Traveling to Mexico - guanajuato

[TRV Compass] Traveling to Mexico

— Updated on July 20, 2019

  • General
  • Guanajuato
  • Mexico City
  • Oaxaca

Traveling to Mexico would be an eye opening experience for you.  In this article, we will introduce general information about traveling in Mexico, and then, we will introduce some cities and regions in Mexico to visit..

Mexico is a country with diverse nature, historical monuments of both indigenous and colonial culture, unique gastronomy, and various forms of arts.  You will experience several mysteries and discoveries of the world.

I. Transportation

Short Distance

  1. Uber: In major and mid-sized cities, Uber would be the most convenient mean of transportation.
  2. Taxi: For your safety, you should always call a taxi company or have front desk call for you. You can stop taxi on the street but it is not recommended for safety reasons.

Long Distance

  1. Bus: Bus is very convenient mean of transportation in Mexico. There are different bus companies but we would recommend Primera Plus and ETN because they are comfortable.
  2. Airplane: Airplanes are more costly than bus, but there are several domestic flights available.
  3. Rental Car: Driving by yourself is one of the most convenient mean of traveling in Mexico.  Major rental car companies are available in Mexico.

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!!! Attention !!!

If you are driving to Mexico City, be aware that there is restriction as to which cars can enter, based on the last digit of license plate. This is one of the government policy to reduce air polution. The license plate rule is as below:

  • Monday: no driving if license plate ends with 5 or 6.
  • Tuesday: no driving if license plate ends with 7 or 8.
  • Wednesday: no driving if license plate ends with 3 or 4.
  • Thursday: no driving if license plate ends with 1 or 2.
  • Friday: no driving if license plate ends with 9, 0 or a letter.
  • Saturday and Sunday: All vehicles may be driven.

(Mexican law changes frequently so, be sure to check the latest rule before you travel.

Recommended site:

It is in Spanish but just sit down and try decoding what it says.  With numbers and colors, you can actually understand!!!  Maybe with a little bit of google translation.)

II. Accommodation

Accomodation would not be much of a big concern when traveling in Mexico.

  • Most of internationally franchised hotels are present in Mexico.
  • If you are looking into less expensive accomodation, we would recommend business hotels, such as City Express.
  • In addition to above, air bnb is available in some cities.

Although accomodation is not a big concern, there are a few things you should be aware of:

  • There are cheap motels but securities can be a big question.
  • If you are staying in older facilities, you may experience little supply of hot water when taking shower.  Feel free to contact front desk when you encounter a problem. 
    (Water in Mexico contains high amount of calcium, which clogs water system over time.  That is why water can be a problem in older facilities.)
  • Keep your doors and windows locked.

III. Food

In mexico, there are diverse Mexican dishes. You should try as much different dishes as possible. (Small yellow and orange chili or habanero are spicier than large red or green chilis!!!)

If you are not keen on Mexican food, you also have choice of fast food restaurant and non-Mexican restaurant.  What you would see in many cities in Mexico would be Mexican Chinese, Brazilian, Argentinean, and Italian.  You may see som Korean and Japanese.  It would be difficult to find Indian or Thai restaurant. 

As for Water, tap water is NOT drinkable. You can use tap water for brushing teeth and washing dishes but not recommended drinking.

IV. Safety

There are violent and scary news spread around the world about safety in Mexico. They are all true but at the same time, they are biased. Many of those violent crimes are targeted at mainly two group of people.

  1. First, people who are involved in drug trading and mafia activities, and
  2. second, politically involved figures.

Therefore, you do not need to be scared and intimidated by all the news you read or hear when traveling to Mexico.  You must always use your common sense, to avoid getting into troubles, just as you do in many other places but, probability of an ordinary tourist getting into violent crimes is low.

(Even so, you should NOT wear anything flashy, expensive, and sexy to avoid any trouble.  Attire and your behavior can make yourself target of crime.)

V. Climate

Climate depends on where you go in Mexico, but the general rule of thumb is that Mexico has rain season and dry season. Rain season is June through September, and the rest of months are dry seasons. Due to precipitation cycle, flowers blossom after rain season in October so, you would feel that spring has finally come in fall.

If you are traveling to the capital, Mexico City, and other central region, such as Queretaro, Guanajuato and Guadalajara, keep in mind that you are going to places that are altitude of 1,500 – 2,300m. The climate in such altitude is burning hot during the day, and cold in the morning. Therefore, it is recommended to carry both short sleeves and jacket, especially if you are traveling to the central region of Mexico.

Check the weather before you travel: >>> CHECK WEATHER <<<

VI. Power Plug & Voltage

Power Plug: 1) Type A
2) Type B
Voltage: 124V, 60 Hz
Get universal socket
Get step-down converter

VII. Language

Mexico is a Spanish speaking country.

You can find some English speakers, and many of who are willing to help foreigners when they see one.

In some historical sites, you may encounter indigenous descendant who speak regional language, such as Zapotec.  It maybe interesting to learn the indigenous language during your travel to Mexico.

>> Survival Spanish <<<

VIII. Currency

National Currency: Mexican Pesos

***When you see “$” sign, they usually mean pesos but be sure to confirm with the seller.  (Many B2B transactions are made in US dollars.)

