Exchange rates – Dollars are accepted almost everywhere and you will get your change in pesos. The exchange rate varies every day, but some places have a set rate.
ATMs – The easiest way to get pesos is to simply withdraw money from an ATM in Los Cabos. Bank ATMs give the daily exchange rate (best possible rate) with reasonable fees. Examples include Banorte, Bancomer, Santander, Banamex, and HSBC. Non-bank ATMs located in the street will charge higher fees. Some ATMs only give you dollars, some only pesos and some give you the option to withdraw both. Pay close attention to what currency you’re withdrawing and try to get as much cash as possible in one transaction to avoid paying high fees.
Cash or Card? – Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards are generally accepted, but you often run into cash only places. Always ask beforehand and carry cash. Your bank will most likely charge you international transaction fees if you pay with your card.
Buying groceries – In Cabo San Lucas, Wal-Mart and Costco are good options and easy to get to. You can always find a taxi outside of these stores. San José has a Wal-Mart and Mega. If you just need to grab something quickly, OXXO stores are small, reasonably priced convenient stores located all over town.
Driving – Renting a car will allow you to enjoy the freedom of exploring Los Cabos. Driving in Mexico might be intimidating, but if you just go with the muddled flow, you will realize that there is some organization within the chaos. If you are pulled over by local police for committing a driving infraction, the standard procedure is for them to take your Driver’s License. You will then have to go to the Police Station to pay your ticket and pick-up your license. There are two types of gasoline: Magna, which is regular, and Premium. Lleno (pronounced ye-no) means full. Major credit cards are accepted. Tipping the gas station attendant around $10.00 pesos is customary.
HOW DO I DIAL?
The local area code is 624
To dial to other countries: 00 + country code (1, 2 or 3 digits) + number
From a Mexican land line or cell phone:
To a Mexican long distance number: 01 + 3 digit area code + 7 digit number
To a Mexican cell phone number: 3 digit area code + 7 digit number
To a U.S. phone number: 00 + 1 + 3 digit area code + 7 digit number
From your U.S. cell phone:
To a Mexican land line or cell phone: 011 52 + 3 digit area code + number
U.S. TOLL FREE NUMBERS (International rates will apply)
To a 1 (800): 00 + 1 + 880 + phone number
To a 1 (888): 00 + 1 + 881 + phone number
To a 1 (877): 00 + 1 + 882 + phone number
To a 1 (866): 00 + 1 + 883 + phone number
To a U.S. phone number: 00 + 1 + 3 digit area code + number
Some U.S. cell phone carriers have arrangements with Mexican carriers and when you travel here your cell phone uses their towers. If this is your case, you will have to dial as if you had a Mexican phone.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
Emergencies: 066 – (equivalent to 911)
- Cabo San Lucas 143-3977
- San José del Cabo 142-0361
Fire Department – Dial 116 or:
- Cabo San Lucas 143-3577
- San José del Cabo 142-2466
Highway Patrol: 146-0573
Tourist Police: 143-3977
- Cabo San Lucas 105-8500
- San José del Cabo 105-8550
- Baja Medical Response: 144-3434
- Blue Medical Net:
- Cabo San Lucas Hospital 104 3911
- San José del Cabo Clinic 142-3511
- Cabo Surgical Center: 172-6030
- North American Hospitals and Clinics: 142-2770
- One World Hospital:
- Cabo San Lucas 143-4911
- San José del Cabo 142-5911
- Todos Santos: (612) 145-0600
- Walk-in Medi Clinic: 130-7011
- Skymed Air Ambulance: (866) 805-9624
- Air One Ambulance: (800) 236-8080
U.S. Consulate: 143-3566
Canadian Consulate: 142-4333
Taxi Cabo San Lucas: 143-2221
Taxi San José de Cabo: 142-0401
- Aero Calafia: 130-7822
- Aeromexico: 146-5097
- Air Canada: 01 (800) 719-2827 (Toll free within Mexico)
- Alaska Airlines: 146-5166
- American Airlines: 146-5302/5303
- Continental Airlines: 146-5050
- Delta Airlines: 146-5005/146-5217
- Interjet: 01 (800)-011-2345 (Toll free within Mexico)
- Spirit Airlines: 1 (800) 772-7117
- Sun Wing: 1 (800) 668-4224
- Volaris: 01 (800) 7VOLARIS (Toll free within Mexico)
- US Airways: 146-5380
- West Jet: 1 (800) 538-5696
The letter “ñ”
When you see a wiggly line on top of the letter “n” use the “ny” sound that you use for the English word canyon.
The double “ll” is pronounced like “y” in English.
The letter “h” is always silent.
The letter “j” is pronounced like “h” in English.
If the word has an accent mark such as “á”, that syllable is stressed.
Hello – Hola
Goodbye – Adios
Good morning – Buenos días
Good afternoon – Buenas tardes
Good evening/night – Buenas noches
Thank you – Gracias
Please – Por Favor
Sorry – Disculpa
Here – Aquí
There – Allá
Help – Ayuda
Water – Agua
Food – Comida
Money – Dinero
Cash – Efectivo
Change – Cambio
Credit card – Tarjeta de crédito
Tip – Propina
Where is …? – ¿Dónde está …?
My hotel is … – Mi hotel es …
Please take me to … – Por favor
lléveme a …
How much is this? – ¿Cuánto cuesta esto?
Where is an ATM? – ¿Dónde hay un cajero automático?
Telephone – Teléfono
Do you have WIFI? – ¿Tiene WIFI?
Bathrooms – Baños
Restaurant – Restaurante
Hotel – Hotel
Beach – Playa
Store – Tienda
Pharmacy – Farmacia
AT A RESTAURANT
Table – Mesa
Glass – Vaso
Plate – Plato
Fork – Tenedor
Spoon – Cuchara
Knife – Cuchillo
Napkin – Servilleta
Can you bring the check? – ¿Puede traer la cuenta?
MEETING SOMEONE NEW
Nice to meet you – Mucho gusto
What’s your name? – ¿Cómo te llamas?
My name is … – Mi nombre es…
Where are you from? – ¿De dónde eres?
Do you speak English? – ¿Habla Inglés?
I don’t understand – No entiendo
BOATING AND FISHING TERMS IN SPANISH
Captain – Capitán
Aboard – Abordo
To fish – Pescar
To float – Flotar
Wind – Viento
Tide – Marea
Fish – Pescado
Bait – Carnada
Fishing rod – Caña de pescar
Hook – Anzuelo
Life preservers – Salvavidas
Throttle – Acelerador
Anchor – Ancla
Bow – Proa
Stern – Popa