Mexican Magic Town Vacations FAQ

Passport and Visas

Passport:
Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months’ validity remaining. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

Visas:
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The below country specific information was correct at time of writing, however please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarize yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Also remember to check whether a transit visa is required on route to join this trip or on the way home.
If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit.

Australians, Americans, Canadians, British and New Zealanders do not currently require a visa for Mexico. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your booking agent.

Medical and health information

All our travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on Mexico trips. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group,  Dulce Vida reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you’ll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will  suggest restaurants to try during your trip, in addition to the restaurants included in the vacation package. As a rule our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There’s no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, celiac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) cannot be accommodated along these trip Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts, to determine if we can accommodate.

Money matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier.
The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the reliability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

CONTINGENCY FUNDS:
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

CREDIT CARDS & ATMS:
Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and MasterCard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout this trip (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as – suspecting fraud – they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.
If bringing over cash, please note USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.

CURRENCY INFORMATION:

Mexico currency information – The official currency of Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN). Major credit cards are the easiest money in Mexico. You can use major credit cards and some debit cards to withdraw cash pesos from ATMs and over the counter at banks..

TIPPING:
If you’re happy with the service you receive, providing a tip – though not compulsory – is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it’s of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations.

The recommended tipping amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers. We do however recommend that you tip in the local currency

  • Hold on to your smaller notes and coins to make tipping easier. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
  • Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants – round your bill up to the nearest US$5. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% of your bill.
  • Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide. We suggest US$3-5 per passenger per day.
  • Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest US$3-6 per day for drivers.
  • Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide. We suggest tipping these guides about USD$2-3 per day.

In total, we recommend you budget approx USD$5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

Packing

Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You’ll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 15-20kg for check in luggage and a maximum of 5kg for carry on.

If you plan on shopping, an extra bag is always a good idea.

Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:

ESSENTIAL:

  • Warm as well as light clothing. Mexico is often assumed to have hot weather, but it can get cold in the countryside, mountains and at night in the winter so we suggest you check the expected temperatures en route and bring clothing that you can layer.
  • Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings
  • Most streets are cobblestone, so soft rubber sole; shoes will be a must,
  • Sun protection – hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses

RECOMMENDED:

  • Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, travel insurance etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
  • Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your safe if available. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.

Group Leader

All Dulce Vida Tour group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible

Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. We have broad knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Dulce Vida Travel we aim to support local guides who have specialized knowledge of the regions we visit.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website’s safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safekeeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jeweler at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you’ll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it’s deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

MONEY WITHDRAWAL:
In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

SEAT BELTS:
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

LOCAL LODGINGS:
On this trip you will be staying in some restored houses and local lodges – these are one of the charms of this journey, but their staircases, balconies and passages etc may not always comply with western safety standards. Please do not expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved to their original state.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

Travelling on a group trip

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don’t involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour – pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is recommended for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

Responsible Travel

Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It’s about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you’re travelling in. How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below:

  • Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste.
  • Eat at local restaurants; buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy.
  • Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone.
  • Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you.
  • Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags

Disclaimer Statement

Dulce Vida Travel acts only as an agency for the various independent suppliers that provide sightseeing services,connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Dulce Vida Travel and our respective associates accept no liability for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or any other incident that may incur, during participants tour. Responsibility is not accepted for any kind of sickness, weather, terrorist acts, acts of nature. Each traveler is responsible for purchasing travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated losses during travel.