Mexican Pesos

HELPFUL TIPS
FOR TRAVEL
IN MEXICO

2022
TRAVEL
M E X I C O

Have a Safe & Informed Trip!

MONEY & ATM'S:

  • Many travelers ask if they should bring pesos with them.  Our experience is that you get a very good exchange rate through the ATM's here, so why travel with large amounts of cash?  There are a lot of risks involved with carrying lots of cash, as you could be mugged, pick-pocketed, or lose your cherished pesos to a dishonest hotel worker.  We highly recommend just using the ATM's and carrying less cash on your person.

  • One more issue we have run into with clients ordering cash from their bank, is that sometimes the money they receive has actually expired.  We have run across this issue a number of times, so once again - just use the ATM's.  

  • When using the ATM, some will ask you to accept the conversion rate.  ALWAYS DECLINE THIS!  The bank who owns the ATM will never give you a better exchange rate than your own bank.  You will have to accept their service fee (can be anywhere from $38-$100 Pesos), but you can decline the currency exchange. 

  • There can be risks involved with using ATM's here.  One sneaky trick involves putting a piece of plastic over the opening where the cash comes out.  If you withdraw cash and it doesn't come out, make sure you check to see if anything is obtruding the opening.  Ask someone to get you help - do not leave the ATM unattended.  This happened to me on one occasion at Citibank, and I was fortunate a bank employee happened to be there.

  • Once, I took money out at Santander, and my money did not come out.  This was an error with the ATM, and my bank took care of getting me a refund.

  • If you leave your bank card in the machine too long, at the end of the transaction, the machine will swallow your card.  There is no way to get it back.  The banks are separate from the companies that service the machines, so the bank employees are unable to help you.  I always have two bank cards, in case one of them gets compromised somehow.

  • You can pay with your cell phone some places in Mexico, so if you are accustomed to paying this way, this is available in larger cities and select businesses.  Most places will only accept cash.

  • Travelling with US dollars?  Our experience with US cash is that it has not proven to be beneficial.    

BUYING BUS TICKETS:

 

  • Buses are a great way to get around, and you may be surprised to know that most OXXO stores sell bus tickets.  You do not need to make a trip to the bus station to buy your ticket ahead of time.  OXXO charges a small fee (around $1) to process the transaction, which is much less than a taxi to the station will cost you.  

  • If you are a senior citizen, always show your ID.  Even senior tourists get a 50% discount on bus tickets.

  • When taking the bus, you cannot always travel directly to your destination.  An example is the trip from Zihuatanejo to the Pueblo Magico of Patzuaro, where I live.  I take a bus to Uruapan, then from there can catch another bus or pay $600 Pesos for a taxi to bring me directly.  If I have business in Morelia, I can also take the bus there, and the cost in a taxi is also $600 Pesos for the hour commute.  This is important when planning your trip, as you will endure many delays and lay-overs if you are travelling to smaller, quaint towns.

TAP WATER, SALAD, STREET FOOD AND ICE:

  • Almost every foreigner I know uses tap water to brush their teeth.  We do not drink the tap water.

  • As very few Mexicans drink tap water, you do not need to worry about the ice in your drink.  It is made with purified water.  If you are in a very small town in the middle of nowhere, you may want to ask if the ice is made from purified water...

  • Most Mexicans use colloidal silver to wash their vegetables.  If you are in an upscale restaurant, the chances of getting ill from salad are low.  If you are buying fruit from a street vendor, we recommend lime and salt.  Not only does it taste great, the lime juice is also a preventative measure!

  • If you notice long line-ups at a particular street-food vendor, go there!  They are popular with the locals for a reason....

IF YOU GET A STOMACH BUG WHILE HERE:

  • Every OXXO, grocery store and most small tiendas sell Yakult yogurt.  Buy lots of them.  They promote probiotic health, and make a healthy addition to your daily diet regardless.

  • Coca Cola is a traditional cure in Mexico.  Buy regular coke with sugar, and drink it carbonated.

More Tips coming!

Have a question or addition for us?  Please email us!

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