Mexico Spending Money Guide: How Much To Bring? (2023)

You’ve probably heard that Mexico is a great budget friendly place to travel. With a conversion rate of $1 USD to roughly $20 MXN (Mexican peso), you’d assume your money can last you quite a long way. And, it’s true to a certain extent! We’ve gone through the data and surveyed the top 3 popular Mexican destinations to figure out how much money you’ll need on your Mexico trip.

So, how much spending money should I bring to Mexico?

On a mid-range budget, you should expect to spend $110 USD ($2200 MXN) per person daily. This accounts for 3 meals a day, transportation fare, and one activity per day(tours, attractions,etc.). Add $10 USD ($200 MXN) if planning to drink alcohol. This does not include lodging or airfare.

Read on to get a breakdown of the costs and to see the difference between a budget friendly trip, mid-range budget, and a luxury budget.

Average Daily Spend Per Person
Budget Friendly (Cheap)$33 USD ($660 MXN)
Mid-range$110 USD ($2200 MXN)
Luxury (High End)$710 USD ($14,200 MXN)

Currency Exchange Rate

As of April 2020, $1 USD is equal to $23 Mexican pesos (MXN). This can fluctuate week by week so a good rule of thumb is that $20 Mexican pesos is equal to $1 US dollar. It’s not exactly perfect, but it can be a quick reference point to help you estimate budget and expenses. To get an accurate exchange rate for today you can visit

Budget Friendly (Cheap)Mid-range BudgetsLuxury (High End) Budgets

Budget Friendly (Cheap)

Average Daily Spend Per Person$33 USD ($660 MXN)
Food (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)$15 USD ($300 MXN)
Transportation$3 USD ($60 MXN)
Attractions & Entertainment$15 USD ($300 MXN)

In this budget bracket we’re trying to keep things as budget friendly as possible. While $33 USD ($660 MXN) might seem like a lot for a trip to Mexico, I would consider this to be the top end for a budget friendly trip. If paid attractions and entertainment is not as important to you, you can get get by with $20 USD ($400 MXN) a day.


Mexico is great for budget friendly eats. Even in the tourist areas it shouldn’t be much of a problem finding cheap meals without sacrificing taste. In fact, some of the most flavorful food can be found in cheap hole-in-the-wall type restaurants. Here are a couple of examples to get an idea of the price range:

  • The Surfin Burrito in Cancún: Located in the hotel zone, this eatery serves standard Mexican cuisine and was also featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri.
    • A chicken burrito goes for $4.50 USD ($90 MXN) and a sirloin burger goes for $5.50 USD ($110 MXN).
    • Beer is priced at $1.75 USD ($35 MXN) and a piña colada is $5.45 USD ($109 MXN).
  • Pancho’s Takos in Puerto Vallarta: Featured by Thrillist and known for their killer quesadillas, this restaurant is absolutely worth the long lines.
    • One taco al pastor goes for $0.85 USD ($17 MXN) and a quesadilla goes for $1.90 USD ($38 MXN).
    • Beer is priced at $1.65 USD ($33 MXN) and a margarita is $3.50 USD ($70 MXN).


If vacationing in Cancún or Puerto Vallarta, you’ll find that public transportation is cheap and an easy way to get around. Buses run regularly and operate in both the hotel zone and downtown area. Typical bus fare is $0.75 USD ($15 MXN) one way.

Additionally, some of the larger hotel chains provide scheduled shuttle services around town and to local popular attractions. This is a free service and may be worth checking out.

If staying outside of the top tourist spots, public transportation is still a viable option but you’ll find the bus system to be less extensive and less frequent.

Attractions & Entertainment

Depending on which part of Mexico you are vacationing, cheap local attractions and entertainment can cost anywhere from $3-$15 USD ($60-$300 MXN). You likely won’t be able to attend all attractions on this budget, but you won’t be scraping the bottom of the barrel either.

