Mexico Travel Guide
If you’re looking for things to do while planning your trip to Mexico, we’ve got you covered!
Mexico is the home of tacos, tequila, sombreros and Aztecs. Not only that, it also offers an amazing mix of Mesoamerican cultures, contemporary arts and Spanish traditions. There’s a lot more that to discover in this country beyond the typical stereotypes.
Important Information about Mexico
Mexico at a Glance: From cactus-strewn deserts and stunning beaches, to Baja California’s blue coastline and Maya villages, Mexico has a lot to offer! You’ll also find here, giant pyramids, colonial churches, and delicious food.
Currency in Mexico: Mexican Peso | 2018 Conversion Rate: 100 MXN = $5.34 USD
Tipping in Mexico: In restaurants, it is customary to tip at least 10 to 20% of the total bill. In hotels, tip your porter around 10 to 20 pesos per bag. Tipping the taxi driver is not really necessary.
Language & Helpful Phrases: Mexican
Hello = Hola
Thank you = Gracias
Beer = Cerveza
Delicious = Delicioso
Bathroom = Baño
How much? = ¿Cuánto cuesta?
Too expensive = Muy caro
Don't want = No quiero
Religion and Culture: As much as 82% of Mexicans consider themselves to be Catholic while others incorporate themselves to the pre-Hispanic Mayan elements. The rest are of Christian denominations, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists.
Mexicans value family ties. They love to host parties and make every visitor feel comfortable.
Transportation around Mexico: The most convenient option on traveling from one place to another is via air. For long distance transportation, buses are mostly preferred. Taxis are also very common in Mexico. However, most people will recommend you to take the metro lines.
Best Time To Visit Mexico
CLIMATE IN MEXICO
The climate differs depending on the place’s topography. However, the climate in this country is either dry or rainy season.
Dry season: November to May
Rainy season: June to October
Peak season for tourists is around December to April when the rain is very minimal. It can get crowded during this time and prices are higher. Especially during American spring break time, mid-March to mid-April.
Times to avoid traveling in Mexico
Avoid traveling from June to October. This is when the rainfall is heaviest.
MAJOR FESTIVALS IN MEXICO
Son Jarocho Music Festival, early February: A lot of people go to Tlacotalpan to celebrate Candelaria which features an image of the Virgin floating down the river.
Festival de Mexico, mid-March: This is a music and Mexican themed food festival.
Festival Internacional Cervantino, October: The Festival Internacional Cervantino is one of the arts extravaganzas in Latin America.
Day of the Dead, November 1-2: Instead of mourning, the Mexicans celebrate death during this time. Very popular in the city of Oaxaca.
Top Things to Do in Mexico
Trek Sierra Norte Mountains
If you love hiking more than going to beaches, Mexico’s Sierra Norte Mountains is a must visit. It’s the best ways to experience the “Pueblos Manucommunandos”. Hire a local guide and have a fantastic time.
Cheer on Lucha Libre wrestlers
In Mexico, Lucha Libre is bigger than the American WWE version, it’s a cultural obsession. Grab a few beers and prepare to be entertained. Here’s an article to help you DIY if you don’t want to join a tour group.
Take a Mexican Cooking Class
Every foodie knows that Mexico is one of the best places to be. One of the must do’s when in this city is to take a cooking class. Each region has its own flavor and style. We opted to take a cooking class in Oaxaca, since this place is known to have the best foods in Mexico.
Explore ancient ruins
Mexico has a lot of ancient archeological ruins to amaze you. Each one varies in popularity and size. Some of the must visits are Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Teotihuacan, Palenque and Mitla.
Best Food to Eat in Mexico
The number of delicious foods to eat in Mexico makes it hard to know where to start.
To help you decide, we have listed here some of our favorites:
Chilaquiles: This is a popular traditional breakfast food that has some fried corn tortillas and red or green salsa. Fried or scrambled eggs, cream and cheese are often added.
Tostadas: When translated, tostadas mean toasted. It has fried corn tortillas topped with frijoles, cheese, ceviche, seafood, cooked meat, and cheese.
Elote: This make look like a simple corn on cob but lime, butter, chilli powder, salt, cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise are added.
Tacos al pastor: This is one of the popular taco varieties that originated from the 1920s to 1930s. It is one of the must try dishes when in Mexico.
Guacamole: As one of the most popular dishes in Mexico, Guacamole boasts of a traditional sauce that originates from the time of the Aztecs.
Pozole: This is a pre-Hispanic soup that was once used in ritual sacrifices. Now, it has pork, chicken, and vegetarian versions.
Typical Travel Budget for Mexico
Mexico is an affordable place to visit. However, Yucatan’s location and popularity makes it a bit more expensive than other parts of this country.
Good to know: US dollars are available for withdrawal from some ATMs and are widely accepted, especially in the Yucatan. However, it is better to have your money converted to Mexican Pesos or get them out of the ATM since the conversion rate is lower.
HOW MUCH TO BUDGET IN MEXICO PER DAY
Budget traveler: If you are on a tight budget and watch your spending closely, $30 - $40 could be a sufficient budget.
Mid-range traveler: If you want to have a few splurges and stay in nicer accommodation, plan to budget $40 - $80 per day.
Dorm bed = $4-$17
Budget room = $30-$40
Mid-range = $100-$200
Luxury hotel = $200+
Street food = $0.5-$2
Mid-range restaurant = $5-$8
Local beer = $1-$2
Taxis = $1-$2
Subway or Metrobus = $0.25
Nice buses (6 hours) = $15-$30
Horseback riding in Chiapas = $10
National Art Museum = $3
Chapultepec Castle = $3.25
Frida Kahlo House = $10.80
Ecobici Bikes = $5.29
Responsible Travel Tips in Mexico
We are passionate about sharing tips anyone can use to travel more responsibly. Here are some easy ways you can travel better in Mexico.
1. don’t litter
Try carrying your very own shopping bag to avoid contributing plastic.
2. reduce energy consumption
Turn off the lights when not in use. And that goes for the A/C too!
3. always ask before taking photos
If you want to take a photo of the locals, always ask. If they say no, respect their wishes.
4. support the local economy
Eat at local restaurants and buy from locally made souvenirs. Simply enjoy the place’s local culture!
What to Pack for Mexico
It is much easier to travel around when you have a lighter luggage. Always pack light. This will save you a lot of hassle.
Here are some Mexico-specific items we'd recommend packing:
bug balm (solids are the way to go)
insulated water bottle (we love our Hydro Flasks)
medications (like ibuprofen, imodium, dramamine or pepto-bismol)
reusable straw & reusable bag (say no to single-use plastic!)
loose, lightweight clothes & layers
quick dry towel
rain jacket (it can rain during any season, so you'll want to be prepared!)
Chaco sandals (we'd recommend these instead of hiking boots as they are less bulky and are good for walking through water)
Mexico has quickly made it’s way near the top of our favorite countries to visit. There are so many things to do in Mexico. You can visit ancient ruins, hike through the mountains, dance the night away, stroll through colorful colonial cities, and try delicious Mexican food... OMG the FOOD! We know we will travel back to Mexico soon.