Spicy like salsa roja (“red sauce”), intoxicating like tequila, moody like the volcanoes of the Sierras, surreal like a painting by Frida Kahlo, monumental like the pyramids of Teotihuacán and warm-hearted like its people – this is Mexico, a country that Mind fascinates and is good for the soul. There really is something for everyone in Mexico. Nature lovers will appreciate the whales, monarch butterflies, coral reefs off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula and the world’s thickest tree in Tule, Oaxaca. Party fans flock to Cancún’s nightclubs. For amateur archaeologists, there are hundreds of exhibits from historical civilizations to explore. Foodies will be amazed by the versatility and sensuality of Mexican cuisine – where else would you cook chocolate and chili in the same pot (mole) – and art lovers will be delighted by the countless murals. Don’t forget the wonderfully colorful woven textiles, the silver jewelry and fantastic animal figures that you can buy at markets, and for beach-goers the 10,000 km long coast, including a hammock. The extremely well-developed and inexpensive network of public transport is particularly advantageous, especially the regional and national bus service, with which a journey through the huge country is possible comfortably and relatively quickly. There is also a variety of hotels and bed and breakfasts to suit all budgets. See other countries in North America on ehistorylib.
Arriving by plane
Lufthansa (LH) flies from Frankfurt/M. and Munich non-stop to Mexico City. Condor (DE) connects Frankfurt/M. and Munich non-stop with Cancun. Edelweiss Air (WK) flies non-stop from Zurich to Cancun. Eurowings Discover (4Y) flies direct from Munich to Cancun. KLM (KL) offers flight connections between Zurich and Mexico City via Amsterdam; Air France (AF) flies via Paris. Austrian (OS) offers flight connections from Vienna to Mexico City in cooperation with Lufthansa (LH) via Munich and with Air France (AF) via Paris. Austrian (OS) also flies to Cancun via Zurich in cooperation with Edelweiss Air (WK).
Frankfurt/M. – Mexico City: 11 hrs 55 mins (non-stop); Zurich – Mexico City: 14 hrs 5 mins; Vienna – Mexico City: 14 hrs 30 mins; Frankfurt/M. – Cancun: 11 hrs 30 mins (non-stop); Zurich – Cancun: 11 hrs 15 mins (non-stop); Vienna – Cancun: 13 hrs 35 mins
€16-26 (US$18-29); Children under the age of 2 and transit travelers are exempt. The tax is often already included in the ticket price.
Arrival by car
The main border crossing points in border traffic with the USA are Mexicali when arriving from California; Nogales and El Paso/Ciudad Juárez of Arizona and New Mexico; Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras, Laredo/Nuevo Laredo and Brownsville/Matamoros from Texas. From Guatemala there are two main routes to Mexico. The Panamericana runs through Mexico to Central and South America. Another road crosses the border into Belize at Chetumal and Corozal. Long-Distance Buses: Greyhound offers cross-border bus service between the United States and Mexico, connecting numerous cities. Tolls: There are tolls in Mexico for some bridges and for roads that are marked with a “D” after the road number. The toll is usually paid in cash; sometimes payment by credit card is also possible. In Mexico City, the electronic Televia card is also valid on toll roads. Documents: The international driver’s license is recommended in addition to the national driver’s license.
Arrival by train
There is no cross-border rail traffic between Mexico and neighboring countries. From San Diego, California, the San Diego Trolley travels to the Mexican border near Tijuana, and from the train station in El Paso, Texas, the Mexican border town of Juarez is an easy walk.
Arrival by ship
The largest Mexican ports are Acapulco, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, Tampico and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa. Acapulco in particular is served by numerous cruise ships.
Cunard, Transocean and Hapag Lloyd start cruises in Hamburg or Bremerhaven and dock in Acapulco, among other places. MSC offers cruises from Miami with stopovers in Mexico, including connecting flights from Germany. Costa, Regent Seven Seas, P&O Cruises, which depart from other European ports, also have Mexico on their program.
Waterjet International water taxis connect Chetumal, Mexico with San Pedro and Caye Caulker, Belize.
