Tips are typically 10% of the billed price. It is customary to tip in a restaurant (up to 15%), a porter (in the amount of 1-2 US dollars), a driver and a guide for the tour.
The existing classification of hotels is somewhat different from the accepted European one – the number of “stars” does not always coincide with the quality of service.
According to Picktrue, the level of natural natural hazards is quite high in the country. In addition to the hot tropical sun, seismic activity and volcanism are quite high, and many active volcanoes are located quite close to large cities (Popocatepetl – 60 km from Mexico City). Around the volcanoes, 12-kilometer security zones have been created, access to which is closed. The colossal air pollution in Mexico City can also pose a real health hazard.
In Mexico, there is a high level of crime, in the first place – pickpocketing and robbery. It is recommended to travel by car, bus and train only during the day. Taxis are recommended only from official stations (“sitios”), otherwise the chance of becoming a victim of a robbery is quite high. It is recommended to order a taxi by phone, be sure to get the car number and taxi driver’s license number from the dispatcher.
At Mexico City Airport, only yellow airport taxis (with airport symbols on the door) should be hired, paying in advance at the appropriate “Transportacion Terrestre” kiosk in the airport lobby.
Try to drive on toll roads (“cuota”) – they are safer. It is also recommended to avoid solo trips in provincial areas, and often use hitchhiking. There are known cases of extortion of money by people in uniform.
Armed insurgent detachments operate in some areas of the country; if you need to travel to such areas, you should follow the recommendations of local authorities.
Mexico: Money and currency of Mexico
Mexico’s national currency is the new peso (MXP), equal to 100 centavos (cents). In 1993, the denomination of banknotes was carried out – 1000 “old” pesos correspond to 1 “new” pesos. In circulation there are banknotes of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 pesos and coins of 50, 20, 10 and 5 centavos. The new money differs from the old ones in size and appearance. Prices in new pesos are marked with NP$. The “$” sign is used for both the peso and the US dollar (US$ or USD only). Banks are open from 09:00 to 17:00 on weekdays (some bank branches are open even until 24:00 or 01:00), and from 09:00 to 14:00 on Saturday. Sunday is a day off. Some bank branches in resort areas are also open from 16:00 to 18:00, on Saturday – from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 16:00 to 18:00,
Currency exchange can be done at banks, large hotels, airports (usually the best rate) or specialized exchange offices “casas de cambio”. Often there are difficulties with the exchange of shabby banknotes or banknotes of the old series. Most hotels, restaurants, shops and travel agencies accept world leading credit cards and travelers checks (preferably in US dollars). The resort areas have a well-developed network of ATMs. US dollars are also accepted almost everywhere (the exchange rate is not the most profitable).
Mexico: Cuisine of Mexico
A distinctive feature of Mexican cuisine is the seductive aromas of spices added to food, which speaks of the richness of taste. Mexico is lucky to have both an abundance of first-class food for cooking and people who know how to find real pleasure in food. Mexicans, using food in every possible way, have created a fascinating encyclopedia of dishes in a wide variety of flavors. However, it would be a mistake to think that all Mexican dishes are spicy and heavily spiced. Some, such as vegetable soup, have a subtle, moderate flavor that does not interfere with the natural flavors of high-quality ingredients. If spices are added, then with a sense of proportion, so that the taste is soft and harmonious. Not all dishes contain chili (hot peppers), and even those where it is,
The culinary style that today is called Mexican has evolved over many centuries. It is a kind of fusion of various culinary traditions. This style has its roots in the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations. It is based on a rich selection of products available to these peoples: corn (maize), avocados, fresh and dried beans, sweet and regular potatoes, tomatoes, chilli peppers, pumpkin, duck and turkey meat, chocolate, as well as many types of fish that live in coastal waters of Mexico.
In the middle of the last century, the influence of French cuisine was added, as evidenced by a large selection of various, very tasty buns, muffins and puddings, which are still a success.
Since Mexico shares a border with the United States, it is not surprising that there is now a tangible influence of American cuisine. At the same time, the United States also contributed to the spread of Mexican cuisine around the world, although, it should be noted that “TechMech” (Tex-Mex restaurants) in Mexico itself is more difficult to find than outside it.
The most popular dish of Mexican national cuisine is tacos – corn tortilla stuffed, fried on coals. The filling depends on the taste and imagination of the cook – meat, vegetables, fruits – and is placed on top. Establishments that eat “tacos” are called taquerias in Mexico City. Taquerias flooded all of Mexico City, successfully competing with McDonald’s, pizzerias and Chinese restaurants.
Among the many taquerias in Mexico City, there is one that is especially revered by the public – its visitors, in addition to ordinary food, also receive spiritual food. It is located on Chola Street, a stone’s throw from the representative office of Aeroflot. This is a real museum. In the cafe, modestly referred to by the people as the Museum of Tacos, along with products of gastronomic art (tacos), the visitor will be able to enjoy other masterpieces – from the field of painting, sculpture, music, photography. In the hall decorated in this way, pyramids of fiery corn cakes seasoned with red and green sauce on the tables are in perfect harmony with the paintings and prints on the walls.
Mexican cuisine ranges from easy-to-make tacos and tostados for a quick snack, to festive dishes like mole poblanos or mouth-watering beans and other vegetable dishes that make you realize that vegetarian food can also bring joy.
The most popular cheese in Mexico is the easy-to-crumble, salty-tasting queso fresco. Another common type of cheese is Queso de Chihuahua. Chili peppers are the hallmark of Mexican cuisine, they are used both raw and processed to give the dish a specific flavor and spiciness. Another “calling card” is chayote. Chayote is a fruit weighing from 180 to 360 g, outwardly similar to a ribbed pear, with a light green rather thick skin and crisp white flesh with a delicate taste. Chayote is eaten baked, stewed, boiled in casseroles, and sometimes raw in salads. You can peel them both before and after cooking. The seeds of the young chayote are also edible.
Mexico: Culture of Mexico
The dominant religion is Christianity (97% of the population consider themselves Catholics).
During the winter months, a two-week Jazz Festival is held throughout the country. The traditional Carnival takes place at the end of February or at the beginning of March in the week before the Day of Repentance. The traditional spring festival, accompanied by costumed processions and climbing the pyramids, takes place in Teotihuacan on the day of the spring equinox. On the same days (and also on September 21) in Chichen Itza, the festival of Quetzalcoatl (Quetzalcoatl or the Feathered Serpent) takes place.
On Independence Day, colorful folk festivals are held in the central squares of all settlements. Immediately after All Saints’ Day (November 2), the eerie “Dia de los Muertos” takes place – a holiday to honor the dead. On the day of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe (December 12), the colorful Señora de Guadalupe Festival and a pilgrimage to the capital of the country, to the Basilica of the Virgin Mary (one of the centers of Catholicism in America) take place.
- January 1 – New Year
- February 5 – Constitution Day
- February 24 – Flag Day
- March 21 – Birthday of the national hero of the country Benito Juarez
- April 21 – Good Friday
- March-April – Easter
- April 30 – Children’s Day
- May 1 – Labor Day
- May 5 – Anniversary of the Battle of Pueblo in 1862 (Indian holiday)
- September 16 – Independence Day
- October 12 – Discovery of America Day, “Dia de la Rasa”
- November 20 – Revolution Day
- December 8 – Immaculate Conception Day
- December 12 – Day of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe
- December 25 – Christmas
On national holidays, all government offices and banks are closed.