Cancun Mexico Travel Information
Cancun Mexico Travel
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OVERVIEW
Why the Yucatan
Where to Go
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Mexican People
Food/Water/Safety
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General Information
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When entering a hotel room for the first time, run the shower for a few minutes, without you being in the room. This will get rid of any build-up of spores that cause Legionaries disease.


Experience the Tortuga Liberation!
Every year hundreds of baby Green Sea Turtles emerge from the sandy beaches of the Mayan Riviera and head into the vast ocean.

Mexico peso (Mex$) = 100 centavos

In 1998 there were 9.6 million telephones main lines in use.

There are 31,048 km of railways in Mexico.

Females are allowed to volunteer for military service.

In 1997 Mexico had 31 million radios in use.

Mexico's exports partners: US 89.3%, Canada 1.7%, Spain 0.6%, Japan 0.5%, Venezuela 0.3%, Chile 0.3%, Brazil 0.3%.

Mexico produced 176.055 billion kWh of electricity in 1998.

The main industries are: food and beverages, tobacco, chemicals, iron and steel, petroleum, mining, textiles, clothing, motor vehicles, consumer durables, tourism.

The Mexican name for the Atlantic coastal region of the Yucatan Peninsula is Riviera Maya. The English use is either Maya Riviera or Mayan Riviera. It is used all three ways in this web site.

Click here for
Mayan Riviera
Snorkeling Locations
Tips and Info

Buckle Up!

Mexico now has
a seat-belt law.

GENERAL INFO ABOUT MEXICO

This page at a glance:



June 15, 2010 - Mexico has implemented new banking regulations regarding USD currency.

Newly Released Mexican Regulations Imposing Restrictions on Mexican Banks for Transactions in U.S. Currency

Mexican banks can exchange USD currency for non-customers [persons without a valid bank account, i.e.: tourist] but many banks have recently applied restrictions allowing only customers to exchange USD currency to pesos.

Banks are limiting the amount an individual customer can exchange on a monthly basis forcing some Mexican vendors to stop accepting USD. These vendors will only accept payment in pesos.

ATMs dispense pesos.

Money exchange stores [casa de cambio] are still offering USD exchange services. This could change at any time.

Exchange your currency before you leave for Mexico taking Mexican Pesos only with you or be prepared to use ATMs.

Detailed Entry Requirements for visitors to Mexico: Immigration

For detailed information on what you can bring into Mexico see: Customs



FIREARMS/DRUGS

It is illegal to take firearms, ammunition or illegal drugs in or out of Mexico.



DEPARTURE TAX

Playa del Carmen

International departure from Cancun Airport is approximately $50.00 USD. This must be paid in CASH [pesos not USD]. No credit cards or checks are accepted. This tax is usually paid when you purchase your ticket. Check with your travel agent to be sure.

One time, entering Cuba a friend and I were stopped at immigration. There were four of us traveling together. We all purchased our tickets and got our entry cards at the same time, from the same source.

Customs let two of our party into the country but said that my friend's and my entry card were expired. We said, "how could this be, you let our friends in?" Customs said their visas were okay, ours were not. They were all exactly identical. So we said, "what do we do?" It was 4:00 in the morning. The airport was deserted except for soldiers. The customs guy told us to talk to this guy standing way over there talking to a soldier having a cigarette.

We walked over to the guy who didn't speak a word of English and showed him our entry cards. He looked at them, took a long drag of his cigarette then said twenty dollars. We said, "what?" He pulled out some entry cards out of his pocket, which were identical to the ones in our hands. He pushed the cards at us and repeated, "twenty dollars". So we paid him and walked through customs. What a scam. Nothing like this has ever happened to us traveling in or out of Mexico.



CURRENCY EXCHANGE

The rate of exchange is subject to fluctuation. It is recommended to convert your currency to Mexican Pesos either in your own country or in Mexico. There are currency exchanges in most hotels and towns.

