[y] Mexico Visitors Guide
Mexico is an incredible holiday destination offering the visitor a wealth of natural, historical and culinary delights. Whether ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, exotic deserts, volcanoes or rainforests are the order of the day, Mexico has them all.
Mexico City is a metropolis of vast proportions offering a contrasting tapestry of modern high-rises, glamorous nightlife, and extreme poverty. Visitors will enjoy the fantastic museums and historical testaments to the city’s colonial and pre-colonial past, including the Zócalo in the center of the city, site of the Templo Mayor and many other Aztec palace ruins. For relaxing genteel ambiance, the Coyoacan and San Angel suburbs are charming, while for a more lively time the Zona Rosa area is the nightlife hub of the city.
The beaches of Mexico’s coast are legendary, and of the country’s 20 million visitors a year, many are destined to enjoy the sun in hotspots such as Acapulco and the Baja Peninsula, where there is also great surfing and whale watching. The Caribbean resorts are also spectacular, with visitors flocking to Cozumel and legendary party-central Cancún. In these resorts, visitors can take advantage of world-class shopping, modern amenities, bars, nightlife, and restaurants to rival those of any resort in the world.
Historic sites and monuments are another great attraction Mexico has to offer its visitors. San Cristóbal de las Casas, an old colonial town, offers tourists access to the incredible Mayan village ruins that surround it, while Palenque is famous for its amazing Mayan site with over 500 buildings providing a feast for visitors keen on archaeology.
The cuisine of Mexico is world-famous, and for many a fantastic stay in Mexico is enhanced by a little spice. Wherever visitors go in the country they will find a great selection of cheap and tasty local food, tacos and fajitas to name just two.
Accommodation is widespread in Mexico, with international chains in all the main cities and resorts. Rates for these hotels are comparable with US and European rates. Smaller motels and hotels are cheaper but not always safe or clean. Hostels are the cheapest option. Entry into Mexico is usually via one of its international airports such as Mexico City International Airport or via land border crossings with the US.
Mexico Vacation Destination Check-in Tips
Upon arrival at your airport, be aware, in Mexico, there can be a gauntlet of timeshare managers just outside of security waiting for you. They can be relentless, telling you you have to come through them before you leave the airport. They can look and dress official and can be intimidating and no one stops them, and if you stop and go their way, you can be there for hours. Stay focused, hail your cab and head for your destination. Taxis can run twice as much from the airport to your destination as it is from your destination to the hotel. Most taxi drivers are very polite and know just about every place in town. Always feel free to tip your driver.
Upon arrival at your hotel or resort, make sure you work out your room reservations first. Some locations will book you in their so-called, “timeshare” condos when you reserved a regular suite in another wing. Actually, this is a growing practice. Make sure you enforce your booking reservation and bring a copy of it with you.
Many online reservations companies do not work at the hotels, but just book for the hotels and will tell you what you want to hear while you are booking with them. After they have your booking, it can be difficult to get the same person back if you have a question. You may very well have to switch rooms several times before you get the room and view you reserved. Many times, you can get the line” we are fully booked up”, so you will have to take a lessor room. Ask to speak to the manager. Don’t back down, either. The bait and switch happen more than you think. If you still do not get any results, watch how fast things change when you say you are getting a taxi and going to their competition.
Examine your room closely, especially if you were not given the room and rate you reserved. You can ask to see multiple rooms until you are satisfied. It’s amazing when they say they are fully booked up, but are willing to show you room after room empty and cleaned. Examine the view, shower and if it comes with all of the items listed on your reservation. If something is not working, or there are bugs in it, call it in right away. If you are supposed to have complimentary champagne, shampoo, coffee, daily towels, beds made over every day, a balcony with an oceanfront suite, etc., make sure that is what you get at the price you reserved it at. If you leave pesos out on the table or bed, the cleaner will think you left it for them and take it. Always feel free to leave a tip for good service.
Many rooms at modern hotels now come with a safe for valuables. Make sure this works. Although most room cleaners are honest, all it takes is one that is not to mess up your stay. All in all, document your trip, protect your valuables and ensure you make a follow-up call to your hotel once you have made your reservation. It’s amazing how many times you can book a room, only to get to your hotel and find your name was not on their reservation list. If you have a great story about your vacation, check out our nine message boards and blogs and leave your great travel story for others to read.