Mexico States: Travel Info
🗣 Mexico Language
Spanish — Though you’ll hear indigenous languages in some places
💰 Mexico Currency
Mexican Peso — Exchange rates vary, but hover around $18 pesos to $1USD
📍 Mexico’s Top Travel Destinations
Mexico City, Tulum, Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Maya
📍 Mexico Off the Beaten Path
Oaxaca, Holbox Island, San Miguel de Allende, Bacalar Lagoon, Merida
Mexico Travel FAQs
Is Mexico safe for solo travel?
As this question doesn’t have a yes/no answer (I wish it did!), I do my best to answer it in depth in this blog, Safe Travel in Mexico: 20 Tips for Solo Female Travelers. However, for the most part, Mexico is actually statistically quite safe for travelers.
Mexico is a big country, and it has plenty of amazing solo female travel destinations — from the beautiful beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula and culturally-rich Southern Mexico, to the charming colonial cities in Central Mexico and laid-back Baja California — there’s a perfect place for every solo traveler in Mexico.
Top 20 Solo Female Travel Destinations: Head to this article to discover the 20 best places for solo travel in Mexico, recommended by solo female travelers who have actually visited them.
🎧 Click the links below to listen to podcast episodes with solo female travel tips.
How many states are there in Mexico?
Mexico has 32 states — which includes Mexico City, which is a state, as well as the country’s capital city.
You might see Mexico City abbreviated as “DF,” which is the shortened version of it’s official name Mexico City, Distrito Federal (DF), whihch translates to Federal District.
This “DF” designation is similar to the “DC” in Washington DC, though unlike DC, Mexico City DF is a state.
The complete list of the 32 Mexico states is:
Aguascalientes, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Colima, Durango, Estado de Mexico (Mexico State), Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico City, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatan, Zacatecas
What's the best time of year to visit Mexico?
Mexico is a large country, so this answer is dependant on which part of the country you’re headed to! Below is some general info to help with Mexico travel planning:
- Central Mexico weather: This areas has what is known as an “eternal spring” climate. This means it feels like spring all year-round, so its never super hot or super cool. The rainy season is from April-September.
- Yucatan Peninsula weather: This part of Mexico is very tropical, and more-or-less hot all year long. The winter months are lovely, and the summers are humid and rainy with occassional tropical storms and hurricanes.
- Northern and Western Mexico weather: Baja California and this part of Mexico has pretty much a desert climate. You can expect dry, hot days, and cool/cold, dry nights.
As a general rule, Mexico’s best beach towns are nicest from November-April; and quite hot/humid and rainy from May-October.
The country’s rainy season is usually from about April-September; and it can rain quite a bit during those months.
As a blanket statement, the busiest month for tourism in Mexico is December, and for some beach towns, March-April during Spring Break.
Do I need a visa for Mexico?
No — U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to travel to Mexico. This is just one of the 5 Reasons Mexico is the Perfect Travel Destination for U.S. visitors.
When you go through Immigration at the airport, cruise port or land border, you’ll receive your FMM 180-Day (6 month) Tourist Card at no charge. Keep in mind that though it’s called a “card,” it’s actually just a small piece of paper.
Be sure to keep track of your FMM, as you’ll have to give it back to an Immigration officer when you’re leaving the country. If you lose your FMM, there is a $600 peso ($30USD) cost to replace it, and some paperwork you’ll need to fill out at the airport before you can leave the country.
In short: Don’t lose your FMM!
Do I need to speak Spanish to visit Mexico?
As a general rule, you’ll want to know at least a few words of Spanish when visiting anywhere in Mexico. This is both a sign of respect, and will also help you have a better trip.
If you’re wondering what constitutes “basic Spanish,” check out the infographic below — you’ll be surprised at how much you know already!
If you stick to the more touristic places where you’re headed, you should be fine with very basic Spanish. If you want to venture off the beaten path, be advised most people in the pueblos (small towns) speak little to no English.
🗣 Pro Tip: Download the Spanish Words & Phrases list below and save it on your phone as an image. This way, you have access to these most common words even if you’re off-WiFi.
Is it safe to rent a car and drive in Mexico?
As the country is quite large, road trips are a great way to see a lot in a little time, and especially popular in the Yucatan Peninsula.
To answer the question, Is it safe to drive in Mexico — YES, it’s considered safe to rent a car and drive in Mexico, though do avoid driving at night.
Beyond that, another caveat to safety is that you’ll obviously be driving in a foreign country, and won’t be familiar with local road customs and driving laws. Head to this article for 12 Useful Mexico Driving Tips to get a better understanding of driving in Mexico.
🚙💨 Looking to rent a car? Discover Cars works with several agencies in Mexico to get you the best price.
What are some Mexico off the beaten path destinations?
On a personal note: Off the beaten path travel destinations are kinda my thing!
While I love so many parts of Mexico, it’s definitly easier to love places more when they aren’t as crowded… Amirite?!
Here are a few blogs about some of the less visited, but truly amazing places in Mexico:
Mexico Travel Podcast