Picture it now: you, languidly moving through a perfectly chilled infinity pool overlooking a turquoise ocean, with a salty margarita in your hand and the sun beaming overhead. Puffs of sunscreen and festive music swirl through the air, and you’ve already started thinking about your next ceviche encounter.

If you dream of Mexico or have already planned a vacation, you are one of the many doing the exact same thing. Mexico was one of the first countries to ease its COVID restrictions during the pandemic and as a result has seen a huge 27.7% increase in tourism from 2020 to 2021.

“There are new developments all over the country, such as the construction of a new airport in Tulum which will only further increase the country’s tourism in the years to come,” notes Dr Terika Haynes, founder of Dynamite Travel. “For families or groups traveling, as well as destination weddings, Mexico is a great option for any budget.”

Before you pack your bags, take a minute to review this must-have Mexico travel information right now. And then, don’t miss the 10 Best Places to Travel Abroad This Spring.

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Currently, Mexico does not require US citizens to provide proof of a negative COVID test, nor does the country require travelers to be vaccinated to enter the country. However, you should review the re-entry requirements for your country before returning home. For example, the United States requires a negative COVID test or recovery documentation in order to re-enter the country.

Note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “Mexico has a moderate level of COVID-19”. For your safety, exercise caution where possible, such as wearing masks indoors and avoiding crowded areas.

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View of Mask Required sign at entrance to Best Buy store due to COVID-19 prevention
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As is the case in many parts of the world, COVID rules vary across Mexico.

“Mexico follows a color coded mechanism which outlines the applicable state-by-state regulations,” notes Naveen Dittakavi, Founder and CEO of Next vacation. “Most areas and public spaces currently have a green light, which means you can resume all activities in public or private establishments with caution.”

These color-coded guidelines are updated every two weeks by the federal and state governments according to specialists from Mexico’s Ministry of Health. So check with local authorities for the most up-to-date information.

Also note that some airports may ask you to take a quick medical examination upon arrival. And even if your home country doesn’t require you to wear a mask on the plane or at the airport, many Mexican airports still have mask mandates in place.

Casa De La Playa resort in Mexico
Courtesy of Casa De La Playa

Mexico has some of the most luxurious destinations in the world, with state-of-the-art facilities and lavish spas that give places like the Maldives and the Turks and Caicos Islands a run for their money. Top luxury destinations in Mexico include:

Tulum: Known for its artsy aesthetic and feel-good vibes, Tulum is packed with boutique properties ranging from chic jungle treehouses to chic beach-side suites. It is also home to beautiful natural cenotes and Mayan ruins.

Riviera Maya: About 30 minutes from Tulum is the Riviera Maya, a coveted destination home to gorgeous beaches, luxury resorts, and a vibrant spectacle of diverse flora and fauna.

Cape San Lucas: Known simply as “Cabo”, this luxury destination in Mexico is known for its renowned culinary scene, breathtaking beaches and top-notch golf courses.

Perhaps the most luxurious hotel option is the new The Casa De La Playa on the Riviera Maya. Starting at around $1,500 a night, this all-inclusive resort is home to 63 impossibly gorgeous suites with personal plunge pools and hot tubs, jellyfish tanks, and eclectic artist-handcrafted artwork and furnishings. local. Your stay also grants you access to decadent experiences, such as private cave tours and a private romantic dinner at Cenote Rio Azul (with live jazz music).

READ NEXT: 5 Hotels So Incredible You Won’t Want To Leave.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
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There are many beautiful and budget-friendly destinations to consider when traveling to Mexico. The country is well known for its amazing hospitality and service industry, and budget options always deliver that wow factor. Top budget destinations in Mexico include:

Puerto Vallarta: This coastal town revolves around water, which means your stay will likely include water activities, marine exploration and plenty of lazy beach days.

Cancun: In addition to its turquoise-blue waters and white-sand beaches, Cancun is known for its affordable all-inclusive resorts, lively nightlife scene, and water sports. This destination is also located close to the Cancun airport, making it easy to travel between the airport and the hotel.

Puerto Penasco: Also known as Rocky Point, Puerto Peñasco is just a short drive from Southern California and Arizona, making it an easy weekend getaway for those in the area. This small fishing town cradles the Sea of ​​Cortez and offers many all-inclusive resorts and incredible seafood.

One of the top rated budget stays is The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort Villas & Spa, which averages around $200 per night. This beachfront hotel offers sparkling pools across the property, spacious rooms, delicious on-site restaurants, and a dazzling spa for you to pamper yourself.

van transport in mexico
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Some find airport arrivals a bit overwhelming due to the number of taxi pushers at the exits. Navigating public transport can also be stressful. Save yourself any trouble or distress by booking a private transfer before your vacation.

“It’s reliable, comfortable, spacious, and doesn’t make any other stops to take you directly to your destination and allows you to limit your exposure to other travellers,” says Dr Haynes. Many resorts will also arrange inexpensive (or complimentary) transfers to and from the hotel and airport in advance.

READ NEXT: 8 airport secrets that make travel super easy.

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Tap water in Mexico often contains contaminants that will make you sick. Traveler’s diarrhea– also known as “Montezuma’s revenge” – is perhaps one of the most common ailments affecting travelers to Mexico, but it can be avoided by drinking only bottled water.

Many resorts and restaurants in Mexico are careful about the water provided to guests, and some even have higher quality filtration systems on-site. However, avoid getting water in your mouth when showering or brushing your teeth, and never drink directly from the tap. Also avoid drinks with ice (especially in non-resort venues) and raw foods that have been rinsed or soaked in water, such as salad or vegetables.

rock arch on a beach in cabo san lucas
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Travel insurance is not mandatory in Mexico, but it’s always a good idea to purchase insurance when venturing abroad.

“It can help protect against unexpected accidents, emergencies, and illnesses,” says Dr. Haynes. “Having a ‘cancel for any reason’ clause in your travel protection can also help ease any stress or uncertainty, allowing you to be more comfortable and focus your energy on happily preparing for your vacation.”

Dittakavi adds that some areas, such as Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, may require tourists to present proof of travel medical insurance for the duration of their stay. Check with your hotel in advance.

tourist in mexico looking at mayan ruins
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Dittakavi says, “Travelling through most of Mexico is safer than you might think, with small incidents affecting tourists recently, so travelers shouldn’t let those worries overshadow this incredible cultural destination.

That said, wherever you go, be smart. Try not to walk in dark or deserted alleys, avoid going out of your resort late at night, and do not buy any type of drugs. It’s also a good idea to leave your jewelry and expensive clothes at home and always lock your valuables, including your passports, in your hotel safe.

For more travel info, check out The 9 Best Places in America to Travel This Spring.