Travel to Mexico
Best time to travel to Mexico
Traveling in Mexico is easy all year round, but October through May is generally the most comfortable time to visit. When visiting higher areas, however, it is advisable to bring warm clothing with you during this time.
According to Bridgat, the period from May to September can be hot and humid, especially in southern Mexico, while inland temperatures can drop to near freezing between December and February. Accommodation is often fully booked during Semana Santa (the week before Easter) and Christmas / New Years, the highlights of domestic tourism.
Try to avoid the resorts on the south coast between July and September. At this time it is hot, wet and crowded here.
Mexico – traveling in the country
Airplane: The domestic network is good. All large and many smaller cities in Mexico have airports with passenger traffic. The Mexican airlines Aeromexico and Mexicana with their subsidiaries Aero California and Click Mexicana serve the entire Mexican domestic traffic.
Domestic flights in Mexico are sometimes cheaper if you book in conjunction with an international ticket before you travel.
The tariffs depend on whether you book during the week or on the weekend, whether it is high season and how long you book in advance.
Ship: Vehicle and passenger ferries connect Baja California with mainland Mexico. They drive between Santa Rosalia and Guaymas, La Paz and Topolobampo as well as La Paz and Mazatlan. There are also ferries from the Yucatán peninsula to the islands of Isla Holbox, Isla Mujeres and Isla Cozumel.
Train : The Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico between Los Mochis and Chihuahua is one of the highlights of a trip in Mexico. Apart from this connection, since the privatization of the railway in the 1990s there has hardly been any regular passenger train service. The few remaining routes are rarely of interest to travelers.
Car: The road network in Mexico covers around 252,000 km, most of the roads are in good condition. Tolls are required on the highways operated by Caminos y Puentes Federales de Ingresos y Servicios Conexos. Watch out for speed bumps that suddenly appear.
Driving in Mexico is not as easy as driving north of the border in the US, and vehicle rents are higher. With a vehicle in Mexico, however, you have a high degree of flexibility and freedom.
All gasoline and diesel in Mexico is sold by the government monopoly Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos). Most cities have Pemex petrol stations, and there are also many petrol stations on the major roads. However, in remote areas, you should refuel at every opportunity.
In Mexico you shouldn’t drive without Mexican liability insurance. If you are involved in an accident you could end up in jail and have your vehicle confiscated until the guilt issue is resolved. If you are responsible for an accident that resulted in injury or death, you may be held until it can be guaranteed that the victims will be compensated and fines paid. This can take weeks or months. Adequate Mexican insurance is the only effective measure: it acts as a guarantee of compensation.
Mexican insurance is also sold in US border cities, but be sure to compare offers first.
The insurance is not valid if the driver has been under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Car rentals in Mexico are relatively expensive by American or European standards. Rental cars are available in larger cities, holiday resorts and at airports. Renters must have a valid national driver’s license, passport and credit card. The minimum age is 21 years, sometimes 25 years. Between the ages of 21 and 24 you may have to pay a high surcharge.
The speed limits are 40 km / h in built-up areas, 80 km / h on country roads and between 100 and 110 km / h on the motorway.
Major rental agencies in Mexico are: Budget, Alamo, Thrifty, Avis, Hertz, Dollar, Europcar and National.
In Mexico City, cars with certain license plates are banned from driving on certain days (“Hoy no Circula”). This also applies to rental cars.
In some tourist regions you can also rent motorbikes and scooters. This usually requires a driver’s license and a credit card.
Bus: Mexico has an excellent bus network, comfortable and inexpensive buses connect all cities. Most cities and towns have a bus station, where all long-distance buses arrive and depart. If there is no single main terminal, the different bus companies run from different train stations, which can be spread all over the place.
There are 1st class, deluxe and 2nd class buses. The luggage is safe in the luggage compartment of the buses, you also receive a receipt. However, keep your documents and valuables (passport, money, etc.) with you.
Raids on the streets are very rare. The risk is higher at night, on remote stretches of road and in second-class buses.
Second class buses can be less safe than first class or deluxe buses due to less maintenance. However, sometimes only second-class buses run in the remote areas.
Microbuses or “micros” are small, mostly relatively new buses with around 25 seats that usually travel short distances between cities and the surrounding area.
Local Buses: Commonly known as camiones, local buses are often the cheapest way to get around cities and to reach nearby towns and villages. They drive frequently and are cheap. In many cities, the noisy camiones have been replaced by small, modern micro-buses.
Buses usually only stop at fixed stops (Paradas), but often enough if you give the bus driver a hand signal on the side of the road.
Metro: The cities of Mexico City, Monterry, and Guadalajara have metro systems. The Mexico City subway, in particular, is fast and cheap. With more than four million passengers a day, it is the third largest underground train in the world.
Taxis are widespread in larger and smaller cities and surprisingly inexpensive. Journeys within the city cost around $ 10M per kilometer, in some cities there is a fixed tariff for journeys within central areas. Some taxis have a meter, but you often have to ask if you want them to be switched on. If there is no taximeter or it does not work, you should negotiate the price with the driver before starting your journey.
Renting a taxi for a day costs about as much as a cheap rental car.
Bicycle:Cycling is not very common in Mexico. The size of the country, possible robberies, poor road surfaces, inconsiderate motorists, mountainous terrain and hot climate are quite daunting. Bike tours are challenging but not impossible. You should be fit, own a very good bike and be able to carry out repairs yourself.