Mexican basics

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Mexico has been a popular destination for Britons and Irish for many years. But apart from Cancun, what else is there to see. More on that over the next few days. Let’s start with practicalities.

There are about 20 Mexican pesos to the pound, making Mexico a potentially cheap destination once you’re there. That might help to explain why over 300,000 people went there from the UK last year which was more than 10 per cent up over 2010.

All airports are seen as pricey but at Mexico City’s airport you can get a soft fizzy drink for about the equivalent of 50p and a sandwich for just over a pound. Go to the tourist destinations and you can find a beer for US$1 and a filling, large breakfast for about three pounds. Souvenir shops will sell you traditional things reasonable prices and tourist tat won’t set you back more than a few dollars.
Most of the visitors to the country come from the US or Canada so English is widely understood in the tourist areas and many things are priced in US dollars as well as pesos.

For Britons travelling to the country, there are packaged tours by most of the major tour operators such as Thomson, Thomas Cook, Cosmos, Virgin Holidays and Kuoni. Many are geared to Cancun so if you want to travel elsewhere, you will either have to go to one of the specialist companies or plan your journey on your own. There are few airlines that fly directly, British Airways being the only one to fly to Mexico City (from where there are flights to all major destinations.) To Cancun, British Airways, Monarch, Thomson and Thomas Cook airlines provide a service. Virgin Atlantic flights start from June this year. Other major destinations such as Acapulco, Mazatlan and Puerta Vallarta have no direct services and you will either have to change in Mexico City or fly on an American or Canadian airlines and charge at one of their hubs.

Aeromexico is the main Mexican airline but does not yet fly to the UK or Ireland, the closest place where you could catch a flight would be Paris. The airline says that there are no current plans to fly to London.

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