Frequently Asked Questions
We will be adding to this list of questions and answers any time we feel it is necessary.
- What is the legal drinking age in México, and what time do the night clubs close?
- What about going topless or totally nude on the beaches?
- Will my hair dryer (portable iron, electric toothbrush, etc.) work in México?
- Will my cellular phone work in Mexico?
- Can I use my laptop computer to get my e-mail and have Internet access?
- Will I be able to use my credit cards? Can I get cash from the banks with my credit cards?
- What can I use as proof of citizenship to enter Mexico?
- What will the weather be like in January (or any other month)?
- How do I find the best airfares, hotel rates and the most affordable rental cars?
- Can I buy Cuban cigars? Can I take them back with me?
- Can I drink the water?
- Can we get married in Cancun?
- Is it safe to walk around the town at night?
- Can you tell me what the taxi rates are?
- How will I know if I am getting a good deal on merchandise?
- What about hospitals and doctors?
- Are the beaches safe?
- What countries require a Visa to travel to Mexico?
What is the legal drinking age in México, and what time do the night clubs close?
Answer: The legal drinking age is 18. There is no set closing time, many of the night clubs stay open until the wee hours of the morning (3 or 4 AM).
What about going topless or totally nude on the beaches?
Answer: Both are illegal in México although enforcement is ignored (the practice is tolerated), in some areas. Topless bathing suits, and topless swimming are generally pretty well accepted on Cancun beaches and seem to be even more openly accepted in Playa del Carmen. Still, use your common sense, look around, see what others are doing, if there are others that are topless nearby, the chances are pretty good that it is, most likely, locally accepted.
Will my hair dryer (portable iron, electric toothbrush, etc.) work in México?
Answer: Yes, if you are from the U.S. or Canada. México uses the same voltage (110 Volts) as the United States. If you are coming from Europe, or any country that uses 220 volts, you will need the proper adapters.
Will my cellular phone work in Mexico?
There is local cellular service. Very few cellular services will allow you to roam in Mexico. Most cell phones will work, but they must be reprogrammed by the local service provider. If you bring your own, it will need to be reprogrammed. Also, remember to keep your phone charged, or can stock up on extra cell phone batteries.
Remember to have your phone reprogrammed again before returning to the U.S. If you really need cellular service in Cancun it might just be easier to buy a new phone in México, especially if you will be coming back.
Will I be able to use my credit cards? Can I get cash from the banks with my credit cards?
Yes, to both questions. All major credit cards (except Discover) are widely accepted. In restaurants, it is best to ask before ordering, not every business accepts credit cards, just as back home. All of the banks will give cash advances, most have ATM machines at their locations, for after hours cash. If you lose a credit card you can find the phone number of your credit card company on our important phone numbers page.
What can I use as proof of citizenship to enter Mexico?
You can find detailed information about the required documents on the U.S. Department of State Travel Website.
What will the weather be like in January (or any other month)?
Nobody can predict the weather. We have an Average Temperature Chart on our Local Weather page. Check this and call your hotel a few days before your arrival to make sure. Mexico does not enjoy the sophisticated weather prediction services that so many people take for granted in the U.S. and Canada.
How do I find the best airfares, hotel rates and the most affordable rental cars?
Can I buy Cuban cigars? Can I take them back with me?
Yes you can buy them, and yes, they are expensive. No, you cannot take them back to the U.S., but if you are returning to Canada it is OK. Be careful of counterfeits.
Can I drink the water?
The water here is treated and purified, but the distribution system is not so perfect. In most hotels and restaurants, you will get purified water, if in doubt – ASK. (Auga purificada, por favor.) I would not drink the water from a private home or condo, unless you know there is a purification system installed, and working. Buy bottled water; why not be completely safe? Don’t take the chance of ruining your vacation?
Can I use my laptop computer to get my e-mail and have Internet access?
You can bring your laptop computer, you will have to contact one of local ISP’s who will provide you with temporary Internet access for your limited stay. If you are staying in a hotel, most offer wireless access to their customers. There are quite a few Cyber Cafes in Cancun. Bringing a laptop computer into Mexico is a legal and accepted practice, no hassles with Aduana (Customs).
Can we get married in Cancun?
Most definitely, Cancun is a very romantic location for a wedding, many foreigners get married here. It will be almost impossible unless you hire someone who, speaks the language, understands the legal requirements and procedures. You do not want to spend all of your time in Cancun running around after all of the necessary papers and permits. If you want to get married, check out our wedding section for more information.
Is it safe to walk around the town at night?
Yes, definitely. You should feel much safer in Cancun than in the United States. There is very little crime here, and what does exist is usually petty compared to the U.S. The tourist police here are friendly and very helpful. Use your common sense, and be careful. Leave your fancy jewelry at home! After dark, stay on the main streets; do not wander on the beaches late at night. Never flash large amounts of money.
Can you tell me what the taxi rates are?
No, but the taxi fares are set, and most drivers abide by the set rates. It is best to check with the desk at your hotel. They should be able to tell you what the fare should be. Then check again with the taxi driver. Do this before you get into the taxi! Buses run up and down at all hours, every few minutes in the hotel zone, for just a few pesos you can get to anywhere, within reason. Check out our transportation page.
How will I know if I am getting a good deal on merchandise?
This is one question that nobody but you can answer. A good rule of thumb is, with street or beach vendors, always get at least a 30% discount, sometimes more. In most stores the prices are fixed, just as they are at home. If you are making large purchases or if there are several people in your party that are buying something, you can always ask for a discount. If you’re happy with the quality and price of of an item, then you are getting a good deal. Pretty simple really.
What about hospitals and doctors?
There are some very competent doctors in Cancun. Many speak English. Check with your hotel, many of the larger hotels have English speaking doctors on premises or on call. If not, they can give you the name of an English-speaking doctor, write the phone number down and carry it with you. If there is any doubt in your mind about a doctor, procedure or medication, check with your doctor at home, if possible. Medical service here is not as sophisticated as in the U.S. or Canada. You can also find additional information on our hospitals page.
Are the beaches safe?
Generally, yes. As anywhere there are a few places to beware of. During the summer there can be large swells, even in the Caribbean. Remember, about the only places you will find lifeguards here are in front of a few of the major hotels. You can swim in front of all of the major hotels. Be careful and buddy up, swim with a friend, always! Tell other people where you are going to swim and your expected return time.
What countries require a Visa to travel to Mexico?
You must obtain a visa to travel to Mexico unless you have a valid current United States Visa or you can provide proof of lawful permanent residents in the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the countries of the Schengen area.