  • Tulum Mayan Ruins: Tulum is considered by many the most beautiful of the Mayan ruins around Cancún. The ruins are situated on cliffs overlooking the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea. Admission into the ruins costs $4 USD ($80 MXN) per person.
  • Arena México in Mexico City: Home of the iconic Lucha Libre. It’s part comedy show and part high flying athletics disguised as professional wrestling. One of the must-sees if visiting Mexico City. Tickets go for $2.50-$6.50 USD ($50-$130 MXN).
    • Note: Make sure you buy your tickets from the box office itself as that’s where you’ll find the cheapest price. Tickets can also be found on Ticketmaster, but are much more expensive.

Mid-range Budgets

Average Daily Spend Per Person$110 USD ($2200 MXN)
Food (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)$45 USD ($900 MXN)
Transportation$15 USD ($300 MXN)
Attractions & Entertainment$50 USD ($1000 MXN)

Mid-range budgets have more leeway in what they can do, where they can eat, and just more freedom in general. Though Mexico is fairly budget friendly overall, you’ll find that the tourist spots are similarly priced to other tourist spots around the world.

$180 USD ($3600 MXN) a day is what I would feel comfortable bringing without having to worry about bargain hunting when looking for a meal or going on a tour. Of course, this price can be reduced further if you don’t plan on going to an attraction or tour every day of your trip.


If you’re spending most of your time in the hotel zones and tourist traps, you’ll likely find that most restaurants are priced above average and catered towards vacationers. This is typical of course, and fairly expected. On a mid-range budget, these are the prices your should expect to see:

  • El Fish Fritanga in Cancún: Situated right on the beach, the views and the dishes both dazzle. This restaurant serves fresh seafood and Mexican fare. It also received the stamp of approval from Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
    • A skirt steak fajita plate goes for $15.50 USD ($310 MXN) and a fettuccine with salmon goes for $11.75 USD ($235 MXN).
    • A mojito goes for $3.75 USD ($75 MXN) and a martini goes for $4.25 USD ($85 MXN).
  • Captain Tony’s in Cabo San Lucas: Rated one of the top 10 restaurants and located in the midst of the hotel zone, Captain Tony’s serves delectable Mexican cuisine and seafood.
    • Beef fajitas are priced at $14.25 USD ($285 MXN) and a “Grand Slam” burger goes for $15.75 ($315 MXN).
    • A bottle of beer goes for $2.75 USD ($55 MXN) and a margarita is priced at $6 USD ($120 MXN).


On a mid-range budget, there are more transportation options available to you. It should be noted though, public transportation and free shuttles from your hotel are great ways to get around(and cheap!). The only issue is the wait time and the scheduled routes. What if you want to leave right now? Well, here are some options at the cost of a little bit more money.


Taxis are plentiful and a common form of travel. They’re also more on the cheaper side compared to other economically developed countries. Standard fare for traveling around the hotel zone is $2.50-$3.50 USD ($50-$70 MXN) one way. If traveling from the hotel zone to downtown it can go upwards of $10 USD ($200 MXN) one way.

Note: Don’t use a airport taxi for your airport transfer as they are vastly overpriced and can go up to 3 times the usual amount.


Uber is another great option and is actually considered to be the preferred method of travel for locals and tourists alike. With the Uber platform, you’ll know exactly what type of car they drive, their driver rating, and best of all, the exact cost of your trip. Getting around town will typically cost $3 USD ($60 MXN) and under.

Check out Uber’s price estimator for exact costs. Also note, Uber operates in most of Mexico’s largest cities, but not all. For instance, as of April 2020 Cabo San Lucas has yet to add Uber as a transportation option.

Car Rentals

And lastly, Rent-A-Car’s. They give you a lot of freedom, but also come with a lot of risk. You can easily find a quote online or over the phone for $5 USD ($100 MXN) a day for a sedan, but once you arrive to check out, you’ll find that the cost is actually much higher. With the added fees plus insurance, the cost of a rental will amount to over $25 USD ($500 MXN) a day, and I’ve even seen it go upwards of $45 USD ($900 MXN).

