Our money tips when you visit Puerto Vallarta
You got to have money in some form – Pesos or credit cards will work best. U.S. dollars are accepted at many places, but you will not get a very good exchange rate – so it’s in your best interest to bring the local currency for Mexico, which is the Peso.
Many U.S. banks will prepare foreign currency for you at great exchange rates, but you typically must order it so plan for that about two weeks before your trip. If you forget, don’t worry. You can take money from a variety of ATMs located throughout the city. It has been our staff experience that you’ll get a better exchange rate with an ATM than with the money exchanges. Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted – but be careful – unless you have a card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee, those fees add up quickly!
Speaking of ATMS…. Puerto Vallarta has many banking ATM machines where your bankcard will work. But, just like in the U.S., watch for skimming and cloning.
How much should you bring? Things in Puerto Vallarta generally costs less than they do in the U.S. or Canada, but again, that’s all based on personal preference and taste. We would suggest generally to prepare to spend $50 to $100 USD per day on your trip for massages, food, tours and drinks.
We would suggest that you tip like you would in the U.S. or Canada – 15 to 20 percent in pesos. Some websites suggest tipping taxi drivers only if they help with your bags. Just remember the average daily wage in Mexico is very low, and the minimum daily wage is about 80 pesos. So your tip dollars are always appreciated by the locals.
Mexico has what is called an IVA (Impuesto al Valor Agregado [Value-Added Tax]), which is a federal sales tax in Mexico. It is currently a whopping 16%, and this tax is usually included in prices at stores and restaurants. Hotels may add this tax, and an additional 2% municipal room tax, onto your room price.
Cost of Items –
This is a very general list, and as you can expect, prices vary widely but here are some typically prices our staff have experienced in Mexico:
Cocktail drink – $80 pesos
Beer – $30 pesos
Dinner for two – $400 pesos
Haircut – $100 pesos
Massage – a 60-minute massage can vary from $400 to $800 pesos. You can barter on the price with many of the places.
Taxi – Rates vary by Zone – to go from the Airport to the Zona Romantica, Taxi Zone 2, it will cost about $344 pesos. Be sure to ask the price before you get in the cab. You can purchase a “ticket” for the white taxi in the airport
The Airport taxi rates are especially high when you consider the rates you can get if you step out of the Federal Airport zone. You can get a cheaper rate, if it’s worth the hassle, by leaving the airport. White taxis service inside the airport, and yellow taxis service outside.
Uber – Uber service is available but not at the airport. Do an internet search or check the Uber app for the latest info on this service.