It is important to note that many of our tours require a minimum number of people to sign-up before we can confirm, so please consult with us via email before booking accommodation if you are visiting specifically to take the tour.
It is also important to note that if you are taking a tour with flights, these tours are subject to change by a day or two each way, depending on flight availability at the time of purchasing flights.
Your first step should be to talk to your tour leader. He/she will hopefully be able to help you out immediately and deal with any problems you may have as they arise. If you are not satisfied with the response, then you can contact one of our offices (contact information will be provided on an emergency card at the beginning of each tour). It is important not to wait until the end of the trip to tell us about any fixable issues that arose for you on the tour.
Yes, we can arrange private tours to different locations depending on availability of guides. Contact us to discuss your options and we can tailor an itinerary to your needs.
Yes, our tours are all usually guided in English, but we do have a French speaking guide available for private tours upon request. We can also do tours in Spanish.
For our bus tours we use privately rented first class buses with a bathroom, air conditioning and TV screens (we try to play documentaries related to your tour or Mexico in general). However, if you are part of a smaller group, then you would be travelling in a van or Mercedes Sprinter (this will be discussed before your tour).
You are very welcome to stay on in the final location of your tour, but we request that you please be sure to let us know in advance. For bus tours there is no discount for not joining the return leg of the journey (unless you require fewer nights accommodation than what is included in the tour), but for tours with flights, we will discount the cost of the return flight from your total fee (if the flight has not already been purchased at the time you inform us you won’t be returning with the group).
We can help you arrange accommodation in the hotels we use for the tour but cannot guarantee the same price we are given for the group bookings.
On bus tours there is generally a lot of space in the luggage compartments underneath the bus. We do ask that people are respectful of the rest of the group by making sure they leave space for others. For some tours the vendors can arrange to have particularly large items shipped for you; you can ask your tour leader to help you with this.
When taking a tour with flights, or in a smaller vehicle, luggage space is limited. Please ask us before the tour if you are unsure what kind of vehicle you will be travelling in.
All of our tours are operated with at least one tour leader/guide. With larger groups there is often a tour leader as well as a guide, and in smaller groups the tour leader may also be your guide. You are given some free time on most tours but are given emergency information so that you can contact your tour leader or hotel at any time.
Our trips take us to touristy areas which, for the most part, are safe. We do however, keep in contact with local guides and check local advisories to be sure there are no current problems in the areas we are planning to visit. If we consider a tour location to be dangerous, we would either cancel the tour or change the itinerary to avoid the place in question.
It should be noted that in Mexico, as in most parts of the world, there is petty crime. For this reason, we always recommend that people leave behind expensive jewellery and are careful when handling cash in public, so as not to draw attention.
You do not require extra vaccinations to travel to any of the places we currently visit on our tours. If in doubt contact your local medical expert.
No pets are allowed on the tours, as it may inconvenience other passengers. If you have a service dog and cannot travel without it, then please contact us to ask so that we may contact the service providers (hotels, transport companies etc) that we use on the tour in question to ask if it is possible to travel with a service animal. Please note that laws regarding service animals in Mexico are not yet as developed as in other countries, such as the US and Canada, so we cannot force service providers to accept service dogs. In the event they are accepted, the owner will be asked to provide a certificate and a doctor’s note confirming that it is essential the owner does not travel without the dog and a summary of the condition in question.
We do not offer medical insurance and recommend that you have your own cover for your stay in Mexico, including cover for the dates of tour. You will be asked to sign our terms and conditions contract, acknowledging no insurance is included in your tour package and we will not be responsible for any medical costs incurred whilst on the trip.
Our tours are designed for people aged 50 plus; we will accept children over the age of 8, but please take into account that some of the tours include lengthy bus journeys and they are not designed with children in mind. Please also consider that based on the age group we cater to, a lot of noise will not be welcomed by other passengers.
Of course. If you send us an email or fill out the form on the contact page we will add you to the mailing list for our tours. Please be sure to tell us which departure point you would join us from (Melaque/Manzanillo, Bucerías/Puerto Vallarta or Chapala/Guadalajara) so we can add you to the correct list.
We do not share contact/personal information with anyone, but for tours with flights we do have to send your full name, nationality and date of birth to the airline, and sometimes hotels on the tours (mainly international tours) request a photocopy of your passport, which they will take in your presence.
