Food and drink highlights of Mexico 🥕

  • Tipping - Waiters usually receive a 10-15% tip from the bill. However, tourists are expected to leave bigger tips than locals.
  • Eating hours - Lunch is considered the main meal of the day. In Mexico, it's served between 2 and 4pm.
  • Shopping hours - Shops are open from 7am to 6pm, usually from Monday to Saturday. Supermarkets work long hours, seven days a week. Some of them are open 24/7. Pharmacies also stay open for long hours.
  • Discount shops - Superama, Bodega Aurera, Sumesa, Soriana.
  • Cuisine type - Depending on the region, Mexican cuisine offers a wide spectrum of flavours and spices. The food is colorful and has a rich, natural taste.
  • Savoir Vivre - Keep your hands above the table. Do not rush your meal, as Mexicans like to socialize while eating. Say 'excuse me' before leaving the table.
  • Main ingredients - Most dishes are based on 3 ingredients: corn, beans and chili peppers.
  • Important info - Men usually pay the restaurant bill. Even if invited by a female counterpart, it should be the gentleman's treat.
  • Warning - Mexicans use a lot of spices in their dishes. Therefore, the food could be hard to digest and may irritate your stomach.
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Foods to try in Mexico 🥘

  • Chilaquiles
    A popular breakfast meal made of fried tortilla chips and tomato, drowning in chili sauce. Oftenly sprinkled with cheese and onions on top.
  • Enchilada
    Fried corn tortilla rolls filled with chicken, cheddar cheese, onions and red pepper. Topped with freshly made tomato sauce. A must-taste for street food lovers.
  • Guacamole
    Mexico's famous dip. Although prepared in many ways, traditional guacamole is made of mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes and onions, minced cilantro, serrano peppers and sea salt. It's simple, tasty and has been part of local cuisine since the Aztec Empire.
  • Elote
    Sweet corn on the cob brushed with unsalted butter or mayo. Could be seasoned with cheese, chili powder and lime juice.
  • Pozole
    The national soup of Mexico. Pozole is made with many ingredients, but based on cacahuazintle corn seeds, broth and chicken breasts.
  • Burrito
    One of the most internationally recognized dishes. There are several versions of burritos (meat, veggie etc), however, a true burrito is a flour tortilla filled with ground beef, refried bean, shredded cheese, canola oil, sour cream and salsa.
  • Chiles en nogada
    Green chili pepper stuffed with a mixture of meat, fruits and spices. Once ready, it's covered in nutty-milky white sauce, sprinkled with pomegranate and some parsley. Chiles en nogada is an Independence Day dish that represents all the colors on the Mexican flag.
  • Tacos
    Western culture's fast food 'hall of famer'. Made of small corn tortillas or shells and filled with basically anything that you want – vegetables, meat, beans etc.
  • Quesadilla
    Another dish that had its global breakout. Triangle pieces of corn tortillas with melted Oaxaca cheese and filled with chicken and vegetables. Usually served with salsa or guacamole.
  • Tamales
    A pre-Columbian snack made of shredded corn mass, wrapped in corn leaf and steamed. Mexicans like to enrich the filling with meat, beans, vegetables and cheese.
  • Chicken fajitas
    Wrapped tortilla with grilled chicken, pepper, onion and seasoned with cumin powder and smoked pepper.
  • Tostada
    Deep-fried or roasted tortillas, spread with bean paste and topped with salad and vegetables. They come in meat versions too. Sometimes called 'Mexican pizza'.
  • Carnitas
    Pulled pork marinated in achiote paste, served with small tortillas, vegetables and lime.
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Unusual facts about food in Mexico 🥘

  • Avocado is the national fruit of Mexico.
  • Mexico was the first country to introduce chocolate, corn and chili.
  • Chia, tomatoes, vanilla and dragon fruit also come from Mexico.
  • Edible insects (spiders, grasshoppers) are sold at food markets, especially in central and southern Mexico.
  • Mexicans are really keen on desserts.
  • Real guacamole is made without lime and garlic.
  • Lunch is eaten by 94% of Mexicans.
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Place to stay in Mexico 🛏️

  • Best booking sites - Airbnb, Hostelworld, Booking, Couchsurfing.
  • Rating system - Mexico has a 'stars and diamonds' rating system. Hotels can earn 1 to 5 stars or diamonds. Five-diamond hotels are the most luxurious. Many high standard facilities aren't certified.
  • Seasonality - Accommodation prices are the highest just before national holidays (e.g. Día de Los Muertos).
  • Cost-effective - Hostels are considered the cheapest — prices for a bed in the dormitory start at 100 pesos. If you wish to have more privacy and space, a double room costs around 200 pesos. Booking sites may lack information about the cheapest option, so ask for such when you get there.
  • Air conditioning - In Mexico City, buildings usually lack air conditioning. Therefore, hotels in the capital may not have cooling systems. The same applies to tourist resorts.
  • Payments - Cash payments are better, because they're always accepted and free of interest, unlike card payments.
  • Unusual accommodation - Ranches — large working farms offering horseback tours to historical places.
  • Camp - Camping can be a great way of exploaring Mexico, but involves some pre-planning.
  • Important - Check the location of a hotel before you book it — you don't want to be far away from the local attractions.
  • Warning - Precious belongings get stolen from hotel rooms — don't trust anyone.
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Accommodation in Mexico 💡

  • Check if your hotel offers a free shuttle from and to the airport — it will save you a hefty taxi bill.
  • Travel between April and December to enjoy the lowest accommodation fees.
  • Consider staying with locals to fully embrance Mexican culture.
  • Take advantage of the 'adults only' hotel offers if you don't travel with kids.
  • If you're going on a long backpacking trip, don't book a room for more than one night — that way you have more freedom on leaving places you don't like (unless, you're comfortable where you staying).
  • Walking around the city is your best chance of finding the cheapest place to stay — but don't do it in the night, because it's dangerous.
  • Bring a towel and toiletries — some facilities may not provide them.
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Getting around Mexico 💡

  • Cost-effective - Local buses are the allies of a tight budget. They run quite often and only cost a few pesos.
  • Time-efficient - The fastest way to travel around Mexico is by air. There are couple discount airlines to choose from and they offer tickets at competitive prices.
  • Traffic safety - Driving in Mexico is safe, but only in daylight and on main roads.
  • Important - Be sure to get a Mexican car insurance. If you don't have insurance and get into an accident, the police can confiscate the car and take you to jail.

🚗 Car

  • The maximum speed in built-up areas is 40 km/h, 80 km/h outside and 100-110 km/h on highways.
  • The blood-alcohol limit is from 0,02 to 0,08% and it'depend from the state.
  • Cars drive on the right.
  • You must be at least 21 (and have been driving for at least two years) to rent a car in Mexico.
  • Drivers under 25 may have to pay an extra 'young driver fee' when renting a car.
  • The minimum driving age is 15 (with paternal supervision).
  • Driving someone's car is illegal if the owner is not in the vehicle.
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🚕 Taxi

  • Cash payments are highly preferable.
  • You will rarely see a taxi with a meter. Drivers prefer to set the fare on their own. Always negotiate the price before getting in a cab.

👍 Hitchhiking

  • Hitchhiking in Mexico can be a gamble. Is not advised, it could be very dangerous in regions close to the US border.
  • Hitchhiking is not popular.
  • It's faster to catch a ride at exit ways, gas stations, truck stops or on a bumpy road. Waiting to be hitchhiked on high speed roads and rural places may take long hours.

🚌 Bus

  • Mexico has an extensive network of bus routes, connecting all big towns and cities in the country.
  • There are no national buses, just commercial lines.
  • Buses are time-efficient, as most of them drive solely on high-speed toll roads.

