Can You Drink the Water in Mexico?

Mexico water
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

You’ve probably heard not to drink the water in Mexico, but is it really that dangerous? YES. Drinking the water from the tap can make you really sick, which will ruin your vacation. It’s not like the water we’re used to in the United States. So, before visiting Mexico here’s what you should know about the water.

Avoid Tap Water

We can’t stress it enough—don’t drink the tap water. Unlike in the U.S. where it’s sanitary, in Mexico, the water treatment, filtration, and purification standards aren’t as strict and the water can have parasites, bacteria, or viruses.

Only Drink Bottled Water

The only water you should be drinking is bottled, purified water. Hotels offer bottled water or large jugs of purified water and in general, bottled water is cheap in Mexico. If you’re buying from a store or restaurant, request “agua pura,” or “un bote de agua pura”.

Ice Cubes in Drinks

If you’re dining at a restaurant or hotel, most touristy ones use ice made from purified water. Be careful when getting ice water from market stands of food stalls, as they don’t always use purified water in their ice.

Brushing Your Teeth and Showering

Many Mexico residents brush their teeth with tap water, but they’ll rinse and spit, not swallow. You can do this, but we advice just using bottled water to brush your teeth. When showering, be sure to keep your mouth closed.