Welcome to Mexico!

Mexico is a federal republic made up of 31 states and 1 Federal District Mexico City, which is the capital. Mexico is located on North American continent and shares borders with the USA in the north and Belize and Guatemala in the south. The border between Mexico and the USA is the second longest border in the world and is about 3,155km long.

Mexico has mountains in the eastern and northern parts of the country, rainforests in the southern and eastern parts and deserts in the West. Most of the bigger cities are located in the southern parts of the country. The climate varies from tropical climate to desert climate. The beaches of Cancun, the golf courses of Los Cabos, the nightlife of Puerto Vallarta: Mexico offers enough seaside fun, splashy resorts, and piña coladas to fulfill anyone’s sunny dreams. But travelers who dig a bit deeper discover a multifaceted country of ethereal cloud forests, colourful coral reefs, and stark deserts.

Mexico has four time zones!
The country is situated on the ‘Ring of Fire’, the world’s most prominent volcano and earthquake region. However, the volcanos on Mexico’s Baja California, a popular tourist destination, are mostly dormant.

Mexico is one of the most bio-diverse countries on earth. The country has the most reptile species in the world housing over 700 reptile species and also has the second most (over 430) mammal species in the world. In Mexico, there are jaguars, pumas and huge iguanas. Whales, manta rays and manatees are common in the oceans.

QUICK FACTS

Official Name:United Mexican States
Capital:Mexico City
Location:Situated in the Southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States, to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico.
Goverment:Federal presidential constitutional republic
Dialing Code:+52
Time Zone:GMT -05.00
Climate Weather:The climate of Mexico is highly varied. In South temperatures are fairly constant year round which is between 24 and 28 °C
Population:120 million
Land Area:1,972,550 km2
Official Language:Spanish
Currency:Peso (MXN)
Foreign Currency Accepted:USD ($), travellers cheques are increasingly difficult to cash and many do not accept
Entry requirement:Nationals of 65 countries (Including EU citizens) do not require a visa to enter Mexico as tourists, visitors in transit or business visitors. Tourists and business visitors can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days. Visitors in transit can stay for up to 30 days. Indonesian citizens require a visa to enter Mexico.

All visitors must hold a passport with at least two blank pages valid for at least 06 months beyond the date of your arrival. If your passport does not meet these requirements, you will be denied entry.

Health Tips:Avoid excessive sun exposure, Malaria, Cholera and Chikungunya virus are risks in some parts of Mexico. It is safest to bring your medications with you from home.

General information

Mexico is a federal republic in the southern part of North America. It is bordered by the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea, and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering nearly two million square kilometers, Mexico is the sixth largest country in America with a total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million, Mexico is the country with the eleventh lowest population and the most populous English-speaking country in the world while being the second most populous country in Latin America.

Due to its rich culture and history, Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Mexico is a megadiverse country, ranking fourth in the world by biodiversity. In 2016 it was the eighth most visited country in the world, with 35 million international arrivals.

Mexico is known for its warm weather, natural beauty, and breathtaking beaches to local celebrations and unique culinary history. Among the most popular destinations in Mexico are Acapulco, Cancun, Los Cabos, and Cozumel. There is plenty to see and explore all across the country, from the dense rainforests to the arid deserts.

To get the full experience of Mexico, it is best to interact with the locals as much as possible. They are generally friendly, and very proud of their culture.

Time defference

GMT +05:00

Compare to Indonesia, Indonesia is 12:0 hours ahead of Mexico.
When it is 06:00amin Jakarta is 06:00pm in Jakarta.

Compare to France, France is 7:0 hour ahead of Mexico.
When it is 08:00am in Mexico City Mexico, it is 03:00pm in Paris, France.

When to visit

Because of its size, Mexico has a diverse climate.

Best time to visit is generally between December and April, when there is virtually no rain. The coolest months are between December and February, while the wet season begins in the south in May and lasts until October. A heavy shower during this period usually clears the increased humidity before it builds up again. The Caribbean coast can be affected by the hurricane season, which runs from June to November.

Money and currency

US$1 = 17 Mexican Peso (MXN) (currency rate can be varied depending the day you search)
Euro 01 = 20 Mexican Peso (MXN) MXN 01 = IDR 754

The Mexican peso (sign: $, code: MXN) is the currency of Mexico and divided into 100 centavos. The symbol for pesos is the same as for US dollars, which can be slightly confusing. Prices in dollars (in tourist areas) are labeled “US$” or sport an S with a double stroke.

Euros are generally not accepted by merchants, and even banks headquartered in Europe may refuse to accept euros for exchange.

Coins are issued in 5,10, 20, 50, and 100 peso. But it’s extremely rare to find coins valued at more than 10 pesos.

Banknotes are produced in 20 (blue), 50 (pink-red), 100 (red), 200 (green), 500 (brown), and 1000 peso (purple and pink for the latest issue, purple for older issues) denominations. The most recent 20- and 50-peso bills are made from polymer plastic, and there are several different series of all banknotes. Ten-peso notes exist, but are very rare.

Credit and debit Cards (with Maestro or MC/VISA affiliation) are widely accepted in Mexico. You can use them at ATMs as well as in most department stores, bigger restaurants. If you’re going to be traveling in rural areas or staying in remote villages, be sure to take enough cash with you, as ATMs may be scarce. You can change money in banks, but it is often more convenient to change currency in a casa de cambio (exchange bureau). Most cities and towns in Mexico have an abundance of ATMs (cash machines), where you can withdraw Mexican pesos directly from your credit card or debit card.

Electricity

In Mexico the power sockets are of type A and B. The standard voltage is 127 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.

• Type A : mainly used in North and Central America, China and Japan. This socket only works with plug A.

• Type B : like type A but with an extra prong for grounding. This socket also works with plug A.

 

Telephone and how to call

Mexico country code +52

Mexico has a very extensive mobile network but remote areas are often only covered by the market leader ‘Telcel’. Mobile fees are high compared to the US and Europe but you can save money by choosing a package that suits you. The Mexican mobile market is currently served by 3 major mobile providers: America Movil is a subsidiary of Telmex and covers the mobile market through its ‘Telcel’ service. It has the biggest mobile network and also covers remote areas, however calling fees are often more expensive than those from competitors.

The other main operators are Movistar and IUSACell. Both providers often offer cheaper alternatives to Telcel. In the three largest cities of Mexico (Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey), the area code is two digits and phone numbers are eight digits, whereas in the rest of the country, area codes are three digits and phone numbers are seven digits. These are the area codes for Mexico’s three largest cities: Mexico City 55 Guadalajara 33 Monterrey 81
Calling from a pay phone is the most economical way to call, though longdistance phone calls tend to be more expensive from Mexico than from most other countries.

Visa requirement

Nationals of 65 countries (Including EU citizens) and jurisdictions holding normal passports do not require a visa to enter Mexico as tourists, visitors in transit or business visitors. Tourists and business visitors can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days. Visitors in transit can stay for up to 30 days.

Indonesian citizens require a visa to enter Mexico.

Vaccines and Travel insurance

Some vaccines are recommended or required for Mexico. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccines for Mexico: typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, and influenza.

Malaria, Cholera and Chikungunya virus are risks in some parts of Mexico. Speak with a travel health specialist about your itinerary and the potential need for antimalarials. Take extra precautions against Zika infection including insect repellents and mosquito netting.

Pharmacies are different in Mexico. It is safest to bring your medications with you from home. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

 

How to go to Mexico

Indonesia to Mexico

Distance between Mexico City and Jakarta is 16870 Km.

Flight between Jakarta and Mexico City takes close to 28 hours 35 minutes.

One-stop flights and connecting flights can take anywhere between 29 hours to 32 hours depending on the layover city. Waiting time at intermediate airports could be anywhere between 2 hours to 6 hours.

Airlines operated from Indonesia to Mexico
KLM, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Air France, Emirates

France to Mexico

Distance between Paris and Mexico is 7100 Km.

Non-stop flights could take up to 10 hours 40 minutes. Non-stop flight time from Mexico City to Paris is around 10 hours 45 minutes.

Fastest one-stop flight between Mexico City and Paris takes close to 13 hours. However, some airlines could take as long as 34 hours based on the stopover destination and waiting duration.

Airlines operated from Paris to Mexico
Air France, Aero Mexico, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Mex-Ory

Transportation in Mexico

Mexico is a large country and it offers an extensive network of transport systems, both public and private, which make getting around Mexico efficient and affordable. Public transport in Mexico can be very inexpensive, but it can also be a bit daunting if you don’t speak any Spanish and are not accustomed to traveling on buses and metro systems.

Metro system in Mexico

City Two of Mexico’s cities—Mexico City and Monterrey—have Metro systems in operation. The Metro can be one of the most effective ways to travel across the cities, especially Mexico City.

Rail Metro

El Metro is the main rail-based mass-transport system in Mexico City. The trains run principally underground, although there are several stretches where the train runs over ground too.

Buses

The country has an extensive network of high quality intercity roads connecting all principal towns and cities, and more roads are being built each year to connect otherwise remote areas of Mexico. Traveling by executive or first class bus in Mexico is a “first world” experience. Mexico offers travelers three classes of service on the most popular routes and at least two classes of service on most routes. The “Executive” class buses are modern, comfortable buses configured with just 24 seats on board, First Class buses also offer comfort and efficiency with direct routes to most principal destinations across Mexico.

Taxi

Getting about by taxi cab is relatively inexpensive in Mexico. Taxis are either metered, not metered or charged by zones. In the latter, your price will vary depending on which zone you’re in and which zone you’re traveling to.

Car Rental in Mexico

Car rental in Mexico is more expensive and about on-par with European car rental costs.

Domestic flights

With nearly two million square kilometers of land-space, Mexico covers a big territory and sometimes flying is the best and most effective way to get around. The country has an extensive network of modern airports and a range of airlines to choose from, including low-cost carriers.

