1 medium sized suitcase & 1 overnight carry on bag (for the expert travelers see if you can come with no checked bags!). An additional camera gear backpack/bag is also OK.
Soft-sided luggage or duffels are preferable to hard luggage for storage in our vehicles. Large suitcases of dimensions greater than 27” should not be used.
** Camera gear bags that are as large as anything which can pass as carry on during flight are OK to bring in addition to your other carry on size bag.
Please note, the list serves as a guideline and much depends on your personal needs. Here are some general suggestions:
• AT LEAST 2 BACKUP PHOTOCOPIES OF YOUR PASSPORT
• daypack/small backpack
• rain protection gear (poncho is fine but good rain jacket with hood preferred)
• wide brimmed hat/baseball cap
• sandals/flip flops
• Shorts, t-shirts (quick dry clothes highly recommended)
• Pair of long pants
• Layered clothing
• Comfortable running or hiking sneakers
• Collapsible Hiking poles
• Bathing suit (s)
• Light jacket or sweatshirt
• Camera (body & lenses), Tripod, extra memory cards/sticks, extra batteries or recharging gear
• Cash (small denominations are best like $1 (for tipping), then large bills (50 & 100 USD
bills for exchanging money into local currency)
• Money Belt
Toiletries & Other Essentials
• Sunglasses, prescription glasses and a spare pair
• ear plugs (especially if sharing a room)
• Suntan lotion
• Water Bottle/ bladders
• Insect Repellent
• After bite
• Anti-bacterial hand lotion
• Dramamine/bonine if you get travel sickness
• Toilet Paper
• SheWee (For women) (http://www.backpacker.com/skills/the-complete-guide-to-femaleurination-devices/)
• First aid kit including:
o Tiger balm (for headaches)
o Prescription medicines
o Mosquito repellent
o Antibiotic cream
o Ace bandage
o Pain reliever
o Lip balm
Entry/Exit & Visa Requirements
Nationals of the European Union, USA and Canada do not require a visa to enter Mexico and can stay as visitors for up to 180 days. Passport should have a validity of more than six months from the date of entry. Upon arrival tourists have to fill out a tourist card (FMT) that has to be presented again when departing Mexico.
In winter, from November to February, the temperatures are high, in fact the daytime temperatures hover around 28/30 °C (82/86 °F), while night temperatures are cool, around 17-20°C (62-68°F), but usually warmer in coastal areas where we will be. Weather fronts from the United States pass quite frequently, able to bring a bit of rain, and followed by a cool wind, el norte, which can lower the temperature to around 20/22 °C (68/72 °F) during the day.
The local currency is the Peso. In some parts of Mexico US dollars are accepted as well (e.g. Cancun area where we will be). Dollars can be exchanged to Pesos at most hotels but money changers and banks may have better rates. Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard) are widely accepted. A service charge is sometimes added when paying with credit cards. ATMs are widely available and most are connected to the Cirrus and Maestro network allowing you to withdraw money with US debit card and PIN.
Current Market Exchange Rate: 1 US Dollar = 20 Mexican Pesos
In general, it is crucial to be mindful when eating salads (no raw vegetables), fruits, seafood, street stalls, and especially consuming drinks with ice. Water should only be from bottles and you should not have any drinks with ice unless our tour director gives the OK. *Many of the hotels do have filtered ice which is safe to drink, unlike a few years ago.
IMPORTANT: We are not doctors and do not have the authority to give medical advice, including vaccine recommendations. Please consult your doctor and the website below and do as you see fit.
No vaccination proof is “mandatory” in order to get through customs however for your own personal safety you will want to get Hep A, Hep B, & Typhoid vaccines. Please consult your physician for more information and recommendations.
Please see the government recommendations here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/mexico
The area of Mexico we are traveling throughout is, in general, a safe destination (one of the safest in the whole country), but there are areas that should be avoided and sometimes pickpocketing can still occur. Hold to a few basic rules, and you should not have any problems.
• Leave your passport, airline tickets and other valuables in the hotel safe whenever possible
• Take a copy of your passport with you and only a days worth of cash at a time.
• Wear your backpack on the chest and keep shoulder bags close to the body
• Be modest in your appearance. Do not display valuable jewelry, etc.
• Avoid crowds in public spaces when possible.
• Take special care and be aware of your surroundings after withdrawing cash from ATMs
Spanish for Beginners
Good Morning Buenos dias
Good Day Buenas tardes
Good Evening Buenas noches
How are you? ¿Qué tal?
Fine thanks. Bien, gracias.
Excuse me Perdón
Sorry Lo siento
Please Por favor
Thank you Gracias
My name is … Me llamo …
Where is the toilet? ¿Dónde está el baño?
The check please! ¡La cuenta, por favor!
How much is …? ¿Cuánto cuesta …?
I’d like to have … Quisiera … , por favor.
Do you speak English? Perdón, ¿habla inglés?
I don’t understand Yo no entiendo