🚆 Train

  • Passenger rail travel is poor — there are no long-distance connections. It is recommended to use other means of transport.

Plane

  • Planes are one of the two only ways to traverse the whole country.
  • Aeroméxico is the biggest domestic airline.
  • Benito Juárez airport is located 11 kilometers from downtown Mexico City.

🏍 Motorcycle

  • Don't drive in the night — it's not safe.
  • Locals or the police may tell you to keep away from certain areas — respect their warnings.
  • Beware of speed bums — they're on every road!
  • Don't be afraid to ask for directions — Mexicans have a positive attitude towards visitors and they'll gladly show you around.

Boat

  • Boat tours are popular in tourist resorts like Cancun and Cabo. However, you can find many tours beside those places — primarily around the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico.

🚲 Bicycle

  • Mexico City has over 3,500 cycling routes and a public bike system offering 6,000 bicycles over 444 stations across the city.
  • Toll roads are the safest for bikers, because they're smooth and have wide shoulders. However, toll roads go past towns, so you spend most of the time at the desert.

🚇 Metro

  • Mexico City and Monterrey are the only cities with metro systems.
  • Mexico City metro is the second biggest metro system in North America.
  • Mexico City has 12 metro lines and 195 stops.
  • Each station has an own icon, which helps to navigate passengers.
  • The metro works from 5 am to midnight.
  • Passengers favor paper tickets over top up cards.
  • One ticket is 5 pesos (2020).
  • Tickets can be bought at station booths, only in person.
  • Monterrey metro has 3 lines with 40 stops.
  • Like in Mexico City, every station has a unique navigation icon.
  • Mexico City metro has separate wagons for women — to prevent any attempts of assault.

How to travel in Mexico 🚗

  • Outside roads are pretty narrow, full of potholes and without hard shoulders. In the night, things get worse because of reduced visibility, pedestrians on the side, animals crossing the road and carjackers.
  • When driving in Mexico, you must have an international driving license. It is especially important in the event of any collision.
  • Travel in rural areas poses additional risks such as bad cell phone reception and lag in receiving roadside or medical assistance.
  • If you plan to travel by boat, review the Mexican permit requirements before traveling that way on site: gob.mx/inm/acciones-y-programas/sport-fishing-and-nautical-tourism.
  • To receive security messages, you can register on step.state.gov/step/ (The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). This service can help to locate you in an emergency too.
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Best time to visit Mexico 💡

⏱️ When to go

  • The best time for a trip to Mexico is between November and April. That's the dry season, with little or no rain.

🌡️ Temperature

  • The annual average temperature ranges between 10ºC and 21°C. In the summer, the temperature oscillates around 28°C. In the winter, the average low temperatures are between 20°C and 24°C.

Rainfall

  • The annual average rainfall in Mexico equals between 600 and 1000 mm (in densely populated areas).

🍂 Fall

  • Fall is the end of the rain season.
  • Northern regions kick off autumn with high temperatures (over 30°C), but heated days are gradually superseded by cooler ones and brisk nights.
  • Inhabitants around the Gulf of Mexico have slightly warmer days and significantly lukewarm nights than northern folks.
  • The midlands enjoy stable conditions throughout the season, with warms days (22°C) and mild nights (7-8°C).
  • Southeast and southwest coasts are the hottest areas where nights are rarely below 20°C.

🌱 Spring

  • Spring has the lowest average humidity of all seasons.
  • In the north, you can expect chilly mornings and pleasantly warm afternoons.
  • Both southern and central Mexico are hot and dry during this time.
  • Coastal regions are enjoyably warm and really sunny.

☀️ Summer

  • Summer is the rain season.
  • In the north, temperatures oscillate around 14 to 36°C.
  • Southern parts of Mexico are warmer, with lowest temperatures reaching 20°C.

