Mexico is a country in the North America sharing its borders with the USA, Guatemala and Belize. The capital city is Mexico City
On the north of the country the climate is subtropical and on the south the tropical winds are predominant. We recommend you against traveling to Mexico from July to October when the wet and stormy season starts.
The majority of the population are the Mexicans, the ancestors of the Indians, the Spanish and the Afro-Americans. The official language in Mexico is Spanish. The Mexicans are the passionate Catholics.
The lovers of beach holidays come to the famous Mexican beaches on the Caribbean Coast from all over the world. Cancun and Playa del Carmen are the destinations that attract the fans of surfing, windsurfing, sailing and yachting. The coral tunnels of Punta Sur and the unique Barracuda Reef are dream places for the travelers who like diving, snorkeling, underwater hunting and fishing. The Pacific Coast with its resorts Acapulco, Los Cabos and Ixtapa attracts many tourists.
If you like city entertainments, go Mexico City and visit its unique ancient monuments, historical and architectural sights. You will see the Aztec pyramids, Spanish cathedral and palaces built in various times. Modern malls and Mexican markets La Merced Market and Central de Abasto) offer good shopping. In the city of Patzcuaro and San Cristobal de las Casas, you can see old Spanish settlements.
Being in Mexico, you must visit monuments of ancient civilizations such as Teotihuacan, Uxmal, Palenque and Chichen Itza. See with your own eyes a unique culture that still exists in the city of Puebla and Taxco.
The resort Los Cabos is famous for its wonderful fields for golf, desert safari and boat trip during which you can see the whales coming into a bay.
The most convenient way to travel to Mexico is a flight.
The travelers from CIS countries can travel to Cancun from Moscow with a direct flight offered by Aeroflot and Transaero. The flight will take you 13 hours.
There are direct flights from Frankfurt (by Lufthansa), Paris (by AirFrance) and Madrid (by Iberia).
There are also flights to Mexico with a stop in hub airports in Cuba (Havana), Spain (Madrid) and border US states (Texas, California, and Florida).
The travelers from CIS countries must obtain a visa to come to Mexico.
The Russians can obtain an electronic permit and stay in the country up to 180 days without a visa but having a valid international passport. The tourists with an electronic permit must fill in a migration form.
The citizens of the Russian Federation can also submit documents for a visa online.
The citizens from CIS countries who have a valid US visa can stay in Mexico without a visa and an electronic permit for 180 days.
The citizens of Great Britain, Japan, EU, Canada and the USA can stay in Mexico without a visa and an electronic permit for 180 days.
Planning your travel to Mexico, study the customs rules of this country.
You can import in Mexico the following goods duty-free:
- alcohol and tobacco;
- personal belongings and perfume (250ml);
- gifts in an original package (the total cost is not more than 300 US dollars);
- photo and video camera, laptop, 15 pieces of film for a photo camera.
You must declare:
- Foreign currency (any amount);
- valuable goods and jewelry.
It is prohibited to import to Mexico:
- vegetables and fruits, perishables, meat and dairy products;
- plants, their cuttings, blossoms and seeds.
It is prohibited to export:
- the national currency of 5.000 pesos and over;
- antiquities, valuable historical relics of ancient tribes.
The Mexican cuisine is world famous for its spices. Over 80 types of hot pepper are grown in Mexico. The staple foods in Mexico are meat, fish, vegetables, corn, beans and fruits.
Gastro-tourists and foodies will love meat dishes of the Indian tribes such as a soup with grass-snakes and corn and boiled meat of iguana.
If you are not ready to eat exotic dishes and prefer traditional food, try grilled lamb with a hot chili sauce and the meat rolls Enchilada with beans, vegetables and cheese. Picadillo (hot pork patties with a tomato sauce), Carne asada (flank steak with vegetables and beans), hot goulash with beans and corn – these are the dishes that reflect the essence of the Mexican cuisine.
On the coast of the Pacific ocean, fish dishes gained popularity. Baked sword fish with lemon and garlic sauce, Mexican Tortilla with shrimps and Sopa de marisco (hot soup with octopus and shrimps). In restaurants, order a Mexican dish for gourmets – lobster with avocado.
A world famous Tequila made from the blue agave plant and Pulque made from the fermented sap of the maguey (agave) plant have over 400 recipes. Mexican wines Monte Xanic and Santo Tomas have a rich aroma. The Mexicans have their own brandy DonPedro. The Mexicans drink light beer Sol (produced by Montezuma brewery), DosEquis and dark beer Tecate with lemon and salt. If you like beer, Mexico will reveal a lot of new things for you.
If you have a sweet tooth, we promise that surprises will never end for you. Try Rosca de Reyes (sweet pastry with a filling from dried fruits), Chimichanga (fluffy buns with cherry), fruit baked puddings, Mexican sweet cakes and mango puddings. The most unusual desserts are Canasasadas (roasted sugar cane) and sugared cactus.
The official currency in Mexico is peso. The National bank issues:
- 5, 10, 20 and 50 centavo coins;
- 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 peso bank notes.
You can exchange the currency at arrival at the airport, in exchange offices (Casa de cambio), large hotels and banks. The Mexicans accept US dollars but the exchange rate is overvalued.
The most popular payment methods in Mexico is cash and credit cards. As the level of crimes in Mexico is high, the locals prefer cashless payments.
The tourists can pay with American Express, Visa and MasterCard. The traveler's checks are accepted in hotels, banks and travel agencies (it's preferable to have checks with US dollars).
Typically, people leave tips in eateries and restaurants (maximum, 15% of the total sum), in taxi and airports (maximum, 10 pesos).
In Mexico, they have a tax-back system so you can refund 6% of VAT. To refund the VAT, the total sum of a purchase should be, at least, 1.200-3.000 pesos.
In Mexico, the level of crimes is very high. Triplook recommends:
1. Not to show expensive devices, large sums of money and jewelery.
2. Not to use metro and taxi without a license (usually, Volkswagen Beetle are used as taxi cabs).
Details of interest
Catholic church defines the culture and the norms of behavior in Mexico. People of all ages go to churches and religious celebrations are as important as national holidays.
Sightseeing in Mexico
- The center of Mexico City, Guanajuato, Morelia and Zacatecas.
- Puebla, the city built in the Colonial style.
- The Pre-Hispanic City and the National Park of Palenque where the culture of Maya civilization is still preserved.
- The Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza.
- The Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino.
- The Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche.
- Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco.
- Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan.
The souvenir which brings almost every tourist from Mexico is Tequila. The travelers also buy national Mexican clothes (Poncho) and Sombrero hats.
The ancestors of the local Indians create unique things from wood. In Taxco souvenir shops, you will find the best choice of silver jewelery, carved wooden crafts, baskets and figurines.
In Zacatecas, you will buy bright traditional blankets and sweets from cactus. In Merida, there is the best choice of hammocks. Go to the markets of Guadalajara to buy the handcrafts of the Mexican Indians the Huichol.
San Cristobal is known for its textile and clothes with embroidery made of natural materials.