Navigate Veracruz

mexicof3.gif (8106 bytes)Mexico City20 million strong and growing, is the largest City in the Americas. It is built upon the ruins of the most glorious City of the pre-Columbian Americas by the Aztecs who were the last of many ambitious civilizations who rose to power and glory beginning around 1200 BC with the Olmecs of Veracruz. At the beginning of another age, about 500 years ago, our featured Carnaval City Veracruz was again the cradle of the Mexico today when Hernán Cortés landed on the coast near modern-day Veracruz on Good Friday 21 April 1519 with 11 ships, 550 men and 16 horses. The  determined man of destiny  ordered his ships burned. (history continued)

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Planning at Trip
Mexico by > Planning a Trip >    
Tips for Travelers with Special Needs
 For Families Highly recommended
For Students
no formal network of student discounts
For Gay & Lesbian
Public same-sex affection is rare
one giant obstacle
For Seniors
popular country for retirees, paperwork important
For Women Alone safer traveling in Mexico than USA
Mexico Travel Site: Everything you need to know for an enjoyable vacation in Mexico.
Annual Events
Passport/Visa Customs/Documents

 Traveling in Mexico requires proof of citizenship, which is easiest to provide by carrying a valid passport. If you do not have a passport, never fear. It is also possible to get a tourist visa (tarjeta de turista) with certified copy of your birth certificate (embossed seal do impress)  and a photo ID at border crossings. The cost of a tourist visa is about $20 USD, and is included in the cost of your international plane or cruise ship ticket . Visas are typically valid for 180 days
Most people officially need a passport to pick up their tourist card, but for US and Canadian citizens all that's required is proof of citizenship (an original birth certificate or notarized copy, for instance, or naturalization papers), along with some form of photo ID (such as a driver's license).
Don't lose the blue copy of your tourist card, which is given back to you after immigration inspection. You are legally required to carry it at all times, and if you have to show your papers, it's more important than your passport. Get extra visas if you'll be leaving and returning to Mexico during your trip.
Planning your Flight & air travel rules by When taking chances on an expired ID your biggest concern is the airlines will not accept it. The Mexican rules do not say the ID must be  current but that may not matter to your air carrier.

Visas And Red Tape by roughguides for travelnow

Restrictions of entering USA from Mexico
State Department Travel Information Sheet on Mexico
US Consulates:
Embassies and consular agents should be contacted for such emergencies as police arrest, lost passports or tourist cards, medical difficulties or accidents, or if you find that your car is unable to make the requisite return trip out of Mexico.
 for Consular Information sheets and warnings
Tips for Travelers to Mexico.

Visa and Travel Advisories for Mexico by

Guides to Mexico

Mexico's Tourism Promotion Board / Ministry of Tourism of Mexico

Select City:

 [F] OFFICIAL State Tourism Offices in Mexico
Mexican Government Tourist Board -- main office in Mexico City (tel. 555/203-1103).
Mexico Hot Line (tel. 800/44-MEXICOChicago (tel. 312/606-9252); Houston (tel. 713/772-2581, ext. 105, or 713/772-3819); Los Angeles (tel. 213/351-2069; fax 213/351-2074); Miami (tel. 305/718-4095); and New York (tel. 212/308-2110). The Mexican Embassy is at 1911 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20005 (tel. 202/728-1750).

Canada: 1 Place Ville-Marie, Suite 1931, Montreal, QUE, H3B 2C3 (tel. 514/871-1052); 2 Bloor St. W., Suite 1502, Toronto, ON, M4W 3E2 (tel. 416/925-0704); 999 W. Hastings, Suite 1110, Vancouver, BC, V6C 2W2 (tel. 604/669-2845). Embassy office: 1500-45 O'Connor St., Ottawa, ON, K1P 1A4 (tel. 613/233-8988; fax 613/235-9123).

Guide to Mexico by Lonely Planet || Map || Home
Excellent short history and good overview of the highspots. Lonely Planet sells 4 guidebooks to Mexico.
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Mexico travel tips
by || Interest Index || Mexico City || Espanol Immigration, Customs, Taxes, Tips, Banking Services, Driving, Safety and Health. Huge very capable and worthwhile site.

tourbymexico.jpg (1103 bytes)by

Getting There

By AirAeroméxico and Mexicana are the largest Mexican airlines but there are many airlines offering special pricing. The web is empowering air travelers like never before to enable them to get the best deal with the least hassle. Visit our frequently updated web- guide to this fast growing area.

