Between forests and deserts, fireworks and Day of the Dead, bustling cities and pueblos, Mexico conjures up many contrasting images, but no preconceived idea can do justice to the reality of the country.
To each his own Mexico, we could say, so much this country offers to travelers multiple centers of tourist interest: pre-Columbian archeology, colonial architecture, ethnography, crafts… Exceptional landscapes with varied horizons, shimmering colors, and paradisiacal beaches. This travel guide will help to take you from the most famous folklore to the paths taken by only connoisseurs. A destination that offers activities for all tastes: culture, nature, seaside resorts, hotels in Mexico, all in a welcoming country where there is always a place to be discovered.
In May and June, temperatures rise in many areas.
September is hurricane season. Even without a storm, it rains a lot in the Gulf and on the Pacific coast.
The southern coastal plains of the tropic have a hot and humid climate. On the other hand, the heights of the interior are drier and more temperate and the peaks often snow-capped. A hot and humid season lasts from May to October, with maximum temperatures between June and September. Low-lying coastal regions are wetter and warmer.
The currency in Mexico is the peso. If you want to compare the peso against the euro, € 1 is equivalent to around 20 Mexican pesos (March 2016).
There are 9 coins: 10, 20, 50 centavos (centimes) and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 pesos and 5 notes: of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 pesos.
If you want to change your currency, exchange offices (Casas de Cambio) are available everywhere in Mexico but you will find them without any problem in airports
Spanish and around 68 vernacular languages (English is spoken at tourist sites).
Tourist permit issued on arrival. No visa required for citizens of the EU, Switzerland, and Canada.
Cash payments remain the majority in Mexico. ATMs and exchange offices everywhere. Credit cards are accepted in many hotels, restaurants, and shops.
When the hours vary significantly according to the season, we give those of the high season. In some cases, the hourly amplitude may be less than the rest of the year. The most common times are listed below.
Calculate your budget for Mexico
Small budgets: less than $ 800 M
Medium category: $ 800-2,300 M
Superior category: over $ 2,300 M
Travelers should especially beware of illnesses related to food or mosquitoes. In addition to the necessary vaccinations, be sure to pack a good insect repellant and be careful about what you eat and drink. Medical care in Mexico is generally of good quality, especially in private hospitals in large cities.
Private hospitals in urban areas mainly provide better care than their public counterparts and are supplied with the latest equipment. The best are in Mexico City and Guadalajara and many doctors speak English there. Your country’s embassy and consulate in Mexico, as well as Sector (55-5250-0151, 800-903-92-00), the Mexican Secretary of State for Tourism, are usually able to provide you with information on hospitals.
Mexicans love to eat and have a passion for the cuisine of their country. Ask a group of Mexicans where to find, say, the best carnitas (braised pork) in town, and they’ll engage in a long, heated debate. When you visit Mexico, you will understand why. The Mexican plate is made up of simple and fresh products, most often local, and its content varies greatly from one region to another. You should know that the cuisine that is tasted on the spot is a thousand miles from most of the “Mexican” specialties offered by most restaurants abroad. If you want to know Mexico and its people, you will have to sit down to eat!
While the menu may vary by region, you can usually find dishes across the country made from the same staple foods, such as corn, peppers (dried and fresh), and beans. Contrary to popular belief, not all Mexican specialties are spicy. Peppers are used to enhancing the taste of sauces, moles, and pipiáns; many people appreciate the intensity of the flavors more than their spiciness. However, some dishes are devilishly raised. The habanero pepper from Yucatán, one of the strongest in the world, and the chile de árbol can be formidable. Generally speaking, peppers cooked with dishes tend to be milder than when used in sauces served on the side.
Other recurring ingredients include spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cumin, as well as aromatic herbs like thyme, oregano, and, most importantly, cilantro and ep az (false ragweed) and hoja santa. A little-known ingredient in Mexican cuisine, epazote is used to flavor beans, soups, stews, and some moles. Hoja santa is an aromatic plant with heart-shaped leaves; this essential ingredient in Mole Verde is also often used in tamales.
In Mexico, more than 60 cities have an airport. The plane is a good way to travel long distances across the country. Aero México and its subsidiary Aero México Connect have the most important air network, but Interjet, TAR Aerolineas, Volaris, and VivaAerobus serve many cities, often for lower prices. VivaAerobus offers very attractive rates, but some foreign bank cards are not accepted for online bookings – you may need to go through a travel agency. Volaris and Interjet serve a few foreign destinations. Regional companies generally offer a decent safety rating.
Ferries and car ferries connecting Baja California with the rest of Mexico run between Santa Rosalía and Guaymas, between La Paz and Mazatlan, and between La Paz and Topolobampo.
Mexico has a good network of roads and bus lines. Comfortable and frequent long-distance services serve the country at reasonable prices. Most cities have a bus station where long-distance buses converge, called Terminal de Autobuses, Central de Autobuses, Central Camionera or La Central (not to be confused with El Centro, the city center!). Generally, bus stations in large cities are clean, safe, and very functional.