Tips For Newcomers

Geographic coordinates: North 27º 49′ and South 23º 11′ North latitude. East 98º 26′ and West 101º 14′ West longitude. Nuevo Leon is located in the northeast extremity of Mexico, and with an area of 65,103 km2, it represents 3.3% of the country’s total surface. Borders: Texas, USA to the North; states of Coahuila, San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas to the West; San Luis Potosi to the South and Tamaulipas to the East.

Time Zone: GMT-06:00 Guadalajara, México, Monterrey; GMT-05:00 in the summer Central Time

Spanish is the official language in Mexico. English and in less degree, French, are also spoken in high academic/professional levels.

The official currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso ($). Its equivalent in U.S. dollars fluctuates, but normally one dollar is 12 to 13.5 pesos. To exchange foreign currency to Mexican pesos, go to a bank or exchange bureau. Coins in circulation: 20, 10, 5, 2, y 1 peso; 50c, 20c, 10c cents. Bills in circulation: 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 y de 20 pesos.

Credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted in almost all businesses in the city of Monterrey and urban areas. However, be aware that the credit card cloning is a big problem. Use cash (smaller bills) whenever possible and use your credit card only in reputable business establishments. Make sure to review your credit card statements frequently.

As in the USA, Mexico’s electricity operates on a 110-volt current at 60 Hz. Plugs in Mexico have two flat parallel prongs and some times also a round grounding pin.

Business hours for shops and malls is usually from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. including Saturdays and Sundays. Banks normally open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., although some branches close until 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. Some branches open also on Saturdays but usually close at 02:00 p.m. Offices usually work Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 02:00 p.m. to 05:00 p.m.

Telephone numbers have 8 digits. The dialing codes are as follows:

Local call: dial 8 digit number only
Local cell phone calls: 044 + 81 + telephone number
Long distance in Mexico: 01 + Area code + telephone number
Long distance to USA or Canada: 001 + Area code + telephone number
Long distance to other countries: 00 + Country code + Area code + telephone number
Long distance to Nuevo Leon from outside Mexico: 52 + 81 + telephone number
Telephone assistance in Nuevo Leon and Mexico: 040

Check out several tourist maps here.

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