Travel Tips for Cancun and the Riviera Maya Mexico
Visas and Immigration
A valid passport is required to enter Mexico. If you are a US or Canadian citizen an original birth certificate is also acceptable with another photo ID. If you are traveling with children and you are divorced be sure to verify the requirements with the airline prior to arriving to the airport. Normally if both parents are not present a letter from the other parent must accompany them to Mexico. When arriving to Mexico you first will pass through immigration. You will be given a Tourist card to be filled out by the airline. Each family member must have an individual Tourist. Card. An immigration agent will then stamp your Tourist Card and keep one copy. A copy then will be returned to you which must be presented upon your departure from Mexico. It is extremely important that you do not lose your Tourist Card. Do not carry with you the document. Keep your tourist card in a safe deposit box in your hotel room.
In order to maintain the improvements to the Mexican Airports the visitors tax has been reinstated. The airport tax is approximately US$ 15.00 or US$ 20.00. This fee must be paid upon your departure. If you have purchased a package from a tour operator be sure to ask if the departure tax or visitors tax is included.
The currency in Mexico is the Peso. The currency bills are $20.00, $ 50.00, $ 100.00, $ 200.00 and $ 500.00 pesos, and coins are: $ 1.00 , $ 2.00, $ 5.00 and $ 10.00 pesos.
You may exchange US dollars or Canadian dollars in your hotel reception. However we suggest that you exchange your money in a bank or an exchange house "Casa de Cambio" for the best exchange rate. US dollars are widely accepted in Mexico but usually pesos is the best.
Often during our vacations our drinking and eating habits are different from what we are used to back home. Besides this the factors of change of weather and altitude affects our bodies greatly. Therefore during the first day of your vacation try to take is easy so your body can adjust to itīs temporary environment. Drink lots of fluids during your vacations and bring with you the normal home medicines to help any slight discomfort which may occur. Such as headaches or stomach problems. If you are traveling to a beach area be careful with the sun it usually is stronger than it seems. Use sunscreen and take some shade now and then.
In Mexico the adult age is considered at 18 years old, this apply for serving drinks. For other services as car rental the minimum age is 25 years old.
Taxis are very affordable in Mexico. We suggest that you ask the driver before getting in the taxi the fare they will charge. Usually in your hotel they have a list of the fares so you can be sure that you are getting the correct price. Rental Cars are available all over Mexico, and as in the United States you must be 25 years old and have a major credit card. It is best to reserve your rental car before you leave home. Buses in most tourist areas of Mexico are economical and very easy to use. Check with the concierge in your hotel the fares and routes of the local bus system.
Before you leave home you should make copies of your passport, tickets, credit cards and travelers checks. Once you arrive to your destination in Mexico it is recommended to store these items in a safe deposit box in your hotel and only carry with you the absolute necessary. Only bring with you the credit cards that you actually will use. In Mexico generally only Visa, Mastercard and American Express are accepted. Discovery, Diners etc... are not accepted. The safest is to use travelers checks and may be purchased before you leave home and are easily replaced in case of loss.
The beaches in Mexico are open to the public and free of charge. It is important to be extremely careful swimming as very few beaches have lifeguards. Do not swim alone and keep you eye on the waves as they can be unpredictable. In all beach destinations the water condition flags are posted and should be followed. Do not panic if you feel you are being pulled out to sea. Swim parallel to the beach and usually in 50 ft. conditions will change.
Mexico offers many different climates in several regions. Generally from June to October are the hottest months with the most rain. Then from November to May it is drier and cooler. However in some areas cooler is not really cool. Check the specific weather in your destination.