Tulum is a town on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico
Tulum is a town on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico

Tulum

Tulum is a town on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. It’s known for its beaches and well-preserved ruins of an ancient Mayan port city.
Photo by Spencer Watson

MEXICO

North America

Mexico Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Mexico City (Ciudad de Mexico)

Location:

North America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the United States

Currency:

Mexican pesos (MXN)

Area:

1,964,375 sq km

Population:

130,207,371 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Spanish only 92.7%, Spanish and indigenous languages 5.7%, indigenous only 0.8%, unspecified 0.8%; note -indigenous languages include various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional languages (2005 est.)

Religion:

Roman Catholic 82.7%, Pentecostal 1.6%, Jehovah's Witness 1.4%, other Evangelical Churches 5%, other 1.9%, none 4.7%, unspecified 2.7% (2010 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC-6

Tel Code:

+52

Weather

Climate

Mexico is a country located in North America and it has a diverse climate, with different regions having different weather patterns. The country can be broadly divided into three regions: the tropical region in the south, the arid region in the north, and the temperate region in the center.

The tropical region, which includes places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen, has a warm and humid climate all year round with temperatures averaging around 30°C (86°F) and heavy rainfall from June to October.

The arid region, which includes places like Mexico City and Guadalajara, has a dry and semi-arid climate with temperatures averaging around 20°C (68°F) and very little rainfall.

The temperate region, which includes places like San Miguel de Allende, has a more moderate climate with temperatures averaging around 20°C (68°F) and rainfall from June to October.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Mexico depends on the type of activities you want to do and your preferences. The dry season, from November to April, is considered the best time to visit as the weather is more stable and the chances of rain are lower. This is also considered the peak tourist season, and the prices for accommodations and activities may be higher.

The rainy season, from June to October, is considered the low season for tourism, but it's also the time when the nature is more lush and the wildlife is more active, making it a great time for nature lovers. The weather during the rainy season is still warm and tropical, with occasional rain showers.

It's worth noting that Mexico is a popular destination for beach vacations and cultural tourism, and it's also a good destination for events and festivals, like Day of the Dead in October and November.

Transportation

Air travel

Mexico has several international airports including Mexico City International Airport (MEX), Cancun International Airport (CUN) and Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) which are the main gateways to the country. From there, you can take a domestic flight to reach other destinations in Mexico.

Bus travel

Buses are a popular and convenient way to travel around Mexico, with extensive networks of long-distance and local buses that connect most of the cities and towns. Bus travel is relatively inexpensive, safe and comfortable. There are several bus companies that operate in the country, such as ADO, Estrella Blanca and Primera Plus.

Car rental

Car rental is a great option for those who want to explore Mexico at their own pace, it's widely available in most cities and towns. It's worth noting that the road conditions can be challenging in some remote areas and it's important to have a valid driver's license and insurance.

Taxis

Taxis are widely available in most cities and towns, and they are a convenient and safe way to get around. It's worth noting that it's best to use a licensed taxi and to agree on the fare before starting the journey.

Shared rides/ Ridesharing services

Ride-sharing services such as Uber and DiDi are also available in major cities and towns, they are a convenient and affordable option for getting around.

Accommodation

Hotels

Mexico has a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. You can find hotels in most of the major cities, towns, and tourist destinations. Many of the hotels in Mexico are eco-friendly and have a strong focus on sustainability.

Guesthouses

Guesthouses are a popular option in Mexico, as they offer comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations. They are typically run by local families, and they offer a unique way to experience the local culture and hospitality.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals such as apartments, villas, and houses can be rented on a short-term basis. This is becoming an increasingly popular option in Mexico, and it can be a great option for those looking for more privacy and space.

Tented camps and lodges

Tented camps and lodges are a popular option for those who want to experience the natural beauty of Mexico, they are typically located in the national parks and reserves, and they offer comfortable and eco-friendly accommodations.

Homestays

Homestays are a great way to experience local culture and hospitality. They are typically run by local families, and they offer comfortable and budget-friendly accommodations.

All-Inclusive Resorts

Mexico is a popular destination for all-inclusive resorts, which offer a range of facilities and activities, and all meals and drinks are included in the price. They are popular with families and couples, and can be found along the coast and in the major tourist destinations.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Mexico Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Mexico, a country located in North America, is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and beautiful landscapes. From the bustling cities to the ancient ruins, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Mexico. Here are the top 10 things to do in Mexico that should not be missed:

      1. Visit Mexico City

      Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, is known for its rich history, delicious food, and vibrant nightlife. Visitors can explore the city's many historical sites, such as the Templo Mayor and the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and also enjoy the city's delicious street food and traditional Mexican dishes.

      2. Visit Cancun

      Cancun, located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. Visitors can relax on the beach, swim in the warm waters, and enjoy the many water activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and parasailing.

      3. Visit Tulum

      Tulum, located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, is known for its ancient Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches. Visitors can explore the Tulum ruins, which were once a major trading and religious center and also enjoy the beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters.

      4. Visit Chichen Itza

      Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most important Mayan archaeological sites in Mexico. Visitors can explore the ancient pyramids, temples, and other structures and also learn about the history and culture of the ancient Mayans.

      5. Visit Playa del Carmen

      Playa del Carmen is a beach town located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. Visitors can relax on the beach, swim in the warm waters, and also enjoy the many bars and nightclubs.

      6. Visit San Miguel de Allende

      San Miguel de Allende is a colonial city located in central Mexico, known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and beautiful landscapes. Visitors can explore the city's many historical sites, such as the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel and the Templo de San Francisco, and also enjoy the city's delicious traditional Mexican dishes and colorful markets.

      7. Visit Oaxaca

      Oaxaca is a city located in southern Mexico, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and delicious food. Visitors can explore the city's many historical sites, such as the Templo de Santo Domingo and the Zócalo, and also enjoy the city's delicious traditional Oaxacan dishes and colorful markets.

      8. Visit Copper Canyon

      Copper Canyon, located in the Sierra Madre Mountains, is a group of canyons known for its beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife. Visitors can take a train ride through the canyons and also hike the many trails to see the canyon's beautiful landscapes and local wildlife.

      9. Visit Puerto Vallarta

      Puerto Vallarta is a beach town located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. Visitors can relax on the beach, swim in the warm waters, and also enjoy the many bars and nightclubs.

      10. Visit Guadalajara

      Guadalajara is a city located in central Mexico, known for its rich history, delicious food, and vibrant culture. Visitors can explore the city's many historical sites, such as the Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres and the Tequila Express, and also enjoy the city's delicious traditional Mexican dishes and colorful markets.

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