Can I Use U.S. Dollars in Cabo San Lucas?

Can I Use U.S. Dollars in Cabo San Lucas?

It is well known that the Mexican Peso (MXN) is the official currency of Mexico. That does not mean, however, that you can only pay with Pesos while you are in Cabo San Lucas. Cabo, as well as other popular tourist areas in Mexico will accept U.S. Dollars (USD) as a convenience.

Many tourist attractions, shops, restaurants and other establishments accept U.S. Dollars and major credit cards. Many places in Cabo San Lucas, especially in the main area of the city, list their prices in Dollars. This is convenient for many Americans visiting or living in Cabo.

As far as credit cards are concerned, let your credit card company know before you leave for Los Cabos where you will be going and for how long. You can use your credit card to pay in Dollars or Pesos.

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Where can you exchange money in Cabo?

Banks are one option for exchanging Dollars for Pesos. Although, you can only do so between 9am and 1pm. Traveler’s checks may have a lower rate when exchanged. And you can usually expect there to be no charge for commission on money exchanges.

Casa de Cambios (money exchange houses) are also open long hours and offer a fast service. Money exchangers offer lower rates than banks or ATMs in order to earn their commission. One of the best places to use an exchange house is at the airport when you arrive.

Exchanging your money at your hotel or villa is also an option. Although, they offer the lowest exchange rates so only use this option as a final resort. The best exchange rates are at an ATM, an exchange house, or by using your credit card. Banks will always offer the best rates.

Cabo San Lucas is a popular tourist destination, and although dollars are widely accepted in many resorts, we recommend that you use pesos. Before leaving home, make sure to exchange some US dollars for pesos to have on you for your cab fare or tipping.

exchanging us dollars for mexican pesos

Dollar and Peso exchange rates?

Although many places accept Dollars, you will not get the best rates.

The best exchange rate is obtained by using your credit cards, banks, or ATMs. It is a good idea to withdraw cash at an ATM as soon as you arrive in Los Cabos.

Short-changing is very common

The exchange rates can vary widely from one place to another. Tourists are often shortchanged in Cabo and other places around the world. This happens when they pay in US Dollars and receive Pesos for change. Ask for Dollars as change when you pay for goods or services in Dollars.

Mexican gas stations are notorious for short-changing tourists. Most of the time, they don’t even accept credit cards. You won’t get change in dollars if you pay in dollars for services or gas. We recommend you pay in pesos to avoid this problem.


While the Mexican Peso is the official currency of Mexico, retirees and tourists visiting Cabo San Lucas can enjoy the convenience of using U.S. Dollars in many establishments throughout the city. From dining and shopping to tourist attractions, Dollars are widely accepted, making it easier for American tourists to navigate their expenses. However, to ensure the best value and avoid potential issues like being shortchanged, it’s advisable to use pesos when possible or opt for credit card payments, which offer favorable exchange rates.

Before traveling, exchanging some dollars for pesos for small transactions like cab fares or tipping can enhance your travel experience. Remember, being informed about the local currency practices and choosing the most advantageous method of payment can make your stay in Cabo San Lucas both enjoyable and economical.

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