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RonPaula

Pesos or Dollars

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Pesos.

 

1. It's Mexico, and the Peso is the national currency.

 

2. New currency restrictions limit the amount of US$ a Mexican can deposit into a bank account, which makes it difficult for them to accept US$

 

3. It's also about respect. Respect for the nation you're visiting and the people.

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So do I :)

 

I always wonder at people who think it is still alright to use USD anywhere then outside of the States?? I can't help but wonder what would happen if we Canadians or Mexicans tried to use Pesos or Canadian money as tender for taxis and tipping tour guides in the States????

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Thank you for your response. What few times that I have been to Mexico, they post both currencies. That sends mixed signals. I will bring lots of pesos.

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Thank you for your response. What few times that I have been to Mexico, they post both currencies. That sends mixed signals. I will bring lots of pesos.

 

Totally understand :) Our first vist many years ago we were stupid enough to change Cand to USD and used that thinking Mexico preferred

USD :( Many years and vists later we use strictly pesos.

 

Laws have changed recently and as Go-Mexico stated it is getting really hard for anyone to exchange USD into pesos. We always bring home 500 pesos to start our next trip then stop at the nearest HSBC ATM machine once we arrive.

 

 

Have a great cruise :)

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Thank you for your response. What few times that I have been to Mexico, they post both currencies. That sends mixed signals. I will bring lots of pesos.

 

Then isn't now. Times change. The law has changed, substantially. About bringing pesos from home: you might be better-off using an ATM machine to withdraw Pesos ... at your first port-of-call. The exchange rate will be much better.

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Then isn't now. Times change. The law has changed, substantially. About bringing pesos from home: you might be better-off using an ATM machine to withdraw Pesos ... at your first port-of-call. The exchange rate will be much better.

 

Do you know what the exchange rate is in the ATM's in Mexico, now ?

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I asked a simple question so that I could do the best thing. Why, gomexico, are you so sensitive to an inquiry? Your response seemed a bit sharp.

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I asked a simple question so that I could do the best thing. Why, gomexico, are you so sensitive to an inquiry? Your response seemed a bit sharp.

 

Two subjects are sure to get a reaction. Pesos vs dollars and dangers in Mexico. We all have opinions and some express them more strongly than others.

 

I make many trips to Mexico and spend dollars without problems, and every time I return I check myself for bullet holes and have yet to find any. The merchants who deal with tourists will accept dollars, and if they deem it to be disrespectful, they hide it very well. I hope this gives you what you are seeking in the way of information.:rolleyes::D

 

As additional information, the current exchange rate is 12.45400 pesos for one dollar. By using dollars, some merchants will try to give you 10 to 1 which costs you a few cents to use dollars. Most of the larger stores have their exchange rates posted daily in plain sight and they have the conversion rate built into their registers.

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I asked a simple question so that I could do the best thing. Why, gomexico, are you so sensitive to an inquiry? Your response seemed a bit sharp.

 

You asked a question. I provided a clear and direct answer. I think it may be you who is a bit sensitive about this. I think my answer was one of the milder ones you received.

 

The question is frequently asked here. You didn't check before asking, again. It seems very common sense to me that when we travel we respect the country we travel to by using its currency instead of wondering if we can use that of our own country. Sort of a 'no brainer' to the way I think. But it is asked repeatedly, so, obviously, not as clear as some of us may think.

 

One or more of the answers you've recieved reflect visits to Mexico in earlier years. Not current conditions. We see a lot of that here. We see some tourism businesses posing as travelers, as well.

 

When people paid in US$ previously they almost always paid more than they should have. Business operators frequently take advantage of the situation. They consider such people foolish, so they don't worry about overcharging or short-changing on the exchange rate.

 

Being respectful and using the national currency helps us to better understand the places we travel to, to be more closely connected. We have to think about the money. About the exchange. About how much things cost. We use our brains a bit more. All of this is good.

 

My comments aren't meant to be insulting or harsh. They're just my response. I answer in my own way, and do it to be helpful. If I offended you, I apologize. :-)

 

Have a great trip!

