Drinking Age in Mexico: Facts and Regulations Explained

When planning a trip to Mexico, many travelers are curious about the legal drinking age in the country. In Mexico, the legal drinking age is 18 years old, which is notably younger than the minimum age of 21 in the United States. This difference often attracts young visitors to destinations like Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen to enjoy the nightlife and alcohol consumption without the age restrictions imposed in their home countries.

Although the legal drinking age in Mexico is 18, it is crucial for visitors to understand the local rules and regulations surrounding alcohol consumption. It is mandatory for individuals to present photo identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, to prove their age when purchasing alcohol. Furthermore, it is important to be aware of certain restrictions, such as not giving minors sips of alcoholic beverages in public spaces and refraining from drinking alcohol in public areas.

Legal Drinking Age in Mexico

The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years old, and it applies across all states in the country. This lower drinking age in comparison to the United States, where it is 21, attracts many young people to popular tourist destinations such as Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Los Cabos.

When purchasing alcohol, individuals must provide a photo identification document as proof of age. This can be in the form of a passport or driver’s license. Bars and clubs may also require an ID for entry, regardless of age.

It’s important to note that drinking in public is not allowed in Mexico. If you wish to share a drink with someone underage, such as a sip of a margarita, it is advised to do so within the privacy of your hotel room. Violations of the legal drinking age may result in penalties, and the law is enforced.

While in Mexico, always remember to follow the local laws and responsibly enjoy your time in this beautiful country.

Tourism and Drinking Age in Mexico

Expectations and Etiquette

Many tourists, especially those from countries with a higher legal drinking age such as the United States, are often attracted to Mexico because of its more liberal drinking age of 18. Popular tourist destinations like Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Los Cabos are well-known for their vibrant nightlife and beach parties.

It’s essential for young tourists to understand and respect the local customs and etiquette when it comes to alcohol consumption. While many resorts are lenient with guests, it’s always a good idea to carry a valid photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, as proof of age when purchasing alcohol or entering clubs and bars.

Legal Consequences for Underage Tourists

Although Mexico’s legal drinking age is lower than in some other countries, underage tourists should be aware of the potential legal consequences if they are caught consuming alcohol. Just as in their home countries, breaking the law in Mexico carries penalties. Being a tourist does not exempt anyone from complying with local regulations and laws.

Breaking the legal drinking age rule can lead to fines or even jail time, as drinking and driving are serious offenses in Mexico. Additionally, public drinking is not allowed, and getting caught may result in penalties.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable trip, it’s crucial for young tourists to respect and abide by Mexico’s legal drinking age while taking advantage of the country’s beautiful beaches, rich culture, and warm hospitality.

Top Night Life vacation spots in Mexico

Mexico offers a wide range of destinations and venues perfect for enjoying amazing drinks and an exciting atmosphere. Here are some of the top spots to experience the best of Mexico’s drinking culture:

Cancún: Known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, Cancun is a popular destination for tourists seeking lively entertainment and refreshing drinks. You’ll find numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants offering a wide selection of beverages and exciting atmospheres.

Tulum: Tulum offers a more relaxed, bohemian vibe compared to other popular Mexican destinations. With trendy beachfront bars and chic cocktail lounges, visitors can enjoy unique and innovative drinks while taking in the stunning beauty of the Tulum coastline.

Playa del Carmen: A bustling city on the Yucatán Peninsula, Playa del Carmen features an exciting mix of rooftop lounges, cozy pubs, and swanky nightclubs. Many venues offer live music and lively atmospheres to enjoy while sipping on delicious cocktails or trying out local Mexican beverages.

Los Cabos: Located on the Baja California Peninsula, Los Cabos is well-known for its upscale resorts and beach clubs. Daytime pool parties and sophisticated evening venues offer a variety of opportunities for visitors to indulge in refreshing drinks and socialize in a luxurious setting.

Puerto Vallarta: This picturesque coastal city offers a charming and lively nightlife scene. From casual beach bars to elegant lounges, visitors can enjoy a diverse range of drinking experiences while taking in the stunning views of the Pacific coastline.

