Riviera Maya Know Before You Go

Riviera Maya Know Before You Go 2023

Welcome to the Riviera Maya Know Before You Go blog post!

Are you on the planning stages of your upcoming vacation to Tulum, Cancun or Playa del Carmen?

Let the expertise of The Custom Tour Team guide you in making the most out of your visit. We’ve gathered essential information to assist you in better preparing for your trip. By planning in advance, you can liberate your mind, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the company of your loved ones and the wonders of this incredible destination! To ensure an enjoyable experience, meticulous planning and awareness of what lies ahead are key. We want you to enjoy every minute of your vacation to the Rivera Maya. 

Money and ATMs in the Riviera Maya
Power adapters and Electricity in Mexico
Internet and Wi-Fi in the Riviera Maya
What’s the best Cellphone Service in Mexico?
How to get to the Riviera Maya?

Exchange USD to Mexican Pesos
Order Mexican Pesos from your bank ahead of time

Money & ATM’s around the Riviera Maya

What most people ask is should I pay for things and services in US Dollars or in Mexican Pesos?

The answer is simple: Mexico has its own currency: so Mexican Pesos is the right thing to do.

The easiest way to get Mexican currency is to order pesos from your bank back home a few weeks before you travel. Exchange rates at some banks could be slightly better than elsewhere. This will allow you to have pesos in your pocket by the time you arrive and it will help you get familiar with the current exchange rates. When in Mexico, pay in Pesos and remember: cash is king in Mexico.

Every time you buy or sell currency is important to carefully compare the exchange rates offered. Another way to get pesos is to exchange your money at one of the Casas de Cambio (currency exchange) upon arrival, they are easily available in cities like Cancun or Playa del Carmen, or in towns like Tulum, Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras or Akumal.

Exchanging money at any airport is not recommended, as the exchange rates are usually unfavorable at such places. You can check the approximate daily rate here www.xe.com.

Are ATMs or cash dispensers available?

You should bring one or two bank cards as ATM’s in the Riviera Maya are easily available in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. ATM’s usually offer a good exchange rate but make sure you decline the conversion rate offered by the machine, most of the times your bank will give you a better rate! We suggest to withdraw pesos from a local bank operated ATM such as Santander, Bancomer, HSBC or Scotia Bank. While there are many third-party ATMs available throughout the Riviera Maya, they charge a higher service fee.

Can I use my Credit Card?

Most businesses throughout the Riviera Maya accept debit and credit cards such as VISA and Mastercard. This means that your bank card is a good option for paying at restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and others. Call your bank ahead of time to notify them that you will be traveling to Mexico so you can easily pay for things while on vacation.

When traveling to rural areas around the Riviera Maya make sure to bring some extra cash in local currency. ATM’s are probably not available and most small businesses like Cenotes or street food vendors do not accept any type of bank cards.

Did you know that snorkeling, cliff jumping or just chilling in the Cenotes, are activities many tourists and locals enjoy all year round?

Power adapters and Electricity in Mexico

For Mexico there are two associated plug types, types A and B. Plug type A is the plug which has two flat parallel pins and plug type B is the plug which has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin. Mexico operates on a 110-127V supply voltage and 60Hz. This means electricity in Mexico is the same as in the United States and Canada.

Power Outlet in Mexico
Mexican Power Outlet

You do not need a transformer or converter if you come from North America. Some places may not have 3 hole ground receptacles with ground so you might want to bring one of those inexpensive adapters that go from a 3 prong plug to a 2 hole receptacle. Travelers from the rest of the world will need a North American travel adapter.

Electrical outages, while not very common, could happen, when they do, they are usually just a few minutes long.

Internet and Wi-Fi in the Riviera Maya

Free Wi-Fi access is offered at almost every coffee shop or restaurant across Mexico. You will find Wi-fi at almost every hotel in the Riviera Maya. Download speeds of 30 to 50 Mbps are common at vacation rentals and many co-working spaces in Playa del Carmen, Cancun or Tulum offer speeds of 100 to 200 Mbps.

Internet in Mexico
Free Wi-Fi in Riviera Maya

What’s the best Cellphone Service in Mexico?

If you are planning on staying more than one week in the Riviera Maya or anywhere in Mexico, we recommend you to get a Telcel 5G chip for your cellphone. This company offers unlimited phone calls between USA, Canada and Mexico, plus a competitive internet service around the Riviera Maya for just 200 pesos a month. Get your “Paquete Amigo Sin Limite 200” activated at any OXXO or 7-Eleven. Other companies that offer patchy coverage in Mexico and the Riviera Maya are Movistar, AT&T and Unefon.

Riviera Maya Know Before You Go Tip: Make sure to download Whatsapp on your phone as this is the most common way to get in touch with Mexican friends or service providers in Mexico and the Riviera Maya.

Telcel Mexico

How to get to the Riviera Maya?

Most travelers fly into the Cancun International Airport or the new Tulum International Airport (available from December 2023). All individuals arriving to Mexico via international flights are required to pass through immigration and customs.

Heading to the white-sand beaches of Cancun and the Riviera Maya? This is your essential packing list to paradise!

Flying into Cancun

Let’s wrap this up!

Hope this Riviera Maya Know Before You Go blog was helpful! Do you have any other questions? Feel free to comment below!

One more thing… If you decide to go on vacation to the Riviera Maya remember that this area of Mexico is a very safe place, if you’re looking for new experiences and adventure remember you most go out and explore this land full of natural and cultural wonders!

Looking for Awesome Things to do in Cancun and the Riviera Maya? Click here!


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