Flag of Mexico

Flag of Mexico

Estados Unidos Mexicanos

  • United Mexican States (English)
  • Capital » Mexico City
    • 8.855 million people
      • One of the world’s largest metropolises.
      • Largest in North America


  • Population » 116 million people
  • Language » Spanish (English is widely spoken)
  • Religion » Christianity
  • Life expectancy » 75 years (men), 80 years (women)
  • Currency » peso (MXN)
  • Time Zones » Mexico spans four time zones. Eastern Time is GMT−5, Central Time is GMT−6,  Mountain Time is GMT−7, and Pacific Time is GMT−8. In all states except Sonora, clocks move forward an hour in March and back an hour in November.
  • Electricity » 120 volts, 60Hz. Standard plugs have two flat blades. Plugs with two flat blades and a round pin are also used.
  • International dialling code » +52
  • Emergency numbers » 911


Map of Mexico (Source » France, June 2021)

Map of Mexico (Source » France, June 2021)



  • Canadians allowed to stay up to 180 days without a visa.
    • The maximum length granted for a tourism-related trip is 180 days; the maximum number of days is not granted by default.
    • Immigration officials do not permit an extension or change the condition of your stay from inside the country.


  • There has numerous fascinating archaeological sites to explore.
  • A Spanish colony for much of its past, Mexico is sprawling country steeped in history and rich cultural traditions.
  • On the verge of overtourism: Mexico City (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2019)
  • Mexico is the second most visited country in North America after the USA.


  • No vehicle permit is required for cars, trucks, or motorcycles if you are only driving on the Baja peninsula or to Puerto Peñasco. If you will be driving on mainland Mexico outside of Baja or Puerto Peñasco, you will need a vehicle temporary import permit (TIP).
  • Road Traffic » Drives on the right
  • Road Assistance
    • The Green Angles (Angeles Verdes), a highway patrol service, provides free assistance on all major toll roads from 8am to 6pm.
    • In case of emergency, dial 078 or 800-006-8839 (toll free in Mexico)
  • Baja California is an overlanders’ highlight
  • If you are driving into Mexico with a foreign-plated vehicle, you require a TIP (Temporary Import Permit)  issued by Banjercito — the government agency that administers the permits. If you fail to drive your vehicle out of Mexico before the TIP expires, the vehicle will become illegal in Mexico (this affects the validity of your auto insurance) and you will lose your deposit. A TIP’s validity is usually tied to the expiry date of a Visitor Permit (FMM) or a Residente Temporal permit.
    • A TIP is required by anyone who brings a foreign-plated vehicle into Mexico and wishes to drive outside of the Free Zones.  The Free Zones are »
      • within 25km of the land border;
      • the entire Baja California peninsula;
      • a defined area in the northern state of Sonora; and,
      • the southern state of Quintana Roo.
  • Green Angels » +1 (800) 903-9200 or dial 078 from local phone
    • a free tow/mechanic service with English speaking operators


  • While a temporary car importation permit is not necessary while in Baja California, it is required in mainland Mexico and you will need to get one before taking the ferry. You can obtain one in Pichilingue in La Paz.
  • There are 2 ferry companies operating between La Paz, Baja California Sur, and mainland Mexico »
    • TMC (Transportación Maritima de California) is primarily a cargo ferry – Lots of transport trucks
      • the cheaper option
      • The ferry company allows travellers to stay in your vehicle for the duration (additional cost saving)
      • Reservations » +52 612 123 9226 up to two weeks in advance
    • Baja Ferries is primarily a passenger ferry
      • Semi-private rooms included with ticket price
      • 1-800-FERRIES (337-7437) – from Mexico only
        • 612-123-6600 (from U.S. dial 011-52-612-123-6600)
  • There are also 2 routes, both available with either ferry company »
    • La Paz, BCS to Mazatlán, Sinaloa
      • The ferry to/from Mazatlán is more expensive and slightly longer (12-16hrs)
    • La Paz, BCS to Topolobampo, Sinaloa
      • The ferry to/ Topolobampo is cheaper and more direct (6-8hrs)

World Rankings for Mexico

  • For 2023, The Institute for Economics & Peace Global Peace Index (GPI) 2023 ranked Mexico 136th out of 163 worldwide, rating the country as being at a Low state of peace. For comparison, Nicaragua ranked 123rd, El Salvador 122nd, Honduras was ranked 120th, and the USA was ranked 131st.
    • For 2021, the GPI ranked Mexico 140 out of 163, Nicaragua was 130th, Honduras was 124th, and the USA was ranked 122nd.
  • 31st  in Best Countries Overall 2021 (US News and World Report)
    • #6 in the world for Adventure 
    • #33 Best Countries Overall in 2020
  • World Economic Forum (2018)
    • Roads quality: 47th
    • Innovation capability: 50th
    • Life expectancy: 55th
    • Quality of vocational training: 59th
    • Property rights: 85th
    • Judicial independence: 110th
    • Freedom of the press: 120th
    • Reliability of police services: 138th


  • World’s largest exporter of beer
  • Mexico has the world’s largest Spanish-speaking population.
  • Family is at the core of everything in Mexico, taking precedence over work.
  • Mexicans are warm, congenial people who are known for being helpful with a strong community spirit.
  • Mexicans are known for their laid-back approach to life. The flip side is that getting things done can take some time.
  • There’s an element of machismo in interactions between men and women, sometimes bordering on sexism by Western standards. Although women are revered as mothers, men are the dominant decision-makers in the family.
  • Women pat each other on the forearm or shoulder when they meet. It’s best for men to wait for women to offer their hand first. A kiss on the cheek is customary among friends.
  • If you’re invited to someone’s home for dinner, never take red or yellow flowers because they’re associated with the Day of the Dead.
  • Mexicans will often arrive late for social occasions, but it is considered rude to arrive any more than half an hour late to a dinner hosted at the home of a Mexican.
  • If you want to take a pet to Mexico, they must be vaccinated and have a health certificate issued by a vet in your home country just before you leave.
  • There are wide discrepancies in wealth – and poverty and unemployment are widespread.
  • Mexico is very bureaucratic, which is a source of frustration for travellers and locals alike. Getting almost anything done usually requires a capacity to tolerate delays and reams of paperwork.
  • Outside tourist traps, the cost of living is low, so much so that many expats enjoy a better quality of life than they did back in their home country.
  • Mexico has the second-largest economy in Latin America, and is a major oil exporter.

Health, Safety and Security

  • Health » There are Aqua Purificato‘s in all the towns
  • Violent crimes, including homicides, kidnappings, carjacking and extortions continue to increase year-after-year, nationwide in Mexico, even in popular tourist destinations.
  • Many areas are now considered unsafe red zones and listed on national government travel advisories.
  • Tens of thousands of people have been killed in drugs-related gang violence in the past few years. Not widely reported.


  • From the Travel Canada web site for Canadians »
    • Legitimate police officers have extorted money from tourists or arrested tourists for minor offences or traffic violations. Travellers driving rental cars have been targeted. If this occurs »
      • don’t hand over your money or your passport
      • ask for the officer’s name, badge and patrol car number
      • ask for a copy of the written fine, which is payable at a later date
Mexico Travel Safety (Source » Gov.UK October 2023)

Mexico Travel Safety (Source » Gov.UK October 2023)

Government Travel Advice




This page was updated November 15, 2023