Traveling by plane
Mexico has an extensive domestic flight network, which is extensively served by various airlines. Aeromar (VW) and Volaris (Y4) fly to the larger cities in the country.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network covers around 360,000 km. The road network around Mexico City and Guadalajara is quite dense; in the north of the country and towards the Yucatan in the south it becomes progressively thinner. Toll: Some bridges and roads whose street number is additionally marked with a “D” are subject to tolls. The toll is usually paid in cash; sometimes credit cards are also accepted. In Mexico City, the electronic Televia card is also valid on toll roads. Petrol stations: There are enough petrol stations on motorways and trunk roads. In more remote areas, it is advisable to also use the gas stations that are available.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
About a third of the entire road network is paved. Between larger cities, the roads are well constructed and maintained. The roads in rural areas are sometimes rather difficult to drive on; especially between June and September, during the rainy season, trips are often only possible with off-road vehicles.
Multi-lane motorways connect the larger cities. In sparsely populated areas, there are often two-lane country roads.
Rental cars are available at airports, in major cities and in holiday resorts. Almost all major car rental companies are represented. In terms of price, it is cheaper to pre-order a rental car in your home country. One-way rentals are not recommended due to very high repatriation fees. Drivers must be at least 21 years old (depending on vehicle category and rental company) and have held their driving license for at least 1 year.
In the big cities, taxis are readily available. It is advisable to call a taxi from the hotel or restaurant or to get on at a taxi rank. Caution is advised when hailing a taxi on the street, especially in Mexico City. Authorized Sitio taxis are identified by an »S« on the license plate. Other taxis should be avoided for safety reasons. In general, it is advisable to agree on the fare in advance. Current prices can be requested from the hotel.
There are numerous bicycle and scooter rental companies in the cities; guided tours are also offered.
Mexico has an excellent and inexpensive long-distance bus network. Deluxe and 1st class buses are very comfortable and rarely stop. 2nd class buses are less comfortable and take more time to reach the destination due to many stops. More remote areas are served by minibuses (Microbus) or shared taxis (Colectivo or Pesero), which usually wait until all seats are taken before setting off. You can also be stopped on the road by hand signals.
Traffic regulations: – Alcohol limit 0.8 ‰. – For motorcycles, mopeds and three-wheeled vehicles, headlights are compulsory all day. – Helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists. – 2 warning triangles must be carried. – Child safety is not uniformly regulated in the country: In most regions, children generally have to be transported in the back seat. In Monterrey and Yucatán, a child restraint system is mandatory for children up to the age of 5 and weighing less than 10 kg. – In Mexico City there are driving bans once a week between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. due to the danger of smog; the ban depends on the license plate number. More information should be obtained from the car rental companies, because non-compliance with the driving ban can result in high penalties. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 40 km/h; – on rural roads: 80 km/h; – on the motorway: 100 km/h.
Breakdown services and first-aid facilities are available at the motorway service areas. As a service of the Ministry of Tourism, the organization Angeles Verdes (Green Angels) offers a free breakdown service on the expressways, Tel. 078. The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and owners of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money to medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; for vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, for illnesses: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. ADAC partner clubs in Mexico are the Asociación Mexicana Automovilística (AMA), Tel.
The international driver’s license is recommended in addition to the national driver’s license.
Traveling in the city
Mexico City has a good and inexpensive subway system. The underground trains run daily between 5 a.m. and midnight; in normal traffic every 10-15 minutes, at peak times every 2 to 3 minutes. A tram network and an extensive bus network complement the local transport system. In addition to the metro, Guadalajara also has public bus lines, trolleybuses and numerous private bus companies. Monterrey also has a metro. Buses and trams serve as means of transport in all major cities.
Locally on the way by train
Few passenger trains operate in Mexico; new routes including between Mexico City and Toluca are planned. A spectacular route is that of the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway “El Chepe”. The Chepe travels from Chihuahua to Los Mochis through the famous Copper Canyon. On weekends, the Tequila Express connects Guadalajara with Tequila.
Traveling by ship
Baja Ferries operate several times a week on the routes La Paz (Baja California) – Mazatlán (journey time: 13 hours) and La Paz – Topolobambo (journey time: 7 hours). Ultramar operates daily the routes Cozumel – Playa del Carmen every hour, Isla Mujeres – Juárez every 30 minutes (journey time: from 1 hour each).