EXCHANGING MONEY: The best exchange rate is at the grocery stores (Mega & Chedraui). Spend your money there. The next best rate is at an ATM. The ATMs in Chedraui and Mega are safe to use. We don’t recommend the ATMs offering US dollars as there is a large fee for each transaction. Stay away from the free standing ATMs on the streets. Average exchange rates fluctuates between 12.5 and 13 pesos to a US dollar.
DRIVING IN COZUMEL: Downtown the streets are mainly “one way” The Avenues running north to south (Parallel to the ocean) usually have the right of way and the streets going west to east and east to west (going toward the ocean and away from the ocean) require you to stop at each corner or intersection. Keep an eye out for all street signs ALTO means STOP. Scooters generally travel in the right lane and you travel in the left lane unless you are turning to your right then you need to get in the right lane. “Right on red” is always legal at the traffic lights.
PARKING: There are lots located throughout downtown. Be sure to ask what time they close if you plan on being out late. You may also park on any street where the line is not yellow or red. The oceanfront road, Melgar, is available but be sure to PAY the parking meter. The meters take peso coins only. Put the ticket inside your car prominently displayed on the dashboard. Parking on Melgar is free after 8:30PM, on Saturday, and all day on Sundays. They will put a boot on your car if your meter runs out so be sure to keep an eye on the clock.
TAXIS: Always ask the taxi how much they are going to charge you for the trip BEFORE you get in the car. If the amount sounds high, ask to see the rate chart or use another taxi. They are required to show the rate chart to you if asked.
RESTAURANTS: Many take credit cards and all accepts dollars. Smaller places, especially on the beach and the other side “wild side” of the island , will not take credit cards and we recommend you pay in peso, if any place is taking the dollar at less than 12 peso per 1 US dollar you need to pay in pesos! Tipping is the same here as in the US 10% to 20% depending on the service received.
WATER: Purified water is available in your villa, we use the Crystal brand. In town, purified water is served and the ice is purified as well.
ALCOHOL SALES: All grocery stores and liquor stores sell alcohol Monday -Saturday 10 am until 9 pm and 10 am until 3 pm on Sunday Sam’s Club sells till 5:00 pm on Sundays. No Liquor sells during an election.