General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
FAQs What is the population? The population of the Riviera Maya is around 150,000. The estimated population of Mexico is 108,700,891, and the population of Quintana Roo, the state in which the Riviera Maya is located, is approximately 880,000.
How big is the country/island? The Riviera Maya extends about 100 miles along the coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula starting 11 miles south of the Cancun International Airport at Puerto Morelos and ending at Felipe Carrillo Puerto near the Sian KaŽan Biosphere Reserve. The size of Quintana Roo, the state in which the Riviera Maya is located, is 15,136 sq miles, and the total land area of Mexico is 761,000 sq miles.
Can I drink the tap water? Unless you're in a hotel with a water purification system you trust, avoid tap water (use bottled water to brush your teeth). Bottled water is readily available._
What are the best things to buy here? Quintana Roo, the state in which the Riviera Maya resides, is a duty-free zone in Mexico. Look for duty-free luxury items such as resort wear, perfumes, jewellery, watches, china, crystal, cameras and cosmetics._
For local souvenirs look for pottery, woodcrafts, baskets, silver and turquoise jewellery, onyx items, pewter items, hammocks, leather items, rugs and traditional Mexican huaraches (sandals), huipiles (colourfully embroidered Mayan dresses), rebozos (shawls) and guayaberas (men's embroidered cotton shirts).
Note: To ensure authenticity, when buying sterling silver be sure the numbers "925" are stamped on the item. Similarly, when buying gold, there should be a four digit alphanumeric number (two letters and two numbers) stamped on the item.
Are there nude beaches? Topless and nude bathing are illegal in Mexico; however, topless bathing is tolerated in some areas.
What are the main industries? The main industries in Mexico are oil, tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, ranching, timber and mining (particularly silver).
What is the drinking age? The legal drinking age is 18.
What native dishes should I try? The national dish of Mexico is mole poblano, which is poultry served with a chocolate chili sauce.
Traditional Yucatan dishes include chocolomo (veal seasoned with bitter lime, lemon, onion, garlic and habanero peppers), cochinita pibil (marinated suckling pig slow cooked in banana leaves and served with a spicy sauce), papadzules (tortillas stuffed with boiled eggs in a pumpkin seed sauce), panuchos de pavo (tortillas filled with a black bean paste and boiled egg slices then fried and topped with turkey breast and pickled onion), ensalada de nopales (a salad of tender cactus mixed with onions, chilies and tomatoes) and poc chuc (pork marinated in bitter orange juice and annatto paste, grilled and served with a spicy onion sauce). Fish, such as mero (grouper) and huachinango (snapper), prepared in numerous ways is also very popular.
For breakfast, try the popular Yucatan dish huevos motelenos (black bean paste and fried eggs on a slightly fried tortilla covered in a tomato, onion and peppers sauce sprinkled with green peas, ham and cheese).
Can I use my calling card from here? Directory assistance: International operator, 090 National long distance operator, 020 Local enquiries, 040
AT&T: Service is available using AT&T Calling Cards, American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Dial 01-800-288-2872 + area code + local number. If this number doesn't work try the access number 001-800-462-4240. If calling from a pay phone, use one marked Ladatel, Telmex, Telnor or AT&T. Pay phones may require a coin or card deposit.
BT: From a Telmex public phone dial 01-800-123-0244, or from an Avantel phone dial 01-800-021-6644, input your account number and PIN, then dial the number you require._
Canada Direct: Dial 01-800-123-0200 or 01-800-021-1994 for direct access to a Canadian operator. Service can be used with calling cards from Bell, MTS, Aliant, SaskTel and Telus. If calling from a pay phone, use one marked Ladatel or Telmex. Pay phones may require a coin or card deposit.
MinutePass Plus: Service is available on Telmex/Ladatel public phones. Dial 001-800-674-7000.
Sprint: In major cities dial 001-800-877-8000. To call from outside major cities, dial 95-800-877-8000. If calling from a pay phone, use one marked Ladatel. Pay phones may require a coin or card deposit. Calls cannot be made to Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts, St Lucia or St Vincent.
For more information see the section in General Info: Telecommunications.
How should I dress to go out? Dress in the Riviera Maya is casual. Still, it is unacceptable to go into restaurants without footwear or shirts, or wearing bathing suits and short shorts. You may want to bring a light sweater/jacket for evenings. Wear rubber-soled shoes at archaeological sites.
Can I use my hair dryer and electric shaver? Electricity is 110 AC, 60 Hz, which is the same as in North America. Power failures happen so you may want to use a surge protector with sensitive appliances. Note: some properties in Tulum still rely on generators for their power.
How much should I tip? Tips are supplemental income to the low wages most workers earn. It is customary to tip anybody who provides you with a service, right down to the kid who packs your groceries. In general tip about 15-20%. Although some restaurants include a service charge, you may wish to tip the wait staff an additional 5-10% if you feel the service was exceptional. Tip maids about US$2 per day/per person; porters US$1-2; parking and gas station attendants US$1; and tour guides and dive operators about US$5-10 per person.
Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All information should be verified prior to travel.