Mexico Overview

Mexico is a country filled with diverse cultures, landscapes, and traditions. This destination has 31 states and one federal district. Many people only know about Mexico’s resort towns, beaches, and all-inclusive resorts, but there’s so much more than that. 

Its dazzling urban destinations, such as Mexico City, Guadalajara, and San Miguel de Allende, are a mix of vibrant culture, history, and gastronomy. 

For those who want to explore ancient civilizations, Chichen Itza, Teotihuacan, and Palenque are well-preserved archeological sites. Between the stunning beaches, beautiful cities, and impressive architectural wonders, everyone can find something they like in this vibrant country! 


Mexico’s currency is the peso (MXN), which uses a $ symbol.

Currently, one USD is 20.62 Mexican pesos.

Many places in Mexico accept U.S. dollars if they are new and not stained, torn, or worn.

Destinations that are most likely to accept USD are Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, and Cancún. 

Electricity Socket: 

In Mexico, the standard voltage is 127 V, and 60 Hz is the standard frequency.

Power plugs and sockets are types A and B. Most North American countries use the same power plug, so you will likely not need an adaptor if you visit from one of those countries.

If you are visiting Mexico from a non North American continent, you’ll need an international power adaptor travel plug to use your appliances. 

Transportation and Getting Around:

Mexico is a large country with several modes of transportation available to move around.

The most common forms of transportation between cities are planes, cars, buses, and taxis.

Some destinations have colectivos, which are vehicles that function as a shared transportation service with a specific route.

Moto taxis (known as tuk-tuks in other places) are also standard in smaller towns in Mexico. One form of transportation that is uncommon in most of Mexico is passenger train services. 

Colectivo (most popular in the Yucatán Peninsula): $1-2 between cities (ex. Cancún to Playa del Carmen) 

Rental Vehicle: $30/day average 

Mexico City Metro: 24 cents

Mexico City Metrobús: 29 cents 

Rough Budget: 

Mexico can be as inexpensive or as luxurious as you want it to be.

In every tourist city, there are both high-end and budget-friendly options. 

People spend an average of 56 USD per day in Mexico while on vacation. 

However, some people spend way more or way less than this amount. 

Accommodations (in USD): 

Budget: $10-15 (dorm) $20-50 (private)

Mid-range hotel: $50-100

High-end hotel: $100-300

All-inclusive luxury resort: $300-1000 

For the best discounts on accommodation in Mexico I always use booking

Typical Meal (for one in USD): 

Visitors spend an average of $10 on food per day in Mexico.

However, this can range depending on the type of cuisine you are eating. 

Street food: >$1-$1 

Restaurant: $5-20

Expensive Restaurant: $24-48

It is not hard to eat good food in Mexico for cheap. I always love to mix up street food and good restaurants to help me eat cheaper. 

Plus I love street food


Visitors who are not from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, or the United States will need a Mexico Tourist Card to travel there.

The Mexican National Immigration Institute issues these cards online.  There are two types of visas travelers can obtain depending on if they will arrive by air or by land.

Both are for stays up to 180 days for a single entry and are valid for six months.

The air tourist card costs 49 USD, and the land tourist card costs 78 USD. The process takes less than five minutes, and you can download the card from your email. 


While there are numerous native languages spoken in Mexico, Spanish is by far the most widespread one.

Major tourist destinations such as Cancún and Cabo San Lucas almost always have English speakers in the resort areas at restaurants, hotels, and retail spaces.

However, outside the resort areas, it can be a mixed bag. While it is likely that you will find someone who speaks

English in many cities, knowing at least a little Spanish will go a long way in every destination. 


Mexico is safe for tourists to visit, although it can sometimes be known for violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery.

These crimes are solely conflicts between crime organizations.

Tourists and civilians are rarely targets of these activities, especially in tourist cities. Millions of people travel to Mexico each year without incident.

The most common things to be worried about in Mexico will be pickpocketing and petty crimes.

To minimize your risk of becoming a target, leave expensive, flashy items at home.

Keep passports, wallets, phones, and electronics in safe places.

Limit the amount of cash you carry.

Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.

ATMs are also frequent targets. Avoid using ones in deserted areas and always be aware of your surroundings.

Natural disasters can also occur in Mexico. It is important to note that hurricane season runs between June and November on both coasts.

Mexico also occasionally has large earthquakes.

On Twitter, you can follow the Mexican Seismic Alert system for updates.

No destination can guarantee 100% safety, but most visitors who travel to Mexico due so without any problems

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Festivals and Celebrations:

Mexico has vibrant festivals that take place throughout the year.

These festivals attract thousands of people each year.

Many of these stem from religious celebrations, but not all of them. Other festivals celebrate the arts, independence, life, and Mexico.  

Here are some of the most exciting festivals in Mexico: 


Brazil is known for having one of the best Carnaval bashes. The Carnaval celebrations in Veracruz and Mazatlán in Mexico give Brazil a run for its money. This weeklong festival has a colorful welcome parade and endless drinks, food, and dancing. It is a non-stop party that will enchant any visitor. 

Día de Los Muertos 

Día de Los Muertos is one of Mexico’s most well-known festivals outside of the country. Most people are familiar with its emblematic Calavera face paintings, but it so much more than that. It is a holiday to remember those who have passed away and celebrate their life with loved ones.

Want to learn more about Day of the Dead in Sayulita.  

Dia de La Independencia 

Dia de la Independencia is a nation-wide celebration of Mexico’s independence from Spain. On September 16th, you can find Mexican flags flying everywhere across the country on public buildings and residences. People hold lively parties filled with food, dance, and music to commemorate this important Mexican history milestone.  

Festival de México 

This exciting festival brings Mexico City to life every march with dance, opera, music, and theater performances. Festival de Mexico draws in Mexican creative talent and art lovers from across the country. Over 50 different venues host festival events that take place in downtown Mexico City during this two-week festival. 

Festival Internacional Cervantino

Another spectacular art extravaganza in Mexico is the Festival Internacional Cervantino in the colonial city of Guanajuato. It started as a small local festival dedicated to Spanish author Miguel Cervantes (think Don Quijote). Over time, has become one of the largest and most famous art celebrations in Latin America. 

Semana Santa 

Semana Santa, also known as Holy Week, takes place the week before Easter. It is partially a religious ritual and partly a carnival. There are numerous processions with people carrying large statues and dressed in costume throughout the week. Each day has different traditions and celebrations that culminate in Easter.  

Common Spanish Phrases:

Hello: Hola

Yes: Sí

No: No

Please: Por favor

Thank you: Gracias

To Eat: Comer

The check please: La cuenta por favor

How much?: Cuánto cuesta?

Where is ___?: Dónde está ___?

The bathroom: El baño  (pronounced ban-yo)

The hotel: El hotel (pronounced o-tel)

How are you? : Cómo está?

I am fine: Muy bién

Here is a resource with some of the most common Spanish phrases for traveling.

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