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We will see what happens when I go in two months. Have been to Mexico 50+ times and have always used American $$. When we were in Cozumel the last time (April 2010), prices were posted in American $$...not pesos. Due to the new rules, they may be enforcing the new peso law and will only accept pesos. If that is the case, then yes use an ATM once you get there. I am going to wait and see once we get there which currency they prefer before I go taking all pesos with me to Mexico. I have two private tours booked in PV and Cabo, both have told me to bring cash, American cash.

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I just got back from a trip on the Mariner. We took both Pesos and US dollars with us, and more times than not we were quoted in US and had to ask for the Peso equivalent. A couple of stores in PV had their merchandise quoted in Pesos. I was annoyed with RCCL because I had looked on their website to make sure they would exchange foreign currency, and when I went to turn it the few Pesos we had remaining on the last sea day, I was told Pesos are the ONLY foreign currency they don't handle! We were able to exchange them at a bank in Southern CA, so no big deal in the end... Enjoy your trip! :)

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I asked a simple question so that I could do the best thing. Why, gomexico, are you so sensitive to an inquiry? Your response seemed a bit sharp.

 

Don't worry about the sharp responses from travel snobs. Some just don't like to give civil answers to civil inquiries. You asked a good question. And the truth is, so many currencies are in such trouble, some folks in some countries actually prefer to have the relatively stable US dollar ... especially in port cities. That's said, its always easier to use the local currency. Have a small amount of the local currency and then use your credit card for larger purchases from reliable vendors is usually the best bet.

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It seems interesting to me that folks who cruise seem to be the only ones that ask about using USA currency in foreign countries(not just Mexico) I suppose that is because their "hotel" is the ship and so are not really IN the countries they visit.

I agree with GoMexico, although I suppose that it sounded a bit harsh as written. To me it was just a direct answer.

We use pesos in Mexico. We change money at a "cambio"(exchange booth) which lists the rates and doesn't charge the fees that our bank adds to foreign ATM withdrawals. Everyone's bank is different so some may find it better to just use the ATM. I don't change pesos back to USA dollars if I have leftovers as you lose money that way. I just save them for my next cruise.

 

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Which currency should we use for cabs and tipping excursion guides?

 

In an effort to fight drug related money laundering, new laws were recently enacted that limit the amount of US dollars (in cash) that may be deposited in Mexican banks or converted from USD's to pesos.

 

It is having unintended results across the tourist industry. If you shop at stores or restaurants that do a high volume of trade with tourists, or buy expensive items & pay with cash, you might be told that they are not accepting USD's if they are close to their monthly limit. It is important to know that there is no certain answer to your question except "past experience is no indicator of future results". Things are changing and everybody will have a different experience on any given day in any given shop.

 

We just returned from our annual stay in Vallarta and it appeared to be "business as usual". Locals were more than willing to accept USD's. Also know that torn or really beat up US bills may be refused and US coins have no value at all in Mexico.

 

If all you are just talking about is taxi fare, then USD's will be fine. Just understand that taxi drivers aren't math majors and will only offer a 10:1 exchange rate. Bus drivers may or may not accept USD's as they have no idea what the exchange rate is. Never, ever, EXPECT to get change back in USD's if you pay in USD's. A $20 US bill for a $6 USD taxi ride will get you 140 pesos in change (if the driver has that much on him to give you). Excursion guides are always willing to take your dollars as tips.

 

We rarely use anything other than pesos. The nearest ATM spits out pesos using the internation exchange rate in affect at the time of the transaction.

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It seems interesting to me that folks who cruise seem to be the only ones that ask about using USA currency in foreign countries(not just Mexico) I suppose that is because their "hotel" is the ship and so are not really IN the countries they visit.

>SNIP<

 

Believe me, we live nowhere near a cruise ship port. Regardless, there are always travellers who feel that we in Canada should be thrilled to take US dollars. Generally, US $ are accepted around here in most places, but it is an act of accommodation, not of desire :)

 

By the time we stand in line to exchange them, pay the bank fees and the hopped-up exchange rate we are charged, it is not a good deal for us. Unless of course DH & I are planning travel to the US, then I just exchange them for my own Canadian cash.

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Two subjects are sure to get a reaction. Pesos vs dollars and dangers in Mexico. We all have opinions and some express them more strongly than others.

 

I make many trips to Mexico and spend dollars without problems, and every time I return I check myself for bullet holes and have yet to find any. The merchants who deal with tourists will accept dollars, and if they deem it to be disrespectful, they hide it very well. I hope this gives you what you are seeking in the way of information.:rolleyes::D

 

As additional information, the current exchange rate is 12.45400 pesos for one dollar. By using dollars, some merchants will try to give you 10 to 1 which costs you a few cents to use dollars. Most of the larger stores have their exchange rates posted daily in plain sight and they have the conversion rate built into their registers.

 

I disagree....there is a third subject: "can I smoke while sailing"...that will almost always result in a beatdown.

 

As for Pesos verses dollars....Yes, you might get a bit more bang for your buck if your buck is a Peso.....yes, exchange your bucks for Pesos while in Mexico (your bank will typically beat you up with their exchange rate)....if all you have is dollars, most every merchant will accept them, especially in cruise ports...and if the merchant offers you only 10-1...then haggle...it is expected! Anyone that is not prepared to haggle a bit on purchases probably should expect a 10-1 exchange rate anyway.

 

OP, have a great trip, the MR is a lot of fun!

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RonPaula:

 

After a few minutes of thought, I feel that I should also add..

If you are expecting to make any large purchases, you will be much better off if you exchange your dollars into Pesos. With the new Mexican currency laws, even the Costco store in Cabo will only accept one $100us bill per purchase.

If you are only going to shop for nic-nacs, buy lunch, and have few beers, dollars should be fine...always use small bills though. If a vendor wants $5us for something, and you bargain him down to $3, it might be a bit awkward to pay them with a fiver.

If all you have are large bills, then go to the ship's Purser before leaving the ship. We typically travel with hundred dollar bills, but ther purser is happy to trade a hundred dolllar bill for 100 ones!

 

Again, have a great time. You will love the MR.

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We are not sure why such a simple question generates such emotion. So lets deal with this in an unemotional way. We live in Mexico for 2 months a year so have a pretty good idea of what works. It is true that up until recent times (this past September) it was generally easy to spend US dollars in most Mexican ports. It is also true that most of the time you would spend dollars you would get a lousy exchange rate. But recently the government of Mexico enacted a new law designed to prevent the drug cartels from laundering money. This now makes it very difficult to exchange large amount of dollars for Pesos...which means that businesses that accept dollars may have a tough time exchanging those dollars for pesos. Hence, many businesses will no longer accept US dollars and those that do accept dollars will often give you an even worse exchange rate than in the past. It would be typical for a taxi or business to give you 10 pesos per dollar when the current rate is more than 12 to 1. So if you insist on using dollars you may be OK, but you will generally pay about 20% extra on most transactions. The wiser course is to simply get some Pesos...and the best way to get Pesos is at an ATM machine. We do hope you all enjoy Mexico as much as we do (we love the country) and do not blame the vendors and businesses for not wanting dollars. They are simply reacting to their new government policy. The truth of the matter is that there is no more reason for Mexican vendors to accept dollars than for a US vendor to accept Pesos.

 

Hank

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We are not sure why such a simple question generates such emotion. So lets deal with this in an unemotional way. We live in Mexico for 2 months a year so have a pretty good idea of what works. It is true that up until recent times (this past September) it was generally easy to spend US dollars in most Mexican ports. It is also true that most of the time you would spend dollars you would get a lousy exchange rate. But recently the government of Mexico enacted a new law designed to prevent the drug cartels from laundering money. This now makes it very difficult to exchange large amount of dollars for Pesos...which means that businesses that accept dollars may have a tough time exchanging those dollars for pesos. Hence, many businesses will no longer accept US dollars and those that do accept dollars will often give you an even worse exchange rate than in the past. It would be typical for a taxi or business to give you 10 pesos per dollar when the current rate is more than 12 to 1. So if you insist on using dollars you may be OK, but you will generally pay about 20% extra on most transactions. The wiser course is to simply get some Pesos...and the best way to get Pesos is at an ATM machine. We do hope you all enjoy Mexico as much as we do (we love the country) and do not blame the vendors and businesses for not wanting dollars. They are simply reacting to their new government policy. The truth of the matter is that there is no more reason for Mexican vendors to accept dollars than for a US vendor to accept Pesos.

