20 Things not to do in Mexico

  1. Don’t expect all Mexicans to speak English

Not every Mexican can speak English, although nowadays a lot of them do. But to be on the safer side, learn a little bit of Spanish to get yourself around. And it would be also helpful to keep a Mexican Colloquial Language book handy with you.

  1. Avoid eating at Gringo hours. Comida is between 2pm to 4pm and Cena is between 8pm to 10pm.                                                                                                 This is an amazing restaurant you should try, but if you order food in between these hours you will probably get low quality food. because Gringo restaurant might be accommodating and serve outside of those hours. 

  2. Don’t eat too much street food

Tasting street food and eating street food for a meal are two different things. Street food in Mexico is really good but differs from tastes of other countries. Have street food keeping in mind how string your digestive system is. Even Mexicans get sometimes sick because of their own street food. So just beware.


  1. Don’t carry important documents while sight seeing

Pick-pocketing is common scene in a big city. So it would be better if you leave your important documents and important property at your hotel and carry the bare necessary items with you.


  1. Don’t be insulting/contemptuous towards churches, priests, nuns, religious statues, religious paintings, etc.

Tourists are most welcome in religious places and churches, but take your hat and sunglasses off and act as if you were in a library as you don’t want to disturb people praying. Mexicans are very religious people and they ardently follow their religion. You will not be appreciated if you insult their beliefs and religious sentiments.


  1. Don’t forget to carry Pesos instead of dollars

There are only a few places in Mexico that accept dollar and other currencies but most of them don’t.  And there are a lot of places in Mexico where you can exchange your currency so exchanging your currency for pesos won’t be a problem.


  1. Avoid spicy food if you are not used to it.

If something on the menu says “not too spicy” then it is definitely spicy. It is often seen at the restaurants that the item you ordered is filled with spice even if it said “not too spicy” on the menu. Take advice of the waiter to figure out whether the food you want to order is too spicy if you are not ok with spicy food.


  1. Remember to say “salud” when someone sneezes

“Salud” is considered to be a very common public courtesy in Mexico just like “Bless you” in America and some other places. Not saying this can make you appear to be rude sometimes. Especially if you are with other people, at a restaurant or a meeting. 


  1. Beware of easy Spanish swearing

Calling someone “stupid” in English is a casual affair. However, calling someone “estupido” in Mexico is one of the most offensive thing to say someone. It’s never taken as a joke. 

  1. Don’t Stopping at accident sites to help

Since there is cell phone reception along all roads in Mexico as there is no need for you to stop at any accident site trying to help unless it is a dire situation. 


  1. Don’t swim in not developed beaches

Due to rogue waves and currents it can be very dangerous to swim in under developed or not developed beaches. 

  1. Don’t forget to Leave tips, at least 10% (unless included on the check) 

  2. Don’t flash your money

Avoid flashing out a lot of money in market and public places. Best case scenario will be that after seeing your abundance of money the vendors will jack up the prices. 

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  1. Always say “Excuse me”, “please”, and “thank you”

Use common public courtesy expressions (Perdon, por favor, gracias) when talking to anyone, even store clerks, street vendors, and retail and fast food workers. Mexicans are famous for their politeness and friendliness. “Give respect to get it back” that’s the key.


  1. Avoid the state of Guerrero at all costs

The state of Guerrero is the most violent state in Mexico. To prove the point, there is even a warning issued by the US Government about visiting this state. 

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  1. Don’t flush toilet paper

The sewage system might not be as developed in Mexico as it is in your native country and the toilets are equipped with trashcans. It might feel peculiar initially, but it is common to throw your toilet paper in the bin and not down the toilet in Mexico as people there believe think that being responsible for a clogged toilet is much more embarrassing than to learn how difficult it is to throw toilet paper in the trash. 

  1. Don’t forget to carry toilet paper with you

The quality of toilets will vary from place to place and depending on how rural the area is. And to be on the safer side and for your peace of mind carry toilet paper with you. Even if you pay attention to what you eat and drink, you might want to be prepared for an unscheduled and extended visit to a public bathroom where there is no toilet paper. 

  1. Don’t drink water from the tap!

This does not mean that the hygiene is less in Mexico, but your body is used to different type of bacteria than what is found in Mexican tap water and so it is always safer to stick to bottled water. If you have a seriously sensitive stomach, ask for your drinks without ice cubes and stay away from fresh and raw vegetables for your first few days. Give your body time to get used to Mexican food and water. So the first few days are the days when you should pay particular attention. 

  1. Don’t compare everything to your home country

The public washrooms in your home country might be cleaner or the public transport more comfortable, but don’t worry with that mind. there are many experience you can get there, think about those opportunities. 

  1. Don’t wear revealing clothes in places of worship

Remember not to wear skimpy clothes such as shoulderless outfit or short pants or skirts whiles visiting churches or other religious places. If you’re unsure about your plans for the day, just keep a cardigan handy in case you pass by a particularly beautiful church you’d like to explore. 


One thought on “20 Things not to do in Mexico

  • June 26, 2017 at 2:58 am

    That was really useful article. I learned lot from this website. really cool concept for travel safely.


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