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Exchanging Money in Mexico

Find out about exchange rates and where to change your money

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Close-up of Mexican bank notes
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In September 2010 the Mexican government brought into effect new regulations concerning the exchange of US dollars to pesos. Read about the currency exchange regulations.

The Currency in Mexico
The currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso, sometimes referred to as the "Nuevo Peso," since its introduction on January 1, 1993, after the currency was devalued. The "dollar sign" $ is used to designate pesos, which can be confusing to tourists who may be unsure whether prices are quoted in dollars or pesos (this symbol was actually used in Mexico to designate pesos before it was used in the United States). The code for the Mexican peso is MXN.

See photos of Mexican money: Mexican bills in circulation, and Mexican coins.

Mexican Peso Exchange Rate
The exchange rate of the Mexican peso to the US dollar is at about 12 pesos currently (April 2010). The exchange rate can change at any time. To find out the present exchange rate, you can go to X-Rates.com to see the exchange rate of the Mexican peso to various other currencies.

You can use Yahoo's Currency Converter, or you can use Google as a currency converter. To find out the amount in the currency of your choice, simply type in the Google search box:

(amount) MXN in USD (or EURO, or other currency)

Exchange Money Before Your Trip
It's a good idea to get some Mexican pesos before your arrival in Mexico, if possible (your bank, travel agency or exchange bureau should be able to arrange this for you). Although you won't receive the best rate of exchange, it may save you worries upon your arrival.

Where to Exchange Money in Mexico
You can change money in banks, but it is often more convenient to change currency in a casa de cambio (exhcange bureau). These businesses are open longer hours than banks, usually do not have long line-ups as banks often do, and they offer comparable exchange rates (though banks may offer a slightly better rate). Check around to see where you will receive the best exchange rate (the exchange rate is usually posted prominently outside the bank or casa de cambio.

ATMs in Mexico
Most cities and towns in Mexico have an abundance of ATMs (cash machines), where you can withdraw Mexican pesos directly from your credit card or debit card. This is often the most convenient way of accessing money while traveling - it's safer than carrying cash and the exchange rate offered is usually very competitive. If you're going to be traveling in rural areas or staying in remote villages, be sure to take enough cash with you, as ATMs may be scarce.

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