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What to Know About Money When Traveling in Peru

Last updated: January 1, 2024
Reading Time: 2 minutes

When planning a trip to Peru, understanding the country’s currency, banking system, and best practices for managing your money is crucial. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate money matters during your travels in Peru.

Currency of Peru

The official currency of Peru is the nuevo sol (s/), commonly referred to as the sol. One nuevo sol is equivalent to 100 centimes (cents). As of April 2023, the exchange rates between the nuevo sol and some major currencies are as follows:

  • US$1 = s/3.77
  • €1 = s/4.17
  • S$ = s/2.85
  • £1 = s/4.72

Please check for the most up-to-date exchange rates.

While US dollars are accepted in some establishments, it’s essential to have nuevo soles for most transactions in Peru.

Banknotes and Coins

Peru’s banknotes come in denominations of s/200, s/100, s/50, s/20, and s/10, while coins are available in s/5, s/2, s/1, s/0.50, s/0.20, and s/0.10. It’s advisable to request small bills when receiving change, especially in rural areas where larger banknotes may not be easily accepted.

Assorted Banknotes and Round Silver-colored Coins

Accessing Cash

When it comes to obtaining cash in Peru, you have several options:

1. ATMs

ATMs are widely available in Peru, especially in urban areas and tourist spots. They usually accept Visa, Cirrus/Mastercard, and American Express cards. While convenient, be mindful of withdrawal fees, which can be significant.

2. Banks

Banks in Peru offer reliable and safe cash withdrawal services. It’s advisable to inform your bank of your travel plans beforehand to avoid any issues with card usage abroad.

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3. Exchange Houses

Exchange houses, known as casas de cambio, provide currency exchange services. You’ll need your passport for transactions.

4. Money Changers

Individuals offering currency exchange services near ATMs and exchange houses. Exercise caution and compare rates before engaging with them.

Safety Tips for Carrying Cash

  • Avoid Flashing Cash: Keep your cash and valuables discreet to avoid drawing attention to yourself.
  • Use Hidden Pouches: Consider using a hidden money belt or pouch to store your money and passport securely.
  • Spread Out Your Money: Distribute your money across different locations (e.g., pockets, bag, and clothing) to minimize losses in case of theft.

Using Cards and Banking Apps

  • Credit Cards: Visa is widely accepted in upmarket establishments, but it’s best to carry cash when venturing outside major cities.
  • Banking Apps: Apps like Revolut and money transfer services like Azimo and Xoom can be useful for managing finances and transferring money, especially in populous areas.

Prepaid Cards

Prepaid cards are an option for managing expenses with no transaction fees. However, compare exchange rates to ensure they offer favorable rates.

Final Tips

  • Plan Ahead: Inform your bank of your travel plans and have a payment system in place before your trip.
  • Stay Informed: Keep track of exchange rates and banking fees to make informed financial decisions.
  • Stay Safe: Be cautious when handling cash and valuables, especially in crowded or unfamiliar areas.

Extra links

By being aware of these money matters and following these tips, you can ensure a smooth and secure financial experience during your travels in Peru.


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Last updated: January 1, 2024
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