The United Mexican States or Mexico ( Spanish : Estados Unidos Mexicanos or México; regarding the use of the variant spelling Méjico , see section The name below) is a country located in North America , bordered by the United States to the north, and Belize and Guatemala to the southeast. It is the northernmost and westernmost country in Latin America , and also the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. The country is often referred to by Mexicans as the Mexican Republic (Spanish: Republica Mexicana ) although this is not the officially recognised title. The term State of Mexico (Spanish: Estado de Mexico ) does not refer to the country, but only to one state within Mexico, located near the centre of the country adjacent to the Federal District.
With an estimated 2013 population of about 118.3 million , Mexico is the most populous Spanish -speaking country in the world.
How to go
From the United States
There are hundreds of daily flights linking Mexico to cities large and small throughout the United States.
As with the United States, you will have to clear both immigration and customs at your first point of entry in Mexico, even though that airport may not be your final destination. (For example, many trips on Aeromexico will involve connecting through its Mexico City hub.) You will then have to re-check your bags and possibly go through security again to proceed to your next flight segment.
From Australia or New Zealand
Fly from either Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Auckland(NZ) direct to Los Angeles. Delta, Qantas, United, and V Australia offer non-stop air service from Australia to Los Angeles. Air New Zealand offers one-stop air service from Australia and non-stop air service from Auckland to Los Angeles. Hawaiian Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui offer one- or two-stop air service to Los Angeles from Australia and New Zealand.
Many airlines fly from Los Angeles to Mexico including AeroMexico, Alaska, Volaris, Horizon, Aerolitoral, and United. More options are available if connecting through another U.S. city. Also, make sure to have a good look at visas beforehand. Even just for transit, you will need an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) or transit visa for for the USA, and if you get a visa waiver, they treat Mexico as part of the USA, meaning if you stay longer than 90 days in Mexico, you will need to travel further south before returning to the USA.
Many commercial airlines link Mexico directly to Europe. It is always worthwhile to compare flight offers from air carriers who can bring you to Mexico City or Cancun via many European hubs, like Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid; the flight duration from those cities is always approximately 11 hours (plus your connecting flight from home if you are not originating at one of those hubs.)
There is at least one place where Mexico is accessible via rail and a short walk – south of San Diego. The San Diego Trolley can be taken from downtown San Diego (which Amtrak serves) to the California-Baja California border. (note: El Paso/Juarez is also well served by Amtrak, the station is within a stones throw of the Rio Grande)
Like almost all countries in the Americas, Mexico phased out intercity passenger rail in the mid-20th century and has not brought it back since. Thus, unlike the US-Canada border where you can ride a train from Seattle to Vancouver or New York to Montreal, there are no options for taking an Amtrak train across the border into any Mexican cities.
American automobile insurance is not accepted in Mexico; however it is easy to obtain short-term or long-term tourist policies that include the mandatory liability coverage, together with theft and accident cover for your vehicle and, often, legal assistance cover. Should you decide to drive to Mexico, the Transport and Communications Secretariat website has free downloadable road maps.
Foreign-plated vehicles must obtain the necessary permits before being allowed into the interior of Mexico. This can be done at the border checkpoints by showing your vehicle title or registration, as well as immigration documents and a valid credit card. It is now possible to apply for your vehicle import permit on-line. Vehicle permits will only be issued to the registered owner of the vehicle, so the papers will have to be in the name of the applicant. The Baja California peninsular and the northern part of the State of Sonora do not require a permit.
Due to the incredibly high volume of drugs and illegal immigration (into the US) and drug money and weapons (into Mexico) crossing the US-Mexico border, expect long delays and thorough searches of vehicles when crossing the border. At some of the busiest crossings, expect a delay of one to four hours.
The Mexican intercity bus system is reportedly the most efficient in the world. There are many different independent companies but all use a central computerized ticketing system. Rates per mile are generally comparable to those of Greyhound in the US, but there are more departures and the system serves much smaller villages than its American counterpart. There are many bus companies based in Mexico with branch offices in major US cities and/or provide cross border transport with a few such examples noted below:
- Omnibus Mexicanos Bus Service to Mexico and other parts of the US
- El Expresso
- El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express operates buses along I-10 between Los Angeles and El Paso and anywhere in between in the American Southwest. They offer onward travel from El Paso to Chihuahua on Los Limousines
- Turimex Internacional
- TUFESA Bus Lines
- Greyhound Lines, Autobus Americanos and Cruceros operates the Autobus Americanos (U.S. side) and the Crueceros USA brands.
