Riviera Maya Information: Important tips before traveling


Mexico passport and visa requirements when traveling to Mexico, customs and regulations, alcohol and smoking restrictions in Mexico and other practical information for your holidays in the Riviera Maya.

Good to know before you travel.

Mexico Passport and Visa Requirements to Cancun

When you reach the arriving terminal after landing in Cancun you will be guided to the immigration hall where you will form a line and wait for your turn with a Mexican Immigration officer.

This officer will ask you for your passport (birth certificate and photo ID if you are a US or Canadian citizen), entry visa, if you are from a country which requires it, and your tourist card, which will be given to you aboard the plane. The immigration officer may ask you a few questions as of the purpose of your trip, how long you will be staying and if this is your first time in Mexico.

Multiple Inmigration Form

This two part document is your “permission” from the Mexican government to visit Mexico. It is available free of charge. The airlines always have an ample supply upon check in.

– Do not lose or deface the bottom portion returned to you after the immigration inspection. It must be returned to Mexican Immigration upon departure.

– TIP: Write down your tourist card number and keep it with your travel documents. If the card is lost, having the number will help greatly. Keep your tourist card and travel documents in a secure place. Do not carry them with you everywhere you go, unless traveling extensively from your point of arrival.


You can ask to have your card validated for more time ( up to 180 days) than you’ll actually need.

Everybody needs a passport for enter to Mexico. Citizens from some countries might require an entry visa. If you are not sure please check with your travel agent and/or the Mexican Embassy in your country.

There are several countries that do not need a visa to enter Mexico. We cannot list all of them but they include The United States, Canada and some countries members of the European Union.


Customs in Mexico – What can I bring to my vacations to Cancun, Mexico?

During the inbound flight, you will receive and need to fill out a customs form (Hacienda). After passing through immigration, you collect your bags and proceed to the exit. You will hand the form to the customs agent and press the button on what looks like a traffic light.

A green light means “go” and red means “inspection” in which case, officials perform a quick inspection.

As a rule of thumb you are allowed to bring into Mexico whatever you need for the time period you will be staying in Mexico. Y

You are not allowed to bring food, fruits and/or products that are not “company” packed and sealed. And if you are bringing food or products they are allowed only if you need them because of a special diet or for medical reasons.


You are allowed to enter free of duty any purchases with a combines value of up to $800 when you have been out of the US for at least 48 hours. Ths amount excludes Mexican handicrafts since they are duty free.

One litre of alcohol is allowed into the U.S. duty free. In some US states, additional bottles may be brought in if duty free is paid and traveler is at least 21.


Alcohol law in Mexico

The age limit in Mexico for purchasing beer , wine and liquors is 18 years. Wine, spirits and beer are only sold at some stores in towns, small towns and villages.

In Playa del Carmen there are some specialized stores where you can buy any beer and wine you want to from all over the world.

You are allowed to bring with you the following alcoholic beverages free of customs and excise duty:

• Three- liter bottles of wine , hard liquor or beer

Smoking Restrictions in Mexico

The age limit for smoking is 18 years

Hotels, bars, restaurants and all other establishments where food and beverage are served, smoking is not permitted. Many establishments have their smoking area. All the places of work are non-smoking areas.

You are allowed to bring with you two cartons of cigarettes or 200 g of other tobacco products of customs and excise duty

Emergency numbers in Cancun, Riviera Maya

In the event of an emergency, here you have some emergency telephone numbers :

• 066 – Fire

• 066 – Police

• 066 – Ambulance


• (984) -879-3669 , 70 – Fire (Direct line)

• (984) -879-3669 , 70 – Ambulance(Direct line)

• (984) 877 – 3340 – Playa del Carmen Police ( Direct line)

• (984) 871- 2005 – Tulum Police (Direct line)

• (984) 803-1002 – Playa del Carmen Private Hospital – HOSPITEN



Most of the time this airport tax is included in the price of your ticket. Please check with your airline or check your airline ticket to make sure the tax is included. Depending on the exchange the tax is around $48.00 USD per person

It is prohibited without special permission to import the following:

Drugs, and poisons (minor quantities of medicine for personal use are permitted)
Alcohol over 60 % per vol.
Weapons and ammunition
Mammals, birds and exotic animals
Plants/parts thereof for cultivation

Can I pay in US dollars in my holidays in the Riviera Maya? The official currency in Cancun & Riviera Maya is the Mexican peso but American dollars are also accepted. Banks are open Monday-Friday from 9am to 4pm but there are exchange houses found all over Cancun & Playa del Carmen that are open much later

How much money should I get?

It all depends on how many people you are traveling with, how many days you will be in Mexico, what are you planing on doing, etc. On average a family of two people traveling for five days in Mexico would exchange about $1,000.00 USD. Again, this is just the average but it should give you an idea of how much money you should exchange now.

Electrical devices in your vacations in Mexico:

The electricity in the Riviera Maya is 110 volts AC . This is the mexican electricity standard

The standard Riviera Maya electricity supply is 110 volts. Hotels usually offer voltage converters for 220 volt devices. Many sockets do not accept polarized or three-prong plugs so it is recommended that you bring your own adapter but you can usually buy these in the hotel shop.


Taxis at the Airport and Villages

Regular taxis or cabs ARE NOT allowed to pick up passengers at the airport. Only authorized transportation companies are allowed.

You can hail a taxi off the street or pick one up at the many taxi ranks throughout the towns.

What clothes should I pack?

The Riviera Maya’s weather does not fluctuate significantly through out the year. Here you’ll find some tips of how to dress in the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Casual clothes like T-shirts and shorts. For the average tourist, there’s not much need for dressy clothes. You’ll know whether you’re the type to visit fancier restaurants that require dressier clothes. Cancun , Playa del Carmen and The Riviera Maya are diverse and cosmopolitan, so look fancy and gorgeous and enjoy the Mexican Caribbean in a huge variety of these type of places. If you are in an All Inclusive Resort, some of them required formal casual clothes to dine in their restaurants. You may need a light sweater or sweatshirt for the occasional cool evening.

Shoes: Bring a pair for walking, and sandals for the beach.

Camera and video: If you forgot your camera, It’s sometimes overpriced to get one in the tourist areas. If you go to the major grocery stores or Wal-Mart in downtown Playa del Carmen you’ll find camera or photo accessories at reasonable prices..
In case you are traveling to Tulum the clothes are more informal. In all restaurants accept people with shorts, nothing fancy. We highly recommend you use repelent.
Daylight Saving Time in Mexico

Daylight saving time (DST) gives us the opportunity to enjoy sunny summer evenings by moving our clocks an hour forward in the spring.

The main purpose of daylight saving time (DST) is to make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

DST, also known as summer time, always starts on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October.


About mayanexplore.com

Travel guide to the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum. Features hotels, original activities, tours, restaurants and wedding planning.
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