Overlooking houses on a oceanside cliff in Mexico
Avoid Making These Mistakes When Visiting Mexico
Even if you don't enjoy seeing old buildings, we suggest making an exception to see the Mayan and Aztec ruins.
Foregoing The Ruins
The Mayan pyramids defy belief, and successful techniques have preserved them. Among the most impressive are Chichén-Itzá in Yucatán state and Palenque in Chiapas.
Near Mexico City, the city of Teotihuacan, which pre-dates the arrival of the Spanish, is a Unesco World Heritage site, and its complex of temples and pyramids is a showstopper.
In Mexico, visitors will find many international hotel and food chains across the country but should bypass them in favor of regionally unique businesses.
International Chains
Chicken fans should try Pollo Feliz, Tajin-seasoned options at Pollo Pepe, or tacos at El Pescadito Taquerias. Many other fast food options, or "comida corrida," are available.
Finding an English speaker in large tourist areas like Cancún, Acapulco, and Los Cabos isn't difficult, but in outer areas, visitors should learn some Spanish.
Speaking English
You don't need to be fluent, but a few simple words and phrases will lend the trip an entirely different sensibility and connect you to the locals more resolutely.
Courtesy and respect are central parts of Mexican culture. You'll be warmly addressed as "señor" or "señora" ("sir" and "ma'am") and should show good manners in return.
Greet people with a simple "Buenos dias" to someone in the morning or a "gracias" if they hold open a door. On public transport, always give up your seat to an older person.
Mexicans are proud of their cooking, and it is considered rude not to try food when offered. To avoid offending your host, tell them of any dietary restrictions in advance.
There are many places worldwide where the concept of tipping is rare, but it is expected in Mexico for anyone in the service industry.
Not Tipping
Mexican wages are relatively low, and tips go a long way toward making positions financially sustainable for employees. A good rule of thumb is to tip 10-20% of the bill.