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Traveler Complaints Grow Over Unfair Exchange Rates At Cancun Airport

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Cancun is expected to welcome a record number of travelers this year, with most visitors flocking to the sunny destination via the massive Cancun International Airport.

Despite the airport’s growing size, travelers continue to encounter different scams after arriving in the coastal hotspot. This time around, reports over unfair exchange rates at Cancun airport’s currency exchange points are skyrocketing.

inside view of cancun international airport terminal

As Cancun’s travel numbers continue their upward trend this year, here’s the latest on exchanging dollars at the city’s international airport

Tourists Urged To Avoid Cancun International Airport’s Exorbitant Currency Exchange Rates

Exchanging dollars to pesos is one of the first things many travelers do when arriving in Cancun.

travelers after arriving in cancun airport

Although the U.S. dollar is widely accepted as a payment form across Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean, having some pesos on hand can come in handy in a number of situations.

In recent months, the number of complaints over unfair exchange rates at Cancun International Airport’s exchange points has soared. Combined with the peso’s strength compared to the U.S. dollar, travelers are getting less bang for their buck compared to last year. 

@3days3noches During this last trip we exchanged dollars for pesos at the Cancun Airport and the exchange rate is higher there. Also you really don’t need pesos. You just need to know the exchange rate. It was too confusing for me to have both pesos and dollars. #cancunairporttips #cancunairport2023 #travelreviews #travelchannel #travelvlog #traveltips2023 #3days3noches #cancunmexico2023 #cancunmexico #allinclusiveresort #adultsallinclusiveresort #allinclusivevacation ♬ original sound – 3days3noches

According to new media reports, travelers are growing frustrated over the artificially low exchange rate at many of Cancun airport’s currency exchange facilities, effectively giving Americans fewer pesos than other establishments outside of the airport.

As a result, travelers are being advised to exchange their dollars for pesos in advance, for example, at airports in the U.S. Alternatively, visitors can exchange dollars for pesos in their resort, a service that a number of larger properties offer at the front desk.

@lifeofjazz__ Replying to @Shania &lt3 exchanging money! This is a topic many are unsure about, but it’s really important to never exchange money at an airport because you always get the worst rates! 💸💸 . Ubers are only in Cancun! Are the cities in don’t have Uber and you will only be able to use their local taxi! 🚕 #mexicotiktok #thingstoknowbeforemexico #thingstoknow #traveltips #travellife #tulumguide #tulumvibe #tulumlocals #mexicotips #cancunairport #mexicotips #transportmexico ♬ original sound – Jazz | Travel Content ✈️

In most cases, travelers can also pay for goods and services with U.S. dollars. Most experts recommend carrying a mix of both currencies, using dollars to pay for tours, entrance fees, and accommodation, whereas pesos can be used for the rest. 

New reports show that travelers are also receiving unfair exchange rates when selling pesos and buying dollars. In many cases, tourists want to exchange their leftover pesos for dollars prior to heading home. Consequently, visitors are being advised to exchange their currency in downtown Cancun or at their resort.

@findingfiona Save money and get the best exchange rates! (+) for more travel tips like this! #mexico #cancun #traveltips ♬ Kiss Me More (feat. SZA) – Doja Cat

The Mexican Peso is outperforming the U.S. dollar significantly this year, meaning that American travelers will receive fewer pesos for each dollar when compared to last year. As a result, travelers are having to pay more for goods and services purchased in pesos.’

The dollar is expected to appreciate versus the peso later this year, but so far, the Mexican currency has remained defensive, causing some travelers to opt for destinations with more favorable exchange rates. 

Avoid These Scams At Cancun International Airport 

As Cancun International Airpot gears up to welcome over 30 million travelers this year – a new all-time record – scams continue to remain an issue at one of Mexico’s largest international aerial hubs.

@3days3noches Arriving into the Cancun airport can be overwhelming! Since our last visit there have been some major updates! This time we used the Egates and we made it through immigrations in minutes! Also the construction at terminal 3 in the Cancun airport is finally over!! Be sure to watch the more detailed Cancun Airport Tips that we just uploaded to our channel!! #cancunairporttips #cancunairport2023 #cancunvacation2023 #cancunairporttransportation #cancunairporttransfers #cancuntraveltips #3days3noches ♬ original sound – 3days3noches

One of the most common scams travelers are likely to encounter on their next Mexican Caribbean getaway is overcharging by Cancun’s taxi drivers. Despite new efforts to crack down on this illegal practice, travelers continue to face exorbitant taxi fares, even for short trips.

Next year, new legal measures will come into effect, effectively obliging Cancun’s taxi drivers to implement taximeters on all vehicles. The updated legal framework will make taking taxis cheaper and more affordable. 

@3days3noches E-gates are a newer addition to the Cancun Airport and we got to try them for the first time during our most recent visit. Happy to report they are a breeze to get through, but unfortunately they are only available to adult citizens of the US and Canada. #3days3noches #cancun #cancunmexico #cancunairport ♬ Super Shy – NewJeans

In the meantime, travelers are urged to pre-book private transfers to and from their resort. Alternatively, visitors can use Uber, which is skyrocketing in popularity with locals and travelers alike.

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Graham Sulzer

Monday 23rd of October 2023

It’s simple really.Being asked for 96$ for a ten minute taxi drive to a local hotel and eventually getting the price down to $55 and feeling robbed of my holiday money I will NOT return and will be highlighting this to my UK friends and on national internet.Your taxi drivers are thieves.I spent time with a highly respected Family in Merida and was told I should only have been charged 200 Mexican Pesos or 10$


Sunday 22nd of October 2023

Recently travel to cancun and yes taxi charge are exorbitan and buying in the airport is a rip off as well.


Sunday 22nd of October 2023

Money exchange services are the biggest scam in the entire travel industry. They charge upwards of 20% on top of poor exchange rates. Just use a ATM and pull local money out of your bank. The 3% your bank charges is way cheaper especially since they use actual market exchange rates


Saturday 21st of October 2023

Re: Currency exchange. This article gives the best advice to find a favorable exchange rate. To expand on that advice: Avoid changing money in airports.

A person has to think of money as a commodity. The same as buying anything from food to cars. Prices are set by demand. Arriving passengers with foreign currency with a high demand for pesos;pesos will be sold to you at a higher price/profit. It encompasses that basic for the stock market...Buy low, sell high.