Mexico: an exotic vacation close to home

Mexico: an exotic vacation close to home

Not only does Mexico feature some of the best white sand beaches with clear blue waters where you can see straight to the bottom, but a cornucopia of sights and experiences from the high mountains and deep canyons to Aztec and Mayan ruins and a spicy, delicious, and varied cuisine. It’s tourist and resort towns bring travelers from the world over, but fortunately for US vacationers, it’s in our back yard and exceedingly affordable. As one Mexican beer boasts, Mexico is miles from ordinary and a place to enjoy a thrilling adventure in Copper Canyon or relax and recharge over a pina colada or margarita.   Getting in, out, and about   Considering its proximity to the US, entry into Mexico can be complicated. A valid US passport is all that’s necessary for a trip across the border if you stay within 20 miles of the border and for no more than 72 hours. For longer stays or to venture outside of the border zone, you also need to purchase an entry permit called a Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM). Minors traveling unaccompanied by a legal guardian need to have a notarized letter of parental consent from all legal guardians with them as well.   Once you have an FMM, you can stay in Mexico for up to six months. This makes an extended stay quite possible, but be advised that there are numerous parts of Mexico that are dangerous for travelers (See Below).   If you drive a vehicle into Mexico you need to get a temporary import permit. You can obtain one either at one of the Mexican consulates in the US or at a Banjercito branch at a Mexican Customs office. You will need to present proof of citizenship, the vehicle title and a registration certificate, and a valid driver’s license, as well as payment for the fee. This permit is then good for up to 180 days. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to get this permit in Mexico’s interior, so don’t venture past the 20 mile border zone if you don’t have it.   You can carry up to $10,000 cash into Mexico without having to declare it. However if you carry any goods with you, they are subject to Mexico’s numerous customs laws. This includes gifts, perishable food, and even such things as donations of used clothing (which is actually restricted). Consult...

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