If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, you’ll be pleased to hear that your pound goes much further in this country – the cost of living is a whopping 52% less than the UK; and yes, that means you get more Mexican Pesos (MXN) for your pound – around 25 to be precise. But what to spend those extra pesos on? Well you won’t be short of choices. With delicious world-renowned food and drink, ancient history, a diverse music scene, some of the best beaches in the world and all this combined with welcoming and friendly people (even if you don’t speak Spanish), Mexico is the perfect destination for those seeking great value for money.
Dining out in Mexico
If you’re dining out in Mexico be prepared to pay between £16-£24 for a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant, this represents fantastic value for money.
The vibrant culinary scene varies immensely from north to south Mexico and offers something for all tastes and preferences. Try a world-renowned Mexican favourite, enchiladas – tortillas rolled around a filling of cheese, meat, beans, vegetables or a combination of all.
In the north, try carne asada, a local delicacy of thinly sliced marinated and grilled beef. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, try cabrito – roasted goat.
On the coast, be sure to try the delicious fresh seafood including Mexican shrimp, oyster soup or tampico – stuffed crab.
To the south, try tortas ahogadas (‘drowned sandwich’) drenched in salsa and served with braised pork.
Traditional Mayan dishes including pibil – slow-roasted pork marinated in citrus for maximum tenderness. Or if you’re vegetarian, try chile rellenos – large (but not spicy) chili peppers stuffed with cheese.
A main-course meal in an inexpensive restaurant will cost you around £3.70.
The price of drinks
A bottle of 500ml local beer will cost you around £1.20 in Mexico. Imported beer costs slightly more, coming in at around £1.80 per bottle.
A 750ml bottle of wine will cost you around £6 from a local supermarket. Look out for the red Vena Cava Cabernet Sauvignon with flavours of cherry, herbs and tobacco, or the white Chenin Blanc which is aromatic and dry with notes of stone fruit.
If you enjoy your spirits, try some Tequila or pulque, a Mexican alcoholic drink made by fermenting sap from the maguey plant.
As a general rule and to be safe, you should not drink tap water in Mexico, so be sure to stock up on inexpensive bottled water from a local supermarket. Bottled water costs around 60p per 1.5-litre bottle.
Out and about
There’s plenty to do in Mexico, with something for all tastes – from the sun-seeking beach bod to the thrill-seeker.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try a snorkelling adventure with the whale sharks off the coast of Cancun from £110. You’ll also encounter dolphins, manta rays and turtles – an experience of a lifetime. Or if you fancy a sail and snorkel trip, these can be booked from around £50.
If culture and history is more your thing, try a tour of Chichen Itza, a 1,500-year-old Mayan archaeological site, which will cost approximately £40. Or take an early-morning Teotihuacan pyramids tour with a private archaeologist, from £30. Travel to the UNESCO-listed site is easy from capital Mexico City, and you’ll be able explore the temples and pyramids in much cooler morning temperatures.
If you’re seeking out the biodiversity of the rich Mexico landscape, Xcaret Park is worth a visit. Here you’ll find underground rivers, a beach, lagoon, pool and a tropical jungle trail. An admission ticket costs around £75.
For beach lovers, make sure you venture to the beach paradise known as Passion Island, the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sunshine.
How much spending money should I take to Mexico?
If you’re travelling to Mexico, make sure you budget for about £30 per person per day, or £210 per week, to cover all meals and excursions.
If you’re looking to go all inclusive, try the Riu Caribe Hotel in Cancun, from £811pp* for 7 nights, all inclusive (13 September).
Tipping in Mexico
In restaurants, there may be an amount listed as ‘IVA’ (value added tax) or propina (tip) on your bill. That’s 16%, so you tip that, but if it’s already included, there’s no need to tip. If the taxi driver helps with your luggage, a tip of 10-90 pesos will be appreciated. In hotels, tip around 10 to 20 pesos for help with your bag, and housekeepers between 20-50 pesos per night. In bars, tip between 10-20 pesos per drink or 10% to 15% of the bill.
*Prices correct at the time blog was published and are subject to availability. T&C’s apply.