Mexico encompasses nearly 2 million square miles of grasslands, mountain ranges, volcanic plains and rainforests. However, most visitors are familiar only with its shoreline. Travelers have been flocking to the beaches of Mazatlán, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta for decades. In recent years, the Caribbean “Riviera Maya” has become popular, as have pockets of the Pacific coast such as Zihuatanejo and Costa Alegre. A visit to the colonial heart of Mexico is extremely worthwhile. Mexico’s problems with drug-related crime have been well-documented: Baja and the Yucatán are generally safe, but violence is acute in areas adjacent to the border with the United States. Whatever their destinations, visitors to Mexico should check for travel warnings at the State Department’s website, travel.state.gov.
One hour behind New York (EST). Baja California Sur is three hours behind.
Aside from the northern deserts, much of Mexico consists of high plateaus. Temperatures are determined largely by altitude. Coastal areas remain blissfully tropical. Rain falls chiefly from May to August. The most pleasant time to visit all areas is November to May.
Mexican peso (MXN). Fluctuating rate valued at MXN24.07 = US$1.00 as of April 2020. Note: Many hotels quote room rates in US$ only.
To phone hotels in Mexico, dial 011 (international access) + 52 (Mexico code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
Mexico City, Tel. (52) 55-5080-2000. Consulates: Guadalajara, Tel. (52) 33-3268-2100; Merida, Tel. (52) 999-942-5700; Juárez, Tel. (52) 656-227-3000; Hermosillo, Tel. (52) 662-289-3500; Matamoros, Tel. (52) 868-208-2000; Monterrey, Tel. (52) 81-8047-3100; Tijuana, Tel. (52) 66-4977-2000.