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Mexico - To drink the water or not

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Jul 5th, 2010, 09:30 AM
  #1
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Mexico - To drink the water or not

They say that the tap water is safe to drink in Mexico.. Do you trust it, or stick to bottled water?
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Jul 5th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Who is "they"? I always drink bottled water, but I do use tap water for brushing my teeth and haven't had any problems.
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Jul 5th, 2010, 11:04 AM
  #3
 
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If you are traveling -- to Mexico or anywhere -- bottled water is a good idea both for drinking and brushing your teeth. Even if the local water is fine, why take a chance on ruining your vacation with stomach problems?
I'd say eat the food, avoiding greasy stuff, but don't drink the water.

(I live here and do the same as maryanntex)
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Jul 5th, 2010, 12:58 PM
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i would never take the chance. i even brush my teeth with bottled water and dont open my mouth in the shower.
also tequila kills most germs
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Jul 5th, 2010, 01:12 PM
  #5
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I ageee with the other posts. However, I have drank glasses of water served at the hotel's restuarant. Most of the nicer resorts have a filtration system.

We also take a tablespoon of Pepto Bismal before each meal. Better safe than sorry.
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Jul 5th, 2010, 02:37 PM
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It depends where in Mexico you are talking about. Some cities water is better than others. And certain tourist resort hotels or properties have their own purification systems.

But to answer the question, *no* I do not drink tap water in Mexico. I drink only bottled water, even use it for brushing my teeth. It's usually provided (in those large Sparklette style dispensers) or easily found at any corner store.

I figure it's cheap insurance for a healthy vacation.

I'm very careful about food too. Get sick a couple times and you learn to be more cautious.
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Jul 5th, 2010, 03:07 PM
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Can I ask a related question to this? Thinking of my first trip to Mexico next year, and the water thing has always bothered me -- not that you shouldn't drink the water if you're not used to it, but the garbage created from using bottled water. What do others think about this? Is there a more sustainable and environmentally responsible way to do this? Just curious what others have done.
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Jul 5th, 2010, 03:21 PM
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Those gigantic Sparklette jugs I mentioned is what most homes and hotels use where I have stayed (Puerto Vallarta, La Paz, Cabo San Lucas). They are refilled and reused, brought to your home by the water delivery guys. They do not create the mess of individual sized plastic like regular bottled water does. Just carry your own stainless steel or neoprene container and refill from the big jug (to avoid purchasing lots of extra plastic).
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Jul 5th, 2010, 04:16 PM
  #9
 
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www.mdtravelhealth.com Mexico correct CDC info

always wise to adhere to CDC food/water precautions

The Revenge of Montezuma is no fun

and the #1 cause of disabling tourist illness

in Mexico...also keep a little Cipro/Imodium

in my travel medical kit to stop it in its

tracks...consider the water With gas

works better more difficult to reseal...

Happy digestion,

Have fun,
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Jul 5th, 2010, 05:21 PM
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If you end up with "turista" I personally do not recommend using Imodium (unless you must get on a plane or bus or something like that). You want to get it OUT of your system, not stop nasty stuff up inside you.

Back to the water question, since I'm careful, I know the few times (and only a few, in 20+ trips to Mexico) I had stomach troubles, I can pretty much trace it back to a specific meal or drink.
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Jul 5th, 2010, 06:15 PM
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Oh yeah, the big jugs, I forgot about those. I have seen those in a lot of the apartment rental listings I've seen. I wonder if most hotels have filtered water at the bar? If we go the hotel route, I guess I can ask if I can up my water bottle at the bar if they filter.
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Jul 5th, 2010, 06:17 PM
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Oops, suze, I see you also said most of the hotels also have those jugs. That's great to know -- thanks.
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Jul 6th, 2010, 05:29 AM
  #13
 
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Just to make people a bit paranoid, I've heard of smaller hotels refilling those five gallong jugs with tap water.....

I use them anyway, refilling my water bottles when they're empty, never had any problems.

I don't drink tap water, brush my teeth with bottled water. I do have drinks with ice, in the tourist areas it's made with purified water.
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Jul 6th, 2010, 06:13 AM
  #14
TC
 
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Here's the deal with water in Mexico -- its not unsafe -- as in poisoned. It has bacteria in it that is different than the bacteria in our own water. This unfamiliar bacteria can have a bad effect on some people's systems. The same is true if a person living in Mexico were to come to the U.S. and start drinking the water. We've been going to Mexico for decades and our systems have gradually gotten used to the bacteria there. We never get tourista. Having said that, I still drink bottled water - however I brush my teeth with tap water and use local ice, etc.

If you are in Mexico and get tourista, go to a local pharmacy and ask for "Treada". It has an antibiotic that is especially made for the local bacteria. Works like a charm. No, you don't need a prescription. Cipro is another good choice if you can get your doctor at home to give you a prescription's worth for travel. It has nothing to do with "stopping you up", it has to do with killing the bacteria. Allowing your body to go through days and days of tourista will only land you in the hospital for dehydration. DO NOT stop drinking fluids. Get to a grocery and stock up on Gatorade and drink it like there's no tomorrow. Do take Imodium, but take it along with an antibiotic. That is exactly what Treada is - the combination of both.
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Jul 6th, 2010, 06:58 AM
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Depends where you are in Mexico, here in Puerto Vallarta I have been drinking the tap water for years with no ill affects.
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Jul 6th, 2010, 08:33 AM
  #16
TC
 
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I respectfully disagree, cabron. It can happen to anyone, anyplace. Its not about where you are located, its about how your individual system handles the local bacteria. To tell someone that because you've never gotten sick in PV, that its safe for them is not the best advice. I've never gotten sick in Cozumel, but my sister ended up in the hospital. She ate and drank the exact same stuff I did. She got a mild case of tourista, didn't take it seriously, didn't stay hydrated, didn't take an antibiotic and ended up smack in the hospital with a serious case of dehydration. The key to your statement is "I've been drinking the water for years" -- your system has aclimated to the local bacteria.
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Jul 6th, 2010, 11:43 AM
  #17
 
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I never drink tap water in Mexico. In areas where it is purified, I do eat salads, fruit, etc. and have had no problems, BUT would not drink water straight from a faucet. In fact, I don't drink tap water from most places other than where I live. As TC points out, it has to do with how one's system handles the 'local' bacteria.
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Jul 6th, 2010, 01:34 PM
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The (inexpensive) hotels where we stayed (in Puebla, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, among other cities) have all provided a pint of bottled water per person located on the bathroom sink--a hint that one should use bottled water to brush teeth?
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Jul 6th, 2010, 02:43 PM
  #19
 
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I'm a fairly cautious person, but I'm willing to trust the places I stay (budget accommodations I return to year after year) aren't refilling the purified water dispenses with tap water.

plumboy~ I can't speak to ALL /resorts in all of Mexico but the half-dozen places I've stayed in PV and Cabo all had them, both hotels and apartments.
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Jul 6th, 2010, 03:13 PM
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I'm curious, is it just that a person isn't used to the water in another place, or is there something particular about the water in Mexico? And I'm not trying to trash Mexico -- really! -- just trying to figure out what the issue is. I say this because the last three times I've been to Costa Rica, I've drunk the water straight from the tap and had no problems (I even drank it at a ranger's station in a national park). Could that mean I have a stronger disposition or am able to deal with unfamiliar water better than others? Maybe there's no definitive answer to this -- and obviously, with all the warnings, I won't drink the water in Mexico, but the topic of "the water in Mexico" has always been a mystery to me.
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