Twenty Questions

FAQs—a game of 20 Questions
(Count 'em)

Patients come from around the world to Lake Chapala to undergo treatment with our professionals and benefit from the before, during, and aftercare.

DocTours connects clients with the best affordable doctors, dentists, and plastic surgeons in Mexico, including the most affordable anti-aging therapy with stem cell and HGH treatments. (For more information on any of our Sentient Treatments, just click on one of the tabs directly above.) We also can give you leads on wellness travel in Mexico, in our own neighborhood on Lake Chapala.

Even experienced travelers have a few questions before embarking.

medical tourist

girl with magnifying glass

Will I be safe there?

You're going to a place that is just as safe as the safest town in America. It's not a large city, its populace is materially comfortable, and it has a high number of expats and visitors. Local authorities in the Chapala Riviera have done an excellent job of keeping this area safe. All that makes your experience more than secure; you'll feel welcomed and have fun. Check out what the expats have to say.

What do the statistics say about public safety?

They say if you want to escape crime, vacation in Mexico. Statistically, you are safer in Mexico than anywhere else in North America. Tourists and visitors are much less likely to be a victim of violent crime than in the US, Canada, and many other countries. Yet the US State Department issues no warnings to Americans traveling to Canada and elsewhere.

More than 150,000 Americans visit Mexico every day—safely. Travelers feel relatively safe visiting US cities like Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, or Atlanta. Visitors from around the world enjoy these vibrant cities in relative, reasonable safety. Yet each of these cities is way less safe than Mexico.

Every city and country has places that are less than secure. The areas that are dangerous should be avoided. And those that are safe should be enjoyed and celebrated.

The thing about tourism is that the reality of a place is quite different from the mythology of it.
Martin Parr

elder with globe

Will I be in good hands with your care providers?

Yes, you will. All the Lake Chapala professionals we have vetted have earned the requisite credentials. Some or our caregivers have trained or worked in America or Canada. These men and women all enjoy the best reputations among the expats living and wintering at Lakeside. Those loyal patients don’t go back home for medical or dental care. They stay in their new homes and receive top-tier treatment. Remember, statistics refer to a nation in general, not to the caregivers in particular whom we recommend.

When I go rafting, or whatever, I sign a waiver; is that pro forma?

Yes, it is. Acknowledging the realities of life, patients fill out and sign an informed consent form. Although perfection is elusive everywhere, our doctors, dentists, and surgeons strive to be the best in the world. Ask yourself, are doctors vetted anywhere else? Ours depend upon their reputation with their patients. DocTours professionals do provide followup care for any unexpected issues. However, it's a very unlikely occurrence.

Who's liable for what?

By law, doctors are responsible for the treatment of their patients. To cover oneself, a feasible option is medical traveler's insurance for any untoward complication, however unlikely. One can choose from dozens of insurance companies. The premium depends on the procedure. In America, being able to sue creates a false sense of security, since once the doctor pays the insurer, he or she is off the hook. In Mexico, a professional's standing in the community is what matters the most.

Are there Mexican equivalents to the FDA and OSHA?

Yes, there are. The Mexican version of the alphabet soup is COFEPRIS. Even so, you're not going to just any or all doctors in Mexico. You're going to a doctor, dentist, or surgeon whom we have vetted. We are your FDA and OSHA. And we do a better job. Unlike the FDA, we won't approve a new drug that kills patients just because a big pharmaceutical pressures us. In the US, putting your life into the hands of people driven mainly by over-sized rewards is hazardous at best. What we do is interview the care providers and inspect the facilities—and did that professionally in the States—for comparison to US Standards Of Practice, so your safety is ensured.

How can even doctors be so affordable?

Doctors, dentists, and surgeons in Mexico work in a much less litigious society. In the States, almost every politician is a lawyer; they are unanimous in upholding laws that uphold the incomes of "professionals". That is much less so in Mexico. There, a doctor can concentrate on doctoring and doesn't have to raise his fees in order buy insurance due to the impact of suit-hungry attorneys. This, actually, works to the patient's advantage. Whereas coverage lets American doctors feel safe enough to not have to be totally cognizant and responsible 100% of the time, doctors south of the border with equal or greater skill must still care abut their reputations. Being known as the best matters more than keeping premiums up to date.

