General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
CUSTOMS Adult visitors are allowed to bring in three litres of wine, beer OR liquor, AND 20 packs of cigarettes OR 25 cigars OR 200g of tobacco duty free.
For more information call the customs department (Aduanas Mexico) in Mexico City at 52-55/5802-0836 or 5802-0839.
Also see the section in General Info: Illegal items.
IMPORTING ANIMALS To import your dog or cat, upon entering Mexico you must provide a health certificate issued within 15 days of your departure from your home country and signed by a registered veterinarian stating your pet is free of contagious diseases. You must also provide a vaccination certificate specifying the animal has been vaccinated against rabies, hepatitis and distemper (if the animal is old enough).
For more information contact the animal health directorate (Dirección General de Salud Animal) at tel 52-55/9183-1000 ext 34087 or 34093.?
GETTING THERE BY AIR Flights arrive at the Cozumel International Airport (airport code CZM; tel 872-2081 or 872-0485), which is about a five minute drive from the downtown area. Flying time from most hubs in the US is about two to fours hours.?
You can also fly into the Cancun International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Cancún, airport code CUN) and take a 45 minute taxi, shuttle or bus ride to Playa del Carmen where you board the ferry to Cozumel. (See the sections Getting there: By taxi, By bus and By ferry, below.) Flying time to Cancun is about 3 1/2 hours from New York, 4 1/2 hours from Los Angeles and 12 hours from London.?
Airlines that service Cozumel (and Cancun) include Aerosaab (tel 984/873-0804, Playa del Carmen), American Airlines (tel 01-800-904-6000), Continental Airlines (tel 01-800-900-5000), Delta Airlines (tel 01-800-123-4710),Frontier Airlines (tel 800/432-1359, US), Líneas Aéreas Azteca (tel 01-800-229-8322), Mexicana (tel 01-800-801-2010), Northwest Airlines (tel 01-800-907-4700 or 01-800-830-7400), United Airlines (tel 01-800-003-0777) and US Airways (tel 800/428-4322, US).
Note: The phone numbers listed above are local access numbers unless otherwise stated.
Additional airlines that service Cancun (area code 998) include Aeroméxico (tel 287-1822), Aeromar (tel 01-800-237-6627 or 886-1100), Alaska Airlines (tel 800/252-7522, US), American Trans Air (tel 800/435-9282, US), Condor (tel 800/364-1667, US), Copa Airlines (tel 01-800-265-2672), Cubana de Aviacion (tel 887-7210 or 886-0355), Iberia Airlines (tel 55/1101-1515, Mexico City or 800/772-4642, US), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (tel 01-800-907-4700), Lan Airlines (tel 01-800-123-1619 or 305/670-9999, Miami), Taca Airlines (tel 55/5211-6640, Mexico City or 800/400-8222, US) and Thomsonfly.
Note: To access US 1-800 numbers, see the section in General Info: Telecommunications.
BY TAXI If your hotel doesn't provide transportation from the airport, you can use an authorized airport taxi or shuttle to take you to Playa, where you board the ferry for Cozumel.
BY BUS ADO (tel 01-800-702-8000, Mexico; 800/950-0287, US) provides bus transportation from the Cancun International Airport to Playa del Carmen, where you board the ferry for Cozumel.
BY FERRY Two passenger ferries operate from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. They both offer numerous trips daily between 5am and 11pm. Both lines have toilets on board and offer refreshments for sale. The trip takes 30-45 minutes depending on weather conditions. In Playa del Carmen the ferry pier is about 1 1/2 blocks from the main square. The ferry pier in Cozumel is called Muelle Fiscal and it's about one block from San Miguel's town square.
UltraMar operates air-conditioned yellow-coloured ferries (tel 984/876-0848, Playa del Carmen; 987/869-3223, Cozumel). The round-trip fare costs US$18.18 for adults and US$10 for children 4-11 years old. The one-way fare costs US$9.09 for adults and US$4.95 for kids. An additional fee applies to luggage in excess of 25kg. You can also transport bicycles and motorcycles (with empty gas tanks) on this ferry line.
Mexico Water Jets/Cruceros Maritimos del Caribe operates blue-and-white-coloured ferries (tel 984/879-3112, Playa del Carmen; 987/872-1588, Cozumel). The fare costs US$10 for adults and US$5.50 for children 2-12 years old.
Fares and schedules are subject to change.
BY CRUISE Cozumel has three cruise ship piers: Punta Langosta, which is right downtown; the International Pier (SSA), near the La Ceiba hotel; and Puerta Maya, which is further south.
Cruise lines that call on Cozumel include AIDA, Carnival Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd, Holland America, Majestic Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, Peter Deilmann Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.
GETTING AROUND BY CAR There are plenty of car rental agencies. Motorcycles and scooters can also be rented. To rent a car you will need your valid driver's license from home or an international driver's permit. You must also obtain Mexican auto insurance. Don't assume your credit card covers you unless it specifically mentions driving in Mexico. In the event of an accident, you're considered guilty until proven innocent, so it's best to obtain insurance that includes an attorney and a claims adjuster who will come to the scene of the accident.?
Toll roads (called cuota) are in excellent condition, although they can be expensive. Non-toll roads (referred to as libre) are usually in much rougher condition. In rural areas roads are generally in poor condition. Traffic lights don't always function. Signage is often poor. Watch out for speed bumps (called topes), one-way streets, large potholes and pedestrians. In rural areas watch for animals, pedestrians, potholes, unmarked speed bumps and those on approach to towns and villages, and rock slides during the rainy season. Avoid driving at night in rural areas, and whenever possible use toll roads.
Gas stations, called Pemex, are plentiful in populated areas, but they don't usually accept foreign credit cards. In rural areas, fill up whenever you can. Ensure the gas station attendant resets the pump back to zero before filling your tank.
Seat belts in vehicles and helmets on motorcycles/scooters must be worn. Drinking and driving is illegal.
Driving is on the right. Speed limits are indicated in kilometres and are enforced. Alto means "stop." No-parking areas are indicated by a circle with a diagonal line superimposed on the letter "E," which stands for estacionamiento. One-way streets are common. When crossing a narrow bridge, the vehicle that flashes its lights first has the right of way. A vehicle flashing its lights is generally warning of danger up ahead.
Traffic circles or roundabouts (called glorietas) and speed bumps (called topes) are used for traffic control. Slow down when driving over speed bumps or you will damage your car and/or tires. If you've never used a roundabout, remember: vehicles already in the roundabout have right of way, yield to traffic on your left, signal and slowly move in.?
BY TAXI Taxi fares are set, and in the downtown area they are set by zone. Taxi drivers should have an official rate card available in their vehicle. Ensure you confirm the rate, and whether it's quoted in pesos or dollars, with your driver before getting into the vehicle. Taxi tours are available in addition to standard taxi service.?
BY FERRY Many destinations along the mainland coast are within an easy drive from Playa del Carmen. See Getting there: By ferry, above.
BY AIR Airlines that fly locally include Aerosaab (tel 984/873-0804) and Mexicana (tel 01-800-801-2010).
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.