Special food and drinks

Mexican food is a rich mixture of indigenous and Spanish cuisines. Food is a typical example of the variety of Mexican culture. In the 19th century, the French also influenced Mexican cooking, especially in breads, sauces and methods of preparing food. In bakers’ shops today, the breads and cakes are a mixture of French and Mexican styles. The basis of native Mexican cooking was, and still is, corn-made tortillas. Tortillas are small, flat, circular, savoury pancakes, which are made of corn or wheat flour. They are the most typical of all Mexican food.

Pico de gallo is a savoury mixture of chopped up tomato, onion, cilantro, peppers, and other personal preferences that are a favourite party favour with flour tortilla or pan dulce, another Mexican bread. Enchiladas are wrapped tortilla rolls, filled with either beef, chicken, seafood, potato, beans, or other combinations, with a chili pepper sauce sprinkled on top. Tacos. There are so many varieties of tacos to choose from: fish, carne asada, fajita, beef and bean, chicken mole, chipotle pork, chorizo and potato, and the list goes on.

Guacamole is an easy dish to prepare and its health benefits are very well known, seeing that guacamole comes from avocados.

Rice and cheeses are always on the table. They can come in the form of side dishes, or be the main ingredients of small cakes such as a Zacatecan-style baked mesa cake.
Soups and stews can often carry a meal. Pork and red chile stews, or carne adobada, are hearty dishes, as well as pork neck and purslane stew, or rebocado.
A fava bean soup is commonly filled with potatoes, fava beans, corn, and tomato.
Rice pudding ice pops, or paletas de arroz con leche, are quite popular, as well as pineapple rice pops, tamarind-chile ice pops, and strawberry and cream ice pops.

Some traditional Mexican drinks that people enjoy are hot chocolate, horchata blanca – a white rice drink, horchata de arroz tostado – a toasted rice drink, horchata de arroz con almendras – an almond rice drink, and chico – a blackberry liqueur.

Margaritas are a classic favourite. You can mix them with any fruit: strawberry, mango, pineapple, watermelon, or raspberry, or you can have Mexicali beer margaritas.

Places to go and things to do

Cancun and Riviera Maya

Lying along a beautiful stretch of coastline on the Gulf of Mexico are the resort destinations of Cancún, Playa del Carmen, and the island of Cozumel, collectively known as the Mayan Riviera. This magnificent area on the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula attracts some five million visitors each year.

Merida

It is situated four hours in to the island from Cancun. A colonial city and is worth of making daytrips. Many tourists travel in to Merida on weekends. The cities 17th century cathedrals are made from Mayan bricks.

Puerto Vallarta

Another of Mexico’s increasingly popular beach destinations is the Pacific coastal city of Puerto Vallarta. Often shortened to just Vallarta, the city – many parts of which remain untouched by modern development – first appeared as a vacation playground in the 1960s for North America’s social elite and has since become extremely popular among foreigners looking for second homes in a warmer climate.

Chichen Itza

The magnificent Mayan city of Chichén Itzá is one of Mexico’s most visited archaeological sites, as well as one of the biggest and best restored. Highlights of a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site are numerous, from the massive El Castillo – also known as the Pyramid of Kukulkán, and at 30 meters high.

Tulum

Tulum is famous for at least two things: its gorgeous Caribbean beaches and its archaeology ruins, which include a walled city. Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Tulum was one of the last cities build by the Mayans. It is one of the bestpreserved Mayan sites on Mexico’s east coast. Sitting as it does on a bluff, the ruins offer spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea.

Playa Maroma

Playa Maroma is considered one of the best beaches in the world. Located on the Gulf coast just over 50 Km from the Riviera Maya, Playa Maroma is a quiet hideaway that seems far, far away from the crowds of Cancun, allowing visitors to experience both white sand beaches with gorgeous blue water and lush rainforests. The beach is especially popular with snorkelers who can begin their underwater touring right from the shore.

Playa del Carmen

Commonly referred to as simply “Playa,” Playa del Carmen is a lively resort town in the state of Quintana Roo on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Formerly a quiet fishing village of distinct European influence, the town has expanded in recent years into a vibrant resort town of beautiful beaches and entertainment venues. However, Playa still retains its relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals. With the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef just off the shore, there are plenty of opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Acapulco

A popular destination among spring breakers, Acapulco is situated on a semicircular bay on the pacific coast. Beautiful beaches are Acapulco’s primary crowdpuller. Most of the popular beaches like Hornos, Icacos, Papagayo and Tamarindos are found along the bay area known as Las Costera. A must-do in Acapulco is to watch the city’s famous La Quebrada Cliff divers plunge 45 meters into a shallow inlet.

Cozumel

Located in the Caribbean Sea on the Yucatan Peninsula, the 48 Km island of Cozumel is one of the top diving destinations in the Western Hemisphere.

Mexico City

Mexico City is not only the capital of the country, it is one of the country’s most popular alternative travel destinations, thanks to its many world-class museums, art galleries, and attractions. A 15-square-kilometre UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting more than 1,400 important colonial buildings from the 16th to the 19th centuries. It’s here, you’ll find most of Mexico City’s major attractions, many within walking distance.