Welcome to Yucatán! Our city streets go by numbers instead of names; even numbers usually go north-south, while odd numbers go east-west. Beyond Centro, street numbers may change from one sector (Colonia) to the next. Addresses are written as Calle 39 #483 x 54 y 56, Centro, meaning building 483 on street 39, between streets 54 and 56 in Centro.
Walking, jogging, and running are generally safe in Yucatán; the one thing to look out for is the heat. Wear sunscreen, remain in the shade when possible, and stay hydrated by drinking purified water only; avoid drinking from the tap. If you come across any animals in the wild, remember to keep your distance; never try to feed them. Against mosquitos, insect repellent and long sleeves are the best protection, especially during the rainy season.
Tips are essential to travel industry staff, like hotel maids and guides at archeological sites and caves. In restaurants, 15% of your bill is a fair tip; for musical trios, $100 pesos for three songs. Gas station and parking attendants expect $5 to $10 pesos.
Driving in Yucatán
We have a couple of dedicated articles with everything you need to travel in Yucatán (A cheat-sheet for driving in Mérida and Driving tips for Yucatán), but here are the most important aspects to consider when getting behind the wheel:
Drinking and driving
You might run into police breathalyzer checkpoints; should the alcohol concentration in your breath be 0.40 mg/L or above, you could be fined or jailed, and your vehicle towed. Don’t risk it: the limit is rather low, and the fines are quite expensive.
Street parking is limited in Centro, and parking by curbs painted yellow or red is forbidden. Look for public parking lots (Estacionamiento Público), which may charge up to $40 pesos per hour; rates should be posted at the entrance.
There are no self-serve stations in México. Ask the attendant for the amount you need (in pesos or liters) and make sure the pump is set to “zero.” Credit cards are accepted at most stations, but it’s a good idea to ask beforehand.
When driving anywhere, but especially in villages, keep an eye out for surprise speedbumps; some residents build their own, meaning they may be not properly signaled, nor up to code.
Roadside Assistance in Yucatán
Ángeles Verdes provides free roadside assistance to travelers on Mexican highways from 8 am to 6 pm, 365 days a year. Call them by dialing 078 or +52 (999) 983 1184.
Hurricanes and tropical storms may happen between June and November; keep an eye out for official announcements and follow instructions. Click here to find out more on how to prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm in Yucatán.
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