Things are a little different south of the border
Lots of travel guides provide lists of things to see and do in a particular destination, but the “what not to dos” are often just as important. Each country has their own customs, culture, caveats, manners and laws that visitors should be aware of. Mexico may be just south of the border, but you have to expect things to be a bit different than they are back home. As a visitor, you have to adjust to their ways, not the other way around. Whether you’re basking on a Baja beach, staying at a Yucatan resort, exploring a small mountain village or heading to a big city, there are some basic tips and tidbits to keep in mind when in this fascinating country. Here are ten things NOT to do in Mexico.
Here is a transcript of 10 Things Not to Do in Mexico
Most travel guides will give you lists of things to do in a destination, but often the “what not to dos” are just as important considerations. Here are 10 things NOT to do in Mexico.
1. Don’t Drink the Water
Beyond resorts and restaurants that use purified water filtration systems, don’t drink the water! Stick to bottled H2O. You should brush your teeth with bottled water, too. FYI, Cancun has a state-of-the-art water filtration system but not many other places do
2. Don’t Forget the Iced Drinks May Be Iffy Too
Be wary of crushed ice, ice cubes and tap-washed produce as much as the drinking water unless you want to spend your vacation nursing tummy troubles.
3. Don’t Underestimate the Chiles
Cooks have to wear gloves when handling these babies. Even if you douse on the the hot-sauce back home, go easy on the Mexican chiles until you know you can handle the heat.
4. Don’t Expect Everyone to Speak English
Duh. It’s a Spanish speaking country and not everyone is in the tourist industry. Get a guidebook or app and learn how to ask for directions, order food and be polite in the local language, por favor.
5. Don’t Expect Service Standards to Be Just Like Back Home
Things are little more laid-back and tranquilo in Mexico. The country runs on “Mexican time” so pad your schedule to accommodate delays and take it easy.
6. Don’t Take the First Price Offered in a Market
Let the merchant offer the opening price, then counter with a number close to half of that. You’ll go back and forth until you settle on a mutually agreeable amount.
7. Don’t Forget to Carry Small Bills
Mexican merchants don’t always carry a floater of small change. Don’t get caught with only big bills in your pocket, or you may be out of luck when wanting to make minor purchases.
8. Don’t Do Drugs
It’s guilty until proven innocent down there, and they can let you rot in a cell for a long time. Sentences of 25 years and heavy fines are not unheard of.
9. Don’t Expect the Waiter to Bring You The Bill
Waiters in Mexico will wait for you to ask for the bill rather than present it to you after you’ve finished your dessert and coffee.
10. Don’t Expect to Find Toilet Seats Outside of Tourist Areas
You’ll be presented with the standard porcelain rim, but not the flip down seat that makes the process all the more comfortable. Something to remember if you’re afflicted with Montezuma’s revenge!
For more things not to do in Mexico, read our post 19 Things NOT to Do in Mexico.