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The information you can find on these pages combines over twenty years
of experience traveling to Yucatán and internet resources that I have
found to be useful. If you have any suggestions on how to improve, update or correct the information on these pages or use links to other useful sites, please let us
Cash exchange rate on the street in Mexico (bank, hotel, casa de cambio, or store) is always significantly lower than official market value. Rates in Yucatan on the street and Casas de Cambio are also significantly lower than cash exchange in Cancun and Maya Riviera locations. These are all significantly lower than the exchange rate in Mexico City. ATM rates using a bank debit card offer the best exchange rate typically within only 2% commission of the rate established by international currency exchange markets. ATM rates actually correspond quite closely to the official/market rates. Depending on your US bank and the ATM bank, you will be charged an additional US $3 to $8. Thus, the preference is to withdraw all the money you intend to use on your trip at one time to avoid losing money to the ATM fee.
Emergency Money Wires
There are three main services for emergency wiring of money to receive in Yucatan.
Always make sure that the money is sent in the EXACT NAME of the person to receive the money, using the EXACT spellings on the form of Identification that is going to be used. The EXACT same address must also be found on that ID otherwise there can be problems or simple negation of the transaction. These are strict rules that have been created to minimize moving of money from the drug economy.
→ Xoom.com and Paypal We no longer recommend Xoom.com since the take over by PayPal. We strongly discourage your use of PayPal and Xoom, as the pricing and exchange rates are not competitive.
Pickup Locations and Other Details → Pisté Pick Up Location. To receive money in Pisté: Select Piste, Yucatan, Mexico. Select ELEKTRA as pickup location. → Pickup in Other Cities. Locations. You will need to investigate the city to find out which business location suits you best to receive the funds. Electra could be your default. It has good hours and found everywhere in Mexico → To receive funds that are sent to you, make sure that the sender uses the exact spelling of the exact name on your passport. You may even want to have the sender write your passport number in the request.
Moneygram.com is a better alternative to Western Union, as it also has a $5 flat rate that is significanly less than Western Union rates, which increase based on the amount sent. While the Moneygram exchange rate is superior to Western Union, it is not nearly as good as Xoom or Riamoney Transfer. Further, Moneygram often from one week to 10 day delay depending upon your choice of funding source. Choose ELEKTRA as your pick up location.
Yucatan has murder rate of 2.2. Comparatively, many major and safe US cities as well as Cancun have murder/violent death rates ranging from 8 to 12, such as Houston and Indianapolis. Cancun is as safe as Indianapolis. Detroit is an exceptionally dangerous place with 38 per 100,000 compared to the worst region of Mexico (northern Mexican states bordering Texas and California) having only a rate of 34 according to data from 2011. Check out this interesting interactive comparative map from the Economist.