U.S. ASSISTANCE IN MEXICO
TRAVELING WITH MINORS
GUIDE TO ENTRY AND EXIT REGULATIONS
GENERAL TOURIST INFORMATION
WHAT YOU MAY BRING INTO MEXICO
Banks and Currency Exchange Information
HEALTH SAFETY TIPS, AIRPORT INFORMATION
RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES
MEXICAN GOVERNMENT TOURISM OFFICE LOCATIONS
Health problems sometimes affect visitors to Mexico. Information on health
precautions can be obtained from local health departments or private doctors.
It is wise to review your health insurance policy before you travel. There
are short-term health insurance policies designed specifically to cover
Most hotels offer purified water, but it is always advised to drink bottled
water. Be aware of ice cubes (sorry, this includes Margaritas) that may
not have been made with purified water Vegetables and fruits should be
peeled or washed in a purifying solution. A good rule to follow is if
you can't peel it or cook it, do not eat it. Diarrhea may benefit from
antimicrobial treatment which may be prescribed or purchased over the
counter. Travelers should consult a physician, rather than attempt self-medication,
if the diarrhea is severe or persists several days.
emergency, call  (5) 250-0123, the 24-hour hotline of the Mexican
Ministry of Tourism. They also have two toll free numbers: if calling
within Mexico  800-90-392 and from the U.S. 1-800-482-9832.
The airport is about seven miles (11km) north of San Jose del Cabo and
about 30 miles (48km) from Cabo San Lucas. Round trip transportation is
provided by some hotels, if not included in you vacation package, taxi
vans are available for transportation of passengers from the airport to
the hotels in both towns. Many of the hotels have sign-up sheets for guests
who wish to share a taxi for the return trip to the airport.
Assistance in Mexico
or Financial Problems
If you become seriously ill, U.S. consular officers can assist in finding
a doctor and in notifying your family and friends about your condition.
Consular officers can also help arrange the transfer of emergency funds
to you if you become destitute as a result of robbery, accident, or other
Guide to Entry and Exit Regulations
US Citizens are required to have a valid US passport.
Please visit the U.S. Department of State official Travel Initiative site for more Change in Entry/Departure Requirements information. Information on obtaining or renewing your passport can be accessed through the TIA Passport portal.
For more complete information on obtaining and renewing passports, including forms to renew by mail and expedited service options, see the U.S. Department of State Passport site.
All U.S. citizens visiting Mexico for tourism or study
for up to 180 days need a document, called a tourist card in English or
FMT in Spanish, to enter and leave Mexico, The airlines will provide you
with one prior to landing. Upon entering Mexico, retain and safeguard
the pink copy of your tourist card so you may surrender it to Mexican
immigration when you depart. You must leave Mexico before your tourist
card expires or you are subject to a fine. A tourist card for less than
180 days may be revalidated in Mexico by the Mexican immigration service
(Direccion General de Servicios Migratorios).
A child under the age of 18 traveling with only one parent
must have written, notarized consent from the other parent to travel,
or must carry, if applicable, a decree of sole custody for the accompanying
parent or a death certificate for the other parent. Children traveling
alone or in someone else's custody must have notarized consent from both
parents to travel, or if applicable, notarized consent from a single parent
plus documentation that the parent is the only custodial parent.
You May Bring Into Mexico
Tourists should enter Mexico with only the items needed for their trip.
Entering with large quantities of an item a tourist might not normally
be expected to have, particularly expensive appliances, such as televisions,
stereos, or other items, may lead to suspicion of smuggling and possible
confiscation of the items and arrest of the individual.
