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What you need to visit Mexico

by Luz Prada | Tue 15 Nov 2022
What you need to visit Mexico

Mexico is a country in Central America where music and color are everywhere. Its delicious food and friendly locals will captivate you. 

There are lots of things to do in Mexico, and a myriad of landscapes for you to explore. From ancient pyramids and temples to white sandy beaches and snow capped volcanoes, Mexico is an incredible country to visit. 

In this article you will read all about everything you need to visit Mexico. 

Requirements to visit Mexico

Passport

You must have a passport with 6 months validity and with 3 blank pages for stamps. 

Mexican dual nationals

If you are a dual citizen of Mexico as well as another country, you are required to enter and exit the country with your Mexican passport.


Visas 

All travelers to Mexico will need a tourist permit that is issued by the Mexican government called the FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple). 

You can get the FMM in person at the airport, but it is much more advisable to apply online so you have your paperwork ready when you travel. Visagov can help you process the FMM

If the reason for your trip is exclusively tourism, visiting a relative or friend, executive personnel, technical personnel with foreign payroll (not paid in Mexico) or any other unpaid activity, you will need the FMM. 

The FMM must be presented with your passport, it is important to keep it with you as you will need it to leave the country. Its loss or theft should be reported to the authorities. 

Mexican authorities are currently working on making the FMM paperless, so you may just receive a stamp in your passport. 

However, if the reason for your trip is to carry out paid activities in Mexico or you are from one of the countries and regions that require a visa to travel to Mexico you will also need to apply for a visa.

You won’t have to apply for a visa for Mexico if you hold a valid US, Canadian or Schengen visa.

If you are traveling for a different reason, we recommend you contact the Mexican Embassy or Consulate in your country to find out the necessary requirements to enter the country.

If you are traveling to Mexico it is best that you have a return ticket with you, you are able to justify financial means for your stay and have accommodation booked. 

Travel Insurance

Mexico does not require travel insurance for visitors but it is always best to take out travel insurance with full coverage, covering theft, assistance, loss of luggage as well as all medical coverage. 

Currency

The official currency of Mexico is the Mexican peso (MXN) which is represented by the M$ symbol and 1 USD is worth 20 M$.  

You can exchange currency at casas de cambio which are exchange houses, or banks, but they always take longer. You will need your passport as a form of ID. 

In bigger towns, cities and tourist areas you will find ATMs but there may not be as many in remote areas, so make sure you always carry enough cash just in case. 

You can also use your debit or credit card but depending on your bank you might have to pay international surcharges. 


Things you need to know when traveling to Mexico

Here is some essential information you will need to know before traveling to Mexico, about health, safety and climate. Read this section before you set off to avoid any surprises. 

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required for travel to Mexico but the following are recommended:

  • Diphtheria: Travelers visiting rural areas.
  • Hepatitis A: All (except children under 1 year old).
  • Hepatitis B: Travelers and hikers on long stays.
  • Rabies: Hikers and travelers who may come into contact with animals.
  • Tetanus: All.
  • Tuberculosis: Travelers visiting rural areas.
  • Typhoid: All.

Mexico requires proof of yellow fever vaccination for those arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.

Is Mexico open for tourists? 

Currently, there are no COVID-19 restrictions for entering Mexico. Mexican authorities do not require any type of PCR or antigen test to travel to the country, nor do they require you to have been vaccinated.

Do you need a transit visa in Mexico? 

If your transit is less than 24 hours and you do not leave the transit hall of the airport, you won’t need a transit visa. 

How to travel around Mexico

You have several alternatives to move around the country: cab, uber, cabify, bus, among many other alternatives. Getting around such a large country is not difficult, 

When is the best time to travel to Mexico?

Mexico's climate is very varied and can change depending on the season and the region. There are different climate zones in Mexico, as the Tropic of Cancer crosses the country.

In the north of Mexico the climate is cooler and drier, while in the south it is more tropical, hot and humid. The high season in Mexico is from December to April and temperatures are usually around 24°C and the weather is drier. 

The low season in Mexico is in May and June and temperatures rise, so it is a good time to visit the Riviera Maya because the rains have not yet started and it can be a little cheaper. 


Safety in Mexico

Although there are some risks in Mexico, as any country that you might decide to travel to, if you are aware and take care you shouldn’t have any issues. 

It’s best not to travel around at night, as muggings and assaults could happen. 

If you drive around Mexico make sure you stop at police roadblocks. 

It is against the law for foreigners to take part in any political activity in Mexico, so if you come across any rallies or protests it is best to avoid them and change your travel plans if need be. 


Travel Tips 

  • If you are a woman traveling alone try to avoid drinking alone or walking alone at night. Follow local women when on public transport to avoid any unwanted attention. 
  • Get a receipt when you put your luggage in the hold of a bus and make sure you don’t lose it, and it is best to keep your valuables with you on the bus. 
  • If you buy a Mexican SIM card and use it on an unlocked phone it can be helpful in order to get around. 
  • Always carry some cash with you in case there aren't any ATM facilities or the business doesn’t accept cards. 

About the author
Luz Prada

Luz Prada
My name is Luz, of Greek origin, and meaning laurel. Maybe that's why I love Greek mythology. My passion is music, 30 years of piano and singing guarantee it. Traveling is my other passion. I love being imbued with sounds from different parts of the planet. I work traveling from my computer, which, although not the same, makes me enjoy it too. Sometimes I compose songs, sometimes I compose stories ...


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