Currency in South America

All South American countries, with the exception of Ecuador, have their own currency. Argentina has the Argentine Peso, Brazil the Real and Peru the Nuevo Sol. It is best to pay in the local currency in all the countries in South America. Some large shops and grocery stores may accept US dollars; however, the exchange rate will not be favourable. It is best to travel with a combination of US dollars, local currency, a credit card for emergencies and debit card. Travellers’ cheques can be quite hard to exchange and generally the exchange rate is much less than for cash. Make sure that the notes brought for exchange are not torn or damaged.

In Peru and Argentina, it is easy to withdraw money from ATMs, found across all the cities. If you have a PIN for your credit card you can swipe it at the shops and restaurants. Don’t forget to inform your bank and credit card companies, before you take your South America holiday that you will be travelling, as they may freeze your account if they see too many transactions from South America.

In Brazil, not every bank machine will accept foreign credit cards, however there you will be able to withdraw funds at ATMs. Ecuador accepts US Dollars and the French Guiana accepts the Euro currencies. Don’t carry too much cash and display it openly to avoid getting robbed or mugged.

Speak to SOTC before you plan your trip, as we can help you with your currency exchange.

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