NOTE: The US dollar is accepted in Mexico however unless you are American it is better to use the peso and avoid an extra conversion.



ANIMALS

Tulum A visitor may enter Mexico with 2 cats or dogs. A letter from a veterinarian stating that they have received a rabies vaccination and a distemper vaccination is required. ONLY cats and dogs are allowed to enter.

NOTE: Although we have not seen this in Mexico "mange" is rampant in Cuba and if you happen to go to Cuba with your pet chances are it will contract mange. Our experience has been that by simply touching an animal infected with mange you can successfully transfer the disease to your pet. In the case of our dog, which contracted mange, it never went away, although with medicated baths it was controllable.



TAXES

IVA tax is usually already included in the price of an item or service. Like your own country you have to ask if the tax is included in the price.

HOTEL TAX

Hotel tax depends on the state where the hotel is located. Generally it is 15% tax plus 2% lodging tax all over Mexico, with exception of the state Quintana Roo; there the tax is only 10% plus the 2% lodging tax.

Cancun and the Mayan Riviera [Playa del Carmen] are located in the state of Quintana Roo.



TIME

Mexico spans three different time zones:

  • South, Central and Eastern Mexico: GMT - 6 (Central Standard Time). (GMT - 5 from first Sunday in April to Saturday before last Sunday in October.)
  • Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur: GMT - 7 (Mountain Time). (GMT - 6 from first Sunday in April to Saturday before last Sunday in October.)
  • Baja California Norte (Pacific Time):GMT - 8 (GMT - 7 from first Sunday in April to Saturday before last Sunday in October).
Mexico observes daylight saving time. Some Maya [in the Chiapas] still use the Maya calendar system.



ELECTRICITY

110 volts/60 cycle is standard. You may need an adapter for some plugs that may not have a 3-pronged plug for the ground.



TELEPHONES

The country code for Mexico is: 52

When placing calls within Quintana Roo a 9 plus seven additional digits is dialed. Drop the 9 and dial only seven digits when making local calls.



INTERNET

Riviera Maya The Yucatan abounds with Internet cafes. This is due greatly to the fact that it is not that easy to obtain a computer in the Yucatan. There is also the cost involved. So cafes fill the void and give everyone the opportunity to access the Internet.

We have never seen a MAC in one of these cafes although we are sure there are some somewhere. The general computer is a PC running some version of Windows. There are usually people who speak English in these cafes and costs vary. Most places have printers, fax and photo copying capabilities.

NOTE: Don't be surprised to enter into a café in the middle of nowhere that has an Internet sign out front only to find there is a computer but no hook-up. This is a scam to lure you into the café.

NOTE: ALT 64 gives you the @ on a Mexcian computer keyboard.



MEXICAN POSTAL SERVICE

Postal rates to the U.S. are 4.20 pesos for postcards and letters. For postcards and letters to Europe the cost is 6 pesos. Rates are subject to change. The cost of sending a letter may vary depending on weight.



MEDICAL INFORMATION IN MEXICO

Mexico uses a "three tier" medical system, the top tier being comparable to any medical providers in the USA or Canada.

Top tier medical help is available in Cancun.

For more information see:

Safety Tips for travelers [Cancun Medical]
Medical Services in Cancun, Mayan Riviera
Montezuma's Revenge - Getting Sick
Medical Tourism in Mexico

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In Mexico they speak: Spanish, various Mayan, Nahuatl, and other regional indigenous languages.

90% of Mexicans age 15 and over can read and write.

Mexico Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Mexico has a population of: 100,349,766 (July 2000 est.)

There is 61,000 sq km of irrigated land. (1993 est.)

Mexico's natural resources are: petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber.

There is 9,330 km of coastline.

The life expectancy is: male 68.47 years, female 74.66 years. (2000 est.)

The geographic coordinates are: 23 00 N, 102 00 W

Mexico had 38.6 million people in the labor force in 1999.

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