Two million Italians travel to Mexico each year, making it the second most popular tourist destination after the United States.

Those looking for a winter escape set their sights on the beachfront resorts of Cancun, Acapulco, and Cabo San Lucas. History appreciators can wander the grounds of Chichen Itza and other ancient Mayan cities, thought to be some of the oldest civilizations on Earth. Mexico City and Guadalajara are the two most popular urban centres in Mexico, and boast world class shopping, history, and architecture.

No visit to Mexico would be complete without a large helping of Mexican cuisine and culture. Whether it’s tacos, enchiladas, tamales, or pozole, the food will not disappoint. Wash it all down with a steaming mug of spiced Mexican hot chocolate or a shot of tequila. Like the food, Mexico’s music and dance is a unique hybrid of Indigenous and European influence.

There’s no shortage of things to do in Mexico, so ensure you have your bases covered for health and safety to ensure you can enjoy your trip to its fullest.

What Vaccines Do I Need For Mexico?

The Public Health Agency (PHA) recommends meeting a travel medicine specialist six weeks before your trip to discuss the following shots:

    • Hepatitis A: This liver disease is carried in contaminated food and water. Travellers should always know where their food is coming from, even when staying in a resort. Ensure ice cubes are made with bottled or sterilized water.
    • Hepatitis B: A contagious liver disease spread through unprotected sex, exchange of bodily fluids, and use of unclean piercing tools or needles. Check your immunization record to see if you received the shot or require a booster.
    • Measles: There have been no reported cases of measles in Mexico in several years, but the PHA recommends ensuring this vaccination is up to date.
    • Typhoid Fever: Travellers can contract this intestinal infection through contaminated food and water. Risk is high if staying with family or friends in rural regions.
    • Rabies: The rabies vaccination may be recommended based on your itinerary, especially for those spending an extended period of time in the country.
    • Yellow Fever: There is no risk of yellow fever transmission in Mexico, though proof of vaccination is required if travelling from a country that carries a risk of the disease.
What Mosquito-Borne Diseases Are In Mexico?

There is a malaria risk in the provinces of Chihuahua, Chiapas, Durango, Nayarit, and Sinaloa, as well as lower risk in areas bordering Guatemala and Belize. There is no risk of transmission in regions bordering Mexico and the United States. Talk to our travel medical specialist to see if antimalarials are recommended for your itinerary.

Chikungunya and dengue fever have been found in Mexico. The Zika Virus is also spread by infected mosquitos, and was reported for the first time in Mexico in 2015. Its effects on humans remain inconclusive. Talk to your travel medical specialist about mosquito bite prevention measures.

For more details on any of the above vaccinations, visit our detailed vaccination pages or make an appointment with your International Health Passport Specialist on line or call +39 392 0056499.

What Is The Climate Like In Mexico?

Here is what to expect in a few key travel destinations in Mexico:

    • Mexico City: The climate of Mexico City varies depending on the elevation of the borough. The city’s altitude ranges from 2,250 metres to just under 4,000 metres. Temperatures range between 12° Celsius and 16° Celsius. The dry season is from November to May, and the wet season brings tropical rains and hailstorms.
    • Cancun: The climate of Cancun is moderate to warm throughout the year, with the average temperature sitting at 27° Celsius. Most resorts are focused around the coast and are cooler than inland areas. There are tropical storms from May to November, and October is the wettest month.
    • Acapulco: The city has distinct wet and dry seasons, and like Mexico City, temperatures vary based on elevation. Central Acapulco is on the water, and is the warmest area. Temperatures remain at around 28° Celsius throughout the year, and June to September is the rainy season.
    • La Paz, Baja California Sur: The capital city of the most isolated state in Mexico is a desert, with dry, warm, and sunny conditions throughout the year. Temperature ranges are more dramatic on the peninsula, and range from 36° Celsius in the summer to as cold as 15° Celsius at night during the winter months. August and September bring heavy rainfall.

Hurricane season in Mexico is from June until November. Travel is not recommended during this time period, since it also corresponds with the rainy season where there can be flooding and mudslides.

How Safe Is Mexico?

There are high crime rates across Mexico. If you are a victim of crime or have had your passport stolen it is important to formally report these incidents to Mexican authorities. Though arrest rates are low, it will give you documentation to later show to Italian consular officials.

Efforts should be made to blend in as much as possible. Don’t carry large amounts of cash or wear flashy jewelry. Exchange and withdraw money at legitimate banks and exchange bureaus where there is a security guard present.

There are violent crimes committed against foreigners, and more than 20 Canadians have been murdered in Mexico since 2006. In some cases these crimes involved hotel staff and security guards at bars and nightclubs. There is power in numbers, so always try to travel as a group. If a foreigner has been kidnapped, the incident should be reported to the Italian Embassy in Mexico.

