The following goods may be imported into Mexico by persons
over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
a)400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of pipe tobacco.
b)3 liters of wine or spirits; a reasonable amount of perfume
or eau de toilette.
c)Total of 2 photo, movie or video cameras for non-residents
and up to 12 unexposed rolls of film or video cassettes for
d)Goods up to the value of US$300 or equivalent.
Any uncanned food, pork or pork products, plants, fruits,
vegetables and their products. Canned food is permitted, provided
it is not pork or pork products. Firearms and ammunition need
an import permit. Archaeological relics may not be exported.
Handshaking is the most common form of greeting. Casual sportswear
is acceptable for daytime dress throughout the country. At
beach resorts, dress is very informal for men and women and
nowhere are men expected to wear ties. In Mexico City, however,
dress tends to be smart in elegant restaurants and hotel dining
rooms. Smoking is unrestricted except where notified.
Mexicans regard relationships and friendships as the most
important thing in life next to religion and they are not
afraid to show their emotions. Visitors should always remember
that local customs and traditions are important
Service charges are rarely added to hotel, restaurant or bar
bills and many of the staff depend on tips for their livelihood.
15% is expected and 20% if the service has been very good.
Airport porterage is charged at the equivalent of US$1 per
Health insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are very
good and there are both private and state-organised hospitals,
doctors, clinics and chemists. Medicines are often available
without prescriptions and pharmacists are permitted to diagnose
and treat minor ailments. The levels of pollution in Mexico
City are extremely high and are considered a health threat,
so caution should be taken.
Mexico's national airlines are Aeromιxico (AM) and Mexicana
(MX). British Airways operates three direct flights each week
from Heathrow to Mexico City.
The major cruise ports in Mexico are Cozumel, Acapulco, Tampico,
Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlαn.
Regular passenger ships run from the USA, South America and
Australia. Principal shipping lines are Polish Ocean Lines,
P&O and Fred Olsen Lines.
Railway connections with Mexico can be made from any city
in the USA or Canada. All trains are provided with pullman
sleepers, restaurant cars, lounge observation and club cars.
Most trains are air-conditioned.
Main points of entry from the USA are Mexicali from San Diego;
Nogales from Phoenix/Tucson; El Paso/Ciudad Juarez from Tucson
There is an excellent network of daily scheduled services
between principal commercial centers operated by Aeromexico
and Mexicana. Many of the smaller airports also have capacity
for large planes and some international flights.
Steamer ferries operate regularly between cities.
Mexico has a good railway network and trains linking all the
main towns in the country.
Traffic drives on the right. Mexico's road network extends
to almost 252,000km. a)Car:
Car use in Mexico City is restricted to cut down on pollution.
The last digit of the car number plate determines when that
car cannot be driven.
Mexico is linked by an excellent and very economical bus system.
There are first-class and deluxe coaches as well as ordinary
buses. Central bus terminals in major cities provide service
and information on fares and schedules.
Self-drive cars are available at airports, city centres and
resorts. An International Driving Permit or a full British
Driving Licence is required for locally registered vehicles.
Minimum driving age is 18.
New Peso (peso) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations
of peso500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations
of peso20, 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centavos.
Currency may only be exchanged at authorised banks. The exchange
rate of the Mexican peso against Sterling and other hard currencies
has, in recent years, been subject to considerable fluctuation.
American Express, Diners Club, Visa and MasterCard are widely
accepted. There is a government tax of 6% on such transactions.
Travelers cheques or letters of credit in US Dollars issued
by well-known banks or travel organizations are readily negotiable
in banks and hotels. Sterling travelers cheques are not readily
negotiable except at head offices of banks in the capital,
and may be subject to a considerable discount. To avoid additional
exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take travelers
cheques in US Dollars.
Local currency may be imported up to the equivalent of US$10,000.
Larger amounts are to be declared. Foreign currency may be
exported up to the amount imported and declared. Local currency
may be exported up to the equivalent of US$10,000. The export
of gold coins is prohibited.