Mexico Travel Guide for Filipinos

If you are a Filipino planning to visit Mexico this year, read this

This Mexico travel guide for Filipinos is exclusive for Philippine passport holders. This is not a travel guide but a guide on how to answer immigration questions, entry/exit requirements, and more! You can always check all my Mexico blog posts for other topics.

Reader Mail: Trisha, thanks to all your Mexico blogs I am now considering to travel to Mexico! I want to ask if you can make a Mexico travel guide for Filipinos? If you already have one, please send a link. I want to prepare myself for the visa application. Thank you for everything and keep inspiring Filipinas like me!
– Marianne Sanchez, Philippines

This Mexico travel guide for Filipinos will answer all your questions about visas, arrival, entry/exit requirements, and more about Mexico.

Welcome to Part III of No Visa? No Problem! series: a collection of articles on visa-free countries for Filipinos. This series aims to give another perspective to Filipinos about the other countries they can visit if they are rejected with a US or Schengen visa.

Mexico is not always on a Philippine passport holder’s bucket list but for the longest time, it has been in mine. I actually live here now! If you haven’t been to Mexico, I am sure you’re thinking of one thing: is Mexico safe?

I don’t say yes to every question about Mexico’s safety because the cartels still live up until today – there’s just less noise than before. But this does not apply to the whole country. Mexico is big and is one of the most beautiful countries I ever lived in.

Plus, the visa application for Philippine passport holders is way easier than the USA and Europe so come join me explore this marvelous country!

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Getting to Mexico from Manila

I am going to warn you now – flights to Mexico from Manila are expensive. First, I looked for airlines that fly directly from Mexico. There are no airlines that do this route from Manila so I tried major flying hubs in Asia. The only two flights that I found are from Beijing and Tokyo.

I was only traveling one way since the plan was to go backpacking in Central America for an indefinite time. I didn’t need a ticket back to the Philippines. The cheapest ticket I found was ₱50,349 and the route was Manila-Beijing-Tijuana-Mexico City.

The total flight time was 22 hours. Considering the distance between the Philippines and Mexico, this flight deal was great.

However, I found out that this flight needs to change terminals in Beijing – meaning, you need to apply for a visa to China. Applying for a Chinese visa is not very difficult because you’re only going to apply for transit.

See also: The best digital nomad destinations in Mexico

Mexico Travel Guide for Filipinos

I just went to the Chinese Embassy, gave them my passport, flight ticket to Mexico, and paid the visa fee. I got my Chinese visa after 2 days and they gave me a 10-day visa.

Tokyo was slightly more expensive at ₱60,540 but goes directly to Mexico City for a total flight time of 15 hours. I have a valid Japanese visa so this was another option but if you don’t have a Japan visa, you can’t fly through Tokyo.

There are way cheaper options but only if you have a valid USA and Canadian visa. This will save you over half the price than flying through Beijing and Tokyo.

If you have a valid USA or Canadian visa, you can fly from Manila to Los Angeles or Vancouver for ₱30,000 (2-way) then fly to Mexico City for less than ₱5,000 (one-way). Note that you have to book these flights individually.

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Visa regulations for Filipinos entering as a tourist

Philippine passport holders need a visa to enter Mexico. The application is not that difficult especially if you can prove financial capability. If you want to know the step-by-step process of applying for a Mexican visa, read my Mexico visa for Filipinos article.

However, if you have a valid USA, Canada, and Japan visa, you don’t need to apply for a visa to Mexico. These visas are enough for you to enter Mexico. I used my Japan visa to enter Mexico (lots of times!) and there haven’t been any problems.

You may also like: How to apply for a Mexico digital nomad visa

Mexico Travel Guide for Filipinos

In all your layovers, the airlines will always check if you have a visa to Mexico but all you have to do is tell them that you can enter with a CA, USA, and JP visa. Once you show any of these visas, they won’t question you anymore. It’s as easy as that!

