Changing money in Cuscu

Old Jan 18th, 2011, 06:53 AM
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Changing money in Cuscu

I will be visiting Cusco, Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo in March.
Want to change currency without too high a fee and the going exchange rate.
Federal Express and the bank here in Miami charge a bit more than I want to fork over and I know I can have been given a better exchange rate than the one I received.
While in Easter Island, I learned that the gas station (the one and only gas station on the island - I'm pretty sure) changes money and at a very good rate.
Has anyone any idea where/if the same (safe) situation might exist in Cusco, Peru.
Thank you.
backagainBill is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2011, 04:55 PM
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Don't even try to get Peruvian currency before you arrive in Peru. You'll get a terrible rate.

Cusco has a lot of ATMs. The town of Aguas Calientes has one, but it occasionally runs out of cash.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2011, 04:59 AM
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Did not have problems with getting cash in Peru. ATms are pelntyful in Cusco and there are several in Ollantaytambo. Check with the FX rates and fees with your bank before you go as they do vary widely. many banks use VISA for FX transactions and will use the wholesale rate less 2.75% they may also charge atransaction fee. this would be in addition to any fees charged locally. make sure you notify you bank of when and where you are travelling and many will now block foreign withdrawals if not notified in advance.

There are money changers in the markets in Cusco but I would not risk using them. Be careful using ATMs on the streets in and around the Plaza de Armas in Cusco - make sure there is no one watching you or loitering. better to use the ATMs inside the banks or their lobby. Prepaid FX cards are really taking off here in the UK mainly because of the great rates and low charges. Not sure whether this sort of service is available in the US.
crellston is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2011, 07:11 AM
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Be VERY careful with money change all over Peru.

So much counterfeit they do not take $50 $100

only new $20 no tears... no fee Visa ATM at big banks only

for best exchange for me...

Have fun,
qwovadis is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2011, 08:51 AM
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Just a warning that going to a bank teller involves waiting in interminable lines...but there are ATMs inside the bank lobbies.

The Global Net ATMs charge a high fee and have a low withdrawal limit, so avoid those as much as possible.

There are also cambios at Lima airport which don't charge a transaction fee so you can change just a small amount between the time you arrive Lima and depart Cusco to carry you through.

Also carry some US cash in perfect condition many operators will take it, although you may or may not be charged a fair exchange rate.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2011, 11:54 AM
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Holy Cow!
Ok, great ideas!
I'll carry soles into the country (small denomination, no tears) thank you, qwovadis and Jeff_Costa_Rica.
Seems bringing the cash in will save time and avoid worry.
I will be spending first night between flights at Lima airport hotel so will pick up soles there if need be - sounds like a safe bet. Thank you, mlgb.
I heard about the FX prepaid card - will look into it more though I wonder if vendors are willing to accept it - I'll look into though. Thank you, Crellston.
backagainBill is offline  
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