Mexico travel advice. Everything you need to know for a safe journey

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Mexico is a worldwide famous travel destination, as it has one of the most incredible beaches on earth. But some things are different over there and you should read the following advice:

  • Carry valuables in hand baggage and not in your check in baggage, for all flights to or from Mexico.
  • Always have photocopies of the passport or airplane tickets, as well as – electronic copies of those documents ( on your mobile, laptop, email, etc.).
  • Declare at the border crossing point if you have a cash amount in excess of $ 10,000 per person.
  • Have permanent contact details from Mexico (the hotel or hotels where you stay, the friends / relatives you visit, the Emergency telephone your Embassy in Mexico).
  • Do not to leave documents, money or valuables in rented cars or left unattended.
  • Avoid the ostentatious wearing of jewelery and other high-value goods, as well as the display of large amounts of money, numerous bank cards, etc. For storage, hotels offer value storage boxes.
  • Avoid public discussions that could indicate a very good financial condition.
  • Avoid unorganized tourist offerings (it is recommended to use authorized guides, hotel recommended attendants, etc.).
  • Avoid night traffic, crowded places and displacement in remote areas of the country.
  • Avoid attending or approaching events, meetings or other activities of a political nature. The Mexican Constitution forbids foreign interference in national politics, failure to comply with this provision is punished by the legislation in force with arrest and expulsion from national territory.
  • Do not drink alcohol in public places or on the street as this is prohibited by Mexican law.
  • Consume only bottled water. Water from the city’s power network needs to be filtered out.
  • In periods of drought, the level of atmospheric contamination may cause irritation of the eyes, nose or throat. In this case, we recommend avoiding long outdoor stays.
  • Avoid bathing on unplanned and unpopulated beach portions because the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico currents are very strong, and there are no rescue teams in such areas.
  • For human rights observers: first obtain from the nearest Mexican consulate the required visa as established by national law.
  • Attention to meteorological forecast: June to November, tropical storms and hurricanes may occur in Central America. In Mexico, the most affected areas are the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. We recommend that in these times you get information on meteorological forecasts and in case of such extreme weather phenomena, you should carefully follow the advice and instructions of Federal Civil Protection and that of the federal state you are in.
  • Earthquakes: Mexico has an important seismic activity, at the intersection of five tectonic plates and the Pacific Fire circle. The most active areas are the Pacific coast and the capital Ciudad de Mexico. In the event of a seismic phenomenon and derivative phenomena (eg tsunami), it is advisable to act in accordance with the recommendations of Federal Civil Protection and that of the federal state in which you are.
  • Volcanic eruptions: There are a number of active volcanoes in Mexico, the most important of which is Popocatepetl, located about 72 km southeast of the capital. It is advisable to carefully follow the instructions and advice of Civil Protection.

Terrorist threats

  • In Mexico, the risk of terrorist attacks is low. However, keep in mind that terrorism is global can produce anywhere in the world.
  • When traveling to Mexico we recommend that you keep track of the ads and recommendations made by the Mexican authorities.

Safety and crime

  • In Mexico the criminal phenomenon is very common. The most common offenses are the theft of documents, money, credit and debit cards, other valuables (mostly with violence), drug trafficking, especially with the intention of passing the northern border to the US.
  • The networks of human traffickers operating in Mexico are usually combined with various criminal groups operating in the country and robbing them, and often kidnappings end up tragically.
  • Human rights journalists and militants who criticize or produce crime material are often among the victims of organized crime networks.
  • In the case of thefts, there is a risk that the perpetrators will be armed. There have been frequent cases of assassination.

