OSEA Travel for Piste, Yucatan, Chichén Itzá, Cancun, Maya Riviera. Travel information for hotels in Cancun. Bus Schedule for Chichén Itzá, Maya Riviera Hotels, Tulum hotels and bus Schedule, Tulum travel information. Ethnography equipment research guide. Study abroad preparation for travel. Cancun Tips, Playa del Carmen Travel Advise, Cancun Airport, Merida Airport. Cozumel, Cruise port. Meridan En Domingo. hotels in Playa del Carmen, travel advise Chichen Itza, hotels in Piste, Yucatan, things to do in Chichen Itza, Balankanche. OSEA Ethnography Field School. Field Study Abroad for anthropology students seeking training in research methodologies.

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Passports & Visas
Getting To Yucatan
Choosing Airlines & Airports
Guide Books & Websites
Travel Agencies & Insurance
Climate, Diet, & Your Health
Money & Banking
Cell Phones & Electricity
Personal Concerns & Clothing
Personal Items
Equipment & Supplies
Checklist To Bring
Gifts for Homestay Families

On Arrival at Airport
Bus Travel & Stations
Getting Around Mérida

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OSEA Field Study Abroad Programs in Mexico


Welcome to the OSEA Travel Guide!

The information you can find on these pages combines over twenty years of experience traveling to Yucatán and internet resources that I have found to be useful. If you have any suggestions on how to improve, update or correct the information on these pages or use links to other useful sites, please let us know.

Thanks! Ka'ah xi'ik tech utsi' ma'alo'ob!



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Read About Safety and Security in Yucatan

❒  Read the "OSEA White Paper on Travel Safecty and Security in Yucatan" (2014)
❒  2017 News on Safety in Mexico and Maya Riviera
❒  US State Department issues NO travel advisory for Yucatan!

OSEA Online Library (access requires password)
Information for participants on Insurance, Course Preparation, overnighting in Cancun, and access to Maya language materials, Release Forms, Readings


Planning Travel

   ✈   Planning Flights to Yucatán
   ✈  How to Pick an Airline & Mexican Arrival Airport
   ✈  Travel to Mérida by Air
   ✈  Travel Guide Books & Websites for Yucatán & Cancun
   ✈  How to Get a US Passport & a Mexican Visa
   ✈  Arriving in Mexican Airports: Visa, Customs, Passport


Planning What To Bring

   ❒  Dressing for Yucatán Weather; Laundry
   ❒  Personal Items
   ❒  Research Equipment, Supplies & Materials
   ❒  Gifts to Bring for your Home Stay Family


Geting To and From by Bus in Yucatán & Quintana Roo

   🚘  Getting To & Around Mérida
   🌎  Getting To & Around Cancun
   🚲  Getting To Pisté from Mérida, Cancun & Maya Riviera
   📷  Bus Schedules To Get To Chichén and Pisté

NOTE: 1st Class ADO Buses use Chichen as Destination;
2nd Class Oriente Buses use Piste as destination


Cancun, Chichén, & Mérida Lodging, Restaurants, Activities

   »  Mérida
   »  Chichén Itzá on Google Maps, in relation to OSEA and Pisté
   »  Chichén Itzá, brief overview

» Cancun Overview + inclusive map view
» Cancun Map of Downtown Areas near Bus
» Cancun Airport and Bus Station (Terminal de Autobuses): Getting To/From
» Cancun Hostels, Hotels, Food, Activities near Bus Terminal (Station): Suggestions
» Map of Suggested Downtown Hostels, Hotels, and overnight Activities


Getting To OSEA, Finding Your Way Around Pisté

   ☑  Pisté Overview
   ☑  Getting to OSEA (after arriving in Pisté)
   ☑  Locate OSEA in Pisté on Google Maps
   ☑  Walking Instructions to OSEA from Bus drop off in downtown Pisté
   ☑  Pisté Street Map with Landmarks
   ☑  Lodging in Pisté -- family run posadas and hotels


Ground Travel — Bus Stations, Schedules and Shuttles

   🚍  General Information on Mexican Buses and Guide to Use
   🚍  Current First Class ADO Bus Schedule (do searches for both Pisté and Chichén Itzá)
   🚍  Cancun to Valladolid Bus Schedule.
   🚍  Valldolid Bus Station and Pisté Shuttle Stop (Valladolid in Maya is called Zaci)


Logistics of Living in Yucatán

   $  Money, ATMs, Banking
   €  Wiring Money to Mexico (or elsewhere)
   ↬  Electricity & Equipment
   ☎  Telephones, Cell Phones, International Calling
   ☤  Health, Heat & Wellness Internet


Travel Tools & Other Information
   ゘  Time Zones in the USA
   ☉  Time Zones for select cities of México

   ✶  Weather in Mérida, via Weather channel
   ☂  Weather in Mérida at Accuweather.com
   ☈  Weather at Chichén Itzá at Accuweather.com
   ☄  Weather in Cancun, via Weather channel



US State Department Foreign Per Diem $$ Rates for México



FXR Currency Converters for Foreign Exchange Rates:

(1) Oanda FX -- osea's top recommendation for Fx Rates.
(2) Visit OSEA Money & Banking FAQs

Cash exchange rate on the street in Mexico (bank, hotel, casa de cambio, or store) is always significantly lower than official market value. Rates in Yucatan on the street and Casas de Cambio are also significantly lower than cash exchange in Cancun and Maya Riviera locations. These are all significantly lower than the exchange rate in Mexico City. ATM rates using a bank debit card offer the best exchange rate typically within only 2% commission of the rate established by international currency exchange markets. ATM rates actually correspond quite closely to the official/market rates. Depending on your US bank and the ATM bank, you will be charged an additional US $3 to $8. Thus, the preference is to withdraw all the money you intend to use on your trip at one time to avoid losing money to the ATM fee.



Emergency Money Wires
There are three main services for emergency wiring of money to receive in Yucatan. Always make sure that the money is sent in the EXACT NAME of the person to receive the money, using the EXACT spellings on the form of Identification that is going to be used. The EXACT same address must also be found on that ID otherwise there can be problems or simple negation of the transaction. These are strict rules that have been created to minimize moving of money from the drug economy.


➔➔ Riamoneytransfer.com is the fastest, least expensive, and best exchange rate for wiring funds to Mexico or elswhere. Riamoney Transfer charges a flat rate of $4.99 for sending funds up to $2999. If you use an bank debit card for payment the charge is $3.99. The exchange rate is usually only .1% less than the rate indicated by www.oanda.com/currency/converter/


Western Union is no longer the worst option, but it is definitely second choice. Western Union is the most familiar and predominant service known in the USA as well as not the best option. This has low exchange rates and high fee rate structure compared to virtually all other options. There are very pricey options for sending money online, in 15 minutes, overnight, and 2-3 day services. All of these are overpriced and not as effective as promised. Western Union does not always deliver as promised. Western Union is not recommended by OSEA except under emergency situation requiring immediate cash.

Xoom.com and Paypal
We no longer recommend Xoom.com since the take over by PayPal. We strongly discourage your use of PayPal and Xoom, as the pricing and exchange rates are not competitive.

Pickup Locations and Other Details
→ Pisté Pick Up Location. To receive money in Pisté: Select Piste, Yucatan, Mexico. Select ELEKTRA as pickup location.
→ Pickup in Other Cities. Locations. You will need to investigate the city to find out which business location suits you best to receive the funds. Electra could be your default. It has good hours and found everywhere in Mexico
→ To receive funds that are sent to you, make sure that the sender uses the exact spelling of the exact name on your passport. You may even want to have the sender write your passport number in the request.

Moneygram.com is a better alternative to Western Union, as it also has a $5 flat rate that is significanly less than Western Union rates, which increase based on the amount sent. While the Moneygram exchange rate is superior to Western Union, it is not nearly as good as Xoom or Riamoney Transfer. Further, Moneygram often from one week to 10 day delay depending upon your choice of funding source. Choose ELEKTRA as your pick up location.



OSEA Statement on Safety in Yucatán and México
Response to reports of drug war related violence in US news (February 2009)

Yucatán is among the safest places to be in the world. It is certainly safer than ANYWHERE IN THE USA except for Idaho and Wyoming according to this website(click here). Yucatán has had a violent death rate of approximately 2.2 (deaths per 100,000) during the first 5 years since the initiation of the "drug wars" in Mexico (2006-2011). This rate has not changed from before or after the initiation of the drug related violence. Cancun and the entire Maya Riviera is a tourism destination that receives over 2 million tourists annually. In the history of this tourism development, there has not ever been reported consistent violence directed at tourists in these travel destinations.

Yucatan has murder rate of 2.2. Comparatively, many major and safe US cities as well as Cancun have murder/violent death rates ranging from 8 to 12, such as Houston and Indianapolis. Cancun is as safe as Indianapolis. Detroit is an exceptionally dangerous place with 38 per 100,000 compared to the worst region of Mexico (northern Mexican states bordering Texas and California) having only a rate of 34 according to data from 2011. Check out this interesting interactive comparative map from the Economist.


Visitors to OSEA Travel as of December 30, 2014

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