❄️ Winter

  • Winters in Mexico are mild.
  • In the north, it's fairly warm during the day, but the evening temperature could drop below 0°C. Sometimes, there's even snowfall!
  • Central Mexico is coldest between December and January — just 6°C.
  • In the south, it doesn't get colder than 6°C and warmer than 24°C.

Mexico weather Insights ☁️

  • August, September and October are the months with most rainfall.
  • During the summertime, it usually rains once a day and just for a few hours.
  • Mexican gulf beaches are great for sunbathers — regardless of seasons, the water is always warmer than 20°C!
  • March and April have the most amount of sunny days.
  • The hurricane season is from June to November — in the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula.
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Savoir-Vivre in Mexico 📝

  • Greetings - Mexicans believe a firm handshake with eye contact and a smile to be a proper way of greeting someone. A nod of the head is fine for casual meetings. Warmer greetings, aka a kiss on the right cheek, are reserved for longer acquaintances.
  • Punctuality - Mexicans are known for their tardiness. Being 30 minutes late for a party or a causal meeting is considered normal.
  • Bargaining - Don't take the first price as the final price! Bargaining is normal at street markets and souvenir shops. Feel free to negotiate a lower price.
  • Dress code - Try to fit in with the locals. If you're a man, wear long pants and closed shoes. If you're a woman, a pair of shorts or a long dress should do. Avoid short skirts as they could draw excessive attention from inhabitants. Mexicans prefer formal and modest clothes and dressing like one of them is a sign that you respect their customs. In the winter, be sure to bring a sweatshirt or a light jacket.
  • Temple entrance - When going to a church, don't wear shorts, tank tops or sandals.
  • Home invitation - Close friends visit one another without further notice. If you don't fall into that category, an invitation prior is expected. When it comes to parties, it is okay to bring relatives or friends, unless it's a closed event. A Mexican host does not expect gifts, as she/he is more keen on the visitor's company and having a good conversation. Yet, it is nice to bring a salad or such. Male guests usually show up with alcohol. If someone is offering you a refreshment, don't say 'no', as it's considered rude. Also, do not leave right after food is served.
  • Etiquette - Keeping eye contact is valued and highly appreciated. Mexicans have an indirect communication style, so avoid saying something in a straightforward manner — you may be viewed as impolite. Instead, be delicate and choose your words carefully.
  • Drones - We recommend using this map to easily check the applicable restrictions.
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Things not to do in Mexico ⚠️

  • Don't drink tap water in Mexico.
  • Always carry cash — a lot of places don't accept credit cards.
  • Pickpocketing isn't rare in Mexico — keep your belongings close and avoid wearing flashy jewellery.
  • Mexicans leave tips at hotels, restaurants and even gas stations — it's a national tradition to tip every service.
  • ATMs give cash first and then the card — remember to pull your card out or it might get stolen or swallowed by the machine.
  • Spanish could be at times the only way of communication — English isn't widely spoken.
  • Street taxis are not safe in Mexico City — look for a cab at an official taxi stand or take an Uber.
  • Don't throw toilet paper in the toilet — put it in the bin next to it.
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Interesting facts about Mexico 🤓

  • The full name of Mexico is Estados Unidos Mexicanos — United Mexican States.
  • Mexicans love music— you can see them dancing to it even at work!
  • Mexico City is one of the biggest cities in the world and the oldest city in Latin America.
  • Mexico is prone to earthquakes — it sits atop the three biggest tectonic plates on earth.
  • Quetzalcóatl Pyramid is the tallest pyramid on earth. It's located in Cholula de Rivadavia, 101 kilometers from the capital.
  • Mexico has a high obesity rate — 73% of the population is overweight (2020).
  • Kids receive Christmas gifts on January 6th — the day of Holy Kings.
  • Same-sex marriages and same-sex adoptions are legal.
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Mexico packing list 💡

