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The Cancun Visitor Tax Is Still Mandatory For All Travelers

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The Often Forgotten Tax Is Still Mandatory, And There Are More Ways To Pay It Than Before

We reported recently that travelers from the United States can now enter Mexico via Cancun International Airport and enjoy a six-month stay with no strings attached. While travelers have been taking advantage of this and believe they have no other obligations, many are unaware of the mandatory tourist tax for the region.

It’s a relatively new addition to the tourist system in Quintana Roo. It was originally brought in back in April 2021 and required all tourists over the age of four entering the state to pay a tax of 241 pesos ($12 USD) before going on to enjoy their vacation.

As with most tourist taxes around the world, the fee is designed to help bring much-needed funding for tourist infrastructure and other important aspects of the state’s operational costs. Unfortunately, the roll-out wasn’t well publicized, and its implementation hasn’t made it the easiest thing to do. Because of this, many visitors are unaware of their duty to pay it or even actively choose not to do so.

How Can You Pay It?

tourists at checkin

Until recently, the only way to pay the tax was by using the online portal. Ideally, before a tourist leaves their home country, they would use the official website and make the payment. A receipt would be issued confirming payment, and the visitor would provide this to any immigration officials at entry.

The website itself is called VistaX and the URL string is It’s important to check the URL itself when paying the tax. There are several other websites that may pretend to be the official portal or set up the image of an agency that will pay the fee for you. 

tourists in cancun airport

If they are legitimate, they will probably charge a fee. This is unnecessary, as the payment is simple, and they are taking advantage. If they are not legitimate, you are simply paying money to a stranger and not the Mexican Government. If the URL looks different from the one above, do not use it.

Now, however, it’s not necessary to pay online. While it can be easier and quicker to get it out of the way before traveling, Cancun Airport now has VistaX pay stations. Tourists can use these to pay on arrival in Cancun and do so safely in the knowledge their money is going to the place it is supposed to be.

The terminals currently offering the service at the Cancun International Airport are terminals 2 and 4.

There are likely to be more of these stations built in the near future. No information has become available as to how crowded these machines get or how much they can slow down the immigration process.

Do you really have to pay it?

terminal 4 at cancun airport

The short answer is yes, you are supposed to pay it. While the implementation of the program hasn’t been hugely effective, it doesn’t change the simple fact that tourists are required to make the contribution.

There have not been any reports of tourists being punished for avoiding the tax, and many tourists claim they have never been questioned on whether they have or not. But with the new methods being implemented in the coming months, it is possible (and likely) that airport officials may become stricter in their enforcement.

cancun welcome sign

It is a comparatively small amount of money to pay on a vacation, even with a larger family, and it helps the local tourist industry to improve and transform into an even better destination for visitors.

What Do You Need for Payment?

cancun departures area

The required information is extremely simple and should only take a few moments to complete. Groups, with families, in particular, can include everyone in one payment process to make it even smoother.

The responsible party will require the following information:

  • The full names of every person in the group
  • The number of people in the group
  • The birthdate of everyone in the group
  • The passport number of everyone in the group
  • The group’s date of entry and departure

The process and information required should be the same regardless of whether it is done online or on arrival.

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Sunday 18th of September 2022

The last time we were there which was this year we asked about it and were told not to worry about it because it was a contribution.


Saturday 1st of October 2022

@Dennis, A contribution? Anything I've read about this so far doesn't indicate a "contribution". There's a site that one can pay the 'tax' before they arrive or when they depart. PM's from those persons who recently left Akumal said they saw signs at the airport, but chose to ignore them. Nothing happened. How long ago was it that you were there? We're Canadians, & will have to pay this 'tax' as well, unless we're lucky enough to escape it. I'm hoping our airline isn't checking for payment before they let us check in for our flight, but nobody has mentioned anything along this line.


Sunday 18th of September 2022

I just returned from Cancun and wasn't aware of this until I was on the up escalator going to security checkpoint. Someone was trying to solely pass flyers to the hundreds of people departing. I didn't even read it until I was at the gate. They're going to need to find a morr effective way to enforce and collect because I bet no one who didn't already do this before arriving at the airport pays this.


Friday 28th of October 2022

@Betty, There's so much conflicting information about this "tax". Some sites are posting fraudulent links, while others are posting the correct link. Then there are other writings that say one cannot pay with cash, while others say they are accepting be paid at the airport. There's talk of having the airlines check to see if the passenger has paid, but quite frankly I can't see that happening. Airlines are busy enough, & I can't see them getting involved in this. If the Mexican Govt wants this to be done, perhaps they need to come to an agreement with the airlines to include the visitax in the price of their ticket, then forward the monies to the Govt. Again, I can't see this happening. I'm not sure what to do..not pay & take the chance of not being asked if I paid & show proof., or just buy a pre-paid card & pay it, thereby avoiding the stress.