Criminals have been known to pose as police officers in order to steal identification or solicit bribes. Real police officers should always be able to provide their name, badge, and patrol car number, which you should record for future reference. Never give out your contact information or personal details over the phone or in-person, as this information may be leveraged to get money from friends and family back home.

Public transportation is generally considered safe for travellers, though you should always keep an eye on your belongings. The Mexico City metro is ripe for pickpockets, especially during rush hours and after dark.

What Should I Pack For Mexico?

Your packing list will vary greatly depending on whether you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort or wandering around one of Mexico’s many cities. Here are a few essentials that should be on your packing list either way:

    • Easy-to-lift luggage: Whether it’s a backpack, a duffel bag, or a suitcase that isn’t too big for you to carry, prepare to navigate many stairs and forms of public transportation if you’ll be venturing off-resort. There are many stairs in the airport.
    • A waterproof wallet: This will be a lifesaver if you plan to spend all day by the pool or at the beach. In most resort settings the only thing you’ll need to carry is a bit of money and your room key. Slip these into your wallet to ensure things don’t get lost or wet.
    • Cheap beach sandals: It may seem like a given, but you’ll want sandals that can easily be tossed on and off at the beach. Resort and beach touts do sell flip flops – for what will likely be 10x the cost of what you would have paid at home.
    • Snorkel equipment: Likewise, it is possible to rent snorkel gear to explore some of the stunning coral reef off parts of Mexico, but it will cost you. It may be worth investing in a cheap set of snorkel gear at home.
    • A run down backpack: Petty crime is rampant in Mexico’s major cities, and a beat-up bag will attract less attention than a nice purse or backpack.
Where Is The Canadian Embassy In Mexico?

All Italians visiting Mexico should register online with the Embassy before departure. This will inform the office of your travel plans within the country and will allow them to reach out to you in the case of an emergency or evacuation. If you plan to purchase a local SIM card you can also enter your phone number to receive SMS updates from the office.

Ambasciata e cancelleria consolare

Paseo de las Palmas 1994

Lomas de Chapultepec

11000 Miguel Hidalgo, Distrito Federal

Tel: 55.55963655

email: segreteria.messico@esteri.it

Visit the Embassy website prior to your departure.

What Are The Entry And Exit Requirements For Mexico?

Italians must get a tourist card to enter Mexico. This is called a Multiple Migratory Form for Foreigners or an FMM. It will be given to travellers either on the airline or at your airport or port of entry. If you are entering Mexico overland, immigration officers may not always issue an FMM card. The onus is on the traveller to ensure they get the form from the border guard. The Embassy can provide more information for travellers entering Mexico over land. Travellers must have a Italian passport valid for the entire length of their intended stay in Mexico.

Italian travellers can be approved to stay up to 180 days in Mexico, though the length of stay will ultimately be determined by the immigration official. Officials can demand to see a traveller’s tourist card at any time, so the document should always be carried.

If you have any questions about travelling to Mexico or are wondering what shots you may need for your trip, schedule an appointment with your International Health Passport Clinic today by calling +39 392 0056499 or booking online today.


Health Alerts For Mexico

INFLUENZA Worldwide
May '16 – According to the CDC, annual vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all people 6-months of age and older. Globally, influenza activity is low in most regions. In North America, influenza activity continues to decrease. In Europe, influenza activity continues to decrease in most countries. In northern Africa and the Middle East, influenza activity continues to decrease or remained low in most countries; however activity remained high in Jordan and Turkey. In the temperate countries of Asia, influenza activity continued to decrease, but continues to remain high in the Republic of Korea. In tropical countries of the Americas, influenza activity remains low in most countries. In tropical Asia, influenza activity began to decline in India but continued to decrease in southern China and Hong Kong SAR. In tropical Africa, influenza activity increased in western Africa, however Madagascar reported declining influenza activity. Lastly, in the southern hemisphere influenza activity remains at inter-seasonal levels.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.


CHOLERA in Mexico
May '16 – Cholera is a bacterial disease that can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Cholera is most often spread through the ingestion of contaminated food or drinking water. Although cholera is preventable, an estimated 3 to 5 million cases and over 100,000 deaths occur each year around the world. Cholera is common in many Sub-Saharan African countries. Passport Health offers products for water purification and electrolyte replacement; precautions for food and water are covered in the travel consultation.
During 2015, the following places have reported cases and/or deaths due to cholera:
In Africa: Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. Tanzania alone has seen 4,835 cases, including 68 deaths in its most recent outbreak.
In Asia: India and Syria.
In the Americas: The last confirmed cholera case in Cuba was reported in a Canadian Traveler returning from Cuba in January 2015. In the Dominican Republic, since the beginning of the epidemic (November 2010), more than 32,200 suspected cholera cases have been reported, including more than 480 deaths. Since the beginning of 2015, more than 180 suspected cases, including 9 deaths, have been reported; this is an increase of cases compared to the same period last year. In Haiti, since the beginning of the epidemic (October 2010), more than 734,000 cholera cases have been reported, of which more than 50% were hospitalized and more than 8,700 have died. Since the beginning of 2015, there have been more than 10,300 cases, including 106 fatalities; the number of cases and deaths reported in 2015 are already higher than those reported during the same period last year. In 2014, Mexico reported 14 cases from two states (Hidalgo and Querétaro). Since the beginning of 2015, there have been no new cholera cases registered.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control, Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization.