 

Hank

 

I totally agree with Hank. Much better to bring Pesos, plen ty of ATM;s to get them. Last winter it was no problem to pay with US$, this winter it is much more difficult. Donot forget those vendors have to go to the bank to exchange those US$ in their sparetime and they have to pay costs for that.

Costco (and probably Walmart too) donot accept more then US$ 100.- in one buy.

Accepting US$ is a favour, not a fact.

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We'll be in PV next month, going to Krystals for the 75-min massage for 2 for $95usd total. I asked them if they preferred USD or Pesos. They said it doesn't matter to them. The cost using Pesos is $1250. Looks to me like USD is a better deal in this case. The online calculator I'm using said the $1250 converts to $100.41usd.

 

I do plan on getting some pesos, though. Since PV is our first stop, that's probably the best place to get the pesos, if we don't get them before we leave. How plentiful are the ATMs? We plan on spending time shopping in the Malecon area after Krystal.

 

Anyone know if Princess will convert Pesos to USD?

 

Thanks.

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We'll be in PV next month, going to Krystals for the 75-min massage for 2 for $95usd total. I asked them if they preferred USD or Pesos. They said it doesn't matter to them. The cost using Pesos is $1250. Looks to me like USD is a better deal in this case. The online calculator I'm using said the $1250 converts to $100.41usd.

 

I do plan on getting some pesos, though. Since PV is our first stop, that's probably the best place to get the pesos, if we don't get them before we leave. How plentiful are the ATMs? We plan on spending time shopping in the Malecon area after Krystal.

 

Anyone know if Princess will convert Pesos to USD?

 

Thanks.

ATMS are located everywhere :) Princess will gorge you with their exchange rate

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... I do plan on getting some pesos, though. Since PV is our first stop, that's probably the best place to get the pesos, if we don't get them before we leave. How plentiful are the ATMs? We plan on spending time shopping in the Malecon area after Krystal.

 

Anyone know if Princess will convert Pesos to USD?

 

Thanks.

 

I don't believe Princess offers currency exchange services aboard ship. If they do, be certain that they will rip you off on the exchange rate. You will find an ATM right at the port and I know there is one inside the Soriana grocery store which is located between the port and Krystal on the main road. Map - http://vallartainfo.com/hotelzone.html

 

If you are concerned about having pesos left over at the end of the cruise, just plan ahead. Have a rough idea what the exchange rate is (12.42 pesos = 1 USD today). Have a rough idea what you plan on spending at any given port and don't get a whole lot more than that from the ATM. [Three cheap t-shirts will run roughly $10 USD before you start to bargain. One quality polo shirt with double-stitched seems and embroidered logo will run $20 USD. You get what you are willing to pay for.]

 

The ATM's will be in Spanish but they have the same look `n feel as the ATM's at home. The screens look just the same. The "How much do you want screen?" will have pre-defined amounts in pesos ... 500, 1000, 1500, and so on just like at home. Like home, there may or may not be a terminal fee. This usually runs 20 pesos and under. Most terminals will have a 3,000 pesos transaction limit with a few that will spit out as much as 5,000.

 

I don't know what you are shopping for, don't know your onshore eating/drinking habits or any other budget constraints you might have. I would guess that 3,000 pesos (just under $250 USD) should get you through Vallarta and maybe Mazatlan. By that point you will have a rough idea what things cost in the Mexican ports and be able to decide if you need more in Cabo or not.

 

Enjoy!

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