Mexico

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Overview

A vast country of contrasting experiences, where you can embrace the beach life, explore Mayan ruins and discover numerous off the beaten track adventures. Uncover the authentic side of Mexico, with adrenaline-fuelled activities, wildlife experiences and landscapes that move between cacti-filled deserts to lush tropical rainforests. Listen to the sound of howler monkeys and tropical birds amidst the jungle-clad hills and ancient ruins at Palenque. Head to Cozumel for some of the world’s best diving opportunities or witness the incredible spectacle as millions of monarch butterflies take to the air in the winter months.

Explore Mexico’s most spectacular dive sites on Liveaboards, with the most impressive marine life to be found in the Socorro Islands, Guadalupe Island, the Sea of Cortez, Cabo San Lucas, Cabo and La Paz. Socorro consists of four volcanic islands – a paradise for sharks, humpback whales, dolphins and manta rays. Guadalupe is a popular dive site for cage diving with great white sharks.

Baja California is the Galapagos of Mexico with diverse wildlife to be found on the peninsula, stretching from the shores of the Pacific coastline to the calmer blue waters on the Sea of Cortez. Great for whale watching - see humpback whales, dolphins and grey whales - while on land you’ll find brown pelicans, cormorants and frigatebirds. Explore a variety of landscapes among the national parks, bays and desert towns where hummingbirds live amongst colourful desert plants.

Visit Chiapas for tropical forests, mountain and Maya ruins. Nearby, Sumidero Canyon has much to offer in terms of wildlife, with monkeys, crocodiles and more than 200 species of bird. In a protected area in the highlands of Michoacan, millions of monarch butterflies come to breed between November and March.

Go wildlife spotting in beautiful Isla Holbox. Just two hours from Cancun, this quieter island, surrounded by uniquely green waters is home to more than 150 bird species, including flamingos, pelicans, and ibis. Nesting turtles can be seen here as well as whale sharks between May and September.

The impressive coastal reserve of Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve has tropical forest, fresh and saltwater marshes, mangroves and barrier reef. A great spot for birdwatching, you can also see dolphins, crocodiles, turtles and manatees in their natural habitat. Take guided boat trips and 4x4 forest safaris in the Yucatan Peninsula, just beyond Tulum and look out for bush pigs, racoons, spider monkeys and caiman along the Mayan built rivers.

See wading flamingos at Celestún Nature Reserve. Great for boat tours into the wetlands and lagoon, through dark tunnels of mangrove and petrified forests, spot ibises, egrets and pygmy kingfishers.

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Quick Facts - Mexico

Travel Seasons

  • Dec-Apr - High Season. Dry across most of Mexico, a popular time for those from northern climes looking for winter sun. Mexicans holiday at Christmas and Easter so its very busy on the coast. Book well in advance. 
  • May-Jun, Sep-Nov - Low Season. Highest temperatures in many areas in May and June. In September there are heavy rains on the coasts. 
  • Jul-Aug - Shoulder Season. Hot in most places, very wet on the Pacific coast. Holiday time for Mexicans and foreigners, accommodation prices can increase in most popular places.


General Information 

  • Capital city - Mexico City 
  • Currency - Mexican peso
  • Language - Spanish
  • Size - 1.973 million km²
  • Population - 127.5 million (2016)

 
Health & Safety

  • Travel insurance is essential for all international travel. Click below to find out more:

  • The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Mexico: hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
  • Malaria is present in Mexico - get medical advice on which prophylaxis to take if necessary. 
  • It is best to stick to drinking bottled water. 


Tourist Information 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Range of landscapes including rugged mountains, tropical rainforests, beautiful beaches
  • Impressive archaeological sites 
  • Wealth of recreational activities
  • Remarkable wildlife and birdlife 
  • Year-round destination 

Cons

  • There are busy periods during the year so early booking is essential
  • Drug traffic issues, avoid this subject with locals who often don't want to discuss their country's problems 

Travel Info

Arriving in Mexico

  • There are flights from the USA to many Mexican airports. Direct flights from Europe, Carribean, South and Central America fly into Mexico City and Cancun. 


Getting Around

  • Car, bus and air are the most practical ways to travel around Mexico. 
  • Hire cars are available across the country, use the toll roads which are the best maintained, don't drive at night and it's highly recommended that you buy the Mexican auto insurance.
  • Internal flights are a good option to cover large distances across the country.
  • If travelling by bus use the express service (directo) and first class buses which are comfortable, have washrooms and may show movies. 


Visas

  • Many nationalities travelling to Mexico as tourists do not require visas. Check before you travel. 
  • All visitors to Mexico are legally required to obtain a tourist card, known as a FMM. This will usually be distributed in-flight and the cost is included in your air ticket price. They can also be obtained online for MXN390. You need ensure you keep your FMM form with your passport at all times. 

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