HOW TO TRAVEL
Mexico is a well communicated country and a hub between north and south America.
– The main entry airports from Europe are Cancun and Mexico city.
– Regular direct flights go to Cancun and Mexico city from the main European hubs.
– There are flights available in Asia, departing from Shanghai to Mexico City with one or two stops (Air Canada, Air France, and KLM).
– There is a nonstop flight from Narita Japan to Mexico City with Al Nippon Airways.
– Also, Aeromexico flies from Madrid twice a week to Guadalajara only 200 km from the city of Leon.
– There are direct daily flights from Cancun and Mexico city to Leon.
– Flying through theUSA is also an option with daily flights to Leon from Houston, Dallas,Chicago, Los Angeles and Oakland.
It is not possible to get the luggage carts out of the Arrivals Hall at the Mexico City airport, although there are porters to help with luggage. A tip is expected. It is also advisable to reconfirm all flights in advance.
Please note that flights with stopovers in the US will require travelers to have US visas or an ESTA registration for citizens of certain countries, which takes approximately 4 days to approve (https:// esta.cbp.dhs.go-v/esta/).
NOTE: There is no transit status available within US airports. All foreign passengers must clear immigration and customs in the United States before boarding any applicable flight to Mexico.
León Airport: Guanajuato International Airport / Del Bajío Airport (BJX) 24 km
Mexico City Airport: Mexico City / Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) 382 km Querétaro Airport: Querétaro Intercontinental Airport (QRO) 201 km
Guadalajara Airport: Guadalajara International Airport/ Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (GDL) 231 km
Cancun Airport (Quintana Roo)
Banks are generally open from 09:00 to 16:00 Monday to Friday and some from 09:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays.
All international credit cards (Visa, Master Card and American Express) are commonly accepted in the main cities (Guanajuato and León).
Most ATMs are open 24 hours a day and can be found in banks, some hotel lobbies, and shopping malls. Small businesses in small towns do not accept credit cards.
It is best to cash traveler’s checks in the morning, as many banks will not accept them after 2:00 PM. A passport is also required. For the best rates, exchange money through banks.
It is somewhat difficult to exchange European currencies in Guanajuato (including the Euro). The US dollar is easier to accept and exchange.
Bargaining is a common practice in tourist areas where the prices quoted can often be double the value of the goods. In smaller towns away from the tourist sites, haggling is not recommended as it can be seen as lack of civility.
Basically, it is not difficult to act respectably in Mexico; in general people are friendly and quite informal. As with travel to any foreign country, friendliness and a desire to respect local customs are valued.
The climate is typically tropical, although it varies in different regions of the country. Occasionally short tropical showers can be followed by warm sunshine and temperatures of 20°C, while the altitude in Guanajuato can cause temperatures to drop below 10°C at night.
Although the dress code is not an issue in Mexico, we do not suggest any liberal attire.
The local currency is the Mexican peso and the approximate exchange rates are (January 30, 2023):
1 € = 19.17 MX Pesos
1 GBP = 23.04 MX Pesos
1US$ = 18.77 MX Pesos
The banknotes in circulation are: 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 pesos. The coins in use are 0.50, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 pesos. You should keep in mind that the 1 and 2 peso coins are similar and can be confused. In addition, there are two different types of coins of 0.20 and 0.50 pesos in circulation, so attention must be paid to the denomination.
All things for personal use do not incur duty, but there are limits to what is considered “personal”
Other items are allowed with some limitations: souvenirs and gifts not exceeding USD$500 (if entering the country by air). Alcohol and tobacco products must be declared. Foreign currency (including checks, securities, negotiable documents of any kind) is limited to USD$10,000 or its equivalent without declaration.
A branch of the Aranda de la Parra Hospital will be open and on call during the Games.
Venue emergency number: +55 6221 9087
In Mexico, cars are left-hand drive and you drive on the right side of the road. Be aware of potential road hazards such as animal crossings, potholes, and the ubiquitous and sometimes invisible potholes from speed bumps called “BUMPS”. The right of way in corners and roundabouts is not observed in Mexico City and its surroundings and the biggest, or the bravest, usually go first. In León, however, stop signs are “mostly” respected and traffic at roundabouts always has the right of way.
The speed limit in the cities is 40 km/h and is indicated in the rest of the areas by traffic signs.
