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Frequently Asked Questions


1. I understand that I may need a passport for travel to Mexico in the future?

You are correct. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires that by January 1, 2008, travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.

In order to facilitate the implementation of this requirement, the Administration is proposing to complete it in phases following a proposed timeline, which will be published in the Federal Register in the near future. This is a change from prior travel requirements and will affect all United States citizens entering the United States from countries within the Western Hemisphere who do not currently possess valid passports.

This new requirement will also affect certain foreign nationals who currently are not required to present a passport to travel to the United States. Most Canadian citizens, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, and to a lesser degree, Mexican citizens will be affected by the implementation of this requirement.

Info: http://www.embassyofmexico.org

Mexican Embassy in Canada http://www.embamexcan.com/english/indexenglish.html

Mexican Embassy in the UK http://www.mexicanconsulate.org.uk/


2. Is Mexico safe?

Yes. Overall we consider Mexico to be very safe and would feel comfortable traveling to any part of this extensively diverse and interesting country. My only other extra precautions are that when outside of the Riviera Maya where we live, I am extra careful to park my vehicle in a secure place and not leave anything inside. Plus you are strongly advised not to travel at night on the highways outside of the Riviera Maya. Especially the remote ones. Not only because there is some risk of banditos, but you can also find people driving without their lights on or a broken down bus in the middle of a corner. Cancun and the Riviera Maya we consider to be very safe. You will feel especially secure in South Akumal because it is a gated community with private security. This is not to say that there is no petty crime or that you should leave your common sense at home. Just as you would likely do at home, you should lock doors and windows, put things away and lock them up, keep valuables out of site and don’t bring unnecessary attention to yourself. If you use your common sense and take the same precautions you would at home, then you will be like the 99% of visitors to the area that never have a problem.


3. Is driving safe in Mexico?

A new highway from Cancun to Tulum is complete so the drive is now very safe. The worst danger is when you turn left off of the highway into whatever town you are going to - if possible, pull over to the right and let cars go by first, then make your left turn.


4. Should we worry about drinking and eating?

This area is very accommodating to tourists and every restaurant knows to purify their fruits and vegetables, so eat up! The Mexicans purify their own food the same way. The fresh fruits and veggies are amazing and so inexpensive. There is a farmers' market in Akumal every Wednesday and Saturday. If you buy fresh fruits and vegetables yourself, it is best to soak them for 20 minutes in purified water with a few iodine drops, which can be bought in any grocery store in the area, before eating them. We will provide you with purified water to drink, cook, and brush your teeth with, etc. It will come in normal sized water bottles and a 20 liter blue jug in the kitchen, called a garrofone in Spanish.

Please do not brush your teeth or drink the tap water and don’t let shower water get in your mouth.

Ice can be eaten. It is made from purified water. Also, if you order a glass of ice water at a restaurant, they will give you purified water as they would not drink tap water either.

5. Can I use my credit cards in Mexico?

Yes and No. Do not count on credit cards being readily accepted and don’t be surprised if they are accepted, if you are charged as much as a 5% surcharge for the privilege. The larger businesses that cater to tourists are more likely to have the facility to accept your card than the smaller ones.

6. I am always confused about tipping in foreign countries. What do I tip?

When staying at the villa, we normally suggest 5% of your rental cost.
Of course, this is only a suggestion. Please give whatever amount you think appropriate. Tipping in restaurants is about 15 - 20% of the total bill. Please remember that the prices are in pesos. 10 pesos here are equal to about 1 dollar US.

7. I don´t speak Spanish, will I have trouble communicating in Mexico?

No. Most people in the tourist-related industry (restaurants, shops,attractions) speak English, so this is not a problem. Also, our manager speaks English and he will be available to you throughout the day, as his office is in our casita.  He can be reached in the evening by phone. He is very knowledgeable about the area and can help you with whatever you need.




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Akumal Villas | info@akumal-villas.com
US Toll-free:  (866) 535-1324
Tel US:  (678) 528-1775
Mexico:  (984) 875-9088

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