All posts in “Shopping”

Mexican Peso: 16.75 to the US Dollar

The Peso has really fallen in value to the US Dollar in the past year.  Well, make that “The Dollar is Very Strong…”

16.75 Pesos to the Dollar in November, 2015.  Just a few years ago, it was 10.5 Pesos to the Dollar.

What does this mean?  Assuming a 150 Peso steak dinner, it used to cost about $14.25.  Current price: $9.00.

Mexico is an absolute bargain these days for visitors from the USA and Canada.

Discounts in Cabo

We jokingly refer to these as “food stamps.”

Los Cabos Guide is a glossy tourist publication. They make their money from selling advertising and in certain cases, they allow merchants and restaurants to pay for the advertising with redeemable vouchers. Los Cabos Guide then sells these vouchers at 50-65% of face value to the public. The vouchers are denominated in US Dollars and easily redeemable at the merchant or restaurant.

You can order these before your trip and they’ll mail them to you or deliver to your hotel. You can also pick them up when in Cabo, but the office for Los Cabos Guide is several miles away from downtown (see map below).

http://www.loscabosguide.com/discount.htm


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Silver Exposure Jewelry Store

Patti’s favorite store in Cabo. Reasonably priced. A lady by the name of Jodie owns this store and has great customer service.

Unique silver jewelry creations and very reasonable prices in this small store located on Marina Blvd. near Taco Loco, Rip’s Bar, Giggling Marling and Cabo Wabo. 10% discount for cash.


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Cash and Credit Cards

Most restaurants and stores accept Visa and Mastercard. American Express is also accepted. However, be sure to bring cash with you for those merchants who don’t take credit cards.

Also, be sure to call your credit card issuer prior to departing for Mexico, just to let them know (it’s a total hassle to arrive and find that your cards have been placed on hold due to ever-stringent security at your issuer). We usually take the time in-between flights to make the calls.

Note that many credit card companies charge a 2% conversion fee for foreign exchange transactions. There are several that do not, Capital One being one of them.

When buying things in Cabo, insist on being quoted in PESOS.  If you’re being quoted in dollars, the merchant will likely convert to pesos when tallying your bill and you can bet that the conversion won’t be in your favor.

La Pinta Pomegranate Infused Tequila

We keep a stocked bar at our condos in Cabo — we stock it occasionally, but it generally stays pretty stocked from our guests and renters just leaving partial bottles before they return home.  We get a pretty good selection to “sample” from and our visit this week has been no exception.

We arrived in Cabo on Thursday and one of the partial bottles was of La Pinta Pomegranate Infused Tequila.  I just HAD to have a taste of that one.  Well, all I can say is that I’m heading to the store and buying a few bottles to take back to the USofA with us.  Maybe a case.  Is that legal?  Just an incredible blend and you HAVE to try it on your next trip.

http://www.bevmo.com/Shop/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=11070 to buy it in the USA; about $27/bottle here in Cabo.  Available at a few liquor stores near Cabo Wabo.  Didn’t see it at Walmart or Costco.

Just a note — When we arrived back home (and finished the two bottles of La Pinta that we brought back), we experimented with mixing some 100% pomegranate juice (Trader Joe’s) with Herradura tequila to “simulate” La Pinta.  Well, pretty close to La Pinta for our tastebuds…  We think the word “infused” is Spanish for “to mix.”  About 50/50 juice to tequila is what we do and it’s great.

Cruise Ships — and Shopping

At times, Cabo’s bay can be inundated with cruise ships. When you see the cruise ships, it mean that Cabo’s downtown area will be busy with disgorged cruise tourists. This means that restaurants will be busy AND that prices get increased by many of the vendors.

So, the rule is — if you want bargains, shop when there are NO cruise ships around! However, if you want to have FUN, hit El Squid Roe or Cabo Wabo on a night when a cruise ship is anchored overnight.

Manuel’s Tamales

The LA Times had this to say about Manual’s Tamales.  We’ll have to try this out on our next trip!

It’s not uncommon to pay a lot for mediocre food in Cabo, so try to get a couple of unbiased recommendations. If people are only drinking and not dining, take that as a clue — many seemingly popular places are long on party atmosphere but short on food. Prices decrease the farther you walk inland. The absolute local favorite is Manuel’s Tamales, a street stand selling traditional treats of cornmeal stuffed with meat or cheese, then steamed in a cornhusk. Look for him on weekend nights on the corner of Lázaro Cárdenas and Zaragoza.

City Club

City Club — a ten minute walk from Villa La Estancia is City Club, which is a Mexican mini-Costco type of store. Memberships are inexpensive ($2/day) and the prices are okay. They also have a pharmacy, so you can stock up on legit drugs at locals prices.

Paseo del Pescador and Lazaro Cardenas


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Pharmacies

Pharmacies — Mega and Chedraui both have pharmacies.  Walmart and Costco also.

We tend to avoid the small ones downtown, as they have very special “tourist” pricing (which is often higher than USA pricing)! There’s also a pharmacy at City Club.

Be sure to ask if there’s a generic version of what you’re looking for, as they won’t volunteer it and the prices can be worlds apart!!


Walmart

Located near downtown Cabo is the new Walmart Supercenter.

Just like in the good ‘ole USofA, they have just about anything you want. We gave shopping a try here during our last visit and were pleased to find fair prices, great produce, bakery and steaks.

A lot more convenient than Chedraui, but not as extensive a selection. Still, more than enough to stock your villa with provisions. Patti says they have great fresh tortillas.

New to the area, it isn’t on Google Maps yet.


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