 [F] Airports in Mexico

 [F] BUS Companies in Mexico Mexico has one of the best bus transit systems in the world. nearly every location is served by a bus. Some Spanish will be required

By Car - Temporary Import Permit Required
As a NAFTA border country, one hopes the long standing hassle of this process would ease.  All foreign registered car requires a Temporary Import permit. You can do this at the border but you need to have prepared in advance if your car has a lien on it..   Process takes a couple of hours and requires proof of ownership (notarized permit to take car to Mexico from lien-holder, if any), a bond issued to the Mexican Government for the market value of the car or a valid credit card imprint charged with a processing fee approximately valued at  US $12. It is good are good for six months.
... Driving at night is not recommended (potholes, livestock, and the lack of lighting are the chief hazards)... Also be cautious of roadside bandits who may attempt to get you to stop only to rob you... English speaking Angeles Verdes (Green Angels 91-800-90392),  assist tourists on the highways for free except for gas and  spare parts... Unleaded gas is found throughout Mexico at all gas stations... Gas up when reaching one-quarter level in remote locations.

Last Minute Deals
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Getting Around There
Rough Guides Getting Around in association with TravelNow
· Buses camiones rule! (Mexican word for the long distance buses to serve virutally every town in the nation) First-class vehicles have numbered, reserved seats, videos and air conditioning
· Trains Only recommended for from the border to Mexico City (where sleeper services represent great value), Mexico City to Oaxaca, and the amazing Copper Canyon Railway.
· Flights Aeroméxico and Mexicana, which between them connect most places to Mexico City, usually several times a day. Aviacsa serves the Yucatán, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guadalajara, Acapulco, Cancún, Tijuana and Monterrey. Aerolineas Internacionales and Aero California also cover most major destinations while Aeromar operates mainly in the north
· Ferries Baja California with a trio of ports on the Pacific mainland: Santa Rosalía to Guaymas, and La Paz to Mazatlán and Topolobampo (for Los Mochis). For detailed information on fares and schedules see
· Driving Recommends not taking your own car but renting for short periods. Mostly due to the targeting of tourists for shakedowns by underpaid traffic police. Drivers from the US, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand will find that their licences are valid. Other reasons to avoid the hassle: Speed bumps can be huge, gas by government monopoly Pemex expensive & Theft of your vehicle is a  significant concern.
· Hitching Not recommended particularly solo. If you do keep your baggage to hand in case you need to leave in a hurry (feigned carsickness is one way to get a driver to stop). Particularly avoid areas frequented by bandidos
· Local Transportation always plentiful and inexpensive,
· Banditry: A Warning Roads where there have been regular reports of problems, and where you should certainly try to avoid driving at night, include Hwy-15 (Los Mochis-Mazatlán) and express Hwy-1 in Sinaloa, Hwy-5 (Mexico City-Acapulco) in Guerrero, Hwy-75 (Oaxaca-Tuxtepec), Hwy-57 (San Luis Potosí-Matahuela), and near the border, in particular on Hwy-2 (Mexicali-Agua Prieta) and Hwy-40 (Matamoros-Monterrey).

Places to Stay

tripadvisor has links to a growing number of places to stay in hundreds of Mexican Cities and over a third have ratings by real people
 [F] 120 Mexican Cities with on-line booking has certification program with 5 stars as the highest rating

Health & Safety

Although Mexico is considered a third world country, its general concern about sanitation and cleanliness have improved enormously in the past decade. As is the case in most tropical countries, consider what your system is used to before you eat it.
Purified water is always available during trip. Montezuma's revenge or turista is best avoided by not drinking the water including ice cubes (which are not always made with "agua purificada") but there is no sure way to avoid the unfamiliar bacteria.
Mexico has a relatively low crime rate but take precautions against theft.

Nationally: Red Cross Medical emergency  15-20-55
Police emergency is 18-39-54; Fire department  14-2

 Travelers’ Health Information for Mexico & Central America
by .
Cholera, dengue fever, hepatitis, malaria, polio, rabies, tetanus, typhoid. Air pollution in Mexico City  between December and May.

