All visitors to Mexico need a valid passport, upon presentation of which entering the country you'll be granted a tourist visa valid 180 days. To obtain a passport, contact one of the following passport offices:
- Australia -- Australian Passport Information Service (tel. 131-232; www.passports.gov.au).
- Canada -- Passport Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G3 (tel. 800/567-6868; www.ppt.gc.ca).
- Ireland -- Passport Office, Setanta Centre, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 (tel. 01/671-1633; www.foreignaffairs.gov.ie).
- New Zealand -- Passports Office, Department of Internal Affairs, 47 Boulcott St., Wellington, 6011 (tel. 0800/225-050 in New Zealand or 04/474-8100; www.passports.govt.nz).
- United Kingdom -- Visit your nearest passport office, major post office, or travel agency or contact the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), 89 Eccleston Sq., London, SW1V 1PN (tel. 0300/222-0000; www.ips.gov.uk).
- United States -- To find your regional passport office, check the U.S. State Department website (travel.state.gov/passport) or call the National Passport Information Center (tel. 877/487-2778) for automated information.
Visitors from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand don't need visas for tourist stays of less than 180 days. Other nationalities should check with the Instituto Nacional de Migración online at www.inm.gob.mx. There's a helpful online flow chart (in easily decipherable Spanish) of who needs what.
Gone are the bad old days of shady inspections and bribes; nowadays, la Aduana (Mexican Customs, www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx and click on "English" in the upper right corner) moves like clockwork. When you arrive by air, you'll be asked to put your bags through a scanner and press a button -- red means you'll be inspected, green means you're good to go. When you arrive by car, you'll be randomly assigned a green or red light. Be aware that while there are few restrictions on what travelers can bring with them into the country, you're only allowed two cameras and one computer per traveler -- any more and you'll have to pay value-added-tax.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.