Between 15 and 16 million U.S. citizens visit Mexico each year,
while more than 460,000 Americans reside there year round. Although
the majority of visitors thoroughly enjoy their stay, a small
number experience difficulties and serious inconveniences.
Travel conditions in Mexico can contrast sharply with those
in the United States. This brochure offers advice to help you
avoid inconveniences and difficulties as you go. The Department
of State and its Embassy and consulates in Mexico offer a wide
range of services to assist U.S. citizens in distress. U.S. consular
officials meet regularly with Mexican authorities to promote the
safety of U.S. citizens in Mexico.
Before you go, learn as much as you can about your destination.
Your travel agent, local bookstore, public library, the Internet
and the embassy of the country or countries you plan to visit
are all useful sources of information. Another source is the Department
of State s Background Notes series, which features a pamphlet
regarding each specific country to which you wish to travel. To
obtain specific pamphlet prices and information, contact the Superintendent
of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
20402; tel: (202) 512-1800. You may also obtain selected copies
by fax by calling the State Department s Bureau of Public Affairs
(202) 736-7720 from your fax machine or from the State Department
home page at http://www.state.gov/.
Important: This pamphlet contains information
obtained prior to August 1998 and is subject to change. Please
consult the latest Consular Information Sheet for current information.
How To Have a Safe and Healthy Trip
Know Before You Go
As you travel, keep abreast of local news coverage. If you plan
a stay in one place for longer than a few weeks, or, if you are
in an area where communications are poor, experiencing civil unrest
or some natural disaster, you are encouraged to register with
the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Registration takes only
a few moments, and it may be invaluable in case of an emergency.
Other useful precautions are:
Leave a detailed itinerary and the numbers of your passport
or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative in
the United States.
Bring either a U.S. passport or a certified copy of a birth
certificate and photo identification.
Carry your photo identification and the name of a person
to contact with you in the event of serious illness or other
Keep photocopies of your airline or other tickets and your
list of travelers checks with you in a separate location from
the originals and leave copies with someone at home.
Leave things like unnecessary credit cards and expensive
jewelry at home.
Bring travelers checks, not cash.
Use a money belt or concealed pouch for passport, cash and
Do not bring firearms or ammunition into Mexico without written
permission from the Mexican government.