Mexico is a vast country that offers a lot of diverse travel experiences, from gorgeous sun-drenched beaches to ancient cultural sites and vibrant cities with excellent shopping and dining. If you’re planning a trip, take a look at these travel tips for travelling in Mexico and advice to make the most of the visit.

Closeup of artwork on Arena Mexico in Mexico City

Arena Mexico

Be prepared for the weather

Though Mexico is often thought of as a hot country, you’ll wish you knew that the climate varies from region to region. Mexico is huge, so you might experience cold nights and rain. If you want to travel to the coastal areas and avoid crowds, the best time to visit is during the winter months, when the hurricane season is over and the temperatures are cooler. If you prefer warmer temperatures, you can visit in the autumn or spring, when the crowds are smaller and the rates are lower.

Learn how to get there and get around

While there are no direct flights to Mexico from Australia, you can easily reach the country by travelling from Australia’s east coast to the U.S. cities of Los Angeles or Dallas. You can also fly to Tokyo or South American cities and get a flight to Mexico. Once you arrive, you can take additional flights to travel far distances or hire a car to get around. Mexico is also serviced by ADO, a bus company that offers affordable and modern bus lines with routes that connect to major and minor towns in the country.

Keep your passport slip

When you arrive in Mexico, an immigration officer will give you your stamped passport and a form to fill out. At the end of this form, there is a small section to fill out with a breakaway slip for you to keep. This slip is torn from the paper and placed within your passport. When you leave the country, you’ll be asked to present this slip, so store it somewhere safe. If you don’t present this slip, you may be subject to a fine.

Stay safe while travelling in Mexico

Despite some unsavoury media attention, Mexico is a relatively safe country for travellers. Millions of people visit each year and don’t experience any issues. That said, it’s good to practice general travel safety to avoid any problems, especially petty theft. Practice common sense and avoid travelling in unfamiliar areas, especially alone or at night. Also, avoid keeping valuables on you. If possible, leave your valuables in the hotel safe or store them somewhere on you that isn’t easily accessed.

Garden at Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Mexico City

Plaza de las Tres Culturas

Bring a refillable water bottle

Tap water in Mexico is usually not safe to drink, and that includes ice cubes that may be made from tap water. Bottled water is a great solution, but you could go through a lot of water bottles and create a lot of plastic pollution over the course of your trip. To avoid this issue, get a refillable water bottle with a travel-grade filter that can remove parasites and microbes. This way, you can have access to fresh, clean water wherever you are in Mexico.

Using the restroom

Restrooms can be a source of confusion for a lot of foreign travellers in Mexico. What to know is that the doors are typically marked ‘H’ for hombres (men) and ‘M’ for mujeres (women). Understanding these designations can help you avoid some potentially embarrassing situations when you’re about to use a public restroom in Mexico. Also, some places in Mexico don’t have public sewage, and the facilities may clog when using toilet paper, so the restrooms provide a basket near the toilet in which to deposit used paper.

Bring some pesos

Mexican currency is the peso, which has an exchange of roughly .08 Australian dollars to 1 peso. The well-travelled cities and resort areas in Mexico are likely to have places that take other currency, but to avoid any issues, exchange your money for some pesos before you leave. What to know before you go is that certain establishments can set the exchange rate, so having pesos ensures that you save on your trip. You could also take a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and use the local ATMs if you need cash.

Sample the food

Mexican food is delicious, especially when you have it IN Mexico. Mexican cuisine goes far beyond tacos, nachos and burritos, especially as you travel to different regions. You can find everything from foods with Mayan or Incan inspiration to fusion cuisine that blends exotic recipes with local produce. Try to experience new dishes as much as you can, especially if you’re going to be travelling to different areas during your trip. You could even take a cooking class or a food tour for a more immersive culinary experience.

Venture off the beaten path

The popular traveller spots in Mexico got that way for a reason, but there’s nothing like venturing away to explore the hidden gems. This is one of the vital travel tips to appreciate the diversity of Mexico. If you want to experience the wonders of Mexico, it’s best to take some time to explore more local and rural destinations like Mérida and Valladolid. You’ll not only meet some interesting people, but you also may discover some unique attractions you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

Cuicuilco archaeological site in Mexico

Cuicuilco

Experience the cenotes

Cenotes are a hidden gem of Mexico. These natural swimming holes are found all over the Yucatán Peninsula and offer beautiful waters and natural surroundings, such as cave-like formations. They’re very diverse and offer an enchanting experience, so be sure to visit a few cenotes for a dip and take some photos. There are thousands of cenotes in Mexico, but some of the best include Cenote Dos Ojos in Tulum, Cenote Zaci in Valladolid, Cenote Ik-Kil in Chichen Itza and Gran Cenote in Tulum.

Ready to plan your trip?

Now that you have the essential information to know before visiting Mexico, you’re ready to plan your trip. Take a look at deals on Mexico holidays from Expedia and check out some highlights of Mexico travel to prepare for the time of your life.