State Department offers medical information for Americans traveling abroad and a list of air ambulance services

 Health and Vaccinations for Mexico by

Talk About It
Mexico State Tourism Offices by
Travelers Message Service
"Before you leave home, give your family and friends the URL of
this board.... ...then if you need to get in touch with each other, just post messages on this board."

red_star.gif (2190 bytes)Frequently updated inclusive list from Publisher Ron Mader, 
Mexican Association of Adventure Travel and Ecotourism (AMTAVE) Phone: (25) 661-9121 Fax: (25) 662-7354
Cancun Tours Operators
by 4000 pages of Mexico maps


Mexico Map

Won't fit on your screen or print.
Mexico Map by Expedia

Since 1998 when we began check the exchange rate for the U.S. dollar, and the one used in this book, is around 10 pesos; at that rate, an item that costs 10 pesos would be equivalent to US$1. However the peso is very unstable so you cannot count on this being the rate. Check before you go
Best Exchange Rates:  Automated teller machines (ATMs) and credit cards continue to offers the best exchange rates. Traveler's checks experiencing declining relative exchange rate and reduced acceptance. U.S. cash is accepted by many merchants at exchange rates that vary widely. Banks usually give the best exchange rate.  Credit cards are widely accepted in most cities and resort areas at exchange rate determined by your bank. ATMS
( Cirrus and PLUS systems) are widely available and allow you to not carry too much cash.
Tipping: Luxury resort areas are equivalent to US levels- 15% and 20%. Elsewhere 10% is acceptable. $1 per day for your hotel maid or $1 per bag for the porter. Taxi drivers don't expect tips but be sure to negotiate the price in advance.
A tip of U.S. coins, which cannot be exchanged into Mexican currency, is of no value to the service provider. Support your Tour guides (including this one)

VAT: Mexico has a value-added tax of 15% (Impuesto de Valor Agregado, or IVA; pronounced "ee-bah") on most everything, including restaurant meals, bus tickets, and souvenirs. (Exceptions are Cancún, Cozumel, and Los Cabos, where the IVA is 10%; as ports of entry, they receive a break on taxes.) Hotels charge the usual 15% IVA, plus a locally administered bed tax of 2% (in most areas), for a total of 17%. You quoted hotel rate may not have included this fee
YOUR CREDIT CARD BANK: There is significant credit card fraud and your bank may not honor your charge unless you have told them in advance of your plans. Also they are more likely to cut you off following significant activity so take a back-up card. Many cards add a surcharge onto foreign transactions particularly Airline cards and American Express. It is ieasy to avoid this chage of 1 to 4% by checking in advance since it is simply a gouge as there is actually no extra cost to the bank card provider
more on currency Conversion at

Costs And Money in Mexico by
Mexico is not as cheap as it once was

Shopping in Mexico by

800/424-7787 or
 800/843-7587 or

Electricity: 110V, 60 Hz same as USA
Weights & measures: metric (see the conversion table.)

Mexico international access code is 52. Select city codes:  Mexico City is 05, Vera Cruz Area Code 28, Cabo San Lucas 0684,  Cancún 0988,  Cozumel 0987,  Puerto Vallarta 0322. Omit the 0 when calling from abroad.
Long-distance calls are expensive, it is best to arrange to have a calling card access number in advance. You can also place reversed-charge calls by reaching an international operator, dial 09.
Business Hours:
Banks are open 9 AM–1:30 PM Monday–Friday, although some banks are now expanding hours. Stores often open between 9 AM–8 PM, but can close for siesta in midday.
Banks and most businesses close on New Year's Day (1 January), Constitution Day (5 February), Birthday of Benito Juaréz (21 March), Good Friday through Easter Monday (four days in March or April; date varies), Labor Day (1 May), Anniversary of Battle of Puebla (5 May), Independence Day (16 September), Columbus Day (12 October), All Saints' Day (1 November), All Souls' Day (2 November), Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution of 1910 (20 November), and Christmas Day (25 December).
Area: 1,972,000 sq. km (769,080 sq. mi) Capital city: Mexico City (pop 20 million)
97,967,000 in 1995 (growth rate 2%);Literacy rate   88%.
People: Approximately 70% mestizo (mixed European and Indian descent) 9% European and 20% indígena (Native Americans or Indians - including Nahua, Maya, Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Totonacs, and Tarascos or Purépecha) 8% of the population speak Indian languages. Also includes Arabic 400,000, Chinese 31,000 Language:
Language: Language: Spanish Religion: 90% Roman Catholic, 6% Protestant
GDP: US$370 billion GDP per head: US$4000.

Travel Seasons--Mexico has two principal travel seasons. High season begins around December 20 and continues to Easter; in some places it begins as early as mid-November. Low season is from the day after Easter to mid-December; during low season, prices may drop 20% to 50%. In beach destinations popular with Mexican travelers, such as Veracruz and Acapulco, prices will revert to high season during July and August, the traditional national summer vacation period. Prices inland  fluctuate little from high to low season, but may rise dramatically during the weeks of Easter and Christmas and at Carnaval time at the port Cities of Veracruz and Mazatlan.

