Money and Currency Exchange Basics
Your home currency is easily exchanged throughout Puerto Vallarta. A variety of money exchange options are available such as: banks, ATM's, American Express Offices, and casa de cambios/money exchange houses.
The National Currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso. To compare your home currency and the Mexican Peso, please visit the Currency Converter
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. 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 travelers.
One of the worst things you can do is "double exchange" such as converting Canadian Dollars first into US Dollars and then into pesos. You’ll end up paying an exchange fee for each transaction up to double what you’d normally pay. It is also not recommended to exchange your currency into pesos at a bank in your home country as you will be charged higher fees and likely receive a less generous exchange rate.
At the airport, you have many choices for exchanging money. There is a bank to the left of the customs exit line, with normal banking hours, there is also an ATM machine, and a casa de cambio on the left. The airport casa de cambios hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. If you arrive later, the ATM machine to the left is open 24 hours a day. Both the bank and cambios exchange U.S. Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euros and a few other types of currency. You cannot exchange any foreign coins for pesos.
There are money exchange houses or booths, called casa de cambios, located throughout Vallarta. Just look for the sign, along with the exchange rates posted. Casas de cambio claim not to charge a fee or commission, however they make it up with a steeper exchange rate. They will exchange from US and Canadian Dollars into Pesos, although, some will also exchange Euros. They will also exchange travelers’ checks.
To cash a travelers’ check, you will need government issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or a passport. Often, your best exchange rate for buying pesos is at the airport bank and casa de cambios in Puerto Vallarta. This is also happens to be one of the worst places to sell your pesos back into another currency.
Casas de Cambio