The Purchasing Power of 20 Pesos in Mexico

Travel Destinations

By Omar Perez

Mexico is a country known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and delicious cuisine. It’s also a place where your money can go a long way, especially if you’re on a budget. But what can you actually buy with just 20 pesos? Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you can get for this modest sum.

For starters, you can enjoy a delicious street snack such as tacos or tamales. These mouthwatering treats are a staple of Mexican cuisine and are sold by street vendors all over the country. With just 20 pesos, you can indulge in a few of these tasty morsels and experience the authentic flavors of Mexico.

If you’re in need of a caffeine fix, you’ll be happy to know that 20 pesos can buy you a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Coffee is a popular drink in Mexico, and you’ll find numerous street cafes and small shops where you can grab a cup to go. Whether you prefer it black or with milk and sugar, a 20-peso bill is all you need to satisfy your coffee cravings.

The Value of 20 Pesos in Mexico

In Mexico, 20 pesos can still go a long way, especially when it comes to purchasing everyday items. Here are a few things you can buy with 20 pesos:

1. Street Food: You can enjoy some mouthwatering street food delicacies like tacos, quesadillas, or elotes (Mexican street corn) for around 20 pesos.

2. Public Transportation: With 20 pesos, you can cover the cost of a short bus ride or even a metro ride in some cities. This makes it a convenient mode of transportation for locals and tourists alike.

3. Refreshing Drinks: Quench your thirst with 20 pesos by enjoying a refreshing bottle of water, a can of soda, or a small glass of freshly squeezed juice.

4. Fresh Fruits: Buy a selection of fresh fruits from a local market with 20 pesos. You can enjoy a variety of seasonal fruits such as bananas, oranges, or mangoes.

5. Bakery Treats: Satisfy your sweet tooth with a pastry or a small cake from a local bakery. Many baked goods can be purchased for around 20 pesos.

6. Local Crafts: Explore the local markets and you might find unique handmade crafts and souvenirs that can be purchased for around 20 pesos. These make great gifts or mementos of your visit to Mexico.

Please note that prices may vary depending on the location and the current exchange rate. Make sure to check with local vendors for the most up-to-date pricing.

Overall, 20 pesos in Mexico can provide you with a taste of the country’s vibrant street food culture, a refreshing beverage, or a small treat, allowing you to experience some of the local flavors and traditions.

Food Options for 20 Pesos

If you find yourself in Mexico with only 20 pesos in your pocket, there are still some food options available to satisfy your hunger. While 20 pesos may not buy you a full meal at a fancy restaurant, it can still get you something tasty and filling.

Tacos: Tacos are a popular street food in Mexico and can often be found for around 20 pesos. You can choose from a variety of fillings such as carnitas (pork), carne asada (grilled beef), al pastor (marinated pork), or pollo (chicken). Add some salsa, onions, and cilantro, and you’ll have a delicious and satisfying meal.

Churros: If you have a sweet tooth, you can indulge in some freshly fried churros for around 20 pesos. These crispy dough pastries are often sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and are perfect for a quick snack or dessert.

Street Corn: Elote, or Mexican street corn, is a popular and delicious option for a quick snack. A freshly grilled and seasoned ear of corn can often be found for around 20 pesos. With a squeeze of lime juice, a sprinkle of chili powder, and some grated cheese, it’s a flavorful and satisfying treat.

Chilaquiles: Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican breakfast dish made with tortilla chips that are smothered in salsa and topped with cheese, onions, and sometimes meat. For around 20 pesos, you can enjoy a small portion of this tasty and filling dish.

Agua Fresca: To quench your thirst, you can find a refreshing agua fresca, a popular Mexican fruit drink, for around 20 pesos. Flavors like horchata (cinnamon rice milk), Jamaica (hibiscus flower), or tamarind are common options that are both delicious and hydrating.

Remember, while 20 pesos may limit your food options slightly, you can still find affordable and tasty treats to enjoy during your time in Mexico.

Transportation Choices for 20 Pesos

With 20 pesos in Mexico, you have several transportation choices available to you. While it may not seem like a lot of money, there are still affordable options for getting around.

One option is to take a local bus. Many cities in Mexico have a well-developed bus system that charges a flat rate per ride. In most cases, this fare falls within the 20-peso budget. Riding a local bus allows you to travel relatively long distances within the city and is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.

Another possibility is to use a shared taxi service known as “colectivos.” These taxis generally follow a fixed route and pick up multiple passengers along the way. Colectivo fares are often lower than regular taxi fares, making them a budget-friendly option for short to medium distances.

If you prefer a more eco-friendly option, you can also consider renting a bicycle. Some cities in Mexico offer bicycle rental services that allow you to explore the city at your own pace. With 20 pesos, you can rent a bicycle for a couple of hours and enjoy a leisurely ride around town.

Additionally, for shorter distances, you can opt for a taxi or ride-sharing service. While these options may be more expensive than the previously mentioned choices, they can still be affordable for quick trips within the city.

Overall, with 20 pesos, you have a variety of transportation choices in Mexico. Whether you decide to take a bus, use a colectivo, rent a bicycle, or take a taxi, there are options to fit your budget and transportation needs.

