Mexico FAQs

Thank you for your commitment to paddle with us in Mexico this winter. Led by kayaking professionals with 30 years of leadership in Mexico, Calleva’s Mexico trips are known in the Washington, D.C. community for our commitment to professionalism, safety and spirit of adventure. Tom McEwan has been paddling in Mexico since 1986. He made the first descents of the Tomata, Cajones, and Upper Valle National rivers. Over the years, he has come to know the rivers, created an amazing itinerary, and trained many of our staff and current trip leaders. His instructional programs has produced many of the best paddlers in the country.

Boats, equipment, our van and staff are ready to greet you at the airport in Mexico City or Tampico for the Cascadas Trips/ As we travel together through the countryside and on your way to the beautiful Mexican rivers, you will see a wide swath of urban and rural Mexico. We have a full variety of places and experiences for you during the week to put some excitement into your winter.

Costs & Refund Policy: The cost includes all expenses except airfare and alcoholic beverages. You usually can get flights to Mexico City for under $900. We provide transportation from the Mexico City (or Tampico for the November waterfalls trips) airports to your resort.

If you cancel your trip 30 days prior to the trip date, a refund, less $500 deposit, will be issued. No refunds or alterations will be issued within 30 days of trip date. We recommend trip insurance to protect you in case there is a last minute need to cancel. If there are fewer than 4 students, Calleva may cancel the trip up to 30 days before the start date. Please talk to the office prior to booking your flight.

After registering and making payment, please view the Equipment List. If you have registered online you have already agreed to the waiver. We will need you to submit an online Health Form. For persons under 18 on the youth trip, please print the Youth Permission Form (both parents must sign the form and have it notarized). Forms must be completed prior to the trip.

Family and Friends Plan: When you travel on a trip it is especially fun to share the experience with friends or family. If you sign up for a trip and bring a friend or family member, we will give you a discount of $125 for each that you bring with you.

Flights: Please email the Calleva office before you book your flight. We will confirm or cancel the trip 30 days prior to the start. You will want to arrive as close to noon as possible on the first day of the trip and schedule your departure for a late afternoon flight on the last day. We will meet you at the Mexico City airport for Veracruz trips or at the Tampico airport for the Cascadas de Valles.

There are two terminals at the Mexico City Airport.  Most flights from the US arrive at Terminal 1, however it is possible for you to arrive at Terminal 2. If you come in to Terminal 2, there is a free train that will carry you over to Terminal 1. You should make your way to the International Lobby.  When you receive confirmation reservations, please forward to us a copy of your flight itinerary.

We encourage you to spend extra days in country at either end of your trip. We recommend spending time at our beautiful Hotel in the city of Puebla, the cultural center of the country.  You can make reservations directly with the hotel for those extra days.  If you would like to arrive early for a visit to Mexico, Puebla, or Oaxaca City, please let us know in advance so that we can help you to connect with a recommended hotel and to coordinate a rendezvous with the group.

Preparations: Probably the most important preparation for everyone, in order to make the most out of your experience in Mexico, is to be in good condition—upper body and lower body, heart and lungs, so that you can paddle six consecutive days. You should be ready to carry your boat on long, slick trails. You should train before hand by working on endurance and strength training.

Secondly, you do not want to be held back because you don’t have the right equipment. Please review the equipment list. Thirdly, you will want to begin your Mexican experience—by bringing your documentation, getting your shots,  learning a few words of the Spanish language, and looking into trip insurance.

Shots: You should be up to date on Tetanus, Typhoid, and Hepatitis A.  Each person should have bug repellent to deter evening mosquitoes. Please check with the Center for Disease Control website and your health provider.

Documentation: American citizens do not need visas to enter Mexico; just a current passport. You will be asked at the border to obtain and fill out a tourist card which should be carried with you at all times while in Mexico. You will need this when you exit. Minors (under 18) will need notarized affidavits signed by both parents, giving permission to travel to Mexico.

Boat: We can provide you with a cruising-type creek boat. If we have not yet discussed the boat for you, please read the list of boats available and let us know your choice. If you are a beginner and are not certain as to what boat would be suitable, please consult us about your boat.

Cash in Mexico: While all your land expenses are included with your payment , there may be some incidentals that you might want Mexican Pesos for, such as alcoholic beverages or gifts or tips for Mexican staff. The simplest way to get cash is to bring an ATM card and withdraw from your account when you arrive in the airport.  It will be in Mexican Pesos. We recommend about $200.

The goals of the trip, on and off the river, are toward enjoying a beautiful environment, improving whitewater skills, and getting a taste of real Mexican culture. We know Mexico and its rivers well, and look forward to enjoying this year’s trips with paddlers of all levels.