Driving Tips - Mexico
Driving in Mexico may be something drivers are wary of; however once you are aware of the general rules and regulations, then driving in this beautiful part of the world is certainly something to be enjoyed.
However, it is important to note that certain parts of the country should be avoided, especially during darkness hours, so be sure to heed any travel advice before you leave, and to monitor the situation whilst you’re away.
Let’s look at the specifics.
If you have a valid driving license or international license, then you are able to drive in Mexico. If your license isn’t in English then obtain a translation called International Driver Permit (IDP). You should carry your license at all times. You should also carry a proof of car ownership with you at all times. If you are renting a car, it is advised to purchase car insurance.
The legal driving age is 18, and this applies to both natives and foreign drivers.
- Avoid driving at night and stick to the main roads if alone
- Follow speed limits
- Always wear seatbelts
- Except hands-free system, mobile phones should not be used
- Drive on the right hand side of the road
- Keep to the right except when passing
- Always use indicator while turning
- Always carry license while driving
Mexico has both high speed and low speed roads, however both are policed by speed limits. Autopistas are a divided high speed road with restricted access, with four or more lanes, and supercarreteras are two lane roads. Low speed roads with open access, will display particular limits for that area, and be sure to adhere to any changes to the limit. The normal speed limits on Mexico roads are as follows:
- The maximum speed on divided high speed roads is 110km/h (68mph).
- The maximum speed on low speed roads with open access is 100km/h (62mph).
Drunk driving is illegal in Mexico and the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08mg/per 100ml. Police are very keen on this and will take a very dim view, including imprisonment or fines if caught.
While parking in residential areas, do it safely and do not cause obstruction. When parking in town or city centres, park in designated spots that will often be metered. If you see a sign with an E in a red circle with a line though it, do not park there. If caught, your car could be impounded.
Once you know the Mexican rules, driving around this large, diverse and colourful country isn’t a difficult task. Simply use your common sense and heed travel advice, to truly enjoy everything Mexico has to offer.
Mexico Driving Guide - Spend less, do more
With its lengthy coastlines along the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Mexico offers a varying playground for tourists. Rich in both history and culture as well as a gastronome’s delight, Mexico is a popular tourist attraction for visitors around the world.
Popular attractions include the capital Mexico City, the beaches of Cancun, Riviera Maya and Cozumel, the resort at Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara (an excellent place to visit for traditional Mexican culture, history and museums) and central Mexico, home of various Mayan pyramids.
Although some areas of Mexico are considered dangerous for tourists, keeping to the populated regions should not cause any concerns. Rental car hire is available at many of these locations, allowing for the exploration at your own pace.
The island of Cozumel, just off the Yucatan peninsula is well worth a visit. Not only is this one of the most popular destinations in Mexico. renowned for its scuba diving, but the scenic drive around the highway surrounding the island is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful in the world.
The highway itself runs very close to the golden sands of the numerous beaches on the island, with the ocean waves lapping a mere hundred metres away.
Accommodation in Cozumel is varied but mostly includes hotels and resort accommodation although lodges can be found on the island.
Cancun to Merida
3 hours 7 mins (303 km) (185 miles) via Mexico 180D
This lengthy trip takes you from the hustle and bustle of tourist orientated Cancun into the interior of the Yucatan Peninsula. Along the way, there are numerous little towns and stops that are well worth the time investigating. Here you can find a traditional Mexican way of life, shop for curios and try local food or tequila!
Merida itself is has a unique colonial charm and is filled with historical attractions including the Plaza Mayor, the Gran Museo museum, Merida Cathedral, Merida Art Museum and many other historical buildings and museums.
Merida to Uxmal
1 hour (84 km) (52 miles) via Mexico 261
Once in Merida, a trip to the ruins at Uxmal are a must. This famous Mayan pyramid complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to around 600 AD.
Noteworthy attractions in the ruins include the Pyramid of the Soothsayer, which is over 35m tall, Temple 1, which has its date of origin chiselled into a door lintel (569 AD), the Queen of Uxmal sculpture as well as the Uxmal museum.
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