CHIKUNGUNYA in Mexico
May '16 - Chikungunya is known to occur during the rainy season in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, southern India, and Pakistan. More recently the disease has also been reported in the Americas and South Pacific for the first time. According to the CDC, most people in the Americas are not immune to Chikungunya so further spread is likely. Once infected people can infect and spread the virus to other mosquitoes. Chikungunya is often confused with Dengue fever, as the symptoms are similar, although chikungunya symptoms are less severe compared to dengue.
Local transmission of chikungunya has been reported in the following countries:
AFRICA: Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mayotte, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Reunion, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
AMERICAS: Anguilla, Antigua, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Sint Maarten (Dutch), Saint Martin (French), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S.A (several states - travel related), and Venezuela.
ASIA: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor, Vietnam, Yemen.
EUROPE: France.
OCEANIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Marshall Islands, Federal States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Tokelau Islands, and Tonga.
Chikungunya fever is a disease caused by a virus that is spread to people through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Symptoms can include sudden fever, joint pain with or without swelling, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, lower back pain, and a rash. In case of these symptoms people are strongly advised to see their doctor. Travelers should use mosquito nets when sleeping and apply mosquito repellents.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

DENGUE FEVER in Mexico
May '16 - Dengue Fever cases have been on the rise worldwide. According to WHO, incidence of dengue has increased 30 fold in the past 50 years. WHO estimates over 2.5 billion people are now at risk of dengue and there are about 50-100 million dengue infections worldwide every year. According to the CDC, dengue fever is the most common cause of fever in travelers who return from South Central Asia, Central America and the Caribbean.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

MEASLES in Mexico
May '16 - According to the CDC, measles kills more than 100,000 children each year worldwide and is common in parts of Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Domestic travelers are just as likely, as international travelers, to be exposed on airplanes or in airports. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases and the CDC advises that all travelers be up to date on their vaccinations. Significant outbreaks have been reported in the following countries so far this year (2015): Angola, Australia, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada (Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec), China, Croatia, Congo DR, Egypt, Ethiopia, France (Alsace region), Georgia, Germany, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hong Kong SAR, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA (several states), and Vanuatu.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges Americans traveling overseas to make sure they are vaccinated against measles—especially if traveling with children. In children complications may lead to bronchitis and pneumonia and in more severe cases, the disease can cause central nervous system damage. Measles is an acute, highly communicable disease, transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread. Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, and sore eyes followed about 2 days later by a red blotchy rash. It is recommended that you receive an adult booster if you haven't had measles and you have only had your childhood immunizations, especially when traveling internationally. Young children can complete their MMR vaccination schedule early if they are traveling abroad.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

HEPATITIS A in Mexico
May '16 – According to the WHO, 1.4 million cases of Hepatitis A occur annually worldwide. It is transmitted when a person ingests food or drink contaminated by an infected person's feces. The risk of contracting hepatitis A virus infection is high in certain regions, in particular Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. Travelers should vaccinate prior to travel.
During 2015, so far, the following countries have reported outbreaks of Hepatitis A: Australia, Belize, Canada, China (Hong Kong SAR), Mexico, Nepal (earthquake related), Russia, and the United Kingdom.
It's interesting to note, that among the outbreaks that have occurred in Mexico, the CDC reports more than 25 hepatitis A cases in US travelers, who traveled to Tulum, Mexico. Hepatitis A can be spread through contaminated food or water. Travelers can protect themselves by receiving the vaccine and by practicing frequent handwashing with soap and water.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

ZIKA VIRUS in Mexico
May '16 - Zika fever was originally detected in Africa, however an increasing number of cases have been detected in the Americas. Brazil, Colombia, and the Caribbean have been the hardest hit so far, but the disease is spreading rapidly. On Dec. 31 2015, Puerto Rico reported its first case of the disease in a resident who had not traveled outside of the island.
Some locally transmitted cases have been found in Southeast Asian countries including Thailand and Vietnam.
Specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to continue to change over time.
Zika fever is a viral illness similar to dengue fever, yellow fever, and Japanese encephalitis. It is spread though mosquito bites and mosquitoes carrying the virus can bite during the day and at night. Symptoms of zika fever include high temperature, headache, red eyes, skin rash, muscle aches, and joint pains.
Those traveling to the South or Central America or the Caribbean should take extra precautions in order to avoid the mosquito-borne disease including using mosquito repellents, mosquito netting and protective clothing.
Sources Include: International Society for Infectious Diseases, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization.