The country's tourism agency, which stressed it does not itself believe the world will end, hopes to attract 52 million visitors to southeastern areas that were the heart of Mayan territory over the course of next year. The whole of the country usually attracts 22 million visitors annually.
More than 500 Mayan-themed events have been planned including ceremonies with Mayan priests performing rituals, burning incense and chanting.
In the jungle near Cancun messages and photographs will be placed in a "time capsule" and buried.
The town of Chiapas, on the Guatemalan border, is installing an 8ft digital clock in its main park which will count down to the much anticipated date.
Experts including archaeologists at Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology say Mayan thinking has been misinterpreted and the world will not end. They say the Maya saw time as a series of cycles and 2012 merely marks the end of one of those cycles.
But suggestions of an apocalypse have been fuelled by the Hollywood blockbuster film "2012," which in turn has helped Mexico become more intriguing for tourists.
Yeanet Zaldo, a tourism spokeswoman for the state of Quintana Roo, which includes Cancun, said: "People who still live in Mayan villages will host rites and burn incense for us to go back in time and try to understand the Mayan wisdom."
The Mayan calendar begins in 3,114BC and splits time into 394-year periods known as Baktuns. The 13th Baktun ends around Dec 21, 2012.
According to a 1,300-year-old stone tablet Bolon Yokte, a Mayan god associated with both war and creation, will "descend from the sky" at that time.
Archaeologists revealed recently that they had found a second possible reference to the date on a brick fragment.
But Miss Zaldo said she was confident tourism would continue into 2013. She said: "The world will not end. It is an era."