You can’t just get drinking water out of the tap anywhere in Mexico. Even the locals don’t drink it, so that already says enough! The locals do use boiled tap water when cooking though.
Make sure you drink purified water:
- Watch out with ice cubes. Most of the bars don’t use tap water for ice cubes. To be sure you can ask the staff about it.
- Make sure you buy sealed bottled water.
- In hostels and hotels you will find ‘garrafons’, big bottles filled with water. In hotels it shouldn’t be a problem, but in for example hostels they refill these big bottles with tap water and then purify it with a purification water machine. Sometimes these machines do not work properly, so in this case you shouldn’t drink the water.
- Like in every other country where you cannot drink water from the tap, watch out with eating raw fruit and vegetables.
Where can I buy bottled drinking water and ‘garrafons’?
You can find bottled water in all small supermarkets, for example OXXO or a local shop. Of course you can also buy the bottles in big supermarkets. In the bigger supermarkets you can buy them for a better price. For example, a 1,5 liter bottle costs around 14 MXN pesos in OXXO, but in the big supermarket you can buy it for 8 MXN pesos.
You have different options to buy your ‘garrafon’ (ga-Rah-phone) of filtered drinking water. If you are staying a bit longer in the Riviera Maya, you will notice that there are little truck on the road, completely filled with full and empty ‘garrafons’. The local people mostly get their bottles in this way. Being a tourist it is easier to get the bottles in a supermarket. You can buy the bottles in a big supermarket, OXXO or sometimes at a local shop. How this is work? For the water you mostly pay between the 26 and 40 MXN pesos and when buying the bottle for the first time you pay a deposit for the bottle itself. When finished the bottle you can return the bottle to the same supermarket and get a new one, so you only need to pay for the water itself and not again for the deposit. It is recommended to keep the receipt, so you can show that you bought the ‘garrafon’ in that specific supermarket.