Quick currency conversion:
USD 1 = MXN 20 (actual varies from USD 1 = MXN 17 – 20)

General sense of the cost in the currency

  • A can of coke: MXN 10
  • A piece of taco: MXN 10
  • A meal in McDonalds: MXN 100
  • A meal in restaurant: MXN 150 – 450 / person
  • Tips (supermarket / street): MXN 1 – 5
             (restaurant): 10-15%

IX. Visa Requirement Check

—– Business —– —– Tourist —–

Things to do, places to go in Guanajuato | Mexico Travel


Guanajuato is a city located in central Mexico, and it is a UNESCO world heritage site.  It has prospered for silver mining, for university of Guanajuato, and for its unique and diverse culture and cultural events. 

Today, the state of Guanajuato is fast growing thanks to automotive industry rush, and the city of Guanajuato has become the cradle of many engineer, and it has also become one of the most popular tourist spot in the region.

Due to the silver mining, which is still undergoing, the city is filled with tunnels.  The tunnels have shaped its unique streets and buildings.  Another signature aspect of Guanajuato is its colorful buildings, which is just a spectacular view, especally from in front of Pipila statue.

It is definitely one of  the must-go places in the world.

[Downtown Area]

All of them are very pretty.

I. Places to go

  1. Union Garden
  2. Teatro Juarez
  3. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato
  4. Universidad de Guanajuato
  5. Callejon del Beso
  6. Mercado Hidalgo
  7. Alhóndiga de Granaditas
  8. Pipila

II. Restaurant / Cafe

  1. La Trattoria
    – Italia restaurant
  2. La Vie en Rose
    – French cafe / restaurant
  3. El Horla
    – Mexican cafe

III. Events

  1. El Cervantino – October
    It would be the biggest cultural event in Mexico.
    Musicians, artists, performers, merchants, and craftsman, gather from all over the world.
  2. Dia de Muerto – November
    Less known but the floor arts, and other decorations are beautiful!

[Away from Downtown Area]

Downtown area would be very satisfactory, but if you want more adventure, below would be some options.

I. Places

  1. Museo de las Momia
  2. Mina la Valenciana
  3. Cristo Ray


Things to do, places to go in Mexico City   |   Mexico Travel


Mexico city, the capital of Mexico, is one of the oldest and largest cities in the Americas.  The city was originally built by Aztecs in the 14th century, on the island of lake Texcoco.  The city was once destroyed but it has been rebuilt according to Spanish urban standards in the 16th century.

[Downtown Area]

There are many things to do, and to see so, focus on what you would prefer to do.  If you are an arty person, focus on museum visits, and if you are a history person, focus on historical sites.

I. Places to go

  1. Chapultepec Park
  2. National Palace
  3. Metropolitan Cathedral
  4. Chapultepec Castle
  5. National Anthropology Museum
  6. Templo Mayor
  7. Zocalo
  8. Palace of Fine Arts
  9. Inbursa Aquarium
  10. Frida Kahlo Museum

II. Restaurant / Cafe

  1. Cochinita Pibil at El Turix
  2. Lunch at Restaurant Nicos
  3. Churreria el Moro
  4. An Octopus Tostada at El K-Guamo
  5. La Botica

III. Events

  1. January / February: Ambulante Film Festival
  2. February: Zona Maco contemporary art festival
  3. March: Festival del Centro Historico
  4. March: Veve Latino
  5. October / November: Festival del Dia de Muertos

[Away from Downtown Area]

You may not have time to visit all the places away from the city but if you get a chance, they are highly recommended to visit.

I. Places

  1. Floating Garden of Xochimilco
  2. Teotihuacan Pyramid
  3. Puebla


Things to do, places to go in Oaxaca

  |   Mexico Travel


Oaxaca is a sovereign state of Mexico, located in south of Mexico.  It is know for indigenous people and their culture, majority of which are Zapotec and Mixtec.  There are so much that you can explore, including food, crafts, architecture, ruins, and festivals.  In Oaxaca, you can experience “real” Mexico.

One extra thing to add about Oaxaca is Abuelita character appears in Pixar’s movie Coco was inspired by Fabian Mendoza, who has been working in the kitchen of Taller and Maria Angeles alebrijes studio.

[Downtown Area]

There are so many good places to go but here are some suggestions.

I. Places to go

  1. Iglesia de Santo Domingo
  2. Oaxaca Cathedral
  3. Zocalo square and Mercado Juarez
  4. The Basilica of Our Lady Solitude
  5. The Rufino Tamayo Museum
  6. Museo Casa Juarez

II. Restaurant / Cafe

  1. Restaurante Casa Oaxaca
  2. Mercadito Gastronomico
  3. Lechoncito de Oro
  4. Origen
  5. Criollo
  6. La Mercado Cosecha

III. Events

  1. February / March: Carnival
  2. March / April: Semana Santa
  3. July: Guelaguetza
  4. August: Blessing of the Animal
  5. October / November: Festival del Dia de Muertos
  6. December: Noche de Rabanos

[Away from Downtown Area]

Some of them are a little further away but they are worth visiting.

I. Places

  1. Monte Alban
  2. The Monastery of Santiago Apostol
  3. Arbol del Tule
  4. Taller and Maria Angeles alebrijes studio
  5. Ruin of Mitla


Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

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