Will be in Arequipa and Cusco in April 2012. What is mostly used American money or Peruvian. Which is preferred ??
Thanks for replys..
Well since its Peru the most commonly used currency as well as preffered is the Peruvian Nuevo Soles however you shouldnt have too much trouble using US Dollars. Dont worry about taking money with you as most of the ATM's will dispense Soles and US Dollars however the bills that are dispensed tend to be large which may be hard to break. If you are headed into smaller towns I would stock up on small denomination Soles.
Agree with above. I found that I didn't use my US $ I brought, and went with the Sols I got from ATM. They are easy to locate, and you can save you US in case you run into trouble.
I brought a few hundred in USD cash with me as a backup. Many hotels and travel agents gave a better rate when paid in cash, and very often USD was slightly more favorable. It isn't a big difference, though. Small restaurants and local vendors will prefer Nuevo Soles cash.
Credit cards very often came with a surcharge if used in midrange hotels. Also if you want to use a credit card for purchases you may need to show your passport which I prefer to leave locked up in my hotel rather than carry with.
I could NOT use my U$ except in rare occasions (purchasing flights--bigger tickets items) and once at the movies when my plastic wouldn't go through.
I had read repeatedly how the bills must be pristine and that everybody seems to take 1's and 5's. It is a lie. Use local currency. If you need US money in a place that wants it, there will be ATM's nearby where you can get it. (Example, travel agents, doctor's offices, hotels)
My first trip, I took probably a couple hundred with me in small bills. We used an ATM in the plaza in Cuzco for a travel agency. My second trip in October, I took only about 50$ and I only used some of that to buy doughnuts for the family at the airport. and to get some quick change. (Buy with U$, get soles back, enjoy a doughnut--it's win-win!)
I gotta wonder, though. Why are you even asking if Peruvian money is good in Perú?
If you want more info, this topic is discussed almost every 2 or 3 days and there are gobs of other threads with more info that should give you better details.Edited: 07 January 2012, 07:11
It is true that your bills need to be in perfect condition. Mostly I used them in privately owned small hotels and a few tour companies. There are places that quote their rates in USD and then apply an unfavorable exchange rate to convert to PEN. (I found out that some Peruvians that work in the tourism industry have a choice of being paid in USD or in PEN, and some opt for USD). They were fine with taking $20s and even $100 but be sure they are PERFECT.
Not all ATMs dispense USD and in some cases the withdrawal limit is lower for USD.
And always tip in Peruvian soles. You aren't doing the service providers any favors by giving them US$ that they must then exchange & lose in the exchange process.
Hi - Just returned -
The only place where we wished we had more US Dollars was when buying larger-item souvenirs - for example, we purchased a hand-woven rug as a souvenir, and it would have been a much better deal if we had been able to pay in dollars. Higher-priced jewelry, same thing. Note, this was not on the street or in the street markets, but in shops.
The other money advice is what others have said - carry LOTS of small soles denominations with you - coins for 2 and 5 soles, even 1's and .50's. For tips and small purchases, etc.
Also, we found a lot of restaurants very reluctant to take plastic, even when they had visa signs plastered all over their front doors. "Machine is broken" was the excuse all over the place. So, cash is king in Peru, and Soles are best...
Interesting madukie! I think what may be happening at present is that some people are betting that the USD will appreciate vs PEN in the future, but I think they are making the wrong bet!
Madukie's comment about not being able to use plastic was common for us too. Or there were signs up for Visa but they only took Mastercard or whatever or said the sign was still up from the last shop that had been there. It was so silly.
Sol is the currency in Peru, use it as much as you can.Smaller bills are preferred.
the exchange to the US$ is constantly going down, now at 2.68 soles.
US$ coins are not accepted in any place, so tips in coins are a real bad idea for the receiver.