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Traveling in Mexico

Common Questions and Answers

Q. What is the legal drinking age in Mexico? How Late are Bars Open? A. The legal drinking age is 18 throughout Mexico - though this is not enforced as much in non-tourist areas. Many bars and nightclubs are open until 3-4am.

Q. Can I bring Liquor or Tobacco to Mexico? A. Anyone over the age of 18 may bring the following into Mexico without customs duties: Tobacco Products: 400 cigarettes, or 50 cigars, or 1kkg of pipe tobacco. Alcohol: 3 liters of beer, wine or spirits.

Q. How do I Bargain for Deals in Mexico? A. Some places have fixed prices, but most vendors will bargain -- generally you should be able to work off 30% of the listed price.

Q. When is Hurricane season in Mexico? Is it safe to travel there during hurricane season? A. The hurricane season in Mexico generally goes from June to November with the most hurricanes occurring in August and October. They can affect both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Some travelers do take advantage of cheap deals during this season, but it comes with the risk of having your trip ruined by a hurricane. To avoid hurricanes you'll want to travel during the early spring or winter.

Q. Do I need a passport when traveling to Mexico? A. Yes, a valid passport is now required for anyone traveling into Mexico, including those from Canada, the United States, Central & South America, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

Q. Can I Drink the Water? A. Mexico is well known for travelers diarrhea, aka "Montezuma's Revenge". Tap water is unsafe in many areas in Mexico, and should be avoided. Stick to bottled water and beverages. Also avoid ice cubes. If you get sick it's best to get to a clinic as soon as possible as they have medicine to kill the bacteria that causes the sickness.

Q. Are some areas of Mexico safer than others? A. It's a good idea to stick to the city centers and populated areas -- especially at night.

Q. Money Safety Tips for Mexican Tourist? A. Don't flaunt your wealth and carry only money that is needed for the day -- leave the rest in a hotel safety deposit box.

Q. Can I use ATM/Debit Cards in Mexico? A. ATM/Debit cards are not as widely accepted as they are in the US or Europe. There are ATMs in cities & tourist destinations, but you should check with your bank to see if your card will work in Mexico.

Q. What about Credit Cards? A. Again, most tourist destinations accept Credit cards, with MasterCard and Visa being the most commonly accepted -- American Express and Diner Club to a lesser degree.

Q. Can I use my Cell Phone in Mexico? A. Check with your cellular provider. But if you have an unlocked GSM phone you may purchase a prepaid SIM card which will give you a local number in Mexico.

Q. Are there Internet Cafes available in Mexico? A. In more populated areas -- internet cafes are plentiful. They generally cost between 10-20 pesos/hour.

Q. In What Time Zone is Mexico? Mexico has 3 time zones -- Central, Mountain and Pacific

Q. How Much is a Peso Worth? A. You can check the current exchange rates here.

Q. Where should I eat? A. A good plan is to ask the locals for recommendations. You may ask for "platillo tipico", when you dine which is the equivalent of the "local specialty". Personally, I love eating off the street vendor carts -- but understand that their sanitation has a lower reputation than other establishments.

Q. Where can I learn more about traveling to Mexico? A. Related Links: WikiTravel Guide to Mexico | US Department of State Mexico Guide

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