMerida.
    Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5 between the first Sunday in Aprilto the last Sunday in October)
    Getting to the city: Authorised taxis or vans connect the airport to the city. Thereis also a bus service run by ADO.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies represented at the airport include Hertz,Europcar, National and Exective.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available from the airport.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include a bank, currency exchange, shopping(including duty-free shops), restaurants and fast food outlets.
    Parking Parking is available at the airport.
    Los Cabos International Airport
    Location: The airport is located seven miles (11km) from San Josédel Cabo city centre.
    Time: GMT -7 (GMT -6 between the first Sunday in Apriland the last Sunday in October)
    Transfer Between Terminals A shuttle service runs between terminals.
    Getting to the city: Shuttles are available at all terminals 24 hours a day. TheSuburCabos bus has a stop roughly a five-minute taxi ride away fromthe airport. The bus route has many stops in San Jose del Cabo andCabo San Lucas; however, the main stop for Cabo San Lucas hotels isat the Puerto Paraiso Mall. Note that the bus will only stop ifsomeone signals for it.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies represented at the airport include Fox,U-Save, Europcar, Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Dollar, National, Alamo,and Hertz.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available to transport passengers to their requireddestination and can be found at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Taxistands are open from 7am to 10pm.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include a VIP lounge (including a spa, barand pool tables), restaurants, fast food outlets, coffee shops,shops, ATMs, and a bank.
    Parking Parking is available at the airport.
    Francisco Sarabia International Airport
    Location: The airport is located about three miles (5km) fromTorreon city centre.
    Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5, April to endOctober)
    Getting to the city: Many local hotels offer airport shuttles for guests. Taxis andrental cars are also available.
    Car Rental: Car rental represented at the airport includes Airways, Avis,Europcar, Greenmotion and Sixt.
    Airport Taxis: Taxi services are available. Rates are based on a zone system,the type of vehicle and number of passengers. Passengers can buytickets at the taxi kiosk.
    Fascilities: Airport facilities include ATMs, car rental, waiting rooms,vending machines, VIP lounges, restaurants and shopping.
    Parking Parking is available at the airport and costs MXN 26 for thefirst hour and thereafter MXN 13 for every 15 minutes. A dailymaximum of MXN 250 is charged.
    General Abelardo L. Rodríguez InternationalAirport
    Location: The airport is located about three miles (5km) from thecity centre, immediately south of the US border.
    Time: GMT -8 (GMT -7, mid-March to earlyNovember)
    Transfer Between Terminals In December 2015 a new terminal was opened, on the US side ofthe border known as the Cross Border Xpress or CBX. The twoterminals are connected by a bridge.
    Getting to the city: Blue-and-white public buses marked 'Plaza Rio' or 'Centro' runto the city centre from outside the airport. International coachesare also available to San Diego and other destinations in SouthernCalifornia. Taxis and rental cars are also available.
    Car Rental: Rental cars are available from Alamo, Avis, Dollar, Europcar,Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrifty.
    Airport Taxis: Yellow taxis are plentiful, and will take passengers to centralTijuana (Zona Centro). Fares can be paid in Mexican or US currency.Tickets for authorised taxis can be purchased at ticket machines atterminal exits at a fixed rate.
    Fascilities: Terminal facilities include VIP lounges, currency exchange,ATMs, shops and a food court.
    Parking There is short-term and long-term parking available at theairport.
    Carlos Rovirosa Pérez International Airport
    Location: The airport is located nine miles (15km) fromVillahermosa city centre.
    Time: GMT -6 (GMT -5 between April andOctober)
    Getting to the city: Taxi and shuttle services can be arranged on the ground floor ofthe terminal. Rental cars are also available.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies represented at the airport include Avis,Hertz, Budget and Europcar.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available at the airport. The ride to the city centretakes about 15 minutes.
    Fascilities: Facilities are limited, but there is a selection of shops andrestaurants.
    Parking Parking is available near the terminal.

    Mexican currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN), divided into 100centavos. Credit cards are widely accepted, particularly Visa,MasterCard and American Express. ATMs are available in most citiesand towns and are the most convenient way to get money, but forsafety reasons should only be used during business hours andvigilance is advised. Although many businesses will accept foreigncurrency (particularly US Dollars) it is best to use pesos. Foreigncurrency can be exchanged at one of many casas de cambio (exchangehouses), which have longer hours and offer a quicker service thanthe banks.


    Spanish is the official language in Mexico. Some Englishis spoken in tourist regions.


    110-120 volts, 60Hz. Two-pin flat blade attachmentplugs are standard.

    Entry Requirements:

    US citizens must have a passport that is valid upon theirarrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for stays of up to 180days.

    British citizens must have a passport that is valid upon theirarrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for holders of Britishpassports endorsed British Citizen, British National (Overseas) orBritish Subject for stays of up to 180 days.

    Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid upon theirarrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for stays of up to 180days.

    Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid upontheir arrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for stays of up to180 days. Note that visa exemptions apply to holders of an APECBusiness Travel Card, provided that the card is valid for travel toMexico (i.e. endorsed with "MEX" on its reverse side).

    South African citizens must have a passport that is valid upontheir arrival in Mexico. A visa is required. Passengers with avalid visa issued by Canada, Japan, USA, United Kingdom or aSchengen Member State are visa exempt for a maximum stay of 180days.

    Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid upon theirarrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for stays of up to 180days.

    US citizens must have a passport that is valid upon theirarrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for stays of up to 180days.

    New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid upontheir arrival in Mexico. A visa is not required for stays of up to180 days. Note that visa exemptions apply to holders of an APECBusiness Travel Card, provided that the card is valid for travel toMexico (i.e. endorsed with "MEX" on its reverse side).