All tourists entering Mexico will receive a 180 days tourist visa (6 months). Even if you use a CA/US/JP visa, you will also get the same number of days. When you enter Mexico, you will be given an entry card with a stamp.

Please don’t lose this because you need to present this when you leave the country. If you lose it, you will have to go to a consulate to obtain a new one. Of course, this one comes with a fee. To make sure, please take a picture of your Mexico entry card and save it in your email.


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What do they ask Filipinos when entering Mexico?

Nothing, really! As long as you have the visa, then you’re in! Mexico and the Philippines have very good diplomatic relations so Mexico is used to Filipino tourists.

There are also lots of Filipinos living in the US/CA who travel Mexico often with their CA/USA visas so they really are used to Filipino tourists in Mexico. Just relax and answer all their questions. Based on the many times I entered Mexico with a Philippine passport, they don’t really ask a lot of questions!

What do I need to present to the Mexican Immigration upon arrival?

Again, I entered Mexico a lot of times already so I feel pretty confident whenever I do it. I also speak Spanish fluently but I don’t think that’s a factor in traveling to Mexico. But don’t be too confident and always have the following ready. I encourage you not to print and waste paper. If you have all these on the phone, that’s more than enough.

Proof of accommodation

If you are backpacking in Mexico and you don’t know your exact travel dates yet, just book a one-week reservation in Mexico City using Booking.com. This platform allows you to book a confirmed reservation without paying.

You will receive an email confirmation and all you have to do is show this to the immigration officer upon arrival. If the event that you are already sure about your travel dates and itinerary, book via Airbnb. Airbnb hosts will always help you whenever there’s a problem with your entry to Mexico.

Outbound flight ticket

I also wasn’t asked for an outbound flight ticket when I entered Mexico and there were many times that I entered without a reservation. It’s not a need but if you are not confident and this is your first time to enter Mexico, make sure you have your outbound flight ticket reservation. No need to print it. Just show your email confirmation.

Itinerary

You don’t have to have a detailed itinerary (day-by-day) but if you do, it’s better! Based on experience, you just need to do prior research before your arrival. In the case that your itinerary is not solid yet, make sure that you can mention places you will visit. Are you going to Mexico City? Cancun? Baja California?

What are the interesting sights for you? Mention all the tourist spots that you want to visit – you don’t have to be detailed about it. At least show that you know where you want to go. If you’re someone who plans your travels meticulously, you can also arrange your transportation service in Mexico ahead of time.

What is the ideal budget to travel to Mexico?

You’d be surprised to know that the cost of living in Manila is 34% more expensive than in Mexico City. On my first visit here in 2013, I really couldn’t believe that there’s a country cheaper than my country, the Philippines. Mexico is super cheap and your travel budget will always go far here! It’s just like going to Thailand or Vietnam!

Mexico’s currency is called the Mexican peso (MXN). As of April 30, 2020, 1 MXN is equivalent to ₱2.12 PHP. If you are traveling with US dollars, $1 USD is equivalent to 23 MXN. The prices below are based on the cost of living in Mexico City. This is just to give you an idea of how much your Mexico travel budget should be.

Item
Price in the Philippines
Price in Mexico
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district
₱270
₱342
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar)
₱167
₱221
1 bottle of red wine, good quality (supermarket)
₱459
₱433
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese (market)
₱180
₱126
2 liters of coca-cola
₱91
₱58
Airbnb per day (2 pax)
from ₱800
from ₱500
Hostel per day (dorm, 1 pax)
from ₱800
from ₱500
Taxi trip on a business day, basic tariff, 8 km
from ₱224
from ₱126

Do I need a transit visa if I have a layover before Mexico?

It really depends on where you are stopping and what visas do you have. Remember that you can enter Mexico with valid Canadian, American, and Japanese visas. Any of the three will do. Please refer to this section for clarification.

When is the best time to visit Mexico?

