Mexico is a very large vacationer’s paradise that includes many places to take in the sights and many activities to take part in. Mexico’s beaches are among some of the most beautiful in the world as the countries coastlines straddle the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. Mexico’s richness also includes historical cities with an all around tropical landscape designed for relaxation. Though most of the tourist destinations are beach resorts, there are many archeological sites that draw many visitors yearly; along with beautiful jungles and ecological parks. Among the water sport activities available one can go snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, whale watching, and many other interesting activities. With this type of paradise there are bound to be some negative aspects, but it is this way around the globe. So here are some travel tips and guidelines designed to be of use to the travel novice.
1. Crime – A rule of thumb before traveling to any country should be a quick check of the crime rate. Mexico is a major drug transit point between Latin America and the United States; and this role has drastically increased the crime rate in Mexico. Some things to watch out for as a tourist are armed robberies, purse snatching, pick pocketing, taxi robberies, kidnappings, and extortion. It is known that the crime rate is lower in most tourist areas. It is a good idea to not wear flashy clothes, jewelry, expensive shoes, or carry yourself in anyway that would bring you to the attention of thieves and criminals. It is best to give off the impression that you are one of the locals. Also, you should invest in a money belt and remember that there are pickpockets that target crowded places like markets and all types of public transportation. If you must take a taxi, have the people at your hotel call a reputable one for you because it is not wise to go into the street and wave one down. It is known that though the crime rate is high Mexico is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
2. The Water – We all know it has been overstated that when you go to Mexico, you should not drink the water. Stay away from salads and fruits that are not peelable because they were more than likely washed with unpurified water. Beverages with ice in them are a no-no just to be on the safe side. And yes, teeth brushing should also be done with bottled water. Any water that you are planning to drink during your stay should be bottled water.
3. Archeological Sites – Mexico’s rich history has bestowed some archeological gems upon the country and its inhabitants; among some of the cultures that have left their mark are the Maya, Aztec, Toltec, Olmec, and Zapotec. Among these sites is the famed Mayan city of Chichen Itza with its pyramid; though it is 100 miles from Cancun, there are tours available. There is also the Mayan beach front city of Tulum with a picturesque oceanfront view; this site is a 2 hour drive away from Cancun, with tours readily available. Other sites include El Tajin, Ek Balam, Teotihuacan, and many others that are accessible through tours.
4. Beach Resort Towns – The Mexican beach resort has long been the backbone of the tourist industry in this Latin American country. Let’s face it; children love the beach, party goers love the beach party atmosphere, lovers love the late night beach strolls, and everyone has some reason or the other to like the beach. Los Cabos is a beach resort town known for its beaches that are mingled with grand rock formations on the southern tip of the Mexican peninsula; water sports are almost a necessity here. Acapulco is one of Mexico’s most famous beach resort towns; if you are seeking fabulous nightlife, Mexican cuisine at almost any time, and to dance and party the night away, then Acapulco is the place. In Puerto Vallarta one can find white sand beaches mixed with traditional Mexico; one can gaze at the architecture of the colonial style buildings or even watch some bullfighting in this beach resort town. Then we have Cancun the Spring Breaker’s dream; located at on the Caribbean Sea one can find lovely drinks, some of the best beaches and, and party like ambiance. Other nice beach resort towns include Puerto Escondido, Playa Del Carmen, Mazatlan, and too many others to mention.
5. Important Information to Know – If you are having an emergency the number to call is 060 in Mexico City and its surrounding areas, other areas should dial 080 or 066. The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18. It is best to try to agree taxi fares first before embarking on a taxi ride anywhere in Mexico. If you travel off season to Mexico then you will save a lot of money on travel costs.
You are now ready to head to Mexico and have a good time. Please be safe in your travels.