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Mexico is a fantastic tourist destination because of its fascinating history, rich culture, delicious food, and gorgeous landscapes. And while most visitors remember to bring swimwear or draw up their Tulum itinerary, not everyone knows that the country’s power supply is different to other parts of the world. That’s why this article aims to expand your knowledge on electrical outlets in Mexico.
Compared to many countries in the world, Mexico uses different electrical outlets, plugs, and voltage. So you will need to make sure which of your devices will function correctly and which will need plug or voltage adapters. Read on for an explanation on these different concepts.
Here are all you need to know about electrical outlets in Mexico
What plug do I need for Mexico?
In Mexico, you need two types of electrical outputs and plugs: type A and B. If you’re traveling from the USA or Canada, you’ll recognize both types as they are common across North America. Here are the differences between the types:
- Type A plugs are made up of two flat, vertical pins that are parallel to each other. The outlets match this design with two parallel holes.
- Type B plugs have the two Type A pins, plus a round grounded pin below them. For this reason, the outlets for this type have three holes in a triangular pattern.
Some countries in South America also have these types of outlets and plugs. If you’re traveling from anywhere else in the world, including Europe, you will need an adapter for your devices.
The electrical supply in Mexico is set to 127 volts (127V). This differs largely from Europe, where the standard voltage is 220V (or 230V in Ireland and the UK), so you will need to buy a voltage converter to ensure the quality and safety of your devices while in Mexico. While the difference may not cause an electrical surge as it would in the opposite case (127V device in a 220V outlet), it’s likely that your devices won’t function correctly.
The rest of North America is also different, as the voltage is set to 120V. However, seeing as the difference is so small, you shouldn’t have any issues when using appliances from Canada or the US when you travel to Mexico. Therefore, you won’t need a voltage converter.
The frequency of the electrical signal in Mexico is 60Hz, the same as in the US and Canada. This is another reason why you shouldn’t have any problems with your devices if you’re a tourist from North America.
However, if you’re arriving from Europe, where the AC frequency is 50Hz, certain appliances won’t work correctly. Some can even be dangerous if they have moving or rotating parts. For example, an electric shaver may run faster than it should, which can cause it to break down.
Some voltage converters come with frequency converters, but they aren’t common. If you can’t find one, avoid using devices with moving parts.
Devices that are dual rated are becoming more common across the globe. These kinds of appliances are flexible in terms of both voltage and frequency, so can be used in different countries.
You can see if a device is dual rated by checking its label. If it says “Input: 100-240V, 50/60Hz”, you can use the appliance in any country in the world. The voltage can depend though, so make sure the country you’re in is included in the range. For example, if a device has a voltage range of 110 to 240V, you can use it in Mexico (127V) but not in Japan (100V).
The most common devices that are dual rated are ones that have chargers with transformers, such as smartphones, laptops, electric toothbrushes, etc.
Now that you know the most important info on outlets, voltage, and AC frequency in Mexico, you can look into the best travel adapters for your trip.
If you live in the US or Canada, you won’t need any adapters, seeing as the outlets and frequency are the same as in Mexico, and the voltage is so similar. These slight deviations are taken into account by manufacturers, so a 120V device should work perfectly well on a 127V supply.
If you’re traveling from Ireland or the UK, you’ll need a plug adapter from type G to types A and B. You will also need a voltage converter so that your 230V devices function correctly on the 127V supply. The frequency is also different, so look into frequency converters too. If you can’t get one, you should avoid using any appliance with rotating or moving parts.
Most countries in continental Europe have the same outlets and plugs, except for Italy, Switzerland, and Denmark, who have slight variations on type C. All European tourists to Mexico will need plug and voltage adapters, as well as frequency adapters if possible.
Don’t forget that you will just need a plug adapter if you’re only bringing dual rated voltage appliances to Mexico, as long as the range includes 127V (for example, Input: 100-240V).
If you’re a globetrotter and are regularly checking which plug adapters you will need on your next trip, take a look into a universal adapter. This gadget can make your life much easier as it includes plug types for most countries in the world. With one simple device, you can convert European plugs to North American, or Irish to Australian.
Be aware that these adapters generally don’t include voltage conversion, so you would still need a separate gadget for this.
Now that you know all about electrical outlets and supplies in Mexico, you can travel without worrying about how you will charge your devices. If you’re visiting from North America, you won’t need to get any additional gear. Tourists from Europe will need plug adapters and voltage converters to make sure their appliances work correctly. Once you’re set, you can travel to Mexico and enjoy everything it has to offer.
Now that you know what to pack, check our Mexico all inclusive resorts recommendation for a laid back holiday!