- Grupo Estrella Blanca operates the Elite, Chihuahuanese, Pacifico, Futura, Transportes Nort de Sonora (TNS), Transportes Frontera, Oriente, Autobus Americanos (Mexican side) and, of course, ‘Estrella de Blanca’ brands.
Greyhound offers tickets from the US to major Mexican cities, including Monterrey, Queretaro, Durango, Mazatlan, Torreon, Mexico City with onwards travel with Grupo Estrella Blanca south of the border and vice verse from Mexico north. It is best (and cheapest) to buy a round-trip Greyhound ticket since it may be more difficult and expensive to buy a ticket from Mexico to a US destination which is not a major city. When departing from Mexico, the local bus line (usually Futura) will change the Greyhound-issued ticket into its own, free of charge.
There are other bus companies offering transborder service from Guatemala to Tapachula or Comitan in Chiapas state and from Belize to Chetumal
- ADO/OCC operates once daily buses from Merida and Cancun, via Chetumal to Belize City. Nearest to the U.S. border is in Matamoros where passenger transfer to Greyhound Lines for the onward trip north.
- Linea Dorada goes across from Guatemala City to the Guatemala side of La Mesilla/Ciudad Cuauhtemoc in La Mesilla and once daily to/from Tapachula. From the Mexican side there are taxis or combis (shared ride vans) down to the Mexican immigration station in Ciudad Cuauhtemoc.
- Tica Bus runs the length of the Central American isthmus from Panama City to Tapachula stopping at every Central American capital city and select towns or cities along the way except Belize.
- Trans Galgos Inter goes from Guatemala City to Tapchula via Rethaluleau and El Carmen/Talisman crossing.
- Border crossing from Guatemala.
- Cruise ships from United States.
Visa and other entrance requirements
According to the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores), certain foreign nationals who intend to stay in Mexico fewer than 180 days for the purpose of tourism or 30 days for business can fill out a tourist card at the border or upon landing at an airport after presenting a valid passport, for USD 22. If arriving via air, it is included in the price of the fare. This service is available to citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela (see official list).
Visitors to Mexico are processed at all land and air entry points by officials of the Instituto Nacional de Migración (National Institute of Migration), a unit of the Secretaría de Gobernación (Secretariat of the Interior). These are the names you will see prominently displayed at those entry points.
The current Mexican tourist card is formally known as a Forma Migratoria Múltiple (Multiple Immigration Form), or FMM. The current FMM design as of 2014 is a tall rectangular card. If you are flying into the country, the FMM fee is normally included as part of the ticket price and the FMM forms will be distributed while in-flight. The FMM form has a perforation that divides the card into two parts; the lower part asks for some of the same information requested on the top part. At entry, after reviewing your passport and filled-out FMM, the INM officer will run the machine-readable part of your passport’s information page followed by the bar code on the FMM form through a scanner on his computer, stamp your passport and the FMM, separate the FMM along the perforation and give the bottom portion of the FMM back to you with your passport.
Keep the FMM together with your passport at all times. Under Mexican law, it is your responsibility to ensure the bottom portion of the FMM is returned to the Mexican government at time of departure so that the bar code can be scanned, thus showing that you left the country on time.
Hostels all over Mexico
Acapulco Akumal Bacalar Cabo Pulmo Cabo San Lucas Caleta de Campos Campeche Cancun Chetumal Chichen Itza Colima Contepec Cordoba Cozumel Creel Cuernavaca Cuetzalan Durango Ensenada Guadalajara Guanajuato Hermosillo Holbox Island Huatulco Isla Mujeres Ixtapa Jose Maria Morelos La Paz Leon Loreto Los Mochis Mahahual Mazatlan Mazunte Merida Mexico City Monterrey Morelia Mulege Oaxaca Palenque Papantla Patzcuaro Playa del Carmen Puebla Puerto Angel Puerto Escondido Puerto Morelos Puerto Vallarta Queretaro Rincon de Guayabitos Rosarito San Andres Cholula San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas San Cristobal de las Casas San Jeronimo de Juarez San Jose del Cabo San Juan Teotihuacan San Luis Potosi San Miguel de Allende San Pancho San Pedro Cholula Sayulita Taxco Teacapan Tepotzotlan Tepoztlan Tequisquiapan Tlaxcala Toluca Troncones Tulum Tuxtla Gutierrez Tzucacab Uxmal Valladolid Valle de Bravo Veracruz Villa de Santiago Xalapa Xico Zacatecas Zihuatanejo
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