When you visit Mexico, you must take precautions:

  • Avoid the use of ATMs from unattended areas. In case you need to use an ATM, make sure it is in a closed area, preferably in a shopping center;
  • Change your money / currency in exchange offices or banks and make sure before that you will not be charged for that exchange;
  • Collaborate with the Mexican authorities, especially the Federal Army and Police, which performs random checks on highways;
  • If you are on a road blocked by delinquents, keep calm, do not resist, and do not try to call the police on a visible phone;
  • If you are in an area where gunfire occurs, it is advisable to drop you to the ground with your hands in a visible position;
  • Do not get involved in the transportation / trafficking of drugs, people, weapons and other related activities. The penalties for these crimes are extremely drastic (for example between 5 and 15 years for drug possession or 10 to 25 years for drug trafficking). These are considered federal offenses and involve imprisonment in federal prisons with a much more severe detention regime;
  • Do not buy / buy drugs because these activities can attract the attention of rival drug bands to you;

Traffic rules

  • Cars use the right side of the road.
  • Seat Belt is mandatory. The use of the mobile phone is not permitted.
  • Drinking alcohol is not allowed for people driving.
  • Mexico is a country with a modern road and motorway infrastructure. For excursions in mountain and desert areas it is recommended to use a SUV car.
  • In the Ciudad de Mexico capital it is mandatory to observe alternating days fixed according to the registration number.
  • Under Mexican law, in the event of an accident, the position of the car should not be changed before a police crew arrives. Also contact the insurance company. If the accident is severe, do not move cars unless the police agree. In some situations, drivers can be made available to the judiciary until the investigation is completed.
  • Damages produced by the public infrastructure are considered by Mexican law to be “damages to the goods of the nation” (“daños a bienes de la Nación”), which is why we recommend that you contact the insurance company to cover the costs of the necessary repairs.
  • We recommend the use of “couota” highways (direct route tolls) instead of “libres” (detours, free of charge).
  • In case you rent a car, check the insurance conditions.
  • When using water or air transport (ferries, boats, airplanes, helicopters, etc.), it is advisable to check the minimum safety requirements (life jackets, radio equipment, etc.).

Using credit cards

  • In Mexico, credit / debit cards and internationally known payment systems are accepted. To avoid cloning the card, an illegal practice spread in Mexico, it is recommended that payment and insertion into the mobile terminal of the card be made only in front of the cardholder. Avoid situations where the waiter / vendor leaves with your card to perform the collection operation in another area of the locality. Also, periodically check the movements in your account to promptly notify the bank of any suspicious / unauthorized operation.

Medical Regime

  • It is acceptable to introduce / remove medicinal products for human consumption in moderate quantities to Mexico. It is recommended that you present a medical prescription, with the legalized translation in Spanish.

The pet regime

  • Pets may only be introduced in Mexico on the basis of a special permit and documents demonstrating the carrying out of specific vaccines. For further information, we recommend consulting the Embassy of Mexico.

 

Public transport

  • The main means of transport in Mexico is the bus.
  • They are not recommended because they are usually extremely crowded. There are numerous accidents, both because of the age of the vehicle fleet and the imprudent driving behavior of public transport vehicles. There have also been reports of thefts and aggressions inside public transport, which is why increased caution is recommended for your own goods and luggage if you use this means of transport in the absence of other variants.

Taxi services

  • It is recommended to use registered taxis, recommended by the hotel or trusted persons, those from authorized and appropriately signalized stations or ordered through special mobile applications. As soon as you get into a taxi, check that the taxi driver has an official stamp (which must be displayed) and the toll device. For security reasons, it is not recommended to use taxis that you can stop in traffic.
  • In Mexico, there is a higher degree of security in private transport networks, alternatives to taxis, which are used through mobile applications.

 

Customs regulations

  • Personal items (camera or camcorder, electric shaver, hair dryer, cell phone and personal laptop, portable radio, books, magazines that can not be sold), 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars and a maximum of 3 liters of alcoholic beverages.
  • Amounts exceeding US $ 10,000 (or equivalent in other currencies), either in cash or in bearer checks, must be declared on entry into Mexico. Upon exit, amounts exceeding US $ 10,000 (or equivalent in other currencies) may be taken only if they have been declared at the entrance or can be substantiated by documents proving lawful origin.
  • For items not considered to be personal, the customs duties for the goods category are payable.
  • It is forbidden to introduce drugs, psychotropic substances, haemoderivatives, weapons, various chemical substances (eg insecticides), certain species of living fish and animals, archaeological objects, etc.
  • Considering that it is not allowed to place food from producers who are not authorized to export to the Mexican market, we recommend that you avoid shipping such products.