There’s also been reports of police pulling tourists over on bogus charges to extort cash. This happens quite often on the highway from Cancun to Tulum due to numerous checkpoints along the way. This doesn’t happen to everyone of course, but it’s happened enough that it is a definite concern.

Overall, it’s recommended you thoroughly research your car rental options before deciding. Not everyone has a poor experience, but when you’re on vacation, is it something you really want to be worrying about? With other great transportation options available, renting a car should be a last resort.

Attractions & Entertainment

On a mid-range budget, you’ll find that a majority of the tours and activities are in your price range. Most hover in the $50-$70 USD ($1000-$1400 MXN) price range while some of the lengthier and more involved tours are at the $100 USD ($2000 MXN) price range.

  • Isla Mujeres Catamaran Regular Sailing Tour: This sailing tour takes you from Cancun to Isla Mujeres where you’ll stop to swim and snorkel at a reef and have lunch on a private beach. This is priced at $60 USD ($1200 MXN) per adult.
  • Exclusive Early Access to Chichen Itza from Cancún: Get a morning tour of Chichen Itza without the crowds, the heat, and the humidity! Oh, and your tour guide is a private archaeologist. This tour is priced at $47 USD ($940 MXN) per adult.

Luxury (High-End) Budgets

Average Daily Spend Per Person$710 USD ($14,200 MXN)
Food (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)$160 USD ($3200 MXN)
Transportation (public transportation)$250 USD ($5000 MXN)
Attractions & Entertainment$300 USD ($6000 MXN)

Luxury (High-End) Budgets are reserved for those vacationers that want to experience the very best that Mexico has to offer with little regard to money. Fine dining everyday? Private car service everywhere you go? If that sounds like your style of vacation then read on to get an idea of what type of money you’ll be spending.


In the hotel zones is where you’re likely to find the high end restaurants, with some of them actually being a part of the hotel. The prices are similar to what you would find in the United States at other high-end restaurants.

  • Rosa Negra Cancún: A tribute to Latin American cuisine, Rosa Negra serves gastronomic traditions from countries such as Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and, of course, Mexico. You’ll also find high grade meats here such as Kobe and Wagyu beef.
    • A 15 oz Ribeye goes for $46.50 USD ($930 MXN) and A5 Wagyu Beef goes for $106 USD ($2120 MXN).
  • Café des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta: Considered by locals to be the “fanciest restaurant in Puerto Vallarta”, Café des Artistes serves French cuisine with Mexican inspiration.
    • A 6 course tasting menu goes for $70 USD ($1390 MXN) per person or you can add a wine pairing with your dishes for $115 USD ($2290 MXN).


At this budget level, where cost is given little thought, private chauffeured vehicles is the way to go. Having someone wait on you or being able to ride off within a moment’s notice is the very definition of luxury.

You can expect to pay $250-$350 USD ($5000-$7000 MXN) a day for a private car service. Most transportation companies offer a private car service even though it may not be indicated on their website. Calling or emailing them directly is the best way to set up chauffeured transportation.

Attractions & Entertainment

Most tours, activities, and attractions in Mexico fall into the mid-range budget price bracket, but there definitely are luxury options available. They mostly involve exclusive private trips and private charters.

  • Private Luxury Yacht & Snorkel in Puerto Vallarta: Take in the scenic Puerto Vallarta coastline in your own private yacht with your own handpicked group. Go at your own pace and enjoy the open bar on deck. Price is at $3570 USD ($71,400 MXN) per group.
  • Full-Day La Paz Private Tour from Los Cabos: Travel in a luxury vehicle to La Paz to experience the beaches, seafood restaurants, and a seashore promenade know as the Malecón. You’ll have a bilingual guide showing you the sights along the way and also have the option to stop by Cerritos Beach or the small charming town of Todos Santos. Price is at $630 USD ($12,600 MXN) per group of six.
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