|Mexico City, 20 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)
Daily News Update from Mexico & Latin America
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
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
Guide to Mexico
by Lonely Planet || Map || Home
By Air - Aeroméxico 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.
By Car - Temporary Import Permit
|Getting Around There|
|Places to Stay|
starsanddiamonds.com.mx has certification program with 5 stars as the highest rating
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
Cross Medical emergency 15-20-55
Travelers Health Information for
Mexico & Central America
Frequently updated inclusive list from Publisher Ron
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)
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
Costs And Money in Mexico by travelnow.com
Shopping in Mexico by nationalgeographic.com
Electricity: 110V, 60 Hz same as USA
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.
Banks are open 9 AM1:30 PM MondayFriday, although some banks are now expanding hours. Stores often open between 9 AM8 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)
Population: 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.
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.
Satelite Photo of the Hemisphere
Be your own weather predictor.
Weather and Climate of Mexico by nationalgeographic.com
|Media & News|
City News || Novedades.com.mx/Frontpage
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
Diario.com.mx :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
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 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 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 nationalgeographic.com
|Lots of Links: Mexico|
Travel and Tourism: