OSEA Ethnography Field School. Field Study Abroad for anthropology students seeking training in research methodologies. OSEA Travel guide for Yucatán, 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

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Passports & Visas
Getting To Yucatan
Choosing Airlines & Airports
Guide Books & Online
Travel Agencies & Insurance
Climate & Your Health
Money & Banking
Electricity & Equipment
Preparation & Clothing
Personal Items
Equipment & Supplies
Quick Checklist To Bring
Gifts for Homestay Families

On Arrival at Airport
Bus Travel & Stations
Getting Around Mérida

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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 the "OSEA White Paper on Travel Safecty and Security in Yucatan" (2014)

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 Your Travel From Here
Getting To Yucatán
Getting to Mérida by Air
Selecting an Airline & Airport
Travel Books / Guide Books
Passports & Visas
Airport Arrival Tactics: Visa, Customs, Passport


Planning What To Bring
Weather, Clothing, Laundry
Personal Items
Equipment & Materials
Gifts to Bring


Geting Around in Yucatán
Getting To/Around Mérida
Getting To/Around Cancun
Getting To Pisté
Bus Schedules To Get To Pisté


Lodging, Restaurants, Activities at Destinations
Cancun Overview -- all the Cancun travel pages are being updated/relocated; launch by Jan 20, 2015
Cancun Downtown Hotels
Cancun Downtown Hostels
Chichén Itzá on Google Maps, in relation to OSEA and Pisté
Chichén Itzá, brief overview
Valladolid, forthcoming

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
Electricity & Equipment
Telephones, Cell Phones, International Calling
Health, Heat & Wellness


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

Weather in Mérida, via weather channel
Westher in Mérida at Accuweather.com
Weather at Chiché Itzá at Accuweather.com
Weather in Cancun, via weather channel

US State Department Foreign Per Diem Rates for México


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.

Western Union. This is the most familiar and predominant service known in the USA as well as the WORST 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 is a UK based company that has a flat rate of US $4.99 regardless of the amount of money up to US $3000, regardless of the country. It is entirely an online process that is impressive for ease, clarity and effectiveness.

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 is an good alternative to Western Union, time urgency not vital
Moneygram is much cheaper than Western Union, as it charges only $5 per amount sent. Yet, sometimes moneygram can take up to a week of delivery time due to checking on banking issues. 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.


Number of Visitors to OSEA Travel Information as of December 30, 2014

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