The gregarious locals are just as likely to pull you up for a dance at one of Mexico City’s hip-shaking salsa clubs as they are to show you the way to one of the country’s many ancient ruins, all with a casual ‘hola’ and an inviting smile. While our tours get you up close with locals, they also show you the best sights from on and off the gringo trail. You can party until dawn in Playa del Carmen, eat your way into a food coma in Oaxaca, or, best of all, kick back with a horchata in the lazy seaside port of Merida.
Traveling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavor to provide travelers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.
When traveling with us in Mexico you may find yourself staying in a:
Intrepid prefers smaller character-filled hotels and guesthouses than hotel chains. When on vacation in Mexico, enjoy staying in small hotels owned and run by friendly locals.
Mexico is a country of varied landscapes and altitudes and the best time to visit depends on a variety of factors, the first of which is where you actually want to go.
Mexico has long been a popular tourist destination and most travelers do not run into any trouble. There are, however, areas that experience high levels of violent crime as a result of lawlessness and drug trafficking. That said, you can rest assured that Intrepid would not take you anywhere unless we were convinced it was safe.
All tourists traveling to Mexico need a tourist permit, but not all need a visa. Citizens of the US, EU, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand are among those that do not need a visa and can obtain a tourist permit on arrival.
Tipping is expected in most parts of Mexico. The service workers typically earn a low wage and rely on tips to earn a decent living. We recommend leaving 10–15 percent at restaurants (if the service charge is not already included), 5–10 percent of your room cost for housekeepers, and a few dollars for porters, bartenders and guides.
Internet access is good in Mexico with wi-fi available in most accommodations, bigger restaurants, airports and in some public spaces. It’s also easy and affordable to buy a local SIM card for the duration of your Mexico tour.
If you wish to use your cell phone while in Mexico be sure to activate global roaming before leaving your home country. You should also check with your provider regarding any charges you may incur when overseas.
If you wish to purchase a local SIM card in Mexico, your phone must first be unlocked. For more information on local SIM cards, please read about internet access in Mexico.
It's likely that you will encounter different types of toilets while traveling in Mexico. Western-style flushable toilets are commonly found in high-end resorts, hotels and restaurants, while squat toilets are common in rural areas and homes. Be prepared by carrying your own supply of toilet paper and soap, as these aren't always provided.
Mexico’s unit of currency is the peso. Prices here are approximate and shown in US dollars for ease of comparison.
We do not recommend drinking the water in Mexico.
For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water and fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found; some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available, often boiled to use for tea or coffee.
It’s also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and to peel fruit and vegetables before eating.
Credit cards are generally accepted in Mexico at large stores and most mid- high-range hotels. Some cafes, bars and restaurants may accept card too, but the places with real character – and the best local food – tend to be cash only.
ATMs are available across towns and cities in Mexico. Travelers should not encounter trouble finding an ATM but be wary of international transaction fees. For your own safety, try to use ATMs in daylight hours.
Mexico’s renowned for its sunshine and sandy beaches, but the weather can vary depending on the region you’re traveling to and the time of year.
Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their tour. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
For a current list of public holidays in Mexico, including the movable dates noted above, go to:
Mexico is becoming increasingly more accepting of same-sex relationships and has laws in place to protect those that identify differently, but it remains a country of strong Catholicism that has historically been hostile towards the local LGBTQIA+ community.
If you are traveling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travelers who do not wish to share a room.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travelers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
Tourist destinations in Mexico including Mexico City and the resort areas on the Yucatan Peninsula are seeing an increasing number of hotels, restaurants and tourist sights fitted out to accommodate travelers with limitations. That said, it can still be difficult for those with mobility issues and visual and hearing issues, particularly on public transport. We recommend using taxis to move around locally and flying between cities if possible unless, of course, you are on an Intrepid Mexico tour.
If you do live with a visual, hearing or other impairment, let your booking agent or group leader know early on so they’re aware and suitable arrangements can be made. As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.
What you pack for your Mexico tour will depend on where you are traveling to. Mexico City, for example, will be much cooler than the coastal areas thanks to its high altitude. In the winter it can drop down towards freezing at night while reaching 73°F (23°C) during the day, so it’s important to be prepared for both ends of the spectrum.
Intrepid is committed to traveling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behavior, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while traveling.
In Mexico, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally run restaurants and markets where travelers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.