Mexico Country Information
Imagine: here you are standing in a tropical thicket and, to the cries of colorful parrots, you are examining Mayan hieroglyphs on the walls of Palenque temples. Or, merging into one with a surfboard, rowing towards the surf, bringing down powerful turquoise waves on the coast, and bright white beaches stretch behind you. Or scuba dive into an underwater cave surrounded by fish, as if painted in bright gouache. Or dance until dawn and until you drop at the world’s best discos in Acapulco! And in between – try to try at least some of the three hundred local varieties of tequila – and without any foppish limes and salt, but like harsh Mexican peasants – with tomato juice generously seasoned with chili. According to simplyyellowpages.com, Mexico City is the capital city of Mexico.
Geography of Mexico
State with a total area of 1.95 million square meters. km., is located in North America, occupying almost the entire of its central part. Mexico borders the United States to the north and east and Belize and Guatemala to the southeast. In the east it is washed by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, in the west by the Pacific Ocean (here the Gulf of California juts out far into the coast). Mexico owns a number of islands in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean. Most of the country is mountainous and occupied by the ridges of the Mexican Highlands, the Sierra Madre and the Transverse Volcanic Sierra with many active volcanoes (about 350), including the highest point of the country – Orizaba (5700 m.), Popocatepetl – (5452 m.) and others
Climate of Mexico
The climate in the country is subtropical in the north and tropical in the south. In resort coastal areas (Acapulco, Cancun) the temperature is +26 °C in winter and +35 °C in summer. The country distinguishes between dry (November-April) and wet (June-September) seasons, which differ not in temperature, but in the amount of precipitation and especially in the level of air humidity. August – early October is considered the period when hurricanes are possible. In addition, Mexico is characterized by high-altitude temperature drops: while summer heat reigns on the coast, it is very cool in the high-mountain Mayan cities – about 15 ° C. Also, the country is periodically shaken by hurricanes, and the Caribbean coast is more susceptible to their influence.
All beaches are sandy, public, and usually free. In Cancun, in some hotels, an umbrella + sunbed set will cost 7 USD.
Mexico has an extensive network of domestic air travel. Not only major cities are connected by regular traffic: the popular resorts of Cancun and Acapulco receive up to 7 flights a day from Mexico City. Mexican railroads are much less convenient for tourists. There are, however, several tourist trains that run, for example, from Mexico City along the Chihuahua – Los Mochis line in the northwest of the country or from Cancun deep into the Yucatan Peninsula to the Mayan cities, but tickets for them are very expensive. But the country has a well-developed intercity bus service. The buses are quite clean and comfortable, they run on schedule. In addition, in many regions of Mexico, they are almost the only way to get anywhere. There are luxury, first class and regular buses. Each region and direction is under the patronage of its own company. The fare depends on distance, comfort level and speed. Air conditioning, as a rule, are available in all buses. City buses (fare ~1 MXN) run in all major settlements and are a fairly convenient (albeit often crowded) mode of transport. Tickets can be purchased at special kiosks or from the driver. In all tourist areas there are fixed-route taxis – “pesero”. The amount of payment depends on the duration of the trip. In Cancun and Acapulco, public transport is very developed. Buses run along the spit in both directions almost around the clock with an interval of 2-3 minutes. The fare is 0.5 USD, regardless of the distance. There is a public bus between the cities of San José del Cabo and San Lucas, the fare on which costs about 5 USD. A taxi will cost about 2 USD per kilometer. In the cities of Mexico, you can travel by taxi. The fare is about 6 MXN per kilometer during the day and 12 MXN after 22:00. Some taxis do not have meters, so the price should be negotiated in advance.
Rent a Car
To rent a car, you must present a valid international driving license in English and be at least 21 years old. The rental price is from 60 USD per day (insurance included), for long-term rentals (from three weeks), the rent is almost halved. The speed limit varies from 20 km/h in some cities to 110 km/h on high-speed toll roads (cuota). The quality of free roads leaves much to be desired, but most highways and highways are in excellent condition.
Tourist safety in Mexico
No special vaccinations are required to visit Mexico. Reasonable precautions should be taken in the country by eating cooked foods, pasteurized milk, and bottled or boiled water. In crowded places, you should be wary of pickpockets, and to move around the city, use only officially registered taxis (green cars are less reliable). In addition, tourists are advised to travel by car, bus and train only during the day, and avoid provincial areas. It is quite safe in tourist centers and resorts: tourist police work everywhere. Smoking in public places is prohibited: fine from 50 to 150 USD.
The classification of hotels in Mexico is somewhat different from the European one, and the number of “stars” here does not always coincide with the quality of service. However, hotels in the country are of a fairly high level. They offer a variety of food options: from breakfast to “all inclusive”, very spacious rooms, hotels have fairly large areas. The voltage in the electrical network is 110 V, 60 Hz. Sockets with flat connectors are used. There are many Cubans and Puerto Ricans among the staff. A common characteristic Latin American feature: no one is in a hurry. Only in hotels of the 5 * level does the staff speak English more or less clearly.
You can change currency at banks, large hotels, airports or specialized exchange offices “casas de cambio”. A network of ATMs is developed in the resort areas. Banks are open from 9:00 to 13:00 from Monday to Friday, on Saturday – from 10:00 to 13:00. Sunday and national holidays are days off. Tips are usually 10% of the amount on the bill. In a restaurant, it is customary to leave up to 15% to the waiter, and a porter, driver or guide is usually awarded an amount of 1-2 USD.
Shopping and shops in Mexico
Shops are open from 10:00 to 20:00. However, from 13:00 to 16:00, almost everything in the city closes for a siesta. From Mexico you can bring tequila, silver jewelry, ceramics, woven bedspreads, cactus sweets, hammocks of all colors and sizes and, if there is room in your luggage, some more tequila. It is worth paying attention to the crafts of the Indians: embroidery, wood carving, paintings in the spirit of “developed primitivism” and ritual masks. The galleries sell copies and reproductions of paintings by famous Mexican artists, including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Taxco is famous for its original high-quality silver jewelry, wicker baskets and painted wooden animal figurines, San Cristobal de las Casas for handmade woven products and embroidered shirts, Morelia for sweets, Guadalajara for handicrafts of the Huichol Indians, Zacatecas – woven bedspreads and sweets from cacti, Merida – blouses, jewelry, hammocks of all colors and sizes. In large cities, it is worth visiting shopping centers: they sell a lot of clothes of famous brands at quite reasonable prices.