The currency in Cabo San Lucas – as is in the rest of Mexico – is the Mexican peso. The exchange rate with the U.S. dollar is anywhere from 10 pesos to 14 pesos to $1 US, depending on the day.
Denominations are in 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 peso bills, and 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 peso coins with 50 and 20 centavo (or cent) pieces.
But even though Mexico has its own currency, tourist destinations such as Los Cabos welcome American dollars in most places, especially the resort areas, bars and restaurants frequented by tourists. It’s recommended, however, to use pesos during your stay, except for tips to hotel staff, waiters and taxi drivers who appreciate tips in one-dollar bills. Tipping is customary and is anywhere from 15 to 20 percent depending upon quality of service. Be sure to examine your restaurant bill to see if a tip has already been added onto the total as is common with large groups.
Exchanging currency in Cabo San Lucas can be done conveniently at any exchange house, or “casa de cambio”, most of which boast long hours and speedy service. Hotels and resorts will also gladly exchange dollars into pesos but they will not honor the daily exchange rate, opting instead for a low rate of return. Banks often offer the best rates on cash or traveler’s checks. Banks are open Monday to Friday usually from 9 am to 4 pm or later and some of them are open on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. All banks are closed on Sunday and on Mexican holidays.