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Your Money in Lima: A Currency Guide

Dealing with foreign currency and exchange rates in Lima can be a complicated and stressful process, but a little planning ahead will go a long way. This little guide will help you be “cent-sible” about your funds while visiting Lima.

Your Money in Lima: A Currency Guide


Thinking ahead

While carrying traveller’s cheques is the best and safest method of using currency in a foreign country, there are many markets in Lima that simply aren’t set up to handle the transfer … these places expect cold, hard cash. It’s wise to carry nominal amounts of Nuevos Soles (Peruvian currency), but do so carefully – Lima is a country of many underprivileged people and theft is an all-too-real danger.

If you can, make your currency exchange before you leave for your trip, or at the airport (expect higher exchange rates).


Currency exchange in Lima

The banks and foreign exchange offices (casas de cambio) in Lima tend to make things very difficult if you are trying to exchange anything but US dollars and Euros. If you aren’t already an American citizen with US dollars, make that exchange at your bank at home, so you have a little more freedom for exchanging money.

When exchanging currency in Lima, be on your guard – some cambistas can be tricky and charge you much more than they should. Knowing the exchange rate before heading to Peru will help you keep on track of it. An exchange calculator like the XE Currency Converter can keep you on top of the PEN exchange rate.
Make your own calculations and refute the charge with the cambista if you feel you are being overcharged.

One important detail that many travellers overlook when exchanging currency in Lima is to have the cambista’s stamp on each bill. By doing this, you can prove who it was that gave you the currency should it prove to be counterfeit. Asking for stamped bills ahead of time will prevent the cambista from trying to scam you.


Cash withdrawals

It’s pretty simple to make a cash withdrawal in Lima, as there are ATM machines and banks available everywhere. Since you are looking at a substantial fee every time you make a withdrawal, you may want to take out as much as possible each time, rather than pay additional processing fees for smaller amounts.

You can use your major credit card at most ATM machines and institutions.


Options

Traveller’s Cheques:

  • American Express (will replace lost or stolen traveller’s cheques, but won’t exchange them)
  • Banco Wiese (Citicorp traveller’s checks)
  • BCP (Visa Traveller’s cheques)

Amex:

  • Banco Wiese
  • BCP
  • Interbank

Visa:

  • Banco Continental
  • BCP
  • Interbank

Cirrus:

  • Interbank

Plus:

  • Banco Continenta
  • Interbank

MasterCard:

  • Banco Continenta
  • Banco Wiese
  • Interbank

Currency exchange office (recommended):

LAC Dólar
Camaná 779
Central Lima

 

Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:30am-6:30pm
Sun: 9am-2pm

Book your trip to Lima today!