 [F] English <-> Espanol <-> Portuguese

travlangworld.gif (5357 bytes)
One of the web's great travel resources with spoken words for 65 languages. Time to brush up on your travel Espanol?

Mexico is often considered tropical but  is rather temperate or  spring like year-round. Dry winter (November through April) and rainy (May through October) season, although the rain is usual tolerable for travelers. In short, anytime of year is going to be relatively nice for travel.

Find the Weather for any City, State or ZIP Code, or Airport Code or Country by Wunderground

Satelite Photo of the Hemisphere
Be your own weather predictor.

Weather and Climate of Mexico by

Jan Mar May July Sept Nov
Acapulco °F) 88 72 88 72 90 77 91 77 90 77 90 75
Rainfall (inch) .5 .2 0 8 11 .6
Guadalajara (°F) 73 45 82 48 88 57 79 59 79 59 77 50
Rainfall (inch) .5 .3 1 7 7 .5
La Paz (°F) 73 55 79 55 91 63 97 73 95 73 84 63
Rainfall (inch) .3 0 0 1 1 .5
Mérida (°F) 82 64 90 68 93 70 91 73 90 73 84 66
Rainfall (inch) 1 .5 3 5 7 1
Mexico City (°F) 72 43 81 50 81 55 75 55 73 55 73 48
Rainfall (inch) .5 .5 3 6 5 .5
Monterrey (°F) 68 48 79 55 88 68 93 72 93 72 73 54
Rainfall (inch) 1 1 2 3 4 1
Oaxaca (°F) 82 46 90 54 90 59 82 59 81 59 82 50
Rainfall (inch) 2 1 5 8 11 2
San Cristóbal (°F) 68 41 72 45 72 48 72 50 70 50 68 45
Rainfall (inch) 2 2 7 7 14 3
Tijuana (°F) 68 43 70 46 73 54 81 61 81 61 73 50
Rainfall (inch) 2 1 .2 0 .5 1
Veracruz (°F) 77 64 79 70 86 77 88 75 88 77 82 70
Rainfall (inch) 1 1 4 9 12 2

Media & News
red_star.gif (2190 bytes)Mexico City News ||
Daily newspaper; oldest English-language paper in Mexico
Mexico's oldest daily  has an English section
MediaINFO Link - Latin America
Another wonderfully comprehensive directory by Ron Mader eco-journalist.
Internet del Diario de Yucatán based in Merida
La Jornada en Internet:Espanol Only
:Espanol Only
Today's Top Mexico & Latin American Headlines
Business wear is formal. Mexicans attach much importance to courtesy and the use of titles. Prior appointments are necessary and if in doubt about a correct title it is advisable to use licenciado in place of señor. English is widely spoken in business circles although it is a big plus to be able to speak Spanish. ||
American Chamber of Commerce - Mexico Phone: (011-52)(5) 724-3830 ||
Subscriptions are $45 in the United States and Mexico  || 
Latin American Trade Organization of Oregon. 
"The Mexican Government continues to enact reforms, including the privatization of many economic areas, making the Mexican economy one of the most open economies world-wide."

The Spaniards were well received in the Veracruz coastal  towns by the Toltecs who resented oppressive Aztec domination and were willing to march with Cortes against the great Aztec capital built on a lake.   Moctezuma II, the Aztec god king had been expecting a momentous occasion for his priests had long predicted the phoenix like god Quetzalcóatl's to return from the east in the year of 1519.   Cortés wasted little time reducing the City to ashes taking his eager host Moctezuma hostage immediately after being invited to the palace.  The war of conquest would last another 28 months but the destuction and supression of the Aztec and Mayan cililizations would continue for centuries. However, the greatest decimation would soon come to pass  with epidemics which reduced the population from 25 miullion to one million by 1605.
The Spanish were conquistadores who left their women at home and went off on a quest for glory, gold and God. Consequently they often took native wives.  Spanish-born who expected to be treated like nobility and the natives of New Spain who built the country contolled the country amidst growing resentment between themselves. The natives also separated themselves as criollos (born of Spanish parents in New Spain), metzitos (mixed Eoropean, African and Indian blood) and Indians or Africans.  In 1808  the Frenchman Napoleon Bonaparte occupied most of Spain weakening Spanish control and allowing the rivalry between New Spain groups to intensify.  On 16 September 1810 Miguel Hidalgo a Criollo parish priest issued his now-famous call to rebellion, the Grito de Dolores. In 1821 Spain agreed to Mexican independence however the new governments were ineffective and unstable.
In 1845, the US congress voted to annex Texas and the Mexican-American War followed. Under the resulting Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), Mexico ceded modern Texas, California, Utah, Colorado and most of New Mexico and Arizona to the USA. In 1864 Napoleon's nephew, the foolishly arrogarnt  Napoleon III attempted to colonize Mexico, but the reign of his ruler, the Austrian archduke Maximilian of Hapsburg   was shortlived ending with his hanging.
The Party of the Institutionalized Revolution (the PRI) took power in 1934 following the 10 year Mexican Revolution which claimed the lives of nearly 1 out 8 citizens. The PRI has dominated the history of  Mexico for most of the 20th century but their control is eroding fast. In 1988, Carlos Salinas de Gortari was elected to the single 6 year term as president despite the widely accepted belief that the current Mayor Cardenas of Mexico City won the election.  Salinas was very successful in bringing  about economic reform and is the person most responsible for  the signing of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement  on 1 January 1994.
The prior President, Ernesto Zedillo was 43 when he was elected following the assassination of  Salinas' chosen successor. Zedillo has been a genuine reformer allowing  opposition parties  to win many key elections. His term has been beset be economic crisis as well as a revolution  in the southern state of Chiapas by the Zapatistas who demand social justice for Mexico's oppressed Indians.

