June 15, 2010 – Mexico has implemented new banking regulations regarding USD currency.

Newly Released Mexican Regulations Imposing Restrictions on Mexican Banks for Transactions in U.S. Currency

Mexican banks can exchange USD currency for non-customers [persons without a valid bank account, i.e.: tourist] but many banks have recently applied restrictions allowing only customers to exchange USD currency to pesos.

Banks are limiting the amount an individual customer can exchange on a monthly basis forcing some Mexican vendors to stop accepting USD. These vendors will only accept payment in pesos.

ATMs dispense pesos.

Money exchange stores [casa de cambio] are still offering USD exchange services. This could change at any time.

Exchange your currency before you leave for Mexico taking Mexican Pesos only with you or be prepared to use ATMs.

Detailed Entry Requirements for visitors to Mexico: Immigration

For detailed information on what you can bring into Mexico see: Customs


It is illegal to take firearms, ammunition or illegal drugs in or out of Mexico.


Playa del Carmen

International departure from Cancun Airport is approximately $50.00 USD. This must be paid in CASH [pesos not USD]. No credit cards or checks are accepted. This tax is usually paid when you purchase your ticket. Check with your travel agent to be sure.

One time, entering Cuba a friend and I were stopped at immigration. There were four of us traveling together. We all purchased our tickets and got our entry cards at the same time, from the same source.

Customs let two of our party into the country but said that my friend’s and my entry card were expired. We said, “how could this be, you let our friends in?” Customs said their visas were okay, ours were not. They were all exactly identical. So we said, “what do we do?” It was 4:00 in the morning. The airport was deserted except for soldiers. The customs guy told us to talk to this guy standing way over there talking to a soldier having a cigarette.

We walked over to the guy who didn’t speak a word of English and showed him our entry cards. He looked at them, took a long drag of his cigarette then said twenty dollars. We said, “what?” He pulled out some entry cards out of his pocket, which were identical to the ones in our hands. He pushed the cards at us and repeated, “twenty dollars”. So we paid him and walked through customs. What a scam. Nothing like this has ever happened to us traveling in or out of Mexico.


The rate of exchange is subject to fluctuation. It is recommended to convert your currency to Mexican Pesos either in your own country or in Mexico. There are currency exchanges in most hotels and towns.

NOTE: The US dollar is accepted in Mexico however unless you are American it is better to use the peso and avoid an extra conversion.


TulumA visitor may enter Mexico with 2 cats or dogs. A letter from a veterinarian stating that they have received a rabies vaccination and a distemper vaccination is required. ONLY cats and dogs are allowed to enter.

NOTE: Although we have not seen this in Mexico “mange” is rampant in Cuba and if you happen to go to Cuba with your pet chances are it will contract mange. Our experience has been that by simply touching an animal infected with mange you can successfully transfer the disease to your pet. In the case of our dog, which contracted mange, it never went away, although with medicated baths it was controllable.


IVA tax is usually already included in the price of an item or service. Like your own country you have to ask if the tax is included in the price.


Hotel tax depends on the state where the hotel is located. Generally it is 16% tax plus 2% lodging tax all over Mexico, with exception of the state Quintana Roo; there the tax is only 10% plus the 2% lodging tax.

Cancun and the Mayan Riviera [Playa del Carmen] are located in the state of Quintana Roo.


Announcement: As of January 14, 2015 Quintana Roo no longer changes time for Daylight Savings.

This includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Cozumel and all other areas in Quintana Roo.

The remaining areas of Mexico span three different time zones:

  • South, Central and Eastern Mexico: GMT – 6 (Central Standard Time). (GMT – 5 from first
    Sunday in April to Saturday before last Sunday in October.)
  • Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa and Baja California Sur: GMT – 7 (Mountain Time). (GMT – 6 from
    first Sunday in April to Saturday before last Sunday in October.)
  • Baja California Norte (Pacific Time):GMT – 8 (GMT – 7 from first Sunday in April to Saturday
    before last Sunday in October).

Most of Mexico observes daylight saving time. Some Maya [in the Chiapas] still use the Maya calendar system.


110 volts/60 cycle is standard. You may need an adapter for some plugs that may not have a 3-pronged plug for the ground.


The country code for Mexico is: 52

When placing calls within Quintana Roo a 9 plus seven additional digits is dialed. Drop the 9 and dial only seven digits when making local calls.


This area of Mexico abounds with wireless internet access in most establishments. Travelers will also have access to internet cafes if needed throughout the region.

NOTE: Don’t be surprised if you do not receive consistent internet at times. It can be slow and intermittent in some locations.

NOTE: ALT 64 gives you the @ on a Mexcian computer keyboard.


Postal rates to the U.S. are 4.20 pesos for postcards and letters. For postcards and letters to Europe the cost is 6 pesos. Rates are subject to change. The cost of sending a letter may vary depending on weight.


Mexico uses a “three tier” medical system, the top tier being comparable to any medical providers in the USA or Canada.

Top tier medical help is available in Cancun.

For more information see:

Safety Tips for travelers [Cancun Medical]
Medical Services in Cancun, Mayan Riviera
Montezuma’s Revenge – Getting Sick
Medical Tourism in Mexico