Current Peso Exchange Rate
The Mexican peso currently exchange fluctuates from day to day. Today’s exchange rate can be seen here:
For other currencies related to the Mexican peso, see here.
Paying in Pesos vs Dollars
When traveling in Baja, it is usually better to pay for goods and services in pesos, rather than in U.S. dollars. Although U.S. dollars will be accepted at most larger businesses from Tijuana to Cabo, the exchange rate when paying in U.S. dollars can be significantly less than the official rate. We especially recommend paying for gas in Pesos at the PEMEX stations as doing the liter/gallon and the peso/dollar conversion can be tricky.
Where to Exchange
Before you cross the border, you can obtain pesos from one of the cambios (exchange houses) located off the Via de San Ysidro exit from I-5 and I-805. Be sure that the cambio does not charge a commission. If you have a Costco membership, you can buy pesos at the Chula Vista Costco located at 1144 Broadway, Chula Vista, CA.
We recommend obtaining pesos from ATM machines (called Cajero Automaticos, Caja Permentes, as well as ATMs) located at banks in most towns along the peninsula. The ATM exchange rate will be the best bank rate for the transaction date. Since there is a service fee charged per transaction by the ATM-affiliated bank (and possibly your bank), it is wise to get a large amount rather than several small amounts. If you travel extensively, you can open up a free checking account with Charles Schwab who will not charge you fees on their end and will reimburse any other fees occurred for taking cash out.
Note that many Mexican banks will not exchange your dollars for pesos unless you have an account with the bank.
For more currency tips, see our article on Getting the Most Peso for your Dollar