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Soles or US Dollars?

Chesterfield...
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115 posts
67 reviews
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Soles or US Dollars?

Can anyone help re cash currency to take to Peru?

We will use ATMs to top up but planned on taking the majority with us. If we take most of our cash in US dollars do we need to exchange it into soles first or do restaurants etc accept dollars? Or would it be better and easier to take mostly soles and just some dollars?

Accomodation has already been paid for so it is only for meals, spending etc.

Presumably the air company running flights over the Nazca lines will accept credit card payment?

Thanks for any advice.

Lima, Peru
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548 posts
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1. Re: Soles or US Dollars?

Hi there,

85% of the biz accept US dollars, places like restaurants, department stores, supermarkets will happily acept you US currency, so you don't have to chance much into soles. Upon arrival you can change about 150us no more. There is a currency exchange booth in the international arrivals area.

Local taxis don't take USD (only the ones at the airport do) also convinience stores will not take you USD but for the majority of places you will be fine.

Try to bring some 20s, 10s and a lot or 1s (this last ones for tips) your bills have to be in good condition because very old bills or thorn bills are not going to be acepted.

Hope this helps.

Canada
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331 posts
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2. Re: Soles or US Dollars?

Any idea on the hours of operation for the currency exchange? We arrive close to midnight. Should I assume it will be closed?

Anyone know of any place in Lima that will do currency exchange?

Chesterfield...
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115 posts
67 reviews
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3. Re: Soles or US Dollars?

Hi there biker

Thanks for that, it's very useful info. Presumably if you pay in dollars you will get change back in soles?

Also, do you know about paying for Nazca lines flights using credit card or will they prefer cash?

Thanks again.

Lima, Peru
Destination Expert
for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
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18,483 posts
509 reviews
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4. Re: Soles or US Dollars?

The exchange offices at the airport are opened 24 hours.

The local currency is the Nuevo Sol, not the US Dollar.

I suggest you use soles for your expenses. When paying at restaurants,etc with dollars you will get a lousy exchange rate.

Tipping in dollars is also a problem as locals will then need to exchange to local currency.US$ coins are not exchangeable anyway.

Obtain your local currency at ATMs.

Australia
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68 posts
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5. Re: Soles or US Dollars?

I would recommend taking (or withdrawing) about 70-80% in soles.

We were there recently and the only places that wanted $US were 1 or 2 of the travel agencies we used (but you could still pay in soles for them, its just that the prices were quoted in $US for some of the tours. But bus service were in Soles)

We paid all food, transport, accommodation and shopping in SOLES.

I guess if you are staying at high end places they may quote in $US.

But as xochitl said, most time the prices are in soles and they will give you a crap exchange rate if you want to pay in dollars.

It also harder to pay for smaller items, and do shopping at markets / eat at small restaurants etc.

We just took an initial float of money in $US and then got Soles form the ATM once we arrived.

We had no problems with ATMs, most of them even have an English menu screen so you don't have to worry. We never had any problems with operation or safety. Of course you can also chose to withdraw $US at any of the ATMs as well (you get a choice on the menu screen which currency you'd like to withdraw)

Chiclayo, Peru
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805 posts
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6. Re: Soles or US Dollars?

I disagree that 85% of businesses accept dollars. I would say it's probably only about 10-15% of businesses, with those 10-15% being hotels and restaurants catering to tourists, and large businesses like supermarkets, department stores and casinos. Even these will usually give you a worse exchange rate than you'll get if you just exchange your money before you spend it. Use the ATM to get cash; anything else is just spending more money for no good reasons. Bring a relatively small amount of dollars and try to exchange them before you spend them. It's not as if changing dollars is difficult. Never exchange dollars to soles outside of the country, you're just asking to be ripped off. I don't think tipping in dollars is a problem (after all, many people are paid their salary in dollars and pay rent in dollars) but there's no specific reason to tip in dollars rather than soles.

Yes, all airlines will accept payment with credit cards.

7. Re: Soles or US Dollars?

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