You must let us know if you have any special requirements when you sign-up, and we can let you know if we are able to meet your needs or not for the tour in question. Please be sure not to wait until you are on the tour to inform us of special requirements, such as medical equipment you need to carry or special dietary requirements.
We do not reserve spaces on the bus, except for people with mobility issues or those who are travel sick. We encourage people to change places on the bus each day, except for those mentioned above.
Please check the tour itinerary specific to your tour to see what is, and what is not included in your trip. Generally, we include transport (including flights), accommodation, breakfasts and guides, but for some tours other meals and some entry fees are also included. Guide’s and driver’s tips are never included.
As with anywhere you should always request permission before taking a photograph of somebody. Some indigenous groups do not like being photographed, and your guide will mention this if this is the case on your tour. In all churches use of flash is prohibited, and in most museums photography is not allowed.
Please note that for our Chiapas tour, photography is prohibited in the medicinal church in San Juan Chamula, and cameras must be stored (hidden from view).
As of September 2018 we now require a copy of your official ID (passport, Mexican resident’s card or IFE/INE), for each person travelling on one of our tours, prior to travel.
Once you have signed up, you will be included in email updates regarding your tour. You will receive an email when the tour has the minimum number of people to be confirmed, when your deposit is required, and when final payment is required.
In the event the tour does not get confirmed you will also be notified. If in doubt, please don’t hesitate to email/call us and ask.
Yes, in fact we encourage you to sign-up in advance, this way we get a better idea of which tours are going to be confirmed, and you also reduce the risk of missing out for a place on the tour of your choice.
For any of our tours we just require your names and email address (or hotel/address and phone number if you do not use email). We don’t ask for payment or documentation until we have the minimum number of people required in order to confirm a tour.
A 25% deposit is required in order to reserve a place on one of Experience Mex-ECO Tours’ trips within Mexico, and a 50% deposit is required to reserve a place on one of our international tours (Cuba, Guatemala or Peru). You will be notified when it is time to make your deposit.
Full payment must be made by 2 weeks before departure date for tours which DO NOT include flights. Full payment must be made by 4 weeks before departure date for tours which DO include flights. Failure to pay the full amount within these timescales may result in the loss of your deposit and your place may be given to someone else. Reservations may be made after the timescales mentioned above, subject to availability.
Exceptions: In the event that the minimum number required to confirm a tour has not yet been reached within the time scales mentioned above, you may be asked for complete payment for your tour upon its confirmation.
Yes, for tours that are priced in MXN you can pay in USD or CAD in cash or by cheque in any of our offices; you will be given the exchange rate on the day given by our bank, so that we get the required amount in pesos.
For tours that are priced in USD (international trips), you may also pay in MXN or CAD and you will also be given our bank’s exchange rate on the day of payment.
Experience Mex-ECO Tours reserves the right to issue no refund for cancellations made on behalf of the client within 2 weeks or less of the tour departure date, retain the 25% deposit for cancellations made between 2 and 4 weeks before the tour departure date and give a full refund only for cancellations made more than 4 weeks before the tour departure date. In the event that a client’s payment, or part of it, has been used to confirm accommodation/flights/other reservations for the client and is non-refundable by the service provider in question, the costs incurred will be deducted from the refundable amount.
Upon request of payment for a tour the following methods are available to you:
- Bank transfer (online or in-bank) to our Mexican bank account.
- PayPal payments.
- Western Union payment.
- Online transfer using a third party company, such as Transferwise.
Please note, fees may apply for the above methods.
We cannot take card payments by taking your card information over the phone or internet; card payments have to be in one of our offices or using PayPal.
We cannot accept e-transfers in Mexico.
IMPORTANT: Please do not make deposits/transfers before notifying us (our account details may have changed), and please do not send us Paypal payments without requesting an invoice.
Yes, you can pay by credit or debit card in either of our offices (Melaque or Bucerías), or on the internet via paypal (please request that we send you a paypal invoice). Unfortunately we CANNOT TAKE CARD PAYMENTS OVER THE PHONE.
This may vary depending on the tour, we recommend checking the tour itinerary for the tour in question. None of our tours include tips for guides and drivers, but some include other tips.
Minimum suggested tips for tours within Mexico (please note tips are based on service and this is a minimum amount we recommend, but please feel free to tip what you feel is deserving): $50 pesos per day per person for guides, $30 pesos per day per person for drivers and $20 pesos per night per hotel room. For international trips please see the specific itinerary for your tour.
