The Currency in Costalegre is the New Mexican Peso (M.N.) with the following denominations.
Pesos: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 (20 taken out of circulation)
Centavos: 10, 20, 50 (100 Centavos equals 1 peso)
Pesos: 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000
Approximate Buying Power
• Cup of coffee - 15 pesos
• Bottle of beer - 20 pesos
• Breakfast fruit plate - 40 pesos
• Full course chicken dinner - 90 pesos
• Three large quesadillas - 50 pesos
• Moderate hotel room - 800 pesos
Purchase about 500 peso's in cash before you leave home. You normally have to order them ahead of time from your bank. It is nice to land in Mexico with some cash for meals, bus fare, taxi, without immediately searching out a bank or a money exchange house casa de Cambio. It is also good to familiarize yourself with Mexican currency before you arrive.
Travelers checks are the safest way to carry money, and are accepted at most banks and casas de cambios with-in Mexico at good exchange rates. Denominations of $100 Canadian are recommended. Depending on your spending habits, you should bring a minimum of a minimum of $500 per/week visit. This amount combined with a Bank Debit Card and a Credit Card should suffice. If you don't spend all your travelers checks in Mexico, you can cash them when you get home.
Most banks will give you cash advances on major credit cards, or you can use them at the ATM machines if you have a pin number authorized before you leave home. Don't take extra credit cards, in case you loose your wallet.
Interac bank cards give excellent exchange rates and work at most ATM machines. Make sure you have funds in your account before you leave home. If you have a personal line of credit established with your bank, you will not have to worry if you happen make too many purchases.
When the Mexican ATM machine asks you how many dollars you want, make sure you enter peso amounts. The ATM's only output peso's! ATM machines are sometimes closed because they run out of money or the machine malfunctions.
Banking hours are similar to home - 9am till 3pm. Closed Sundays and all national holidays. Banks usually only accept travelers checks in the morning, and there is an exchange limit of about 3000 peso's per day. This amount should not be a problem for most of us. They are usually very busy on Monday mornings and the day after a holiday. Try not to make Monday your regular banking day.
Note: Do not accept Mexican bills that are either torn or written on. For some reason many stores will not except them. If you mistakenly receive defaced bills, the banks will exchange them for you.
When visiting another country it is appropriate and courteous to use that country's currency, so don't bring any foreign cash money with you! Take the time to learn the Mexican Peso money system. You will not be taken advantage of if you know and understand the currency.
Try not to carry large quantities of cash on your person, and never show large bills or count your money in public areas. Estimate how much money you will be spending each day and put that much in your wallet/fanny pack. Keep your main money stash in a money belt or security pocket under your clothes. If in the unlikely chance you are robbed you can hand over your wallet without leaving yourself cash stranded. If you like to have large sums of money readily available, keep the better portion of it in the hotels safe. Never tell strangers of your travel plans, how much money you are carrying or where you keep it on your person.
• Changing currency in Costalegre is an easy task! •