Mexico is a big country so different states have different weather. Most tourist destinations have hot weather all year long. Winter is also bearable here. It does not snow so you don’t need to pack winter clothing. Just make sure you have something warm in case of an emergency. Mexico City is always cold (and raining).

Do I need a transit visa in the USA?

YES. US tourist and transit visas have the same application process. The only difference is their validity. If you are going through this process, you might as well apply for a US tourist visa. They normally give 10 years to Filipinos and the processing fee is the same price as the transit visa.

Will I meet Filipinos in Mexico?

I only met one Filipino in Mexico and she got in touch as a blog reader. Other than that, I didn’t meet Filipinos in Mexico. I’m sure there’s a lot – I’m just not looking that’s why I haven’t encountered any.

Is it easy to navigate Mexico as a Filipino?

Yes! In major cities, almost everyone can speak English. All Filipino nouns are the same in Mexican Spanish (mesa, silla, cubiertos, etc) so as a Filipino traveling in Mexico, you will hear a lot of familiar words that you can use in your travels. Mexicans also look like us. For the one year that I have been traveling here, people always mistake me for being Mexican! They don’t even ask – they just assume I’m Mexican right away.

Do you like what you’re reading? Does it help? I take a lot of time creating valuable and meaningful content. If you like to support my content creation and my blog, consider donating to my coffee fund. Thank you in advance!

Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak, and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. In no particular order, her favorite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Tel Aviv.

Comments

  • Thea
    May 1, 2020

    I was fortunate enough to go to Mexico City last year and it was certainly one of the best trips I’ve ever taken! I did try to spot a kababayan while I was there but no luck. I want to go back and eat all the panuchos to my heart’s content.

    reply
  • Joan
    November 4, 2020

    Hola Trisha,

    Really nice blog you have! Your content unlike other similar travel bloggers has more sense and different dimension.

    Anyway, I was reading all your posts about Mexico because we will be traveling with my partner next week. I am from the Philippines and he is from Slovakia. We will likely stop by Mexico City for a while until we figure out which place/city we want to stay longer. I have some questions for you and I hope you ca help me. Sorry it’s a nobela pls bear with me.

    1) I have Japan multi entry visa valid until 2024, did you have any trouble just using it? My Japan visa is also in my old passport, do you think that’s fine? I have a brief layover (~2hrs) in Japan and I know they are closed borders now for non-essential travel, have you heard if there’s any issue for transit only? I’d be flying first so I’ll fly alone, is Narita airport easy to navigate?

    2) Regarding proof of accommodation, I understand they check in Mexico BI, do I have to book a long stay? or 2-3days reservation is okay? Do they ask for a written itinerary? What are some other questions they ask?

    3) Regarding money, in your experience what is the best & cheapest way to exchange with Mexican peso? Did you exchange here in Manila before you left? We were thinking of just withdrawing directly from an atm from my BPI card, you think it’s reliable? Most shops accept credit card also? Is uber working fine in Mexico city?

    4)We are considering staying longer in a place where we can focus working remotely, not much covid restrictions, fair-priced accommodation, has vibrant international community where we can connect preferably entrepreneurs, good weather and also safe. Initial thoughts are Monterrey, Playa del Carmen, Cancun,etc. But not sure yet, do you have some advise?
    My partner has a business and tech start up in the US and I have to concentrate in preparing for an MBA so maybe beach side may be a temptation/distraction ?

    5) If our paths crossed there maybe we can meet up for some drinks?

    Take care there and hope to hear from you.

    reply
  • Jonie Jose
    May 6, 2021

    Hi po i just want to know if how much money need on my account if i want to tourist visit to mexico with my daughter 8years old? I hope anyone answer my question thank you

    reply
  • May 6, 2021

    Hi i just want to know if how much money needed to my acount because me and my daughter have plan to go to mexico im from philippines my daughter 8years old. Thank you

    reply

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P.S. I'm On My Way is a blog by Trisha Velarmino. She didn't
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