Living & Lifestyle

Mexico Newsletter —
February 2021

This month: Land border update; 2021 eBooks library redesign, 2021 Immigration updates, Peak Monarch butterfly season; Renting a home; Imported food & homeware...

Mexico Letter Box

Mexperience Mexico Newsletter — February 2021

Land border restrictions have been extended to February 21st, 2021: Mexico’s land border restrictions have been extended again; however, we are hearing that American citizens are driving and walking into Mexico without hindrance.  Tourist permits (FMMs) and temporary vehicle import permits (TIPs) are being issued as normal.  This article summarizes the restrictions and the comments section contains anecdotal notes left by local travelers.  Note that Flights between the US and Mexico are not affected by this restriction, although as as of January 26, 2021, international passengers flying to the US need to get tested.

Mexico’s gradual and phased reopening

Mexico continues to undergo a phased reopening of its economic, cultural, educational, and social activities.  Each region and municipality is implementing a custom reopening plan based on a color-coded ‘traffic light’ system so the restrictions vary depending on each region and/or locality.  Covid updates

February highlights in Mexico: Those who found a plastic doll in their slice of Rosca de Reyes will be buying Tamales for family and close friends to eat on February 2nd.  Mexico’s Constitution Day is observed on the first Monday of the month with a long weekend holiday.  And because this year the first Monday falls on the 1st of February, the holiday weekend begins in January.  Although it’s technically still winter, some regions in Mexico are already beginning to warm-up and by late February some places will already be showing clear signs of spring.  It’s also your last chance to see the Monarch Butterflies this year—see section below, for details.

New editions of Mexico eBooks: We have just launched a completely redesigned Mexico eBooks Library, and fully revised and updated our catalog of eBooks.  Discover the brand-new Mexico Insight Guides & Reports series that offers you local knowledge and practical insights about living and lifestyle in Mexico; we’ll be adding more titles to the series in the months ahead.

Free eBooks also updated: We have fully revised and updated our popular Mexico Immigration Guide and Mexico Cost of Living Guide for 2021.  These are free eBooks that can be downloaded via the eBooks library.

Peak season for Monarch butterflies: The very special Methuselah generations of butterflies migrate each year, leaving the colder northern climes of the U.S. and Canada to take winter refuge and breed in Mexico.  They begin arriving in November and overwinter until March. The peak viewing period is mid-January to the end of February, so if you want to see them this year, you’ll need to make arrangements soon.  The sanctuaries are open to visitors and our travel associates can arrange suitable tours.  Learn more about the Monarch butterflies and how to visit the sanctuaries.

Residency and visa updates for 2021: In addition to publishing our 2021 Mexico Immigration Guide, we’ve also published new articles and updated several others related to residency and immigration, thus:

Immigration Assistance

If you need assistance with your residency permit application or renewals, regularization procedures, expired permits, or troubleshooting, consider using this Mexico Immigration Assistance Service.

Buying imported food and homeware: In a bygone era, it was difficult to buy specialist foods, drinks, and homeware goods in Mexico.  Today’s retail landscape in Mexico includes a selection of specialist stores that offer customers food and homeware imports from the US, Europe, and elsewhere.  Discover stores where you can buy imported foods and goods which years ago were not available anywhere in Mexico.

Cold spells still prevalent until spring: Although winters don’t seem as long in Mexico as they are elsewhere, cold spells that suddenly arrive across Mexico’s central highlands can be felt anytime from late fall through to early spring, so it’s wise to have a fleece or pullover handy, just in case.  Since December 22nd, the daylight hours are lengthening and those who spend winters in Mexico or live here full time enjoy and cherish plenty of daylight throughout the winter season, with comfortable daytime temperatures in most places.
See also: Foreign Native

Gentle Reminder: Please tip generously during this difficult time

Tipping is woven-in to the fabric of Mexican trading culture and, as we explain in our guide, tipping in Mexico must be practiced often and in a wide variety of situations.  Please remember your generosity when tipping during this exceptionally difficult economic period.

