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  • Writer's pictureJohn Dostaler

VISITAX: The Cancun Area Departure Tax

Updated: Mar 29, 2022

if you’re heading to Cancun: you’ll want to know about the new(ish) departure tax when you visit. All international visitors will now have to pay the tax either before their arrival in Cancun or before they leave.

It applies to travellers vacationing in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo which includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • how much it costs

  • how you pay

  • and more!

1. When Does the New Visitor Tax Come Into Effect?

The new visitor tax came into effect on April 1st 2021.

2. How Much Is The Visitor Tax (Visatax)?

Worried about the increased cost of your vacation? It’s not really too bad. The visitor tax is 224 peso per person (with a 10% reduction for visitors from Belize). The exchange rate is around 21/22 Mexican Pesos for a US dollar: so it’s about ten bucks. Now that you know, you can add it to your expenses list. Bar trips, cinema, shopping, snacks, visitor tax…

3. How Do I Pay The Visitor Tax?

You can head straight to the VISITAX website after you book. Here you can pay the visitor tax for everyone in your group. The site is available in Spanish and English and it’s pretty easy to navigate.

Heard that the VISITAX site wasn’t secure? I heard that too (in the first few days). However, the VISITAX site is now showing as secure so you’re fine to pay online. There are also contact details if you get stuck making your payment; Need Help? Tel: (998) 223 68 42 – (998) 329 57 45 – (998) 483 76 59 Hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM Email:

4. I’d Rather Not Pay The Visitor Tax Online How Do I Pay At The Airport?

Paying at the airport is easy! There are supposed to be kiosks where you can pay the tax in pesos or dollars.

However: keep in mind the lines may be long (and the kiosks can come and go), so give yourself plenty of time. When you pay, you get a QR code to scan at security.

It’s easier to purchase ahead of time - so go online.

5. When Do I Have to Pay the Cancun Visitor Tax?

The tax for tourists to Quintana Roo must be paid before leaving for home. You can pay before you travel to Mexico, while you’re at your resort or at the airport before departure. It’s up to you when you prefer to pay but you can only pay at the airport in cash. Don’t forget to save some pesos or dollars if you go for this option.

6. Do I Only Have to Pay The Visitor Tax If I Travel to Cancun?

The new tax applies to the whole of the state of Quintana Roo from April 1, 2021. You’ll have to pay if you’re heading to the area of resort locations including:

  • Cancun

  • Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen

  • Isla Cozumel

  • Isla Mujeres

  • Holbox

  • Tulum

  • Maya Ka’an

  • Grand Costa Maya

7. Why Is There Now a Visitor Tax in Quintana Roo for Tourists?

You may hear the different names used for this tax.

  • Visitax

  • Visitor tax

  • Tourism tax

  • Tourist tax

You’ll see all of these names used online and they basically mean the same thing.

The Secretary of Finance and Planning of the State Government launched the tax through the Quintana Roo Tax Administration System (SATQ). The tax is mandatory for people leaving the state of Quintana Roo from April 1, 2021.

Something to note: The goal of the tax is to generate revenue of around $29.1 million. The cash will be used to create jobs and develop new tourist attractions.

8. Who Has to Pay The Mexican Visitor Tax?

If you’re heading anywhere in Quintana Roo, the full visitor tax applies, with a couple of exceptions:

1. Young people under the age of 15 do not have to pay the tax.

2. Travellers from Belize pay a reduced amount as many people from this country regularly make short trips across the border.

9. Is The New Visitor Tax Included in My Flight Cost? Typically, these types of taxes are collected via your airfare. This new tax is different because it only applies in one state. So, no airlines or travel companies are including it in prices. You need to pay the visitor tax yourself.

That’s it! It’s a small cost to pay to visit such an amazing part of the world!

Ready to plan YOUR next trip to Riviera Maya? CLICK HERE to get started!

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