Your home currency is easily exchanged in the Lakeside area. A
variety of money exchange options are available such as:
The tabs below explain your various options for exchanging you currency into Mexican Pesos.
home currency is easily exchanged throughout the Lakeside area. A
variety of money exchange options are available such as: banks, ATMs and
casas de cambio (money exchange houses).
Your best bet is to use your home bank
debit card at an ATM and receive pesos to pay for your shopping, dining
out and other purchases, because you will receive the current exchange
rate rather than the arbitrary proprietor's rate. All the typical
precautions should be taken. Airports and Hotels typically offer the
worst exchange rates and should therefore be avoided.
The exchange rates vary hourly as well as
daily on the World Exchange. The rates fluctuate constantly, and while
this is not normally an issue, it can be quite confusing to some
There are money exchange houses or booths, called casas de cambio, located throughout the Lakeside area. Just look for the sign, along with the exchange rates posted. Casas de cambio
do not charge a fee or commission. They will exchange mostly from U.S.
and Canadian Dollars into Pesos, although, some will also exchange
Euros. They will also exchange travelers’ checks.
some people will accept U.S. dollars at Lakeside, the official currency
in Mexico is pesos. (Canadian dollars, and other currencies, are more
difficult to exchange, so we recommend you bring U.S. Travelers Checks
There are several "Casas de Cambio" (money exchange houses) where you can exchange foreign currency. You can find some Casas de Cambio in Ajijic, there are also some in Guadalajara. In the Casa de Cambio you will be able to exchange your American or Canadian Dollars to Mexican Pesos. Quite often the Casas de Cambio
will offer a better exchange rate than the banks. Some even offer check
cashing facilities but you will need to establish an account and
provide references – usually local people with established accounts.
We recommend that you change $50 to $100
dollars to pesos (small denominations as large denominations are
difficult for the small shops to change) before you come so you’ll have
some peso change to work with.
If you continue to maintain a U.S. or
Canadian bank account, you will be able to use your universal bank card
at most of the ATMs in Mexico, as well as your major credit cards to
take out cash advances.
On our Focus on Mexico Program you will
learn the very best way to bring large amounts of cash to Mexico and
convert into pesos at the best possible rate, potentially saving you
thousands of dollars in exchange. If you are buying a home in Mexico,
you may be surprised and pleased to learn that most houses in the Lake
Chapala area that are for sale are in U.S. Dollars so it’s not necessary
to change to pesos (although you have the right to do so if you wish).
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official currency of Mexico is the Mexican Peso. Each peso,
represented by the “$” symbol is worth 100 centavos, with the centavos
being represented by the symbol "¢". Mexican peso coins are round and
the 1, 2 and 5 coins have a golden/bronze center circle with a picture
of the Mexican Coat of Arms (Eagle) in the middle with the outside
surrounding being of silver color. (The larger coins look somewhat like
the Canadian loonie).
For easy calculation to know how much you
are spending, just imagine every dollar to be worth $10 pesos (so a
$200 peso item will cost you approximately $20 dollars).
Universal Currency Converter - http://www.xe.com/.
Mexican coins can be found in denominations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent
(centavo) pieces. The larger peso coins are worth 1, 5, 10 and 20
pesos. The size of the peso coins reflects its hierarchy of value.The
Mexican peso bills are printed in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500
and 1000 notes. I will caution you that it may be difficult to change
the $500 and $1000 peso notes. Always carry small bills and change with
you. It is much easier on the small tiendas. When you give them big
bills, it takes all their cash (and maybe some of the next store’s) to
give you change. Try and get your bigger bills cashed at the bigger
stores or banks and have small change on hand for the local tiendas,
street vendors, buses and taxis.The bills are in different colors and
easy to differentiate.In most stores, you will find prices in pesos.
However, be careful if you are in the cities and especially the touristy
areas on the coast – occasionally they price in U.S. dollars.