Souvenir Ideas for 20 Pesos

If you’re visiting Mexico and have a budget of 20 pesos, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of affordable souvenir options available. Here are some souvenir ideas that you can buy for 20 pesos or less:

  • Keychains: Keychains featuring traditional Mexican symbols such as sombreros, chili peppers, or Aztec designs can be found for as low as 10 pesos.
  • Mexican Candy: Treat yourself to some delicious Mexican candy, such as tamarind candies or lollipops, which you can find for around 5-10 pesos each.
  • Postcards: Postcards showcasing Mexico’s vibrant culture and landmarks, such as the Chichen Itza or Frida Kahlo, can be purchased for as low as 10-15 pesos each.
  • Small Decorative Items: Look for small decorative items like mini-pyramids, talavera pottery frogs or hand-painted wooden magnets, which are often priced around 15-20 pesos each.
  • Woven Bracelets: Colorful woven bracelets, often made by local artisans, can be bought for around 15-20 pesos each and make for great gifts.

Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the location and the vendor, so it’s always a good idea to compare prices and bargain if possible. By sticking to a budget of 20 pesos, you’ll be able to bring back a piece of Mexico’s culture and heritage without breaking the bank!

Services Available for 20 Pesos

If you’re in Mexico with just 20 pesos in your pocket, you might be surprised to find out how many services you can avail with this small amount of money. Despite the relatively low value, there are still some useful services you can enjoy without breaking the bank.

Here are a few services available for 20 pesos:

1. Street food: 20 pesos can get you some tasty street food options in Mexico. From tacos and quesadillas to elotes (corn on the cob) and tamales, you can fill your stomach without spending a fortune.

2. Public transportation: In some cities, you can get a single ride on a public bus or metro for around 20 pesos. This is a convenient and affordable way to get around and explore different parts of the city.

3. Phone calls: If you need to make a quick phone call, some telephone booths or cyber cafes offer phone call services for as low as 20 pesos.

4. Local sim card: With 20 pesos, you may be able to purchase a local sim card for your phone. This can be useful for staying connected and accessing basic internet services while in Mexico.

5. Printing or photocopying: Need to print a document or make a photocopy? Many print shops or internet cafes offer these services for a few pesos per page, allowing you to get your work done without spending a lot.

6. Shoe shining: If your shoes need a quick shine, there are usually shoeshine stands in public areas where you can get your shoes polished for a small fee, often around 20 pesos.

7. Snacks or drinks: If you’re in need of a quick snack or refreshing drink, you can find various options available for around 20 pesos at convenience stores or street vendors.

8. Internet access: Some cafes or libraries offer internet access for a small fee, allowing you to stay connected and browse the web for a limited time.

9. Haircut: In some places, you may be able to find barbershops or salons that offer basic haircuts for around 20 pesos. This can be a convenient and affordable option if you’re in need of a trim.

10. Public restrooms: In some areas, public restrooms may charge a small fee for usage, often around 20 pesos. Although it may seem odd to pay for restroom facilities, it can ensure cleanliness and maintenance.

As you can see, even with just 20 pesos, there are still plenty of useful services you can avail in Mexico. While it may not be enough for larger expenses, it can certainly help you make the most of your budget during your time in the country.

Entertainment and Activities for 20 Pesos

When it comes to entertainment and activities, there are plenty of options in Mexico that you can enjoy for just 20 pesos. Here are some ideas to make the most of your budget:

  • Visit a local park: Many parks in Mexico offer free or low-cost entrance fees. You can spend a relaxing afternoon walking, exercising, or having a picnic.
  • Explore a museum: Some museums in Mexico have discounted or even free entry on certain days or for specific groups. Take advantage of these opportunities to immerse yourself in Mexican culture and history.
  • Take a bus ride: Public transportation is affordable in Mexico, and you can hop on a bus to explore different parts of the city. Enjoy the sights and sounds while getting to your destination.
  • Attend a local event: Keep an eye out for community events, such as festivals, concerts, or markets. These events often have free or inexpensive entrance fees and can provide a great way to experience Mexican culture.
  • Enjoy street food: Food is an integral part of Mexican culture, and you can find delicious street food options for a fraction of the price of a restaurant meal. Try out tacos, tamales, or other local specialties.
  • Watch a movie: Some movie theaters in Mexico offer discounted tickets for certain showtimes or for specific groups. Grab some popcorn and enjoy a film on the big screen.

With just 20 pesos, you can have a great time exploring the entertainment and activities that Mexico has to offer. Whether you choose to relax in a park, explore a museum, or indulge in delicious street food, there are plenty of budget-friendly options to enjoy.


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Omar Perez

Omar Perez, a Caribbean correspondent at TravelAsker, is a skilled writer with a degree from Florida International University. He has published in prestigious outlets like The Miami Herald, Orlando Weekly, Miami Daily Business Review, and various New Times editions. He has also worked as a stringer for The New York Times in Miami, combining his love for travel and storytelling to vividly depict the Caribbean's charm.

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