The current President Vicente Fox seeks to completely redefine the relationship of Mexico and its powerful Northern neighbors by opening the borders as wide as possible and convincing his country men to think bigger. A talented and determined historic figure, Fox will have till 2006 to remake a difficult and corrupt bureaucracy staffed by enemies of reform.  

Olmecs & Mother Africa olmecs are mainly known  for f the striking stone figures left behind by the mother culture of Meso America which preceded the Mayans and Aztecs. Olmec civilization was in ascendance between 1300 and 600 B.C. Their greatest architectural treasure has be found at La Venta in the state of Tabasco

History of Mexico by

Lots of Links: Mexico
dmoz Mexico: Travel and Tourism:

Volunteer run DMOZ  can be your best way to get a site indexed by google and other
search engines

Travel and Tourism
Mexican States: Links indicated as of Jan-2004 Note only Baja, Quintana Roo and
Jalisco have more than 400.
  1. Aguascalientes  (7)
  2. Baja California  (370)
  3. Baja California Sur  (698)
  4. Campeche  (10)
  5. Chiapas  (49)
  6. Chihuahua  (36)
  7. Coahuila  (22)
  8. Colima  (59)
  9. Durango  (4)
  10. Federal District  (64)
  1. Guanajuato  (154)
  2. Guerrero  (329)
  3. Hidalgo  (2)
  4. Jalisco  (405)
  5. Mexico State  (13)
  6. Michoacan  (21)
  7. Morelos  (20)
  8. Nayarit  (110)
  9. Nuevo Leon  (79)
  10. Oaxaca  (166)
  11. Puebla  (7)
  1. Queretaro  (13)
  2. Quintana Roo  (709)
  3. San Luis Potosi  (19)
  4. Sinaloa  (76)
  5. Sonora  (83)
  6. Tabasco  (1)
  7. Tamaulipas  (64)
  8. Tlaxcala  (2)
  9. Veracruz  see out special section
  10. Yucatan  (69)
  11. Zacatecas  (7)
Northern Veracruz Costa Esmeralda ||CASTILLO DE TEAYO || CAZONES || Cerro Azul || COATZINTLA || Gutiérrez Zamora || Martínez || Nautla || Pánuco || Papantla || El TAJÍN || Poza Rica || Tampico || Tecolutla || Tlapacoyan || Tuxpan
Xalapa >>Mexico City
Central  Antigua|| Cempoala || Chachalacas|| Coatepec || Jalcomulco || Naolinco || Quiahuiztlán || Xico
Orizaba- Great Mountains Cordoba || Fortin de las Flores  || Huatusco || Orizaba >>Puebla || Tlaxcala
Los Tuxtlas Catemaco || Santiago Tuxtlas || San Andres Tuxtlas || Sontecomapan >> Chiapas
Papaloapan Plain Alvarado || Cosamaloapan || Otatilán || Tlacotalpan >> Oaxaca
Southern Veracruz Coatzacoalcos || Minatitlán || San Juan Evengelista || San Lorenzo-Tenochtitlan ||Villahermosa

Yucatan Peninsula  

Cancún || MERIDA || Cozumel || Isla Mujeres || Playa del Carmen

Where to Go in Mexico by

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Last link check Mar-7-06
Last updated Oct-04



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