If you think people in Mexico speak Mexican, then you're going to have to do some homework before you go. If you do your research right you'll find that Mexicans actually speak Spanish and will also welcome you with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Here is some more basic information to know before you go.

Visa Requirements

Australian citizens looking to holiday in Mexico do not require a tourist visa. Please be aware though, if you are travelling via the USA you are required to meet US entry and transit requirements. If you're entering Mexico from the US border, you will need to obtain a tourist card and have your passport stamped. Please be aware these requirements and travel conditions can change at any time. For more up-to-the-minute information, refer to your closest Embassy or Consulate of Mexico.

Currency

Mexico uses Mexican Pesos as its official currency. Most of the country's resort cities will also accept US Dollars as well; however, they won't always give you the best exchange rate. To get the best value for money, be sure to have Pesos on you at all times. Also be aware that tipping is customary in Mexico with an average of 15 percent of the bill for restaurants and 10 pesos for attendants and service people.

Food

Many of us have wolfed down a Mexican meal or two in our time, albeit a Westernised version where the salsa comes in a packet and the shell is simply heated in the microwave. Unsurprisingly, these pre-packed dinners pale in comparison to the real deal. Mexico's food is spicy, fresh and wonderfully messy to eat. They love their tacos, traditionally served using carved meat, as well as chilaquiles, the real version of our Westernised nachos featuring crispy corn tortillas, salsa, cheese and refried beans. Other dishes to try includepozole, a traditional tangy soup, and mole, a popular sauce served with meat that usually involves chilli peppers, tomatoes, cumin, chipotle peppers, chocolate and various other spices.

Nightlife

As you may have already guessed, most of Mexico's tourist-friendly nightlife can be found in the resort cities. At the forefront is Cancun, Mexico's most hedonistic tourist spot. Student fun is the name of the game in this city, particularly around spring break in the US. Some clubs not to miss include Senor Frogs where happy hour and water slides make for a super-genius combination. For all-out clubbing fun though, Coco Bongos is a must. With locations in Cancun and Playa de Carmen, the legendary club has a whopping capacity of 1,800 revellers and a full-on approach to partying with everything from acrobats to conga lines, live bands, DJs, impersonators, confetti and more. Other party cities to try include Puerto Vallarta, Tijuana and Cabo San Lucas. Mexico City also has an eclectic offering with after-hours fun including traditional mariachi, high-end clubs and more.

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