semi weird question re Peru Currency

Old Aug 6th, 2017, 10:05 AM
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semi weird question re Peru Currency

Not as weird as it seems -- but, what size are Peruvian bank notes? I'm traveling the end of this week and just starting to plan what I'm taking. When traveling I usually take a small wallet for 2 or 3 cards and currency, plus a small coin purse.

I take a little larger wallet and/or larger coin purse when the currency is larger.

So -- how big are they???

thanks
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Old Aug 6th, 2017, 03:02 PM
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Slightly smaller than a US $ bill. Same width but a little shorter.
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Old Aug 6th, 2017, 03:10 PM
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Terrific, thanks -- small wallet it is
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 07:11 AM
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Have a great time in Peru, Janis, and give us a trip report when you return.

!Buen viaje!
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 10:19 AM
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Well American Dollars are common use in Lima and Cusco, and Peruvian (Soles) bank notes are very similar to American Dollars bank notes in size. Both fit in my wallet. But it is quite sure, you will have 3 times more Peruvian Bank Notes than US Dollars Bank notes, because the exchange rate is 3.22 Soles per each 1US Dollar. I suggest just use Dollars as much you can or credit card. Visa, Mastercar and US Dollars are widely accepted in Lima, Cusco and Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu). Good Luck!!
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 04:37 PM
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US dollars may well be widely accepted, but only because restaurants, hotels and shops will likely use a lousy exchange rate if you do use them and they will make a significant profit on the deal.
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 05:13 PM
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Oh -- I definitely plan on using Sol. Will have some US cash on me (aways do) for emergency back up. But I'm not one to say "Oh, just use US$"
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Old Aug 9th, 2017, 07:04 PM
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Peversely, rates for tours in particular, and some hotels will be quoted in USD and you get screwed converting into Nuevo Soles. One of the staff at 3B told me that some people prefer to have savings in USD to protect against bouts of currency deflation. IIRC she said there can also be an option to take one's salary in either currency.


I pay hotels with credit cards if they quote and run the card thru in PEN without a surcharge (a few cheap places still do that). I rarely needed more than $100 worth of currency on me at a time.

Note that if you decide to use a cc outside of your hotel you maybe be asked to show your physical passport as ID.
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Old Aug 10th, 2017, 06:02 AM
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I always paid with soles (or whatever other currency) when possible. Exception was Argentina.

If I were to go to Peru again, or elsewhere in South America, I'd withdraw as many soles as I could get from an ATM, and take some dollars and a credit card or two, and use whichever gave me the best deal, at the risk of looking like a money changer with my calculator in hand.
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Old Aug 10th, 2017, 06:30 AM
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I just think there are some incorrect assumptions here about preferences for being paid in USD vs PEN and whether you will always get screwed in one direction (vis the other or not at all). By the time you factor in local ATM fees, commissions, you own bank's fees, whether the merchant will DCC you (I don't think it has happened often, maybe once a restaurant snuck it in on me) and currency conversion rates you almost do look like a money changer if you need to save that last 50 cents.

BTW taxidatum is another vendor that gives you an option to pay in USD which can be a convenience if you arrive late at night and just want to go straight to your lodgings and not spend extra time at the airport changing money.

Really, the only places where your USD might be refused are some of the government controlled parks and museums.
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Old Aug 10th, 2017, 07:31 AM
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To clarify - I don't pay in local currency to save money. The amounts one way or the other are insignificant really.

I just think (with some specific exceptions) it is better practice to use local currency. It is their country after all.
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Old Aug 10th, 2017, 10:43 AM
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I totally agree with you janisj .. If we just stop and think, do the French or Italians come to the US to visit , and expect to pay with their money ?

When you go to any country , your first stop should be the money machine/window where you can get Whatever for your USD ..
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Old Aug 10th, 2017, 03:49 PM
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Except that in THIS country as well as many others in Latin America there is still in some places even a preference for USD, even to the degree that you can withdraw USD from the ATMs. That is the fallacy of trying to apply Euro travel logic to other countries. On the street you may be getting charged a 'gringo' tax whether you pay in PEN and USD, regardless.

In small stores or very remote areas it's nice to pay in local currency if you have it (eg 4 hours downstream on some small Amazon tributary). But even if you don't have it, likely your USD will be happily accepted.

Wasn't that also the case in Argentina for a long while, Scarlett?

Of course in Ecuador and Panama the USD is also legal tender,
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Old Aug 10th, 2017, 06:47 PM
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I disagree that USD will be "happily accepted" in remote areas. I don't think you should saddle anybody with the need to change money when they might not have ready access to a bank. Don't do that to somebody.
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Old Aug 10th, 2017, 07:22 PM
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As I said, it is nicer to pay in local currency in those areas, especially for small items such as a few PEN of produce in a rural market (although I can't see the vast majority of Fodorites out and about without a handler or even out of reach on an ATM.) But do you really think someone is going to refuse a $100 or $200 sale (or even $10) if a tourist doesn't have enough PEN but has USD? In extremely remote areas there is not a lot of everyday use of currency anyways. When I first went, I remember you would see women in town selling weavings because they needed money for family member's medication or medical treatment (which you have to come into town for anyways, probably to Urubamba which has banks and all of that). Now there are all sort of NGOs which travel up there and can assist with setting fair prices and doing currency exchange.

So no one is "doing anything" to anyone.
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Old Aug 11th, 2017, 03:00 AM
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Yes, you are doing something to someone. You are saddling that person with the need to make a currency exchange in their own country. The seems rude to me. The responsibility should be on us as visitors to do that.
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Old Aug 11th, 2017, 04:29 AM
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I wonder if that's the way THEY see it? If so then the choice is to wait for another opportunity, charge an extra amount or skip that surgery.

Is this worse than saddling someone with a need to learn Spanish because you don't speak Quechua?
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Old Aug 11th, 2017, 09:29 AM
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I am in Peru (or will be in a few hours) - want to use Peruvian currency. End of story.

(I personally - just MY personal philosophy - think one should at least attempt to conform to the country one is visiting - not bring the States with you. YMMV Why is it that the simplest question 'what size are peruvian bank notes?' has to evolve into lectures??? )
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Old Aug 11th, 2017, 12:58 PM
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Wait til you get there and see how many prices are posted in both currencies.
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Old Aug 14th, 2017, 04:35 PM
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Janis, any thread in a web discussion board is bound to meander, and that's what happened here. I applaud you for sticking with local currency.

I think there are varying levels of consideration. A splashy Caribbean resort isn't going to deal in local currency at all. They'll expect US dollars. That does not describe remote Peru at all. Giving someone foreign currency in an area with no banks is saddling them with a difficult task. I simply wouldn't do that. I think the onus is on me as a visitor to change my dollars and not expect local people to do it for me.

Enjoy your trip.
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