If your guide is going to be with you throughout the whole tour, then we recommend tipping at the end of the trip and the same for drivers. If it is unclear whether you will have the same guide and driver for the entire trip, please ask your guide at the beginning of the tour, or our office staff leading up to your tour.
- Copper Canyon
- Day of the Dead
- Don Vasco
- Highlights of Jalisco
- Mexico City
- Monarch Butterflies
- Puebla / Taxco
The journey to Morelia from Melaque or Bucerias takes approximately 9 hours, including a couple of bathroom breaks along the way. The journey from Morelia to Pátzcuaro is approximately 1 hour. Please note this is all dependent on traffic, and we cannot be responsible for hold ups.
Our altitude stays reasonably similar throughout the trip, with the highest being found in Pátzcuaro – 2,140m/7,906ft above sea level and then Morelia – 1,920m/6,299ft above sea level. In both places there is walking but it is at an easy pace. In Guadalajara the altitude is a slightly lower, 566m/5,137ft above sea level.
There is Wi-Fi in some rooms but is generally confined to the common areas around reception in Morelia. In Guadalajara there is Wi-Fi in all rooms and common areas of the hotel.
The area we visit for Day of the Dead is one of the few places in Mexico where this cultural event is still celebrated in this very traditional fashion, so the locals are quite accustomed to the thousands of tourists (national and international) that flock here to see it. We do, however, recommend that you are respectful and avoid stepping on graves, and only take close-up photos of people after requesting permission. Your guide will remind you of this on the tour.
Please note, this event is a celebration, and for most of the people at the cemeteries, it is celebrated with family, often involving music, alcohol and food.
Yes, this is a great opportunity to see and purchase some of the finest pieces of traditional Michoacán artisan work. There are finer/more expensive pieces displayed in Morelia (ask your guide) and competition pieces in Pátzcuaro, as well as lower priced items in the large market on one of Pátzcuaro’s main plazas.
You will need health insurance for your trip to Cuba. For those of you who do not have an insurance policy, or only hold a US issued insurance policy, you can purchase it as part of the tour package at a cost of approximately $35 USD (subject to change). If you have your own health insurance policy, please be sure to check that it covers you for Cuba.
Please see your itinerary for recommended tipping amounts for guides and drivers. Where meals aren’t included we recommend leaving 10-15% tip as in Mexico, and where meals are included it is a nice gesture to leave around 1 CUC per person. For maids in hotels, it is also a good idea to leave 1 – 2 CUC per room per night, and we recommend leaving the tip each night, in case the maids change shifts before you leave.
We highly recommend both the Tropicana Cabaret, and if you are a fan, the Buena Vista Social Club. The Tropicana costs around $100 USD per person, including a three-course meal and drinks. The Buena Vista Social Club costs $60 USD per person with dinner (prices are subject to change before our next tour).
It is best to plan for not having internet. People in Cuba connect to Wi-Fi hotspots, which some hotels have and some don’t; even hotels that do have it, the service can be intermittent.
Despite Cuba being a poor country, things are not cheap. Restaurants in Cuba are similarly priced to those in touristy areas of Mexico, such as Puerto Vallarta. Take into account that several meals (see itinerary) are included in the cost of the tour, but you will need to budget for the rest of your meals depending on your taste (we recommend roughly 15 – 20 USD for each meal). There are some places where you might want to buy souvenirs, such as cigars or art work, so you should budget a little extra for those. Also, you will be sent information about optional extras, including the Tropicana Cabaret and Buena Vista Social Club, please take the correct change in USD for these events.
IMPORTANT NOTE: U.S. bank cards are not accepted in Cuba, only cards from non-US banks are accepted.
US bank cards are not accepted in Cuba, either for payment or cash withdrawal. Only credit/debit cards from non-US banks can be used (CitiBanamex is an American bank).
There are two official currencies in Cuba, one is the Cuban Peso (CUP), and the other is the Cuban Convertible Currency (CUC); there are 25 CUP to 1 CUC. The exchange rate from USD and CAD to CUC is around 1.00 and 0.76 respectively (subject to change). All tourists in Cuba use the CUC. You can exchange your money for CUC either in the airport (not usually the best rate), or in the hotels.
We recommend taking USD, as they are easy to change in the hotel or bank. If you have a non-US bank card, then you can withdraw money from ATM machines; if your bank cards are from the US (or US run banks, such as Citibanamex), then you should take some extra cash.
