Know & Enjoy Mexico General Information
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ATM's - Automatic Teller Machines

These are found throughout Mexico and enable you to draw funds from your bank account if it is affiliated to the Star, Cirrus, Global Access, Explore or Maestro systems. Exercise care, as you would at home, when using ATM's in remote locations. The exchange rate conversion is very favorable. Mexican pesos are the only funds dispensed. Do not give out your PIN number to anyone including persons posing as bank employees. ATM's are now prevalent at airports, convention centers, most upscale and commercial hotels and resorts, and major markets and convenience stores such as Sanborn's, Sam's, Gigante, Chedrahui, Soriana, Coppel, Superama and others.

Automobile - Temporary Import

Driving a foreign registered car into Mexico requires a Temporary Import permit. These are issued at major border crossings and are good for 180 days. Process can take up to a couple of hours and requires presence of the registered owner, a bond issued to the Mexican Government for the market value of the car or a valid credit card imprint charged with a processing fee approximately valued at $20 US Dollars. The same permit may be used multiple times within the 180 day time frame.

Automobile Driving in Mexico

Common sense is recommended at all times. Avoid night driving on roads, if possible. Unleaded gas is found throughout Mexico at all gas stations. Gas up when reaching one-quarter level in remote locations.

Automobile Insurance

It is illegal to drive a car in Mexico without insurance. Non-Mexican insurance policies are not valid in Mexico. Policies issued by Mexican carriers may be bought at the border or on the internet through companies such as Lewis & Lewis

Electric Current

Electric current throughout Mexico is conformed to 110 volts, 60 cycles. Same type used in the United States and Canada. Some electrical outlets at hotels are still of the two prong type. To get around this and enable you to use a notebook computer with a three prong electrical cord plug, suggest taking a converter with you.

Entry Requirements - Child of Divorced Parents/Sole Custody

"Affidavit of Sole Custody" required. Format states name of sole custody parent, name of child (best to take one for each child), date issued, notary's signature, designation and seal.

Entry Requirements - US Legal Residents

Most legal US Residents only require a Mexican tourist card to travel to Mexico and return to the US. Tourist cards are available through your travel agent and the airline you choose to fly to Mexico. A travel restriction applies to legal US residents who are citizens of a very limited number of countries. If you have questions, check with your closest Mexican consulate or send us a message.

Entry Requirements - US/Canadian Citizens driving to Mexico

If staying within the "Border Zone" and for a period less than 72 hours, there's no need to obtain a Tourist card. Though the "Border Zone" usually encompasses an area within 20 miles of the US/Mexico border, it does vary depending on where you travel to in Mexico. Areas as far south as Ensenada in the state of Baja California and Guaymas/San Carlos in the state of Sonora are considered "Border Zones". If you have any doubts, read the US Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Mexico.

Entry Requirements - US/Canadian Citizens flying into Mexico

Tourist card obtained from travel agent or airline accompanied with proof of citizenship which may consist of a valid passport, or birth certificate issued by an official government entity along with a valid picture id which may be a State issued driver's license or identification card. Voter registration cards, notarized affidavits or military identification cards are not deemed as sufficient proof of citizenship for tourist cards. To comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the US government will require all US citizens, as well as those from Mexico, Canada and Bermuda, to present a valid passport when arriving by air from any part of the Western Hemisphere. This does not impact arrivals by sea or land at this time.

Mexican Tourism Board offices in the US and Canada.

Chicago 312-606-9252; Houston 713-772-2581; Los Angeles 310-282-9112; Miami 305-381-6996; New York 212-821-0314; Vancouver, BC 604-669-2845; Toronto, Ont 416-925-6061

Pet Friendly Lodging Establishments in Mexico

In response to site visitor inquiries, we're identifying and compiling lists of Hotels, B&B's and Villas that are Pet-friendly throughout Mexico. The first one is the Quinta Don Jose

Pets - Taking Household Pets to Mexico

Household pets such as cats and dogs require only a Health Certificate from a veterinarian. Most veterinarians are familiar with the process.

Public Records - Geneology Tracing

Best places to obtain public records locally throughout Mexico are Churches for Baptism/Confirmation/Holy Communion records and the "Registro Civil" for Birth and Marriage Certificates.

Regional Bus Service - Mexico City Airport

Scheduled bus service to cities close to Mexico City is now available at Mexico City's airport. Examples include:

- Cuernavaca - frequent schedules between 6:30am and 11:00pm
- Pachuca - every 2 hours between 7:15am and 9:15pm
- Puebla - frequent schedules between 6:00am and 11:00pm
- Queretaro - frequent schedules between 8:30am and 9:30pm
- Toluca - frequent schedules between 7:30am and 11:00pm during the week. Less frequent on weekends.

Tickets cannot be purchased ahead of time. Reservations cannot be made.

Weather - General Conditions

Rainy season in Mexico's Pacific coast starts generally in June and lasts through late September or early October. Days are sunny with heavy downpours between 4:00pm and 7:00pm and clear skies following the rain. Same general conditions apply to Central Plateau. Along the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coasts, some rain can occur in December and January. Daytime temperatures in the 80's along the coasts all year around. Inland city temperatures get progressively milder according to altitude. Nighttime temperatures in 70's along the coast. Inland location temperatures can reach 40's in higher elevations. All temperatures noted as fahrenheit.

Weddings in Mexico

Getting married in Mexico is becoming increasingly popular. More and more couples are doing it with or without the "wedding party entourage". Several companies are specializing in assisting interested parties.

In general terms, interested couples need:
1. Certified copies of each person's Birth Certificate.
2. Health Certificate with blood test taken within thirty days prior to wedding ceremony date.
3. Names and addresses of bride and groome's parents.
4. Names and addresses of four witnesses.
5. Tourist Cards
For previously married celebrants - Verification required of one year's time lapse since death of prior spouse or receipt of divorce decree of prior marriage.

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Based on information contained in the Mexico Travel Database on September 18, 2011
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