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Drinking Water In Mexico – How We Get Water On The Road

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"Where Do You Get Your Drinking Water In Mexico?"

Even locals known that you should not drink water from the tap here in Mexico. We even wondered ourselves before we crossed the border where we could get a consistent and dependable source of drinking water in Mexico.

After 1+ years driving in Mexico in our DIY campervan, we now have multiple answers on how to get fresh, purified drinking water wherever you are in the country.

In this article we will explain the different ways you can get drinking water in Mexico and which way we prefer.

Most Recomended : Refill At Purified Water Centers

No matter how big or small a town is in Mexico, there is usually a small water purification center, where tap water is purified on-site.

In these centers, you can bring your own 5-gallon ‘garrafon’ bottles and they will refill it with purified drinking water in just a few minutes.

Not only do we love supporting these local purification centers but at ~$0.50 for 5 gallons, they are also the cheapest option for refilling our bottles.

To find these water purification centers, simply search for “Agua Purificada” on Google Maps, or look for a water icon near you on the iOverlander App.

Distributing Our Drinking Water

Drinking Water In Mexico

From our 5-gallon garrafon bottle, we can then transfer our drinking water to smaller, more manageable sizes.

To do this, we travel with three small 1-gallon water bottles that we then transfer our drinking water into. They’re BPA free, have comfortable handles, and a tight seal lid to prevent leaks.

20-liter "Garrafones" From Convenience Stores

We later learned that everyone gets their purified drinking water in Mexico from “garrafones”. These are large, 5 gallon (20L), PET plastic bottles that are often found at drinking fountains in office settings.

The best part is when your garrafon bottle is finished, you can simply exchange the bottle for a new bottle. So there isn’t any plastic waste.

We would exchange our empty PET bottles at Oxxo convenience stores and at a multitude of local stores everywhere in Mexico.

Note: Store owners will only let you exchange bottles if they are the same branded PET bottles. If they are not the same, you can always fill your own 5-gallon bottle from theirs, so there isn’t an actual exchange.

5 Gallon Fresh Water Tank
5-gallon 'Garrafon' Water Bottle

Large Plastic Bottles At The Grocery Store

In the beginning, we used to buy large 5-liter water bottles from big box stores like Walmart. Each bottle would last us about 1-day so we were constantly stocking up on water and throwing away lots of plastic.

Because of the plastic waste, we would NOT recommend this method for long-term travel in Mexico.

Drinking Water In Mexico Is Now The Least Of Our Travel Worries

After 1+ years of van life in Mexico, finding purified drinking water in Mexico is the least of our worries. Traveling with our own 5-gallon garrafon water bottle has brought a lot of flexibility on how and where we get our water.

We love using water purification centers all across Mexico to fill up our water needs. And in the chance we cannot find one, we simply refill our water jug at the many Oxxo convenience stores.

Thank You For Reading!

We’re Yuko and Eric! We both grew up in Asia ( Japan & Hong Kong ), we left our jobs and homes in 2018 and started traveling full time from Canada to Argentina in our self-converted camper van since end of May 2019. “Asobo” means “Let’s play” in Japanese. We named our site “Asobolife” because the life is always uncertain and we live only once so it’s important to always keep positive, playful mind and enjoy the moment you are in the present. We also want to use this website to share our road trip and van building experiences to inspire our readers. We hope you enjoy!

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