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Money in Mazatlan

Exchanging money can be a confusing thing to do in Mazatlan and the fluctuating exchange rate doesn’t help matters any. A decade or so ago, there really wasn’t that much of a problem, because the dollar was so strong against an incredibly weak and unstable peso.

Back then, with prices so low and the dollar so strong, all that a vacationer needed was a handful of one dollar bills in his or her pocket for cab rides, food, drinks and tips. Mexican nationals would gladly snatch up the dollars, take them home and stash them away as a hedge against the uncertain future that their peso offered.

Get to Know Mexican Money

This has all changed now and in fact vendors will often eye American dollars that are offered them with with a look of trepidation and the fact is that they now prefer pesos. This means that you now have to get yourMexican Pesos money changed into pesos and learn to recognize the value of each denomination.

Basically a 50 peso note is worth roughly $5 and the small ten peso coins are equal to $1. A $20 bill is accepted universally now in Mexico in the place of a 200 peso note. However; with the peso now valued at roughly 10.8 against the dollar, you are losing about $1.60 on that deal.

Bring your Credit and ATM Cards

Virtually all of the restaurants and hotels along the beach in Mazatlan now accept major credit cards, so there is no problem there. However; you will still need pesos for shopping around, cab rides and tips. There is a small exchange house that offers fair rates on the main boulevard in the Gold Zone, near the Burger King, across the street and down about a block from the big white castle building on the beach.

1oz. Caution = 1 lb. Cure

The worst exchange rates you will get are from the front desk of any of the hotels in the Gold Zone. ATM’s are now located at all of the banks and they can also be found at any of the larger supermarkets such as Lays and Wall Mart. Don’t leave large amounts of money in your hotel room, no matter how nice the hotel is, unless you keep it in a good sized locked suitcase.

Also, stashing anything under your mattress or in your shoes is the same as leaving it out in the open in your hotel room. You will learn quickly that larger peso notes can become a problem at many of the smaller shops and restaurants that are sprinkled around the city, so make a point of getting larger notes such as 500 peso bills broken into smaller denominations.

Learn the Easy Way not the Hard Way

When you are out shopping do your best to hand a merchant a bill that is as close as possible in denomination to the actual cost of what you are purchasing, because using large peso notes for smaller purchases is just asking to get short changed. Also, peso notes are made from a plasic material that is slippery, stiff and springy, which makes them far more prone to falling out of your pockets then dollars, so keep them in your wallet or purse or an envelope that you can keep in your pocket.

Related Links

  • Mazatlan.com.mx – Tips and information regarding banking, money, and credit cards.
  • Xe.com – Use this popular currency converter to get an idea of how many pesos you will get for your dollars.


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