Can you imagine the experience of staying at a resort on the Mexican coast right now? Lounging on a beach chair with the sun warming your face and a book in hand—phone turned off. With travel at an all-time below, like to Mexico, there’d be only a fraction of the usual tourists strolling along the tranquil coast.
This isn’t a fantasy scenario. If you’re keen to travel internationally right now, visiting Mexico is an excellent option. Although Americans have not been allowed into many countries as tourists for most of 2020, it’s a different story with our neighbors to the south. U.S. citizens are able to travel to Mexico under certain conditions, and have been since March.
Is your curiosity piqued? Read on.
Jump to a section on traveling to Mexico as a U.S. citizen:
- Do U.S. citizens need a visa to visit Mexico?
- Can I travel to Mexico right now?
- Will U.S. tourists arriving in Mexico have to quarantine?
- What should I do or know before traveling to Mexico?
- Discover where else in the world you can go
- Read our recommended travel articles
- Frequently asked questions
Do U.S. citizens need a visa to visit Mexico?
It’s quite easy for U.S. citizens to travel to Mexico. You just need to present a valid passport with at least six months from expiration. No tourist visa is required for stays that are less than 180 days.
Yes, you read that right: 180 days, or 6 months. That’s one of the reasons U.S. digital nomads love heading to Mexico. It’s a dreamy location to base yourself out of for half a year. Besides the ease of entry and ability to stay awhile, visitors can enjoy Instagram-worthy views while they work (or play), incredible south-of-the-border cuisine, a lower cost of living, and pleasant interactions with friendly locals.
Can U.S. citizens travel to Mexico right now?
Since March 21, 2020, land crossings (by vehicle or on foot) at the U.S.-Mexico border have been limited to essential travel only. This also applies to commuter rail and ferry travel. Essential travel doesn’t include tourism and is limited to individuals who are crossing the border to return home, attend school, conduct cross-border trade, for medical reasons and other approved purposes. This order is currently in effect through 11:59 pm on December 21, 2020. It has previously been extended, so it wouldn’t be surprising if extensions continue to occur.
However, these restrictions do not apply to air, rail, or sea travel. This means that U.S. citizens, as tourists, are allowed to fly to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, or one of many other incredible destinations in Mexico and wade into the water with joy.
Will U.S. tourists arriving in Mexico have to quarantine?
There isn’t a national mandate for international travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test or to quarantine upon arrival. When you arrive at an airport or another port of entry, you may be subject to health screenings, like a temperature check or questionnaire, according to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. If you exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms, you will likely have to undergo additional screenings and might need to quarantine.
What else should I do or know before traveling to Mexico?
- Review local government websites before you book and again before traveling. Some cities and states have curfews in place, and there are areas where intercity or interstate travel may be restricted.
- When you’re in Mexico, if you experience even mild symptoms, you can call the Mexican government’s hotline at 800 0044 800 or 55 5658 1111 for information or advice on whether to seek medical attention. English-language operators may be available. Local phone numbers can be found on their emergency hotline site.
- The U.S. Embassy in Mexico offers 24/7 emergency assistance to U.S. citizens. Call 55 8526 2561 when in Mexico if you are in need of such help.
- Respect WHO guidelines while visiting to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing measures, washing hands, and coughing or sneezing into the inner part of the elbow.
If you’re eager to soak up the sun south of the border, it’s great news that Mexico has very few hurdles for American leisure travelers. Just don’t forget that the airline and hotel you book will have their own restrictions and requirements. If you want to ensure that certain health protocols are being followed on your flight or in your hotel, use Skyscanner’s new search tools to book with confidence.
Discover where you can go
Making plans to get back out there? Find out whose borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.
Want to read more?
- Coronavirus travel advice. We continually update this page with relevant state and U.S. government requirements and recommendations, plus the latest airline policy changes.
- Plan travel, even if for later. You may not want to travel now, and that’s ok. We explore why planning for a future trip is one of the best things you can do right now for your mental health and well-being.
- 2021 travel trends and how traveler focus is shifting. What will travel look like in 2021? Our analysts reviewed tons of search data to better understand what the new world of travel looks like.
Frequently asked questions
No, U.S. citizens need a valid passport to travel to Mexico.
The only two requirements are that the passport is valid for at least six months from entry, and it also needs to have one page available per entry and exit stamp.
No. The Department of Homeland Security has stated that REAL ID cards cannot be used for international travel to Mexico (or Canada or other international destinations).
Quarantine requirements and recommendations vary by state. Our travel advice page lists out general information by state, but you should check your local government’s website for more details.
We last updated this page on November 26, 2020. To our knowledge, the information on this page was correct at the time of publication. Given the nature of the COVID-19 crisis, information will vary by location and change at short notice and over time. We will do our best to keep this page up-to-date; however, this cannot be guaranteed. Check our travel restrictions page for the latest information on where you can go.