You will need a valid passport and a Tourist Visa to get into Cuba. It is recommended that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip. Each person must purchase their own tourist visa in Mexico City airport; please be sure to listen to your group leader explaining where to get the visa or ask him/her if you are unsure. The cost of the Visa is approximately 25 USD and it is valid for 30 days. You must keep this visa with your passport and be sure not to lose it.
Please also note that if you have a temporary or permanent resident’s card for Mexico, or have Mexican nationality, then you must fill in a tourist visa form at the immigration desk in Mexico City airport; you will be required to hand this in at immigration upon your return to Mexico.
Cuba has a tropical climate, and February is the dry season. Average day‐time temperatures in February are around 23°C (73°F), with lows of around 17°C (63°F) and highs of around 27°C (81°F).
We recommend light pants or shorts and shirt/t‐shirt for the day time, with comfortable shoes, and a light jacket for evenings, just in case.
Las Terrazas is the highest we reach, at just 200 meters/656 feet above sea level.
Flights from Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta are approximately 1 hour to Mexico City, and from there to Havana, just over 2 hours. Once in Cuba the longest trip on the bus is approximately 6 hours from Santa Clara to Havana, but we make rest stops along the way.
Yes, from the moment we land in Guatemala City we are 1 hour behind Jalisco time until we return to Mexico City. Your guide and leader will remind you of this.
Yes, from the moment we land in Havana we are 1 hour ahead of Jalisco time until we return to Mexico City. Your guide and leader will remind you of this.
We pre-book tables at the hotel restaurant (Best Western) on the main plaza in Colima, with great views of the horse parade as it is coming by.
Yes. All the rooms and common areas have Wi-Fi. However due to the popularity of the horse parade it may be slow due to the number of people in the hotel
In the daytime the temperatures are normally around 25°C (77°F); night-time temperatures are cooler and can get as low as 15°C (59°F). We travel mainly in dry season, so rain is not expected.
Colima city is at 550 meters/1,804 feet above sea level.
The journey from Melaque to Colima takes approximately 2 ½ hours, and just 1 hour from Manzanillo.
If you have space in your luggage then school supplies such as writing pads, pens, pencils, etc. are welcomed, as are personal hygiene products, such as tooth or hair brushes. If you prefer to give a monetary donation, there will be a collection basket passed round at the school and any amount is welcomed.
In Los Mochis and El Fuerte there is Wi-Fi, but mainly accessible near the reception/restaurant areas. Cerocahui (1 night) and Posada Barrancas (2 nights) do not have Wi-Fi. In Chihuahua there is Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
Please check the tour itinerary specific to your tour to see what is, and is not included in your trip. This is one of the few trips where tips for bell boys and waiters are included, as well as several meals, but please note that tips for your tour leader, bus driver to Chihuahua and guide are not included.
The temperatures in the Copper Canyon may vary greatly. It is usually cool or cold at night and in the early mornings but pleasant during the day. Daytime temperatures may reach 25°C (77°F) and night-time temperatures can drop to below 0°C (32°F), but this is not always the case. We recommend taking sunblock and a hat/cap for the day time and long pants and a sweater/jacket for the evening. It is unlikely that there will be rain during your trip (unless you are booking a private tour between June and October).
The hotels in Cerocahui and Divisadero have heating in the rooms.
While El Fuerte is only 60 meters/109 feet above sea level, we reach an altitude of 2,430 meters/7,972 feet in Cerocahui and 2,440 meters/8,005 feet in Divisadero. Chihuahua is 1,413 meters/4,636 feet above sea level.
The flights each take just over an hour plus waiting times in Mexico City airport; for those travelling from Manzanillo airport, the waiting time in Mexico City might be several hours, as there are limited departures from Manzanillo.
The longest bus journey is from Divisadero to Chihuahua. The total time on the bus is about 5 hours, not including lunch/bathroom stops. The journey to the Urique Canyon lookout takes approximately 1 hour each way.
Yes, from the moment we land in Los Mochis we are 1 hour behind Jalisco time until we return to Guadalajara. Your guide and leader will remind you of this.
No. There is no change in time zones for the entire duration of the trip. You will still be on GMT-6 hours.
There is Wi-Fi in some rooms but is generally confined to the common areas around reception (this may vary depending on the hotel we are using for your trip).