Highway speeds can vary between 80 and 110 km/h. Speed limits are usually posted.
Carry your driver’s license at all times. The use of seat belts is mandatory throughout the country. Mobile phones must not be used while driving. Hands free is allowed.
Please note that the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (comprising Mexico City and several neighboring states) has a mandatory program called “Hoy No Circula”, which prohibits parts of the group of motor vehicles from being driven on specific days according to the license plate number. Only locally registered cars that have passed an emissions test are exempt. Non-exempt cars found on the road on prohibited days can be towed by the police and impose heavy fines. The system is somewhat complicated, so when you rent a car, be sure to ask the staff how it applies to your vehicle.
The domestic electrical supply in Mexico is 110 volts (60 Hz) and the outlets accept plugs with two flat parallel pins (US specification). Most laptops work just as well on 110 or 220 volts and only require a travel plug adapter.
The average elevation of the city of León is 1,786 meters above sea level (5,860 feet).
Mexicans celebrate a number of festivals and seasonal events throughout the year and it is worth noting if you are planning a vacation. Any festivals or holidays during the games week will be notified in advance.
As of 2017, private companies were allowed to sell fuels with their own brands nationwide, so now, together with the state oil company PEMEX, you will find Shell, BP, Total, OxxoGas, G500 and other brands.
Prices may vary from season to season. The average prices reported by the National Energy Commission as of December 31, 2022 were:
The Premium grade (red pump) is 93 octane (R+N/2) at $23.99 pesos/liter (€1.25) The Magna grade (green pump) is 87 octane (R+N/2) at $20.99 pesos/liter (€1.09) Diesel #2 (Black pump) at $23.79 pesos/liter (€1.24)
Gas stations are normally open from 07:00 to 22:00, although those in the main cities are usually open 24 hours.
All gas stations are full service; you should tip the assistant approximately 10 to 20 pesos.
NOTE: Credit cards are not always accepted. Check with the assistant before refueling. Always check that the pump has reset (zero reading) before refueling.
The official language in Mexico is Spanish, although many dialects are still used in different regions. English is spoken in most hotels and tourist destinations. Most of the members of the Organizing Committee speak good English.
Many international brands can be found in pharmacies. (Note that some brands are different: Maalox to Melox, Zantac to Azantac, etc.)
However, it is always advisable to carry an adequate amount of your personal medications with you.
Food in hotels and good restaurants is safe. Please note that spicy dishes are common on menus and can be VERY spicy. Foreign visitors should avoid “roadside” restaurants and poor quality restaurants. Many visitors get sick from not following this simple rule. Mexicans call it “Moctezuma’s Revenge.” Prepackaged snacks are safe to eat. (Marinela, Bimbo, Sabritas, Barcel) (See WATER, below)
Most stores are open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Department stores or shopping centers are open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week. In small towns, some shops close for lunch from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Keep in mind that in Mexico, normal lunch hours are from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Mexico is a colorful country to photograph. Of course, it’s good manners to ask permission before photographing people. Photography in some temples is prohibited and should never be taken during a ceremony.
The total population of Mexico is 130,262,220 people, of which 6,166,934 people live in the State of Guanajuato and 1.5 people in León.
Several shared transport applications operate in the main cities of Mexico. In Mexico City, there is Uber, Cabify, EasyTaxi and several more. In León, Uber and Taxitel are the two most used.
Keep in mind that in Mexico in general, but especially in León, there is still strong opposition and even outright hostility from regular taxi drivers towards transport apps and their drivers, especially at bus terminals and airports. The driver may request that you ride in the front seat to avoid overhanging.
Special caution should be exercised in Mexico City. Avoid unauthorized airport taxis and ask the hotel concierge for special safety tips in the area where you will be staying. When in Leon, normal safety behavior is recommended.
Please DO NOT leave computer or photographic equipment in cars unattended. The most sophisticated thieves use sensor equipment that can detect radio frequency emissions from laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices that transmit data wirelessly (wi-fi, Bluetooth, cellular data, etc.), which they do even in mode of suspension. Leaving equipment in the trunk or hidden under seats is not a good preventative strategy.
The high altitude and light winds mean that sunburn can occur surprisingly quickly. Sunscreen (SPF 50+), a hat, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Heatstroke is also a very common occurrence even among the locals. It cannot be stressed enough: please take the proper precautions.