The national currency is the Mexican Peso (MXN), however US Dollars (USD) are also widely accepted in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

If you pay for a purchase in US Dollars, your change will be in Pesos.  Many businesses set their own exchange rate and it is rarely to the advantage of the customer.  It is best to pay in Pesos, if you wish to get the best value for your money.  (Travel note:  US coins are useless in Mexico so only bring paper money.)

There are money exchange houses (Casa de Cambio) in the airport, around town, and also in many hotels.  You can also exchange money at your hotel’s front desk.  This will probably be the most convenient place for you to exchange money, but their exchange rates are not usually the best.  Money exchange houses and hotels will exchange many currencies…not just US Dollars.

Travel Tip:  If you want to have some Pesos on hand when you leave the hotel, change a small amount of money in the hotel and then shop around for the best exchange rate while you are our shopping, or sightseeing.


In restaurants, the gratuity is NOT included into the price of the bill (although for groups, some places will add the tip into the check total).  The customary tip is 10-15% of the check total.

You do not need to tip taxi drivers in Mexico.  The price you negociate is the price you pay, however tips are usually appreciated.

If you visit a supermarket in Mexico, be sure to tip the person bagging your groceries.  5 pesos is usually sufficient, unless you have many items.  If you take a taxi from the supermarket, there is often a person there to load your purchases into the car.  It is also customary to tip that person a few pesos.

To be prepared for tipping, it’s a good idea to bring a supply of small bills in US/Canadian Dollars for tipping, or exchange money and get Pesos in small denominations.


As in other countries, you should use caution and common sense when making purchases with credit cards in Mexico.  Identity theft is something you should always be aware of while traveling, as well as while shopping in your hometown.

Many businesses in Cancun require you to show a photo ID when using a credit card.  It is for your protection, of course.  To avoid any inconvenience, be sure to carry a photo ID when shopping, or if you plan to pay by credit card while at any of Cancun’s nightclubs.  (Travel Note:  It is ALWAYS a good idea to carry a photo ID while traveling.)


There are many currency converters online, but these are two very popular converters:

Oanda Currency Converter

XE Currency Converter