Thank you for visiting our FAQ Page! If there’s information you’re seeking that cannot be found either here or on our retreat homepage, feel free to contact us and we’ll do our absolute best to get answers for you. I want you to rest assured that your health, safety and comfort is our #1 priority. Please know that I’ve personally spent time in Mexico City and have felt safe, at ease and nourished throughout. The following is some helpful information to get you started.
Yes! Mexico City is no more dangerous than most other metropolitan cities around the world. Some basic common sense and street smarts go a long way in making your trip safe and fun. City Safe has an extensive article about safety in Mexico City, neighborhoods to avoid and touristic scams. Additionally, the US Department of State has no travel warnings listed for Mexico City. One thing to be extra aware of is crossing the streets; many of the main thoroughfares now have crosswalk signals that count down the seconds until traffic starts up again, but pedestrians should always be particularly cautious- traffic accidents take a significant amount of lives every year in DF. For more information, visit ismexicosafe.org.
Generally speaking, the food and water in Mexico City is very safe for consumption. However, you’ll want to avoid drinking tap water and drink + brush your teeth with bottled water only. Ice is, by and large, okay- especially in restaurants- but should be avoided at most street stalls. If you want to eat at a street stall (and we recommend that you do!), pick one that looks clean and is busy with clientele. We’ll provide a list of recommendations for the best street stalls when guests check in at our B&B. Check out this great article that delves deeper into the subject of food safety.
The short answer is no to immunizations. I have traveled all over the world and never immunized. I prefer, instead, to build my immune system naturally prior to traveling out of my home country (tips on doing so in our welcome packet). That said, the issue of whether or not to get vaccines is a highly personal decision- one that should be made based on the individual’s preferences. More info about immunizations can be found on the CDC website. As for medical insurance, be advised that if your current health insurance does not cover you during travels abroad, it is recommended to acquire supplemental insurance in case of emergency.
Because of its location on a high plateau, Mexico City enjoys pleasant weather nearly all year around. Winters are very mild. We are expecting average temperatures between 68° – 74° Fahrenheit during the day and 45° – 51° at night. February is the driest month of the year. We’ll provide a suggested packing list in our registrant welcome packet.
Due to Mexico City’s high elevation (7,382’ above sea level), preparation is key to avoiding elevation sickness. We recommend planning in advance so as to avoid symptoms that may arise and put a damper on your journey. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea/vomiting, fatigue/loss of energy and insomnia. Our itinerary is designed to help you acclimate, but you’ll also want to be sure to stay very hydrated, eat potassium rich foods and give yourself time to drop in. Our welcome packet will include tips on how to prepare yourself.
The short answer is no, but of course, it’s always helpful to know some basic words and phrases. We’ll have guides, translators and bilingual speakers accompanying and/or assisting us throughout the retreat, so it’s not really an issue. Additionally, many Mexico City residents speak English and sign language is universal! If you’d like to brush up on your Spanish language skills, try Rosetta Stone or another audio language course to learn the basics, pack a phrase book and/or download a translation app to your smartphone. I like, use and highly recommend Duolingo for learning new language skills. Check out this article for translation app recommendations.
Mexico City is in the central time zone (CDT). To find out more use this handy time zone converter.
The local currency is the Mexican Peso (MXP). For the most up-to-date exchange rates, please use this currency converter. Most banks and casas de cambio (exchange offices) change cash and traveler’s checks, but some handle only euros and US or Canadian dollars. Rates vary, so check a few places. Mexico City is one of the few cities in the world where the exchange offices at the airport actually offer competitive rates. The greatest concentration of ATMs, banks and casas de cambio is on Paseo de la Reforma between the Monumento a Cristóbal Colón and the Monumento a la Independencia. CC Sole Deals in a wide variety of currencies.
Most travelers bring a small amount of local currency with them and withdraw from ATMs as they need it along they way. ATMs are readily available in the larger towns and cities. Travelers can withdraw local currency at fair exchange rates using an ATM. Traveler’s checks are fine, but they can be more difficult to exchange and you will usually receive a poorer rate or be charged an additional fee. All major credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s wise to have a small amount of cash on hand, just in case.
Tipping guidelines for Mexico are nearly the same as tipping guidelines in the United States or Canada, with some exceptions. Most service employees earn very little or no base salary and the tips they earn comprise the vast majority of their overall income. here are some general guidelines:
– Taxi Drivers- People don’t normally tip taxi drivers, however, if a taxi driver provides extra service (e.g., loading/unloading your bags, waiting for you while you shop, etc.), then a tip is warranted for the extra effort. $2-$5 U.S. (or 40-90 pesos) is recommended.
– Restaurants- If you receive good service from your waiter or waitress, it’s customary to leave a tip of 15%.
– Excursions- Tips are not required on excursions, however, it is customary to offer a tip for exceptional service. Tipping amounts vary widely, though some travelers report that $2-$10 USD per day for your guide and $1-$3 USD per day for your driver is common.
– Bartenders/Cocktail Servers- A minimum of $1-$2 USD (or 20-40 pesos) per round of drinks is customary, or if you’re running a tab, leave 15-20% of the total as a tip.
– Musicians & Bands- Remember to leave a tip in the musician/band’s tip jar. For an evening of entertainment, $5 USD (or 90 pesos) is suggested as a minimum. Pro-tip: do not leave foreign coins.
– Skycaps/Baggage Handlers/Bell Boys- A tip of $1-$2 USD (or 20-40 pesos) per bag is customary, more if you have a lot of luggage or very heavy or otherwise difficult bags to deal with, or if they must take your bags up a flight of stairs to your room.
– Spa Service Provider- Massage therapists, aestheticians, manicurists, hair stylists, etc., are usually tipped 15-20% of the cost of the spa treatment. The exception to the rule: no tip is necessary if the service is provided by the owner of the establishment, or by a medical professional, such as a nurse or doctor.
-Housekeepers- Housekeepers should be tipped based on the occupancy of your room; $3-$5 USD (or 50-90 pesos) per bedroom, per housekeeping visit. Please tip more if your room is super messy.
Please check with your cell phone provider. Each company is different and they can give you the most up-to-date information. It’s also recommended to download whatsapp and/or skype for easy, cheap/free communication options.
Yes! if you are from the U.S. or Canada. Mexico uses the same voltage as the United States/Canada. If you are coming from Europe, or any country that uses 220 volts, you will need the proper adapters.
Check out our Travel Info page for tips on how to get from point A to point B.