Useful information about Mexico
Most Countries do not require a Visa in order to enter Mexico. Here you find a list of all states that do not require a Visa:
Before entering the immigration, each person has to fill out two forms: one for the custom and one for the immigration. The normal tourist visa is valid for 180 days. A small part of this form will be handed to you and has to be presented when leaving the country. Take care: the loss of it will cost you a lot of money and surely a lot of trouble!
Tips are not included in the price of the service. Please bear in mind that for some workers, tips are the only source of income.
Restaurants: The common practice is to tip 10-15 % of the total amount due.
Qualified tour leader: From 10% to 15% of the cost of the tour.
Bellboys and porters at airports: About US-$1.00 per bag.
Chambermaids at hotels: 0.50 US-$ per day. It is advisable to tip for the whole stay upon your arrival, to ensure an especially good service.
110 – 125 Volts. You should take along an adaptor, as razor and hairdryer sockets are usually American style, taking flat pronged plugs.
Spanish is Mexico’s official language. However, English should be spoken and understood in all major hotels, restaurants and touristic centres.
Mexico’s climate is as diversified as its landscapes and cultures. It varies according to the altitude from tropical to desert. The low-lying coastal areas are typically tropical, hot and humid. Mexico City has a tropical highland climate. Therefore, when packing for your trip, do not only rely on warm tropical climate that you would find in Cancun. Since the city has an altitude of 2240 meters, the temperature varies a lot during the day. Due to the extreme sun, it might get very warm during the day. However be prepared for very low temperatures as soon as the sunny hours are over. Furthermore keep in mind that the rainy season stretches from June to September. The country’s warmest month is May and the coldest is January.
Do not drink water taken directly from the faucet unless it is filtered. If so, it will be marked as “agua purificada”. Otherwise your hotel will provide you with “purified water” bottles, placed in your room.
Be careful with: Raw vegetables or salads, ice cubes, ice-cooled beverages, sea food, meat or fish that are not roasted or cooked, fruits which you did not peel yourself.
Medical care in Mexico is good and common medicines can be bought in drug stores (FARMACIA), often without prescription. Furthermore you will find so-called “consultarias”, which are farmacias but count with a doctor that can hand-out prescriptions. The quality of these doctors might not be the highest, but should be good enough for small sicknesses such as travel sickness or colds.
Foreigners have the possibility to get the tax that was spent back from the Mexican government. Just buy at any affiliated store or shop and bring photocopies of the following documents to the “TAXBACK” offices at the airport: your passport, Immigration Form (FMM), boarding pass, and the invoices and credit card vouchers from your purchases.
The following products and services are not subject to tax reimbursement:
- Food, beverage, transportation and hospitality services (hotels, restaurants, taxicabs, airplane tickets, etc.)
- Groceries and food products
- Opened bottles of alcoholic beverages
The national currency is the Mexican Pesos $. Depending on the current exchange rate, we recomend you to check some of the following web pages for a better reference.
It is very recommendable to bring a Credit Card. Inform the bank beforehand about the trip, since many cards get locked by the bank in order to avoid fraud once the card has been used in Mexico. Furthermore many travellers have problems with their Debit Cards when trying to get money from cash machines. In order to avoid this, inform yourself at your bank at home.
Why to choose Mexico for a meeting
Mexico is an exotic and inviting country that suits for all kind of congresses, conventions and incentive programs. It is easy to access which makes it very attractive for the US market. Furthermore it has a good infrastructure and an improved security system. Mexico counts with 57 airports all over the country which allows an easy and fast access to every destination. Especially the excellent air connection between Mexico and the United States makes Mexico attractive for meetings.
