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Getting There

Getting There by Air

Mexico's main airlines are Aeromexico (AM) (website: www.aeromexico.com) and Mexicana (MX) (website: www.mexicana.com).

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Mexico City is 11 hours 40 minutes; from New York is 4 hours 40 minutes. From London to Cancun is 10 hours 40 minutes; from New York is 3 hours 45 minutes.

Main Airports

Mexico City International Airport (MEX) (Benito Juarez) (website: www.aicm.com.mx) is 13km (8 miles) east of the city. To/from the airport: Buses and taxis run to the city (journey time - 35 minutes). Underground trains are also available. Facilities: Bank/bureau de change, bar, car hire, chemist, duty-free shops, first aid (with vaccinations for cholera and yellow fever available), left luggage, post office, restaurants, shops, snack bars, tourist information and VIP lounges.

Cancun International Airport (CUN) (website: www.cancun-airport.com) is 22km (14 miles) southwest of the city. To/from the airport: Buses and taxis run to the city (journey time - 40 minutes). Facilities: Bank/ bureau de change, bar, car hire, duty-free shops, first aid, left luggage, restaurant, shops, snack bars, tourist information and VIP lounge.

Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) (Miguel Hidalgo) (website: http://guadalajara.aeropuertosgap.com.mx) is 25km (12 miles) southeast of the city. To/from the airport: Buses and taxis run to the city (journey time - 35 minutes). Facilities: Bank, bar, car hire, chemist, post office, restaurant, shops, snack bars and tourist information.

Acapulco (ACA) (General Juan N Alvarez) (website: www.oma.bz) is 26km (16 miles) southeast of the city. To/from the airport: Buses and taxis run to the city (journey time - 35 minutes). Facilities: Bank, bar, car hire, post office, restaurant, shops and VIP lounges.

General website for Mexican airports: www.aeropuertosmexico.com
Departure Tax
International departure tax is usually included in air tickets.

Getting There by Water

Main ports: Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas (website: www.bajaport.com), Cozumel (website: www.apiqroo.com.mx), Manzanillo (website: www.apimanzanillo.com.mx), Mazatlan (website: www.apimazatlan.com.mx), Puerto Vallarta (website: www.apivta.com), Tampico (website: www.puertodetampico.com.mx) and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa.

Regular passenger ships run from the USA and South America. A huge number of companies operate cruise services to Mexico. There are also riverboat services from Flores and Tikal (Guatemala) to Palenque, Chiapas in Mexico; enquire locally for details.

Getting There by Rail

Amtrak provides railway connections to various points along the Mexican border from cities in the USA or Canada (tel: +1 800 872 7245, in the USA; website: www.amtrak.com). In Mexico, federal subsidies to the intercity passenger services were removed in 2000 and almost all long-distance passenger services were discontinued.

To get into Mexico by train, the only option is on luxurious private services like the Sierra Madre Express (tel: +1 520 747 0346 or 800 666 0346, in the USA; website: www.sierramadreexpress.com) operating between Tuscon, Arizona and Mexico's Copper Canyon. Mexlist (website: www.mexlist.com) maintains a list of similar luxury services, most of which have pullman sleepers, restaurant cars, lounge observation and club cars.

Getting There by Road

The main points of entry from the USA are Mexicali from San Diego; Nogales from Phoenix/Tucson; El Paso/Ciudad Juarez from Tucson and Alberquerque; Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras from Del Rio, San Angelo and El Paso; Laredo/Nuevo Laredo from Houston, San Antonia and Del Rio; and Brownsville/Matamoros from Houston and Galveston.

From Guatemala, there are two main roads into Mexico. The Pan American Highway crosses into Mexico from Guatemala and continues through Central America and South America. There is also a road border crossing point from Belize near Chetumal and Corozal.

Drivers crossing the border in private cars or US hire cars must present originals and photocopies of current car registration and a valid driving licence to obtain a 180-day automobile permit. The cost of this should be charged to a credit card to avoid leaving a large cash deposit. Mexican car insurance is also compulsory - extensions to US policies are not valid. Insurance can be purchased at the border but better deals are available through online brokers.

Coach: Autobuses Americanos (tel: 01 800 507 5500 or +1 214 337 0010, in the USA; website: www.autobusesamericanos.com.mx) connects several locations in the southern US states to a wide variety of Mexican towns and cities. Autotransportes Tufesa (tel: 01 800 737 8883 or +1 602 415 9900, in the USA; website: www.tufesa.com.mx) runs from Phoenix and Tucson to northern Mexico, and Transportes Intercalifornias (tel: (664) 683 6281 or +1 213 629 4885, in the USA; website: www.transportesintercalifornias.com) connects California to Tijuana and Mexacali. Various coach operators run from Guatemala and Belize to Mexico.