  • Cream with UV filter - The sun in Mexico is harsh and can easily burn you. Creams with strong UV filters will protect your skin.
  • Sunglasses with UV filter - Sunlight might harm something more than your skin. Pack a pair of sunglasses with a strong UV filter and don't let those harmful ultraviolet rays expose your eyes.
  • Headwear - Just as important as cream and sunglasses. A cap or summer hat can save you from a heatstroke.
  • Voltage converter - Mexico has "A" and "B" plug types and a 127 voltage rate. It's wise to buy a voltage converter before the trip. Look for one that comes with an adapter, so you don't have to buy them separately.
  • Hygiene products - Shampoo, shaving razors, toothbrush, tampons etc. Naturally, you can buy those things upon arrival, but why not pack them instead and save a couple bucks.
  • Insect repellent - You'll need it if you're planning to explore the jungle. Invest in a good one.
  • Photocopies of documents - If you lose your documents, photocopies are the backup identification that will speed up the process of applying for an emergency travel document.
  • Diarrhea pills - Mexican food could be heavy on your stomach. Be prepared for the worst.
  • Neck wallet - Keep your ID, documents, money and credit cards in a multi-pocketed wallet and wear it on your neck. Unfortunately, pickpocketing is a common crime in Mexico.
  • Sweatshirt - Mexico has a lot of air-condition spaces, e.g. buses. Therefore, a light blouse or hoodie may save you from a cold. Also, it will keep you warm on chilly nights.
  • Antibacterial gel - Street food markets don't always have a place where you can wash or sanitise your hands. An antibacterial gel will save you a lot of trouble.
  • Padlock - A padlock gives extra security and mental comfort.
  • Backpack - A necessity for adventurous travellers.
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Things to do in Mexico ⭐

  • Most popular sports: 🤿 Snorkeling, 🏄 Surfing
  • Most popular activities: 🏖️ Sunbathing, 🥾 Hiking
  • Must see places: ⚱️ Quetzalcoatl, 🏞️ Hierve El Agua, ⛰️Cenote Ik Kil

Top attraction in Mexico 📸

Tourist information about Mexico 🤓

🏳 Country Mexico
🌆 Capital Mexico City
💸 Currency Mexican peso
💭 Language Spanish
Timezone GMT-6
🇬🇧 English speaking Not widely spoken
🏳️‍🌈 LGBT tolerance Low
👫 Gender ratio (overall) 👩 51% | 👨 49%
👩🏻‍🤝‍👨 Population 130 mln
✈️ Visitors per year 23.3 mln

Useful information about Mexico 🤖

💳 Card payments Yes, almost everywhere
🏧 ATM Availability Major cities
🏦 Suggested ATM takeout 1000 MXN
🍺 Drinking in public Illegal
🚰 Tap water Not drinkable
🌐 Internet speed (avg.) 31 Mbps
🔌 Socket type Type A Type B A / B
🚕 Best taxi app Uber
🚾 Public toilets Popular & Paid
📱 Top mobile providers Telcel, Movistar, AT&T
✈️ Best internal air carrier AeroMexico
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Cost of living in Mexico 💸

🌮 Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant
4.91 EUR
5.28 USD
4.34 GBP
23.3 PLN
100 MXN
🥘 Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant
24.57 EUR
26.42 USD
21.7 GBP
116.48 PLN
500 MXN
🍺 Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)
1.47 EUR
1.59 USD
1.3 GBP
6.99 PLN
30 MXN
Gasoline (1 liter)
0.97 EUR
1.05 USD
0.86 GBP
4.61 PLN
19.81 MXN
🎫 One-way ticket (public transport)
0.49 EUR
0.53 USD
0.43 GBP
2.33 PLN
10 MXN

Quality of life in Mexico 💚

💚 Quality of life Moderate
☺️ Safety Index Moderate
👨 Healthcare likability High
☁️ Climate likability Very high
💰 Costs of living Very low
😷 Level of pollution High

Important numbers ☎️

Emergency 911
Calling code 52

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