ARRIVING // LEAVING
When entering Mexico, you will be presented with an immigration card that functions as your travel visa. The visa costs around $25USD and, if traveling by air, is generally included in the cost of the ticket. If entering by land you will need to pay at the border (though in 2014 crossing the border from Guatlemala, we were not asked to pay anything.) DO NOT LOSE THIS CARD, you will need it when exiting the country. If you do lose it, you will be charged again and required to spend at least an hour dealing with immigration officials. Also, when issued your card, you will be asked how long your stay will be in the country. You are allowed 180-days, and if you are unsure of how long your trip will be, it’s a good idea to ask for the full 180-days, to avoid overstaying your visa, or having to extend it.
Mexico also charges a $26USD exit fee, regardless of how you leave the country. However, if you enter by land and stay in Mexico for fewer than 7 days you do not have to pay the standard departure fee. Certain airports, including Cancun, also charge a separate airport tax though this is generally included in the price of your ticket.
Also, if leaving Mexico by air, it is worth your time to find out if the exit fee is included in the price of your ticket. If you only purchase a one-way ticket out of Mexico, it may not be included. If it is not included, you will be required to pay the fee before you are issued your boarding pass. This means leaving the airline check-in line, and walking across the building to Immigration Office, which may or may not be open. If you aren’t leaving during normal business hours (9pm-5pm) the office isn’t guaranteed to be open.
In general, when flying out of Mexico, giving yourself the standard 2-hour time frame before your flight departs is a really good idea. If you have lost your immigration card, or need to pay your exit fee, giving yourself more time is recommended.
Islands // Cities // Villages