Due to Mexico’s rich culture and the wide range of free-time activities, the business-free time can be enjoyed to its fullest. Whatever your clients enjoy – arts and culture, fabulous food, outdoor adventure, ancient civilizations, beaches, mountains, diving, river-rafting, spas or championship golf – you will find it here. No matter in which part of Mexico you are, no matter if you are at the beach in a big city or a small town – it will always be easy to access suitable free time activities. Within the last years, Mexico has set high security standards when it comes about foreigners and public security. These measurements include a higher intensity of police units on streets and public institutions, as well as permanent supervision by trained private guards.Furthermore the country counts with a well developed specialized infrastructure that facilitates the organizational framework for the meeting industry. Besides 67 state-of-the-art convention centers that are spread all over the country and serve for all kind of business events, Mexico counts with high-scale specialists that offer their help for the organization. Furthermore Mexico is a world-wide leader in the all-inclusive resorts, which include accommodation, food and beverage. This facilitates the organization of the participants schedule immensely, since no restaurants or other venues need to be fined – congress, restaurant and hotel can be connected in one building. Planners agree that Mexico is a great buy, especially the country’s valuable tax breaks in form of zero percent VAT (value added tax). The Vat exemption eliminates the sales tax applied to meetings, exhibitions and conventions organized in Mexico by foreign companies.
Mexico a sustainable destination
With more than 45 million acres of surface kept in ecological reserves plus one of the richest natural offerings on our planet, Mexico can proudly say it´s made sustainable tourism a priority. Civil and non-government associations, as well as educational and training institutions, have made ecotourism their motive for work.
The rich natural resources, privileged geographic location and biodiversity make Mexico an excellent territory to explore. Visitors can take in the unique landscape and indigenous flora and fauna, while the different topographies of Mexico lend to different adventures.
Refrescos: Non alcoholic drinks containing carbonic acid with fruit flavour like Coca Cola etc.
Jugos: Natural fruit juices. Jugo de naranja (orange), Jugo de toronja (grapefruit), Jugo de jitomate (tomato), Jugo de piña (pineapple)
Cerveza: Cerveza means beer. Among the light beers we can name Corona, Carta Blanca, Bohemia, Superior and Lager. There are also dark beers like the Negra Modelo.
Tequila: It is the Mexican national drink, made out of tequila agave. People like to have it as an appetizer.
Pulque: It is Mexico’s oldest alcoholic beverage, made out of the maguey agave.
Mezcal : Very popular drink made out of maguey agave.
Margarita: Tequila cocktail.
México offers a large variety of good restaurants, to please every taste. They go from the very expensive to the moderately priced. Therefore we would like to give you an idea of what Mexican Cuisine is like. The main ingredient in Mexican cooking is “maiz” (corn), which can be prepared in different ways. The best known are:
Tortilla: A thin round flat cake made of corn or flour.
Tacos: rolled, fried tortillas, stuffed with meat and spread with sauce.
Enchiladas: folded, fried tortillas, stuffed with chicken shreads and spread with cream, cheese and sauce.
Useful words and phrases
Good morning – Buenos dias
Good afternoon – Buenas tardes
Goodbye – Adios
See you later – Hasta luego
Tourist information – informacíon touristica
Pharmacy – farmacia
Purified water – agua purificada
Excuse me, where is the next supermarket? – Disculpa, donde esta el proximo supermercado?
Excuse me, where can I find a nice restaurant? Disculpa, donde puedo encontrar un buen restaurante?
Straight ahead – derecho (todo derecho)
To the left – a la izquierda
To the right – a la derecha
Spicy – picante
One coffee please – Un café, por favor.
How much does this cost? – Cuánto cuesta eso?
Cooked well – bien hecho
Semi cooked – medio hecho
Tip – propina
Most banks open from 09:00 to 17.00 hrs.
Malls & stores: open from 10:00 to 20:00 hrs daily
Supermarkets: open from 08:00 to 21:00 hrs daily
Always take your passport with you. You never know when you might need it next. Some banks for example demand identification to change currency.
The tourist is very respected in Mexico and his/her passport can save him/her for instance from fines in the case of taking a wrong cross-way (something very common among tourists when renting a car and not being familiar with the area).
It is important to respect the culture you are travelling to as well as to behave in a responsible way towards its environment. Mexico counts with a rich diversity of culture protecting its small indigenous communities with old traditions and customs. Try to buy from local vendors in order to help the economy. Besides, it is important to respect the customs of Mexican towns even if they are different from yours. If you would like to interact with locals and take part in their customs, do not hesitate. Mexicans are outgoing people and it will further show them how valuable their culture is.