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F.a.q. on how to get in and around mexico

Where do I find cheap flights to Mexico?

I normally look into different websites and compare prices. Normally I start with aggregators such as the ones listed below but when I find the best rates I always compare it with the airline official site.  Sometimes there is no difference and I always prefer to book directly with the airline.

Expedia 
Skyscanner
Airfarewatchdog
(this one is new to me, I haven’t really tried it out as yet)
Lookupfare
CheapOair
Kiwi

What are the Main Mexican Airports?

The most popular Mexican Airport for tourism is definitely Cancun. And I wrote a very detailed post on all the steps you will have to go through once you arrive in Cancun.

Other major airports in Mexico are:

Mexico City
Puerto Vallarta
Cabo San Lucas
Guadalajara
Merida

Obviously, all the other Capital cities in Mexico are fairly well connected to each other via Mexican airlines.

Main national airlines

Interjet
Vivareoubus
Aeromexico
Volaris
Tar

Mexico entry requirements for tourists

Those coming from the country listed on this official site are not required to apply for a formal visa to visit Mexico. They just need to fill out a visitor form (FMM) that will be handed over either on the plain or at the airport.

For countries that don’t need a visa, a Mexico Visitor’s Permit (FMM) will need to be filled out in place of a visa.

This is a simple form: airlines pass these out aboard flights and should be filled out on the airplane before you land, or you can acquire one at all airports, as well as land border crossings and sea ports of entry.

Just remember to fill it out before lining up for passport control.

Tourist visa normally lasts 180 days. The immigration agent with print on your passport your exit date. If it’s less than 180 days you can ask for an extension to an immigration office.

For more detailed information you can check out this thorough website

In case you are planning to move to Mexico for an undetermined period of time, you can check out this interview with an immigration lawyer for specific information.

If you are flying to Cancun you might be interested to know what happens when you arrive at the airport and tips on what to pack for Mexico 

How to get around Mexico by bus

Traveling around by bus in Mexico is the easiest thing on earth.

There is an amazing Network of busses that travels all around Mexico and connects all the major and less known cities and towns.

I traveled all around Mexico by bus and had a blast. Some companies are real luxury with great elegant seats, personal screen, a power outlet, and wifi.

Depending on the region you can find different BUS companies, and almost everyone has their own website where most of the time you can prebook.

I am giving you a list of the major companies with the region where they operate.

ADO–  They mainly operate in the South up to Mexico City – The busses seats are comfortable but not luxury. They are very strict on what you can bring with you on the bus. If you have a big back you need to check it in. Make sure you take all the valuables with you.

ETN is one of my favorites, the busses are so comfortable and spacious and equipped with the best technology, including WIFI and TV. They cover the central – eastern part of the country. (see picture below)

ETN bus line destinations

ETN bus line destinations

ESTRELLA BLANCA It’s a group of bus lines that covers the northern part of Mexico, very good and reliable but not all luxury

PRIMERA PLUS Also serves the north-eastern part of the country

OMNIBUS DE MEXICO For the north of Mexico

BUS AGGREGATORS

BUS BUD

MEXICO AUTOBUSES This is an aggregator and show you all the busses available for your chosen itinerary. I have used it a lot.

CLICKBUS– is another aggregator that has special offers every now and then

In general, busses are very safe. However, its good practice to look after your personal belonging and never lose sight of them. You never know who’s on the bus.

You can read my full guide on how to travel safely in Mexico for more detailed info on commonsense safety travel rules.

How to get around Mexico by car

Driving in Mexico is not difficult regardless of what many people think. You just need to know a little about local rules and, most of all, local habits. I have written a full guide on how to drive in Mexico which is based on my experience in the Yucatan Peninsula but it’s applicable to everywhere in Mexico.

You can also join the group On the road in Mexico and ask all the question you want, especially about road conditions.

Car rental in Mexico

Renting a car in Mexico can be tricky especially if you are using a car rental from the Cancun Airport.

Why? because they don’t have the best reputation. I have heard dreadful stories of attempts to overcharge or unjustified charges.

In any case, renting from the airport is always, or most of the time more expensive than in any other point of sales, mostly because the airport taxes or the location rentals are more expensive and also because rentals from the airport are usually the most demanded. So it all makes sense.

However, for example, when I rented my car in Baja California it was more expensive to rent from La Paz in town than from La Paz airport. So you just never know.

The best thing is to browse around and compare the different options.

Here I leave you with two car rental aggregators that I trust, but it’s always recommendable to compare prices, but most of all the terms and conditions.

One important thing that most of the times it is taken to lightly is the hidden price of the insurance.

You might see a very low priced rental advertised, you book it, and when you get to pick up your car they will calculate your added taxes and insurance, which is compulsory, and most of the times it ends up to be more than doubled the original price.

Also please mind that your credit card insurance might not be valid or accepted in Mexico.

Please make sure you double check on it both with your card customer service and the car rental.

Here the two rental aggregator companies I am using:

DISCOVER CAR HIRE

AUTOEUROPE

Mexican vocabulary

It’s always better when you travel to a country to speak the languages. It will make everything easier, either if you are in need of something or you just wish to make friends with local people who don’t speak English.

A language is part of a culture and knowing a little of local ways of saying help you familiarize with the local culture.

In case you don’t grasp Spanish I am here to help you with few words or expression that will make you sound like a local. Watch the accent I can never get rid of my Italian accent but I still look like a local expatriate and I get to be treated like one, which helps.

Let’s cover the basics first:

Hola = Hello

Como estàs = How are you?

Por Favor = Please

Gracias = Thank you

Disculpa = I am sorry

Perdon? = Excuse me?

Donde està la parada del bus? = Where is the bust stop?

Una chela por favor = A beer, please

Un jugo, por favor = A juice, please

Cuanto cuesta? = How much is it?

Me puede ayudar? = Can you help me?

Donde està…? = Where is…?

Mexican common idioms and words ( a little gross)

Mande? = Excuse me? That’s used when somebody didn’t understand what you have said and ask you to repeat or when you call somebody’s attention and they reply (Yes?)

No manches! or No Mames! = Are you kidding me? Typical from Mexico city but commonly used everywhere. In Mexico city they generally say also No manches (or no mames), guey! Guey! is like “dude!”

Que mamada! = related to something stupid.

Cruda = hangover

Me hice bolas = I got confused

Vete al Carajo! = Go F*** yourself!

Me cae bien! =I like him/her when you think somebody is a good person.

Me da hueva! ( Que hueva! ) = I don’t feel like doing it. It’s used when you are lazy about doing something.

Me vale madre = I don’t care

No hay pedo (pedo=fart) = No problem

Chilangos = people from Mexico city

Esta’ Cañon! = It’s referred to a very difficult situation

Chin!!! = It’s like an exclamation like Oh! used when for example you forgot something or you did something wrong.

Me cayo’ el veinte (20) = I realized something or I had an epiphany.

Me chupa un huevo = I don’t care (very gross way of saying it!)