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Mexico Travel Blog

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Ultimate Mexico Travel Guide

I was in Mexico for two months, journeying from the Pacific Coast all the way to the Caribbean. The diverse landscapes and rich cultures throughout made it an unforgettable adventure. Here is everything you need to know when traveling to Mexico

  • The Capital - Mexico City 

  • Oaxaca - for a rich culture 

  • Puerto Escondido - for some of the best surfing by the Pacific 

  • Chiapas - for the beautiful nature 

  • The Caribbean Coast - for a paradise vacation 

  • Chichen Itza - to see the World Wonder 

  • Visit one of the Cenotes in the Yucatan state 

  • Take a boat ride into the Ocean from Cancun to swim with the whale sharks 

What to pack for a Mexico Trip? 

Mexico is all year round travel destination as it is warm and pleasant weather there all the time. Which makes packing very easy! For those traveling to destinations by the beach, make sure you have all the things for the beach and I would also recommend getting a good quality waterproof bag for all the excursions that involve boat rides. 

For those visiting cities closer to the coast take only very light clothes as the humidity and heat can be intense. For sure sunscreen and hats to have extra protection from the sun. The sun is extra strong in Mexico.

For those traveling to cities more inland, take some extra jacket or hoodie because most places inland are higher up where the weather is fresher. So once the sun is down it can be a bit chilly. 

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I do cover this in a bit more detail in my Central America Packing Guide

Entry requirements for South America? 

- Most nationalities do not need visas to enter Mexico

- With the tourist visa you can stay up to 180 days 

- If you wish to extend your stay, you will need to obtain a special permit 

- No specific vaccines are required to enter Mexico 

- Ensure you have proof you will leave the country (a.k.a ticket out) 

I will give you a quick summary but if you want to know more about each point, check out Everything you need to know when traveling to Mexico!

  • There are 4 different time zones in Mexico 

  • Mexico has adopted the American style of tipping. Tips are ‘mandatory’. The average normal tip is around 15%

  • The best way to get around Mexico is by a bus

  • For long distances check out internal flights, you might be able to find some good deals 

  • Use Uber over local taxi 

  • The best time to visit is from November to April 

  • But Mexico is really an all-year-round travel destination 

  • Do not drink tap water in Mexico 

  • Foreigners can’t fly a drone in Mexico! 

I know a lot of people have safety concerns when they are planning their trip to Mexico, but please don't let get in the way! I traveled to Mexico for 2 months and most of the time I felt safe. After traveling South and Central America for a year I actually felt like Mexico is one of the safest travel destinations I have been in a while. I understand Mexico is big and there are places more dangerous than the tourist areas but as long as you stick with the routes and places advised you will be completely fine. Just stick to the main rules:

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  • Don't wander around in the late hours

  • Always watch your bag

  • Keep your bag in front in crowded places

  • Never be the only person on the road, stick with places where are people 

  • Don't give away your passport (for example for some tours) 

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I always say if you don't look for trouble, the trouble will not find you! 

Backpacking Route around Mexico 

Most probably you will start in Mexico City or Cancun because usually the best flight ar to there. So the route you see below, you can really do the other way around. Start in Mexico City and finish in Cancun, or start in Cancun and finish in Mexico City!

mexico map.jpeg

This is a route that I did! Let me dive into it! 

I started in Mexico City. After spending amazing 2 weeks in the big city I then made my way down to Puerto Escondido. I took a flight because the distance was just way too big. But you can do that with a bus too. Puerto Escondido is a great surfing spot, for professionals and beginners. After a took a bus to Oaxaca which is a truly rich city with culture. Also really great affordable travel destination in Mexico. My bus ride too 11h so you can also take a flight to Oaxaca from Puerto Escondido. Then from Oaxaca, you make your way to Chiapas. Chiapas is the one place I didn't do myself and I really wish I had time to stop there. Incredible nature, such a beautiful place. I definitely recommend adding it to your Mexico Travel Itinerary! Then from Chiapas take a flight to Cancun. And here you base yourself in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Tulum (or of course, any other beach town, but those 3 are the most popular ones). I based myself in Playa del Carmen just purely for the convenience of location. From Playa del Carmen I could easily do all the day trips and tours I planned to do. The places and things I recommend doing once you have reached Cancun are: 

  • โ€‹Chichen Itza 

  • Swim in Cenotes (some of the best ones are around Tulum)

  • Visit Cozumel Island and snorkel around it as it is a part of the 2nd biggest barrier reef in the world!

  • Swim with the whale sharks 

  • How would you travel across South America in three months?
    To travel across South America in three months I would start in Colombia, then go to Ecuador, then Peru, followed by Bolivia and from there you can make your way to Brazil or go down to Argentina and Chile.
  • What are some of the 'must do's' in South America?
    Some of the 'must doโ€™s' in South America include a trip to Amazon, Salt Desert in Bolivia, and Iguazu Falls in Brazil. You also need to learn about Inca culture as it is a big part of South Americaโ€™s heritage.
  • Is it safe to travel South America? Any precautions to take?
    It is safe to travel South America if you are always aware of your belongings. Do not walk alone in lonely streets, avoid wandering around at night and just have the common sense to avoid trouble.
  • What are some safe places to travel in South America?
    The safest place to travel in South America is Peru. Also all the small towns and villages in Ecuador and Colombia.
  • What is it like to visit Iguacu Falls in South America?
    Visiting Iguacu Falls in South America is a must do! It is the biggest waterfall system in the world and it was the most powerful thing I have ever seen. It is truly an incredible place.
  • Where should I go in South America and why?
    In South America, you should go to The Amazon as it is a very unique place around that area. You should visit the salt desert in Bolivia because it is the biggest salt desert in the world. And also, you should visit Iguazu Falls as it is the biggest waterfall system in the world.
  • Where are some great South American countries for a vacation?
    Some great South American countries for a vacation are Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Colombia because of the Caribbean coast, Ecuador because of the coast and Galapagos islands, and Peru because of the mountains and history of Incas around the Cusco area.
  • Where are some of the best places to hike in South America?
    The best places to hike in South America are in Peru. The best trekking is around Colca Canyon and any trail that leads to Machu Picchu.
  • What is the best South American cuisine to you?
    The best South American cuisine for me is from Peru. The food in Peru is absolutely incredible and has different variations for meat lovers and vegetarians.
  • What are the least safe places to travel in South America?
    The least safe places to travel in South America are the downtown areas in big cities of Brazil and favelas in any South American country.
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