From the United States and Canada
Hundreds of daily flights connect Mexico with cities and towns across North America. These include traditional airlines such as Air Canada, Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, etc., as well as low-cost carriers such as JetBlue, Spirit, WestJet, Virgin America and Southwest Airlines. There is also the Mexican low-cost airline Volaris, which currently flies from several major US cities (including Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando, San Diego and Portland) via its hubs in Mexico City and Guadalajara. The other airline, Interjet, also serves Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Antonio and Houston. In turn, United Airlines/United Express (operated by Express Jet and Skywest) serves other cities in Mexico besides Guadalajara, Mexico City, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and other major resorts (already served by several US and US-based airlines. Mexicans) such as Aguascaliente, Chihuahua, Ciudad de Carmen, Durango, Huatulco, Leon/Guanajuato, Oaxaca, Merida, San Luis Potosi, Torreon, Tampico, Veracruz and Villahermosa from Houston. Flights to other Mexican cities are operated by Aeromar on a codeshare basis.
Note that, as in the US and Canada, you must clear immigration and customs when you first enter Mexico, even if that airport is not your final destination. (For example, many trips to Aeromexico will involve connecting through their hub in Mexico City). You will then need to recheck your baggage and go through security again to get to the next flight segment.
From Australia or New Zealand
Arrive from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Auckland (NZ) and fly direct to Los Angeles with Delta, Qantas, United and V Australia. Air New Zealand offers a one-stop flight from Australia and a non-stop flight from Auckland to Los Angeles. Hawaiian Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui offer one or two-stop flights to Los Angeles from Australia and New Zealand.
Many airlines continue to fly from Los Angeles to Mexico, including AeroMexico/Aeromexico Connect, Alaska Airlines, Volaris, Interjet, United and Virgin America, some of which offer interline or alliance tickets and baggage handling. Other options are available if connecting via another US city. If you have a visa waiver, Mexico is considered part of the United States, which means that if you stay in Mexico for more than 90 days, you must continue south before returning to the United States.
Most commercial airlines connect Mexico directly with Europe. There are direct flights to Mexico City (IATA: MEX) and Cancun (IATA: CUN) from Paris (IATA: CDG), London (IATA: LON), Madrid (IATA: MAD), Amsterdam (IATA: AMS), Frankfurt (IATA: FRA). Some airlines fly to both Mexico City and Cancun, while others serve only one and not the other (usually only to Cancun, e.g. airlines from Russia and Italy). Other flights to Cancun from Europe may only be available on a charter basis and some are only available in the winter months (December-February). It is always worth comparing flight offers from airlines and charter companies that can get you to Mexico City or Cancun via many European hubs. The flight time from these cities is always around 11 hours.
There are four Amtrak stations in U.S. border cities: San Diego, Yuma, Del Rio and El Paso. Mexico is easily accessible from all of these cities. From the Santa Fe depot in San Diego, the tram runs to the California-Baja California border. In El Paso, the train station is just a few steps from the border. However, there is only rudimentary rail service within Mexico, and only one train crosses the border at any point. Plans for change have been put on hold by the current PRI government.
US car insurance is not accepted in Mexico; however, it is easy to purchase short- or long-term tourist insurance, which includes mandatory liability insurance, theft and accident insurance for your vehicle, and often legal expenses insurance. If you decide to travel to Mexico by car, the website of the Secretariat of Transport and Communications offers free downloadable road maps.
Vehicles registered abroad must obtain the necessary permits before entering Mexico. You can do this at border checkpoints by presenting your vehicle’s title or registration, valid immigration documents and a valid credit card. It is now possible to apply for your vehicle’s import permit online. The licence is only issued to the registered owner of the vehicle, so the paperwork must be in the applicant’s name. Licences are not required for the Baja California peninsula and the northern part of the state of Sonora.
Due to the incredibly high volume of drugs and illegal immigration (to the US) and drug money and weapons (to Mexico) crossing the US-Mexico border, you should expect long delays and thorough searches of vehicles crossing the border. At some of the busiest border crossings, you can expect a wait of 1 to 3 hours.
The Mexican bus system would be the most efficient in the world. Buses are undoubtedly the backbone of inner-city individual transport in Mexico, as the number of private car owners is much lower than in the northern neighbouring country and trains are mainly used for freight transport and tourism. Chances are good that you will meet many locals when travelling by bus. There are many independent companies, but they all use a central computerised ticketing system. Fares per kilometre are generally comparable to Greyhound in the United States, but there are more departures and the system serves much smaller villages than its American counterpart. There are many bus companies based in Mexico that have branches in larger cities in the US.
- Omnibus Mexicanos
- Americanos Bus – Mexico-US services as a co-brand between Grupo Estrella Blanca and Greyhound Lines.
- El Expresso
- Grupo Senda/Turimex
- TUFESA bus lines
A ticket to a major Mexican city from the southwestern United States can be purchased for as little as $60 round trip (San Antonio TX to Monterrey N.L.). However, these airlines mainly serve Hispanics or Mexicans living in the United States and operate mainly in Spanish.
Greyhound offers tickets from the United States to major Mexican cities with Grupo Estrella Blanca further south of the border, including Monterrey, Querétaro, Durango, Mazatlan, Torreon, Mexico City. It is better (and cheaper) to buy a round-trip Greyhound ticket, as it can be more difficult and expensive to buy a ticket from Mexico to an American destination that is not a major city. From Mexico City, the local bus line (usually Futura) will exchange the Greyhound ticket for their own free of charge.
- Crossing the border into Guatemala.
- Cruise ships from the United States.