San Cristóbal de las Casas is colder due to its altitude, with temperatures in the day reaching 25°C (77°F), and at night dropping sometimes to 6°C (43°F). Palenque has a tropical climate, so temperatures and humidity are higher, reaching around 28°C (77°F) during the day, and usually around 18°C (59°F) at night.
We recommend packing sunblock and a hat, as well as some warmer clothing (pants and a sweater/jacket) for evenings in San Cristóbal.
In the town of Zinacantan the altitude is 2,558 meters/8,390 feet above sea level; we make a short visit to this town with little walking involved. In San Juan Chamula (also a short visit, but a little more walking is involved), the altitude is 2,270 meters/7,448 feet. In San Cristobal de las Casas (where we spend 3 nights), the altitude is 2,200 meters/7,218 feet above sea level. In Palenque the altitude is just 60 meters/109 feet above sea level.
The two flights to Tuxtla Gutierrez each last about 1 hour, followed by approximately 1 hour by bus to San Cristobal. The drive to Palenque via the waterfalls of Agua Azul and Misol Ha takes 6 to 7 hours, depending on traffic, not including stops. The trip from Palenque to Villahermosa takes approximately 2 hours.
Please check the tour itinerary to see what is included in the price of your ticket.
The hotel has Wi-Fi in all rooms and common areas.
1,542 meters/5,000 feet above sea level in Chapala/Ajijic and 1,566 meters/5,138 feet in Guadalajara.
In the daytime the temperatures are normally around 25°C (77°F), and night-time temperatures are cooler and can get as low as 10°C (50°F). We would recommend that you pack sunblock and maybe a hat for the day time, and a sweater and long pants for the evening.
The journey from Melaque or Bucerias each take about 5 ½ hours including restroom stops. The trip from Guadalajara to Chapala is approximately 1 hour. All times may vary depending on traffic conditions.
Generally luggage allowance is 1 piece of checked luggage (weight may vary between 15 kg to 25kg depending on the airline we are using) and 10kg of hand luggage per person. You will be notified in your pre-departure emails of limits and restrictions for luggage.
It is important to know that the same rules apply as with your international flights, with respect to carrying liquids, sharp objects etc. in hand luggage. Please ask if you are unsure. If you have any unusual items that you need to take with you (such as breathing apparatus), but aren’t sure of the airline’s rules, then please contact us in advance of your departure date so that we can check with the airline.
No photos are allowed in the church in San Juan Chamula, but you can take photos of the church from outside, and in the rest of the town. Your guide or tour leader will remind you of this before entering.
Yes, all of the places we visit in this itinerary are included, however, you are not obliged to go and may choose to spend some more time in Patzcuaro. Santa Clara del Cobre (the copper town) is however, very highly recommended.
In the daytime the temperatures are normally around 25°C (77°F), and night-time temperatures are cooler and can get as low as 8°C (46.4°F). For the day we visit the cemeteries (day 2) we advise you to take a day bag with warm clothes for the evening (we don’t return to the hotel until after midnight).
We recommend you pack sunblock/hat for the day time and warm clothing for evenings.
This cultural event is a very popular tourist attraction in the Pátzcuaro region, so we must book our hotel rooms and transport well in advance. We usually recommend signing up by July so that we can confirm our booking with hotels. You can still sign-up after July, subject to availability.
Yes. The reason the walk is difficult is that we reach an altitude of just over 3,000 meters/9,850 feet. At a slow pace the walk should take approximately one hour. There is also the option of taking a horse to the top, which takes approximately 15 minutes and has a cost of approximately $100 pesos each way (you can take the horse one way or both ways). We have had very few people who have not managed to get to the top, it is a question of pacing yourself and acclimatising to the altitude.
Yes. For private groups we can adjust itineraries and tour duration according to the interests of the group.
This depends on the size of your group. We recommend a larger group for any tours with long bus journeys, as it is much more comfortable in a full sized bus than in a 12-15 seater van or a 19-21 seater Mercedes Sprinter. In the event you have a smaller group, we would use either a van or Sprinter, but always leaving a few spare seats to allow for some extra space and making more stops along the way to stretch legs/use bathrooms.
We can run private tours for just one person if requested, but please take into account that our tours are operated with qualified guides that stay with you throughout the trip, and we must cover the cost of their wages, hotels, meals, transport etc. This means that the fewer people in your group, the more expensive the tour is going to be. The prices advertised on our website are based on a minimum of 15 or 20 people and open to the public; for private groups please request a quote.