The Mexican government permits tourists to exchange dollars
for pesos at the fluctuating free market rate. There are no restrictions
on the import or export of bank notes and none on the export of reasonable
quantities of ordinary Mexican coins. However, gold or silver Mexican
coins may not be exported.
checks with you because personal U.S.checks are rarely accepted by Mexican
hotels or banks. Major credit cards are accepted in many hotels, shops,
and restaurants. An exchange office (casa de cambios) usually gives a
better rate of exchange than do stores, hotels, or restaurants.
and Currency Exchange Information:
The best rates of exchange for Mexican pesos can be found
at banks, although the airport exchange desk is generally not a bad rate
compared to the hotel rates; banks and airport exchange offices do not
charge exchange fees. It is not a good idea to change money in any upmarket
hotel here, as they typically do not offer competitive market rates. Street
"cambios" or exchange booths offer slightly less favorable rates,
but keep longer hours. You can pay in U.S. dollars most of the time, but
your change will probably be in Mexican pesos, and at unfavorable rates!
Plaza Aramburo on Calle Lazaro Cardenas across from the Centro Comercial,
corner Calle Zaragoza.
North side of Lazaro Cardenas s/n between Hidalgo and Guerrero.
South side of Lazaro Cardenas opposite Bancomer.
In San Jose
Calle Zaragoza at Calle Morelos.
Calle Zaragoza at Calle Degollado
Los Cabos offers a variety of items that can be purchaced. You'll find
your best buys on Blankets, Silver & Ceramics. BARGIN! BARGIN! Most
merchants will bargin with you. Don't be afraid to offer a lower amount
than given to you or a discount on purchasing multiple items. It is better
to do your shopping when the cruise ship is not in town, you'll get more
bargining power. Visit our Shopping
A quick note
about Glazed Ceramics: Analysis of many ceramic pieces from Mexico has
shown them to contain dangerous levels of lead. Unless you have proof
of their safety, use glazed ceramics purchased in Mexico for decorative
The best option is to buy local telephone company Ladatel's phonecard
for $20 or $50. Call them at 1-800-6-87-97 for more information about
calling the U.S. (tel. 95 + area code + number) or the rest of the world
(tel. 98 + area code + number) and other parts of Mexico (91 + area code
+ number). You can also use your AT&T, MCI and Sprint codes at the
standard International rates (be sure to check the cost based on your
subscribed calling plan).
The city code
for the Los Cabos area is 114. There is a charge for calling between Cabo
San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
In Mexico, it is customary to tip 10 percent in restaurants, and you may
also give a couple of dollars to any passing band whose playing is particularly
pleasing. However, the American custom of tipping 15 to 20 percent is
practiced at international resorts, including those in Los Cabos. Housemaids
in hotels may be covered by an all-inclusive charge, but welcome US$2-$3
tips per night, and don't forget to hand over something small to the little
boy who runs to clean your windshield or who fills your car up with gasoline
for you. Mexicans always tell you that tipping is not expected; it may,
however, be well deserved and they always thank you.
to the United States:
You must present
the pink copy of your tourist card at your point of departure from Mexico.
The U.S. Customs
Service currently permits U.S. citizens returning from international travel
to bring back $400 worth of merchandise, including 1 liter of alcohol,
duty free. The next $1,000 worth of items brought back is subject to a
duty of 10%. In addition to U.S. Customs regulations, be aware that some
U.S. border states (most notably, Texas) have imposed state restrictions
on liquor, wine, and beer imports from Mexico. If you are planning to
bring back alcoholic beverages, inquire about these restrictions from
the liquor control office of the state through which you plan to return.
Observed in Mexico
offices and many businesses are closed on these days and hotels fill up
Jan 1: New
Feb 5: Constitution Day
Mar 21: Birthday of Benito Juarez
March-April (varies): Holy Week Celebrations, Good Friday through Easter
May 1: Labor Day
May 5: Cinco de Mayo (Anniversary of Battle of Puebla, 1862)
May 10: Mother's Day
Sep 16: Independence Day
Oct 12: Dia de la Raza
Nov 2: President's State of the Nation Address
Nov 2: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
Nov 20: Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution
Dec 25-Jan 2: Christmas Week celebrations
See our Special
Government Tourism Office Locations:
405 Park Ave.,
New York, NY 10022
Telephone: 212-755-7261 or 421-6655.
Washington, D.C. 20006
70 E. Lake
St., Suite 1413
Chicago, IL 60601
Monica Blvd., Suite 224
Los Angeles, CA 90067
brochures can be ordered by calling