Renting a home in Mexico: Mexico has plenty of property for rent, although finding a rental home in the right location that’s also adequate for your needs requires planning and effort. Learn about the practicalities of finding and inhabiting a rented a home in Mexico.

Insights about Real Estate in Mexico: Whether you intend to rent or buy, our guides and articles about realty in Mexico provide insights and practical advice that can help you to understand the local market and find a home that serves your real needs and budget, avoiding common pitfalls.

Insurance reminders: If you plan to drive a foreign-plated car in Mexico —even if only for short essential trips across the border— make sure you’re properly insured: US and Canadian policies don’t cover third party liability.  If you own a home in Mexico, you might be wondering whether the property is insurable; most homes can be insured, but there are notable exceptions.  If you’re considering healthcare coverages, read about your choices for healthcare cover in Mexico and connect to relevant resources.

Medical health insurance and evacuation coverages: If you’re wondering what options are available for medical coverages in Mexico, learn about the options for Medical Insurance in Mexico.  If you have good medical health coverage in your home country a fully-managed medical evacuation plan can be an alternative in some situations.

The world’s busiest land border: The US-Mexico land border is the world’s busiest land crossing. To better understand the scope of passengers and vehicles making the crossings, we downloaded the data for 2019 —before the land border became restricted in 2020— to get a handle on how much traffic typically crosses the US-Mexico land border, and the data are revealing

Speaking Spanish gives you unique access to Mexican culture: Whether you plan a short visit to Mexico or to stay for longer, being able to communicate in Spanish will make a material difference to your everyday activities and experiences.  This article explains why and our insightful PinPoint Spanish series helps you to get acquainted with the nuances of Mexican Spanish in everyday situations.

Planning to visit Mexico for leisure?

Planning: If you’re planning to visit Mexico this year, we recommend you talk with your tour operator to ask about the local situations, or if you’re traveling independently we suggest you contact the hotel(s) you intend to stay at to ask them about the current situation in their locality.  Flight schedules may be reduced and/or subject to sudden change: check with the airlines for details.

Customized tours: If you would like to book a custom tour in Mexico, our associates can help: they are in constant contact with the operators and destinations they work with, and will book travel itineraries when it is possible and practicable to do so.

Inspiration: You can find inspiration for future visits to Mexico by browsing Extraordinary Travel Experiences, and Travel Destinations in Mexico.

Useful Resources on

Discover Mexico: Visit our Discover Mexico section for the latest stream of articles and features to help you get inspiration, insights, and connections about Lifestyle, Living, and Leisure in Mexico.

Lifestyle & Living Services: Find services to help you to realize your lifestyle & living plans in Mexico.

Leisure & Travel Services: Find services to plan and arrange leisure & travel experiences in Mexico.

Immigration Assistance: When you need help applying for residency, or help renewing your existing residency permit (or working through a ‘regularization’ procedure after a mishap), consider using this Mexico Immigration Assistance Service, which offers detailed consultancy, personalized advice, and practical help through the process.

Driving to Mexico? Mexperience offers a wide range of articles that will help you to plan your road trip in Mexico.  Our article about bringing your foreign-plated car to Mexico covers key points you need to know, and our (updated) article on Temporary Import Permits (TIPs) shares valuable information about ensuring your vehicle remains legal here. Don’t forget to insure your vehicle before you cross the border as your US or Canadian policy won’t cover you for third party liabilities.  Our guides and articles about Driving in Mexico are filled with practical advice for drivers.

Mexico Insurance: Everything you need to know about Healthcare, Auto and Evacuation coverages in Mexico.

Mexico eBooks: Browse and download free eBooks which provide useful knowledge about Mexico including updated 2021 editions of our Mexico Immigration Guide and Mexico Cost of Living Guide.

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Matthew Harrup is founder and editor of Mexperience

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