We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Money Management Question

southern CA
Level Contributor
51 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Money Management Question

I am driving to Tulum and staying at The Beach hotel for 4 nights. I am going to do a few dinners out there: Ziggys, Las Estrellas, maybe Harwick (sp?).... For convenience, If I can pay Credit Card I will. Anyhow, lunches may be out and about, maybe some taco stands, etc... so I know I will need cash/pesos to burn along the way.

If you were me how much US cash would you bring? or how much peso should I get? Where do you recommend I get pesos? Can I get pesos here in the US first and just take them? Is it safe to carry a decent amount of pesos on hand or do you recommend smaller withdrawals at ATMs along the way? Kind of clueless about money and exchanging etc... so thanks fro the advice.

rincon de...
Destination Expert
for Rincon de Guayabitos
Level Contributor
3,826 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Money Management Question

Are you driving from SoCal? Solo? What border crossing?

Most all gas stations and toll booths do not take credit cards or US dollars,

I always have about 100 USD in small denominations of pesos when crossing the border and then use ATM's for the rest of my time in Mexico.

I do not feel comfortable carrying large sums of cash when traveling ....

Edited: 28 June 2014, 15:27
Portland, OR
Level Contributor
176 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Money Management Question

So you are driving from California to Tulum? That alone is about 3000 pesos in tolls, not including the Aduana. http://aplicaciones4.sct.gob.mx/sibuac_internet/ControllerUI;jsessionid=v4DQTYpTJYc5XcxkZfSBDJhNJ2BCGGHsLQxqBGkBzvn5lBCXGr0Z!-884562420!73024437?action=cmdEscogeRuta

The currency in Mexico is the Peso, it's best to stick with it. You always lose money on the exchange when using USD & it's simply a hassle for the recipients to exchange the USD you give them into the Peso they need. Call your bank, tell them you will be in Mexico, make sure you have a 4 digit PIN & use the 'bank' ATMS at banks or in the major grocery stores. D0 not use the cheap standalone independent/generic ATMS, highly likely there is a skimmer, just like in the states.

Even if a gas station takes Ccards, best not to use them there…Cash is king.

Vancouver
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
Level Contributor
42,315 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Money Management Question

Assume driving from Cancun airport

I always get about 3000-5000 pesos at home - try a bank / exchange house that gives about 12-2 or higher rate. Places in the Tulum Pueblo give about 12.2-12.3 rate for US$ (count your money careful as they do short change you at some places)

Then goto the Chedraui in Tulum and use their ATMs and withdraw as I need more - you should get a rate of about 12.7

Puerto Varas, Chile
Level Contributor
473 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Money Management Question

so banks give better rates at the ATM,

are there plenty of bank atms in Tulum ( pardon the ignorance)

Vancouver
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
Level Contributor
42,315 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Money Management Question

quote: so banks give better rates at the ATM,

No, ATMs are safer not to be tampered with at Banks and inside large super markets

ATM rates are set internationally

San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
364 posts
261 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Money Management Question

Just spent a bit over 2 weeks in Mexico, driving, winding up for four days in Tulum. Brought $100 in USD and never used it. Took out $ at the airport ATM, and then at ATM's after that; I tried to stick with ATM's at banks. This gave me the best exchange rate throughout Mexico. I never even used my credit card. Change large bills at markets. In Tulum, zero problem changing large bills since most in the hotel zone is about US prices. In town, off the main strip, things are less costly.

Tulum hotel zone can be hard to find an ATM, but I think there's one at the super Che up the road, and there's a Scotiabank just at the turn into town. Many mini marts like OXXO have ATM's too. Works fine. No trouble, unlike in some countries where I've traveled.

Mexico is a cash economy. Even at places that take CC, the machines are not infrequently down.

southern CA
Level Contributor
51 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Money Management Question

Thanks- I left out I am driving from the airport to the Bahia Principe Akumal for 4 nights then from there to Tulum for 4 nights. These ideas were very helpful- thanks.

San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
15,440 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Money Management Question

Since you will have a car, you can easily go into town to get pesos from a bank ATM. ATMs will give you the best rate and with ATMS affiliated with a bank (not stand alone ATMS at a store) you'll pay a reasonable fee for using the ATM (usually about 30 pesos) and have much less chance of fraud.

southern CA
Level Contributor
51 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Money Management Question

So bank ATMs make sense. I wonder where I can find ahead of time a bank ATM(s) in Tulum? I figure I will take the advice of the thread and get 100 in pesos at the airport and then while in Tulum hit a bank ATM for more as needed. Just would be nice to know where reliable Bank ATMS are in TULUM. This may sound really stupid, but will it be obvious if the ATM is a bank ATM for this gringo who does not speak or read Spanish?

Southern California
Level Contributor
13,067 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Money Management Question

There are bank ATMs inside both San Francisco and Chedraui supermarkets, there is also a bank (with an ATM) in the shopping center where San Francisco is as well as the HSBC in town. I am sure there are others, those are the ones I know of. Common banks in Mexico are Santandar, Bancomer, Banamex and others.