We all know that Mexico is cheaper than the USA. The peso is currently sitting at 5 cents to the dollar at the time of writing, making it a very attractive option for vacation or ex-pats to settle down with their savings. So, with that exchange rate in mind, how much can you get for just one dollar?
A quick note before we begin: Often in Mexico you’ll find prices labeled with the $ sign, but this is still a peso price. It’s a strange thing to get used to, but not one to worry about. No, that $80 breakfast isn’t USD. It’s likely only $4 USD when the price is changed over.
If you look online for tourist options, this won’t be the case. If you’re willing to take the local routes, however, you’ll find that getting from A to B is an incredibly cheap experience. The fare for the metro in Mexico City has remained 5 pesos for a long time, which is just 20 cents as of writing. The Monterrey metro is cheaper at 4.5 pesos, but know that not all metros are equally cost-effective comparatively (though they are still good value).
Buses are also good value, with many being less than $1 for a round trip, and long-distance buses are incredibly reasonably priced. They can be a little tricky to navigate at times, but once you get the hang of it they make a great way to explore on a budget.
Food And Drink
It’s no surprise that Mexico has some incredible food, and if you’re happy to eat as the locals do then you can experience a lot of it for very low prices. Some things on menus have been hit by inflation over the years, but even so, that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of options.
Here’s a small example of different things you can buy for less than a dollar
- Two hot tamales
- Two or three tacos
- Torta sandwich
- Freshly squeezed juice
- Ice cream cone
- Two paletas (think like Mexican popsicles)
- Five to seven bolillos rolls
- A kilo of corn tortillas
- A kilo of fresh fruit or vegetables
- Four avocados
- Two hot dogs
- Two shots of mezcal
There are a lot more options you can get than these, of course, but it’s good to show an example so you understand just how cheap it can be to eat. Fancy restaurants exist too, of course, and much of the cheapest food comes from street stalls, but that doesn’t mean you’re compromising on taste and flavor.
Other General Items
Of course, other things are cheap to buy as you travel around. Items like bracelets, crafted items, embroidery, t-shirts, and small services can be found all over the place for under a dollar. If you’re willing to go for the bootleg markets, there’s a lot of incredible bargains available (albeit of varying quality). Just use your intuition when it comes to these kinds of things, and you’ll be fine.
On top of the cheap markets, there’s a lot of free things to do around Mexico. From beautiful parks to free museum days on Sundays, and other local quirks for free events and the like, there’s plenty to do.
All in all, Mexico has a lot for the cheaper traveler out there. You can live well with not a lot in your pocket, and if you have a reasonable amount you can live extravagantly. So, consider making a trip down to Mexico next time you need a vacation on the cheap.