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    All foreign passengers to Mexico must hold a Mexico Visitor'sPermit (FMM), which is issued free of charge, and obtainable fromairlines, Mexican Consulates, Mexican international airports, andborder crossing points. As part of the Western Hemisphere TravelInitiative (WHTI), all travellers transiting through the UnitedStates are required to present a passport, or other valid traveldocument, to enter or re-enter the United States. Foreignpassengers to Mexico should ensure that their passports and othertravel documents are in good condition - even slightly tornpassports will not be accepted. NOTE: It is highly recommended thatyour passport has at least six months validity remaining after yourintended date of departure from your travel destination.Immigration officials often apply different rules to those statedby travel agents and official sources.

    Travel Health:

    Those entering Mexico from an infected area require a yellowfever certificate. There are no vaccination requirements forvisitors to Mexico, however visitors should take medical advice iftravelling outside the major tourist areas. A malaria risk existsin some rural areas, but not on the Pacific and Gulf coasts, anddengue fever is on the increase. Vaccinations are recommended forhepatitis A and typhoid. Travellers who may come into close contactwith animals and may be at risk of bites should consider a rabiesvaccination.

    Sensible precautions regarding food and water should be followedand visitors are advised to be cautious of street food and stick tobottled water. Medical facilities are basic, so comprehensivemedical insurance is recommended. As medicines may be in shortsupply in certain areas travellers should consider taking alongprescription medications, in their original packaging, andaccompanied by a signed and dated letter from a doctor detailingwhat it is and why it is needed.

    Note: Zika is still a risk in Mexico. Because Zika infection ina pregnant woman can cause serious birth defects, women who arepregnant should seek advice from healthcare providers beforetravelling to Mexico.


    Tipping is customary in Mexico for almost all services asemployees are not paid sufficient hourly wages and often rely ontips. Waiters and bar staff should be tipped 10 to 15 percent if aservice charge hasn't already been added to the bill. The Americancustom of tipping 15 to 20 percent is practiced at internationalresorts, including those in Los Cabos.

    Safety Information:

    There can be incidents of robberies and muggings in Mexico,especially in the big cities such as Mexico City. Travellers,particularly women on their own, should be vigilant and take careof their belongings, especially on public transport. Only useauthorised taxi services, and try to avoid bus travel at night.

    Visitors are advised to be wary of people presenting themselvesas police officers attempting to fine or arrest them for noapparent reason, leading to theft or assault. If in doubt ask foridentification.

    Most of the violence related to drug cartel wars in Mexico isconcentrated along the border between Mexico and the United States.Tourist zones are generally unaffected, though it is worth checkingthe news before travelling.

    Hurricanes may affect the coastal areas between June andNovember.

    Local Customs:

    Mexicans are not impatient and do not appreciate impatience inothers, so travellers should expect opening hours and publictransport times to be flexible and laid back. Mexicans are friendlyand hospitable people and courteous behaviour and polite speech inreturn is greatly appreciated. Travellers should also note that itis common for Mexicans to communicate closer than one arm's lengthfrom each other and that it is not an attempt to be forward.


    In Mexico, business is ideally conducted face-to-face. Althoughmany Mexican businessmen speak perfect English, Spanish is theofficial language of business in Mexico - and learning a few choicewords and phrases will go a long way toward ingratiating yourselfwith your new associates.

    Business etiquette in Mexico is marked by a combination offormality and friendliness. It is very rare to hear the word 'No'being used in a direct or confrontational way - bald refusals areseen as rude. Use titles ('Señhor' and 'Señhora') untilspecifically instructed not to do so, but do not shrink away fromengaging in personal discussions with your colleagues. Businessmeetings must be scheduled in advance, and then confirmed a fewdays before they are due to take place.

    The dress code for the Mexican business world is smart andformal. Business hours in Mexico are generally from 9am to 6pm,Monday to Friday (with a 2 or 3 hour siesta in the earlyafternoon).


    The international access code for Mexico is +52. If callinginternationally from a phone booth use the official TelMex phonebooths, as all others charge very high fees. There is widespreadnetwork coverage in Mexico from Telcel, Movistar, and AT&TMexico. As international roaming costs can be high, purchasing alocal prepaid SIM card can be a cheaper option. Hotels, cafes andrestaurants offering free wifi are widely available.

    Duty Free:

    Travellers to Mexico over 18 years do not have to pay duty on200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200g tobacco; 3 litres spirits or 6litres wine; other goods to the value of US$500 if arriving by air,or US$300 if arriving by land are premitted without incurring dutyfees. Prohibited goods include narcotics, firearms and usedclothing that is not part of your personal luggage. The export ofarchaeological artefacts is strictly forbidden.

    Useful Contacts:

    Mexico Tourism Board: +52 55 5278 4200

    Mexico Embassies:

    Mexican Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 7281600.

    Mexican Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7499 8586.

    Mexican Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 233 8988.

    Mexican Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 460 1004.

    Mexican Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 2 6273 3963.

    Mexican Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 667 3105.

    Mexican Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 4 472 0555.

    Foreign Embassies in Mexico :

    United States Embassy, Mexico City: +52 55 5080 2000.

    British Embassy, Mexico City: +52 55 1670 3200.

    Canadian Embassy, Mexico City: +52 55 5724 7900.

    South African Embassy, Mexico City: +52 55 1100 4970.

    Australian Embassy, Mexico City: +52 55 1101 2200.

    Irish Embassy, Mexico City: +52 55 5520 5803.

    New Zealand Embassy, Mexico City: +52 55 5283 9460.

    Mexico Emergency Numbers : 911 (General Emergency Hotline)