Traveling to Mexico



Here's the list of questions relating to traveling to Mexico we are currently working on.

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Is it safe?

When traveling to Mexico it is important to make the right choices. There are places in Mexico which we wouldn't advise you to visit right now, but these are very far away from the Yucatan Peninsula. How far? Well, the distance between Cancun, for example, and the region most afflicted with drug-related violence (the western states along the US border) is about as far as New York is from Houston. It's a long way away.

Even outside these areas, traveling to Mexico does require a certain amount of care and attention, but no more than you would use when visiting a major city anywhere in North America or Europe. Petty crime when it does occur is mostly opportunistic. Avoid walking through isolated areas alone at night, don't leave an expensive camera lying around unattended and don't flash wads of cash. But you wouldn't do any of these anyway, would you?

With a few simple precautions you are much more likely to get sunburned than pickpocketed.


How do I get there?

Traveling to Mexico, especially to the Yucatan, is easy. If this is your first trip to Cancun or the Yucatan, keep it simple. Take any recognized international carrier to Cancun International Airport. Mexico is one of the world's top 10 most visited tourist destinations, and Cancun is the #1 tourist destination in Mexico.

There are 49 airlines that fly in to Cancun, Mexicana, American and Continental being the largest (source: www.skyscanner.net). The airport is efficiently organized with a smooth process through Customs and Immigration (provided you have the correct papers...see below), baggage pick up and transfers to most of the popular hotels.


Are there airports in the area other than Cancun?

Yes. Merida, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen have international airports, and Isla de Mujeres and Chichen Itza host domestic flights only.

What about Mexican Customs and Immigration?

When traveling to MExico, you'll find after getting there that a Mexican bureaucracy is the same any other. You may find the Mexican Customs and Immigration agents helpful and welcoming or surly and unpleasant. It's a crap shoot. You can dramatically increase your chances of sailing through both if you have the right papers filled out and ready to go. A passport is required as is your temporary tourist visa or "FM-T." You obtain your FM-T by filling out a simple form which will be distributed by the cabin crew on your inbound flight. Be careful to observe the restrictions on length of stay and declarations of the amount of currency you are bringing into the country.

In general, the concerns of the officials are predictable: Immigration wants to know that you are not planning to stay past your allowed time as a tourist, and Customs wants to know that you are not bringing in a lot of merchandise that you plan to sell. Be polite and respect these concerns and you should have no problem. For detailed information, consult this English language page from the Mexican Customs website.


How do I get to my hotel (airport transfers)?

All the big hotels provide complimentary shuttles from the airport to the Hotel Zone. Transfers are also widely available for destinations as far away as Playa del Carmen but getting there can be pricey. For example, one service offers a shared round trip from Cancun Int'l to Playa for $45 or $195 for the same trip in a private car. 

What About Discount Travel?

There are plenty of great deals available for travel to Mexico in general; and the same holds true for the Yucatan. This is largely because the region is still recovering from the terrible effects of the swine flu scare and domestic troubles elsewhere in the country. But whatever the reason, there is great value to be found in a Yucatan vacation these days.

One good place to start is to visit our Where to Stay pages for information on all inclusive packages (in Cancun and elsewhere) and hotels offering discounted rates.



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