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Currency of Peru


The Peruvian currency is called the Nuevo Sol or Soles for short. The coin currency is known as "moneda" which includes a coin of s/.1 sol, of s/.2 soles, and of s/.5 soles, and less than a sol, for cents, called centavos. The 2018 exchange rate has been in the area of US$1.00 = Soles s/. 3.25, but has been slightly flucuating over the past year depending on the strength of the US dollar. Once arriving in Lima, most all businesses accept the US dollar. They will figure the tariff in dollars based on an exchange rate. It is good to have an idea of the current exchange rate, when exchanging dollars for soles or vice versa. The rate of exchange is higher for you to change (or "sell") dollars to obtain soles. If you exchange soles for dollars (or "buy" dollars) the rate is less as there is a fee built in for the exchange to receive the weaker soles currency. This exchange rate difference is realized at ATM's, in banks, or if exchanging on the street.

When using an ATM (called a "cajero", meaning cashier), your bank may charge you an extra fee or a few percent of the amount, check that first. Although the exchange rate given via an ATM may be better than in the bank. Generally, it is advised to exchange money at an ATM or in a bank, instead of on the street which is akin to a black market, even though those street exchangers can be found soliciting in front of banks. The street exchangers wear a colored vest and are holding a calculator. They might have a slightly better exchange rate than a bank would give. Whichever you use, always be aware of your surroundings, and do not look like a lost tourist.

**Ask at your hotel or at the bank, as to the fees to use an ATM machine. Some banks add a fee to use their ATM. Some of the major banks in Peru are: Scotia Bank, Banco Continental, and Banco Weise. The machines DO NOT notify you of that while processing your transaction, as experienced some time ago.

**Warning - if you forget your card in an ATM, the machine might "eat" your card after some minutes, in which case the bank will probably not check the machine for you. Do not count on getting it back. They have orders to destroy any cards left in the machine (which might be better than having it stolen, if forgotten in the machine).


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