Overall Mexico is a cheap destination. Depending on the duration, the time, the place chosen, the standing… the budget will vary enormously. The right time to visit Mexico is from October to April, i.e. during the dry season. From December to February, the weather is often cloudy in the Yucatan, so it can rain. On the coast of the coast and Gulf of Mexico, there may be hurricanes during the months of September and October. Traveller’s cheques are the safest way to transport money; they can easily be changed in casas de cambio and in most banks.
Transport in Mexico
For a round trip Paris-Mexico it is necessary to count on average in the 600/900 € per person. A domestic flight Mexico/Cancun may cost you between 50 and 150 €. Domestic routes in Mexico are mainly operated by Aeromexico, Mexicana and Aviacsa. From Paris, it is best to take the direct flight by Air France which lasts 9 hours. For small budgets it is possible to leave Madrid by Iberia or Amsterdam via KLM, the trip being a little longer but more economical at certain times. Flights to Cancun are often cheaper than to Mexico City because the destination is more popular. If you arrive in Cancun, the charter airlines Corsair, XL Airways or Air Europa (via Madrid) are the best placed in terms of price.
It is the only real means of transportation in Mexico. Buses operate absolutely everywhere, in very different comfort conditions depending on the region and the route. For very long distances, compare with the fares of low-cost airlines, which are often cheaper.
Mexico has more than 20,000 km of railways, but in most of the country only freight trains operates, with the exception of 3 of them. Chihuahua al Pacifico, nicknamed El Chépé, connects Los Mochis to Chihuahua. It is the famous train that crosses the magnificent Canyon Del Cobre and the Sierra de Tarahumaras. The route is spectacular with 655 km of slalom on the slopes of the canyon, 87 tunnels, and 37 bridges… The price of the trip is 140 €, it is expensive but it is well worth the cost, this railway line is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Tequila Express is a train that allows you to visit the factory where Tequila is made. The journey takes 1h45 and the price is 70 €. The train takes you to Guadalajara and takes you to Amatitan, the capital of Tequila. The Mayan Expresso circulates between the Yucatan Peninsula, Palenque and Villahermosa.
Compared to the price of the bus, it is rather expensive: between 27 and 50 € per day depending on the model, unlimited mileage and insurance. However, it remains profitable for 3 or 4 people. The rental price varies from one region to another. For example, in Cancun, it is more expensive than elsewhere. Gasoline is 60% cheaper than in France. Be careful because in desert areas, resorts are rare. The Mexican road network is relatively well developed but in a very uneven state.
Accommodation in Mexico
For very touristy cities like Yucatan, the Pacific coast and Baja California, prices are of course higher. In high season they can increase by 30 to 60%. You can stay from 10 €, the average price is 30 €. As in most other countries, very cheap hotels offer rooms with shared toilets and showers. For average hotels, a room with air conditioning will be more expensive than a room with a fan. Feel free to take a look at the websites of these establishments, as they regularly post discounts. Often for just a few extra pesos, you benefit from a much better price-quality ratio than a mid-category establishment. Youth hostels are very interesting in terms of budget, between 5 and 15 € per night. And above all, there is a good atmosphere there.
A cheap meal is about 4 euros, and it costs 10 to 15 € for an average meal. Don’t forget the tips, between 10 and 15% of the bill. For example, a taco costs €0.20 a cola cola and a bottle of mineral water €0.35
Excursions and visits
Here is an example of different activities with their prices.
- Boat trip in the canals of Xochimilco: 10 €
- Anthropological Museum of Mexico: 3 €
- Teotihuaccan Pyramid: 3 €
- Mayan Medicine Museum of San Cristobal: 1 € 1
- Celestun Nature Reserve: 9 €
- Entrance to the Palenque site and excursion in the jungle: 12 €
- Visit of the ruins of Tulum: 3 €
- Quad biking in Playa Del Carmen: 26 €
Healthcare in Mexico
No vaccine is required except yellow fever if you come from an endemic country. Its price is 42 € and not reimbursed by the Social Security. It is essential to take out medical repatriation insurance before departure. A day’s hospitalization in Mexico costs on average €1,000, and a repatriation to France costs about €10,000.