Mexico, officially the United Mexican States is a federal republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico.
Covering almost two million square kilometres, Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent nation in the world. With an estimated population of over 113 million, it is the eleventh most populous and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most populous country in Latin America. Mexico is a federation comprising thirty-one states and a Federal District, its capital and largest city.
Mexico has one of the world's largest economies, it is the tenth largest oil producer in the world, the largest silver producer in the world and is considered both a regional power and middle power. In addition, Mexico was the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD (since 1994), and considered an upper-middle income country by the World Bank. Mexico is considered a newly industrialized country and an emerging power. It has the fifteenth largest nominal GDP and the tenth largest GDP by purchasing power parity.
The economy is strongly linked to those of its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, especially the United States. Mexico ranks sixth in the world and first in the Americas by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with 32, and in 2010 was the tenth most visited country in the world with 22.5 million international arrivals per year. According to Goldman Sachs, by 2050 Mexico is expected to become the world's fifth largest economy. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimated in January 2013 that by 2050 Mexico could be the world's seventh largest economy. Mexico has membership in prominent institutions such as the UN, the WTO, the G20 and the Uniting for Consensus.
In tourist areas of Cancun, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta special tourist police works. Its representatives speak English and can provide some information: direction, the nearest shops and so on. In general, it is recommended to follow the traditional rules of safety: not walk the streets at night, not to go to non-touristic areas, do not leave belongings unattended, use only official taxis, be careful of people who impose their services, do not carry documents, expensive jewelry and large sums of cash, prefer Highways to free roads (especially at night) etc.
Notice: It is forbidden to drink alcohol at the streets o Mexico. To avoid trouble with the police, it is recommended not to do so even in the tourist areas.
The Mexican peso (MXN) is the currency of Mexico. Modern peso and dollar currencies have a common origin in the 15th–19th century Spanish dollar, most continuing to use its sign, "$". The Mexican peso is the 8th most traded currency in the world, the third most traded currency originating from the Americas (after the United States dollar and Canadian dollar), and the most traded currency originating from Latin America. Banknotes: 100, 50, 20 and 10 peso. Coins: 50, 20, 10 and 5 centavos. 1 peso = 100 centavos. Please pay attention when buying something: peso is signed as American dollar - $ (prices in shops and restaurants are usually in peso). You will often see sign “Dlls” when prices are in American dollars and sign “M.N.” (“moneda nacional” – national currency) when they are in peso. You can pay via credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express). It is recommended to take American dollars when traveling to Mexico. Banks are usually opened from 9:00 to 17:00 (Monday-Friday) and from 9:00 to 14:00 on Saturdays. Sunday is day-off. You can change money in hotels, airports and exchange offices.
Time in Mexico
Mexico uses four main time zones since February 2015:
Zona Sureste (Southeast Zone) covers the state of Quintana Roo (the equivalent of Canadian and U.S. Eastern Time).
Zona Centro (Central Zone) covers the eastern three-fourths of Mexico, including Mexico City (the equivalent of Canadian and U.S. Central Time).
Zona Pacífico (Pacific Zone) covers the states of Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora (the equivalent of Canadian and U.S. Mountain Time).
Zona Noroeste (Northwest Zone) covers the state of Baja California (the equivalent of Canadian and U.S. Pacific Time).
Daylight saving time
Daylight saving time has been observed in Mexico beginning in 1996. Except for the municipalities located less than 20 km from the US border, it does not coincide with the longer extended daylight saving period adopted for 2007 in the United States. Rather, the federal law dictates that daylight saving time be observed between 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in April through 2 a.m. on the last Sunday in October. During DST period, Mexico uses 4 different time zones.
Time in Cancun: UTC/GMT -5 hours
It is accepted to tip 10-15 % of the bill sum in Mexican restaurants in accordance with the service quality. You are not accepted to tip in taxi.
The mains voltage is 127 V, 60 Hz. Plug type: A, B.
You can use public buses to get from Cancun hotels to Downtown.
Inside the hotel zone taxi costs around 6-10 USD, in Downtown it’s cheaper – around 2-3 USD.
Useful phone numbers
Emergency situation – 065
It is not recommended to drink tap water. Be careful in the sun, as it is too active, especially in tropic zone.