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Austin > Mexico City > Cancun > Austin (travel advice + what to do in MC)


I've been to Cancun/Tulum before, but I've never flown into Mexico City (ever) and then flown to Cancun before heading back home to Austin. I've been researching MEX and the layout, but I'm wondering about immigration papers and the like. What should I expect doing a domestic flight within Mexico? When I arrive in MEX will there be any papers I will need to retain in order to fly to CUN? Same question flying from CUN back to Austin? I have a tendency to throw things away.

What is the best way to get currency? Last year in Tulum I took dollars assuming I could use it and a credit card and learned that I got jipped with my cash and no place took cards. I'm reluctant to carry a wad of dollars over with me this time. I know to take a credit card and do a cash advance, but where is the best place to do that in the airport? How much is a reasonable amount to take out for 3 days of exploring and eating - roughly?

I know the rules about getting a legit taxi to the hotel from MEX, but what is the best way to get back to the airport? I think Uber is an option, right? I'm always a little worried about not having something scheduled, especially if my phone goes wonky like it did last year in Tulum. Has anyone used the shuttles? Does getting there 2 hours before the flight, like in the US, make sense?

Finally, any other random advice regarding being safe, what not to eat, as well as things to do in Mexico City would be appreciated. Tulum is going to be spent laying on the beach and getting sunburnt, so I'm good there. ;)

Thanks, y'all!

Posted by
7087 posts

You just need your passport to go to Cancun from Mexico City.
You can get pesos out of an ATM at the airport if you have debit card linked to your checking account.
Mexico is inexpensive so take out $150 or 2800 pesos and see how far that goes before you go to a bank ATM.
Ask your hotel to get you a taxi to the airport.

Not sure what you like to do so here is a list of things that you can read about through tripadvisor:

Posted by
920 posts

The link that Jazz provided hits the highlights. Go to the museum first as you will get a feel of how Mexico City evolved into its present form. This will be beneficial when you go about town. The Diego murals are really neat as is the cathedral. Uber rides are cheap and very easy. I would not take a taxi unless absolutely necessary. This is advice from our corporate security folks, BTW. Be aware that traffic is a nightmare and it will take a while to get wherever you plan to go. Make sure you are aware of your surroundings and keep your spider senses armed. Same as anywhere else, really. If you get to the airport 2 hours before your flight, you will have plenty of time for duty free shopping and getting a cold cerveza.

And drink bottled water!

Posted by
6858 posts

It's not clear from what you wrote whether you're actually staying in Mexico City for a few days, or whether you're simply connecting through Mexico City. If the former, how many days will you have in Mexico City? There's enough to do there for two weeks, if not more, so you'll have to be really selective. Your best bet is to get a book from the library on Mexico City - the number of things you can do there is overwhelming. I have a book just of museums and there are literally over 100 of them spread throughout. The greater Mexico City area is over 21 million in population (Mexico City proper is about half of that), so that should tip you off at the scale/size.

All you need is a passport and an ATM card....I hope you were kidding about taking a cash advance from a credit card. That's a very expensive option. No need to bring dollars, just go to the ATM and get pesos at the airport. I've done it every time I've flown into Cancun. Are there no ATMs at all in Tulum (the city "pueblo", not the beach)? I don't remember, but I would be surprised if that's the case.