Mexico: Useful Information

A land of contrasts straddling temperate and tropical zones

Mexico Useful Information

-Drink bottled water at all times. Do not risk drinking tap water anywhere in Mexico. Brush your teeth in bottled water as well.

-To rent a car in Mexico, you must be at least 25 years of age, have a valid driver's license and a major credit card.

-Mexico uses three time zones. Most of the country uses Central Standard Time. The Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur use Mountain Standard Time and Baja California Norte uses Pacific Standard Time.

-Carry insect repellant & sunscreen - some insects carry diseases such as malaria.

-Be very careful in subways, buses and other crowded places where pickpockets prowl.

-Know the neighborhoods in which you travel. Learn the locations of possible "safe areas" - fire & police stations, hospitals, and restaurants or stores that are open late.

-Be extra vigilant against express kidnapping from 11 p.m. to midnight especially.

-The Yucatan Peninsula's Caribbean coast is pricey, but elsewhere you can expect to get away with spending around 275Pesos to 480Pesos ($20-35) a day, particularly in rural areas.

-You can exchange money in banks or in casas de cambio. Bank exchange facilities are often only open between 9am and 4pm.

-Mexico does not require visas for citizens of the United States. A valid passport and a Mexican Government Tourist Card, available at border crossings and on flights into Mexico, are sufficient for a three-month stay.

-Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted in most restaurants, clubs and shops but, it is a good idea to ask which cards they take before ordering. Make sure you have signed the back of your credit card as it is normal procedure to check this with the signature you sign on the voucher.

-Tourists traveling to Mexico by car must have a valid driver's license and a certificate of title or vehicle registration. In the case of a rented vehicle, it is necessary to show a rental agreement in the name of the person driving the vehicle.

-Robbery assaults on passengers in taxis are frequent and violent, with passengers subjected to beating, shootings and sexual assault. Tourists visiting Mexico City should absolutely avoid taking any taxi not summoned by telephone or contacted in advance.