How can everything cost so much less?

In general, prices are lower where income is lower. That's so wherever an economy is not as developed. Yet not everything costs less in Mexico. Gasoline costs the same on both sides of the border. Familiar foods imported from the US are pricey in Mexico, too. Your savings are pretty substantial when you dine out, shop at the market, buy a good used bike, purchase a work of art, and, of course, use DocTours' medical and dental professionals.

Will I really save so much money?

That depends on what treatments you receive. The more expensive the treatment north of the border, the greater the savings south of the border—could be as much as many thousands of dollars. Even if you have an inexpensive treatment and save merely a few hundred dollars, you will have fun doing it. Basically, you're converting your dental or medical dollars into a sunny vacation while tending to your physical needs. Such a deal!

red shoulder bag

Will you assist me in every way?

That's exactly what we're here for. We know the care-providers. We know the language. We know the local area. We have experienced medical tourism ourselves. If you have something unique comes up—like perhaps, change your return date to stay longer—we help extend your lodging. Whatever your needs are, we can find a way to take care of them.

Should I bring cash, debit card, or credit card?

Bring some cash, of course. Traveler's Checks are not so common anymore. Instead, ATMs are everywhere. Check with your bank and credit card company for their exchange rates and fees. Also, let them know you're traveling abroad so they won't assume your card took a vacation without you.

What's the exchange rate for pesos?

That changes daily, and also changes per money exchanger; it fluctuates too much for us to put a fixed figure here. Check with your bank. As we go to press, one dollar fetches 19 pesos. Spending it feels like spending play money, and at the end of week you still have a pile left from amount you'd budgeted. Once you're in Mexico, you can exchange money in the airport or at one of the money exchange stores. We encourage you not to bring much cash with you but instead withdraw pesos at Mexican banks' ATMs as you need them.

Should I buy travel insurance?

That's more a personality thing. Some people always do, some never do. You will have the best caregivers around, and dedicated, total trip assist from us at DocTours. But whatever makes you feel most comfortable, go with that, is what we recommend.

Can I use my cell phone?

Yes, of course, but each cell phone company is different. The rates might be high or low. Your company might require your phone to have a different plan or chip. It's something you have to ask your cell phone provider. But don't worry; we have a landline phone at the house for all your calls back home.

Will I have Internet?

Yes, welcome to the 21st century in Mexico. Our house where you'll stay has it. Most cafes have it and there are still shops offering their computers and wifi.

Will I have to drink the water?

The only legal requirement is to drink the tequila—NOT. We take the same precautions with water that we do in the States. That is, use only fresh, bottled water, making sure that every drop you drink or make tea with or boil rice with is perfectly pure and healthy. Most cafes, restaurants, and bars use only filtered, purified water.

curious puppy
conference break

What if I'm not a huge fan of Mexican food?

That's OK; tastes are not universal. You won't starve. There are restaurants of every cuisine—and some darn fine ones—including American, French, Italian, Chinese, and Thai. Plus, there are grocery stores that carry all kinds of foods and products imported from El Norte. At the weekly market, you can find organic produce, brown farm eggs, freshly baked sourdough bread, incredibly affordable fresh oysters, and more than you can imagine, no matter what your craving. Furthermore, our chef lived in the US for decades and can cook bilingually.

Are mosquitos a problem?

You might think so, since the word from is Spanish ( meaning "little fly"). However, they are very few in number and those few exhibit a paucity of persistence. At last count, they were fewer than the number of tourists, so any bug near you could very likely choose somebody else sweeter.

Can I rent a car, a bike, a boat?

Yes, all that is available. The towns on Lakeside even have bike lanes. Every season, more and more people get around by pedal power.

What's the difference between a doctor and God?

Let's put the issue of safety into objective perspective. Wherever one goes, one can find doctors who're great and not so great (data from the US Center for Disease Control in Atlanta). As the old joke goes, "What's the difference between a doctor and God? God doesn't think he's a doctor." Our professionals think of themselves as healers. You'll find them to be consistently warm and totally approachable. And think of us at DocTours as we think of ourselves—your medical concierge.

If you enjoy traveling with another, familiarize them with this site, too.