Top Bars across mexico

  1. Licorería Limantour: Recognized as one of the best bars in the world, Licorería Limantour offers an innovative and delicious cocktail menu in a stylish and relaxed atmosphere.
  2. La Capilla: Located in the town of Tequila, La Capilla is a legendary bar known for its friendly atmosphere and the signature cocktail, Batanga, created by its founder Don Javier Delgado Corona.
  3. Jules Basement: Hidden behind a refrigerator door in a taco restaurant, Jules Basement is a speakeasy-style bar offering a unique and intimate experience with creative cocktails and live music.
  4. Hanky Panky: A secret cocktail bar located in Mexico City’s Colonia Juárez, Hanky Panky offers an exclusive experience with innovative drinks in a cozy and vintage atmosphere. Reservations are required.
  5. La Botica: A popular mezcaleria with several locations throughout Mexico City, La Botica offers an authentic experience for mezcal lovers, serving a wide variety of mezcals in a casual and rustic setting.
  6. Fifty Mils: Located in the Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, Fifty Mils is a luxury cocktail bar offering a variety of inventive drinks and a sophisticated atmosphere. Location: Mexico City Website:
  7. La Capilla: A legendary bar in the town of Tequila, La Capilla is famous for its signature cocktail, Batanga, created by its founder Don Javier Delgado Corona. The bar has a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Location: Tequila.
  8. Casa Estambul: This rooftop bar offers stunning views of the city, an extensive wine and cocktail list, and a relaxing atmosphere. It’s a perfect place to unwind and enjoy the evening. Location: Oaxaca
  9. Barra México: Barra México is an upscale bar and lounge featuring a diverse range of signature cocktails, classic drinks, and fine spirits. The modern and sophisticated design adds to the overall experience. Location: Guadalajara, Jalisco.


What is the legal drinking age in Mexico?

The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years old. Anyone below this age is not allowed to purchase or consume alcohol.

Do I need to carry ID to prove my age?

Yes, it is required to carry a photo identification document as proof of age when purchasing alcohol in Mexico. Acceptable forms of ID include a passport or a driver’s license.

Do establishments in Mexico strictly enforce the legal drinking age?

In general, most establishments, such as resorts, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, require you to show an ID to ensure you are of legal drinking age. However, some places may not be strict in their practice of checking IDs.

Is the drinking age in Mexico the same in all states?

Yes, the legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years old in every state across the country.

Can I drink at hotels and resorts in Mexico if I am 18 years old?

Yes, if you are 18 years or older, you can legally consume alcohol at hotels and resorts in Mexico that serve alcoholic beverages


Safety Tips for Drinking in Mexico

When enjoying the nightlife in Mexico, it’s essential to follow safety tips to ensure responsible alcohol consumption. Firstly, understand that the legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years old. Carry a valid ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, to prove your age when required.

Drink responsibly and know your limits to maintain a pleasant experience. This includes pacing your alcohol intake and taking care to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Binge drinking may lead to adverse health effects, so moderation is key.

It’s essential to respect local laws when consuming alcohol in Mexico. Public drunkenness and open containers of alcohol outside designated areas are illegal, which means resorts, bars, and restaurants are the only acceptable locations for drinking.

Lastly, always remember not to drink and drive. This not only puts you at risk but also endangers the lives of others on the road. Instead, opt for reliable transportation options like taxis or designated drivers to ensure your safety and that of others.


In summary, the legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 years old throughout the entire country. This age limit applies to all states and popular tourist destinations such as Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Los Cabos. This lower legal age compared to the United States, where the drinking age is 21, often attracts younger tourists.

When visiting bars, restaurants, and clubs in Mexico, be prepared to show proof of age in the form of a passport or driver’s license. It’s important to note that while enforcement of the legal drinking age may not be strict, underage drinking is still illegal.

For those of legal drinking age, Mexico offers a vibrant nightlife scene and a wide variety of alcoholic beverages to enjoy. However, it’s essential to drink responsibly and be aware of local laws and customs to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.