Currency Exchange in Mazatlán
These people aren't changing money at this time; They are partying at Joe's Oyster Bar!
General Currency Exchange Information
The Mexican peso is the local currency in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico. You can use pesos anywhere to buy anything. Almost all the shops, restaurants, and hotels in the tourist areas (golden zone, old town, marina) will take US dollars. Most businesses will not take Canadian dollars. Note that most businesses will only accept money that is in perfect shape, i.e. not torn or crumpled. Also, the exchange rate that they will give you will be worse than you can get it you change your money elsewhere.
You can change your US or Canadian money into pesos at a bank, cambio(money exhange), or hotel. Now, you can also use bank machines safely. Plan ahead to make sure you have enough money. If you need to get money at night, use a bank machine which will give you a better rate.
Changing Money at Banks
You usually can get the best exchange rate of dollars to pesos at a bank. There are many banks in the golden zone on Avenida Camaron Sabalo. There is a Banamex just up Avenida Camaron Sabalos from the Panama restaurant in the golden zone. There is also an HSBC bank near the Burger King on Avenida Camaron Sabalo. If you are near the Costa De Oro hotel, there is a Santander Bank across the street. It is widely reported that banks will only exchange money in the morning, however we have changed money in the afternoon.
Changing Money at Cambios (Money Exchanges)
You can also change dollars to pesos at Cambios (Money Exchanges). There used to be many Cambios, but now there are only a few because people are using bank machines more. You can spot a Cambio usually because the exchange rates are posted outside in large numbers. The cambios farther away from the hotels and closer to banks usually give better rates. Be sure to count the money they give you immediately when they give it to you. Occasionally, I have been short-changed.
Changing Money at Hotels
Most large hotels in Mazatlán will change dollars to pesos. However, this is probably the worst place to change your money because they will give you the worst exchange rate! So, we don't recommend you change your money at a hotel.
Using Bank Machines in Mazatlán to get Pesos
Most people use bank machines in Mazatlán now to get pesos. The bank machines are reliable and safe now. You can go even go to a big international bank, e.g. Scotiabank or HSBC, if you wish. The bank machines in Mazatlán dispense pesos! So, remember that you need to enter the number of pesos that you want, not the number of dollars. For example, you would enter 1000 to get 1000 pesos (about US$130). There is usually a service charge of a few dollars to use a mexican bank machine because it is an international transaction, but this is fair. We alway use bank machines exclusively now when we are in Maz. We take out enough pesos for about a week at a time so we don't get hit with too many transaction fees. NOTE: International ATMS only accept 4 digit PINs! If your PIN is more than 4 digits, change it before going to Mexico!