SCUBA DIVING MEXICO
Superb & Varied dives in Mexico can be found in the Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Sea of Cortez, as well as in rivers, cenotes, and lakes.
As a big country with waters in the Caribbean and the Pacific, Mexico has many diving attractions.
The United Mexican States, or commonly Mexico, is a nation located in North America, bound on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the North Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Central America, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico.
With waters in the Caribbean and the Pacific, Mexico has many diving attractions. The Sea of Cortez is a famous place for visits of some of the biggest creatures of the oceans (whale, whaleshark). The Riviera Maya is a tourist district in the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatán Peninsula and includes top diving places from Islas Mujeres, Cozumel and the several mysterious Cenotes, a sinkhole in the Earth’s surface with a chain of underground river networks. Don’t forget the Galapagos of Mexico, the Revillagigedo Archipelago, more commonly called Socorro.
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CLIMATE: The weather in Mexico is as varied as its geography: there are tropical forests, arid desserts, fertile valleys and snow covered mountain peaks. The coasts are generally warm throughout the year, although it is very rainy during some months. In Mexico City, the weather is quite pleasant, neither too hot nor too cold. In the central highlands, the weather is cool, as well as in the mountainous areas. In some northern states, such as Monterrey and Chihuahua, it is very hot in summer and extremely cold in winter. Before traveling to Mexican beaches, make sure it is not hurricane season.
TIME ZONE: There are four time zones in Mexico
ELECTRICITY: Standard 110 volt and US type outlets are used.
CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS: Currency is Mexican pesos and some U S dollars in small denominations for tips and the occasional cash purchases. Dive operations and other tour providers usually prefer to be paid in U S dollars. ATM cards will receive Mexican pesos. Check which cards are accepted in advance, since many places that do accept credit cards only accept selected one.
GRATUITIES: Tipping is the same as in the US. 15% in restaurants-20% if service is exceptional. Tip luggage handlers $1-$1.50 US per bag. Tip maids: A suggested rate at rental villas is $10 per bedroom per week.
PHONE & INTERNET SERVICE: Pre-paid telephone cards, internet, and facsimile machines are available. There are also a number of Internet Cafés all over Cozumel. Most hotels and resorts have internet available, many with Wi-Fi.
VISA & PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS: When traveling beyond the border zone, or when entering the country by air, U.S. citizens are required to pay a fee to obtain a tourist card (FM-T), which is available at border crossings, Mexican tourist offices and airports, within the border zone. Major airlines will provide this form during your trip. You must include the following information on the form: numbers of days you will be in the country, passport number, destination, city of origin and other related information. Legal, permanent residents in the United States or Canada do not need a visa to enter Mexico.
CUSTOMS: Free import
1. (only for persons over 18 years of age:) 200 cigarettes OR 50 cigars OR 200 grammes of pipe tobacco;
2. (only for persons over 18 years of age:) 3 litres of wine or liquor (alcoholic beverages);
3. a reasonable quantity of perfume, eau-de-cologne and lotions for personal use;
4. a photo or movie or video camera. One additional camera for passengers residing outside Mexico;
5. 12 rolls of film or video cassettes;
6. goods up to USD 300.-.
DEPARTURE TAX: All visitors must pay a departure tax of about US$13 and a tourism tax of about US$8.50. It is usually included in your airfare, so check in advance. If it is not, you must pay it in cash at the airport.
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