The Peruvian Money Guide

The Peruvian Money Guide

Coming to a foreign country is always an exciting experience. Visiting Peru is no exception. So many new impressions might overwhelm you easily and you could get distracted when it comes to a boring, but important issue like money. Most probably you don't know how the Peruvian currency (Nuevos Soles) looks like, before actual being in Peru. Therefore we highly recommend reading our information about the money you will be using during your visit and how "money-issues" are handled in Peru.

Take your time to read through our selection of categories and pages. We tried to give you good general information about the Peruvian currency, familiarize you to the notes and coins including all important security features, tell you how to behave when handling money and make you aware of what to keep in mind when paying or changing money. We will give you some examples of common tricks and explain how people try to rip you off. More useful basic information about changing money, exchange offices, credit cards, money transfers and banks can be found under the correlating topics.

Current Currency

Current Peruvian Banknotes

Current Peruvian Banknotes

Do you know the background and history of the images on the banknotes of your country? Can you differentiate a real from a fake bill back home? In Peru you won't find any pictures of former presidents on the bills, but rather famous personalities and archaeological sites which are part of Peru's extensive past. Therefore Peru's Nuevos Soles banknotes don't only stand for the pure nominal value of the bill, but also pass on the rich cultural patrimony of the country.

All Current Banknotes...

 

Current Peruvian Coins

The Nuevo Sol is subdivided into 100 Centimos. Coins have been issued for 5 Centimos, 10 Centimos, 20 Centimos, 50 Centimos, S/. 1, S/. 2 and S/. 5. The abbreviation "S/." stands for Nuevo Sol. For each nomination you find a second page with details and images to make sure you quickly feel comfortable with this "strange" money.

All Current Coins...

Current Peruvian Coins
 
Wealth & Pride Coins Series

Wealth & Pride Coins Series

The Central Reserve Bank of Peru has issued a new Numismatic Series named "Riqueza y orgullo del Perú" - "Wealth and Pride of Peru" containing 24 coins with the value of one Nuevo Sol. The first coin of this series has been put into circulation in March 2010. With this series the Central Reserve Bank of Peru seeks a new way of spreading the diverse and rich cultural heritage of Peru with one of the most commonly used coins in the country (value S/. 1.00).

All Wealth & Pride Coins...

 

Natural Resources Coins Series

Peru is a country with a variety of natural resources. To highlight three of the most important ones the Central Reserve Bank of Peru issued a small Numismatic Series named "Recursos Naturales del Perú" – "Natural Resources of Peru". Motives for the coins are the Anchovy, Cacao and Quinoa.

All Natural Resources Coins...

Peruvian Natural Resources Coins Series
 

Money General

Current Exchange Rates for Peruvian Money

Current Exchange Rates

Our published exchange rates are an average/mix of the rates you should get (as reference!) in the local banks, exchange offices and official money exchangers (called "Cambistas"). Whenever changing money you should verify the rates form different sources. Hotels (and the exchange offices at the Lima International Airport) generally will give you very low exchange rates in Peru and you should verify before losing...

Exchange Rates...

 

Monetary Systems in Peru

Peru had since 1897 four main monetary systems. The first one was the Libra Peruana de Oro (Peruvian Gold Pound) that was in circulation as legal tender from 1897. In 1930 followed a new currency called the Sol de Oro (Golden Sun). Due to high inflation the currency of the era of Republican Peru was abandoned in 1985 and the Inti introduced. The bad economic state of Peru and terrorism in the late 1980s forced the Inti to lose its value very quickly.

Peru Monetary Systems...

Monetary Systems in Peru
 
Peruvian Money is it Real or Fake?

Is it Real or Fake?

The modern Peruvian currency, the Nuevo Sol, has been in circulation from 1991 and since then the banknotes have undergone a couple of improvements making forgeries more difficult while recognizing counterfeits more easily. With this not being enough in June 2011 completely new S/. 10 and S/. 20 and in August 2011 new S/. 50, S/. 100 and S/. 200 bills have been put into circulation. The new Peruvian Nuevo Sol banknotes combine the latest international security features of modern banknotes with Peru's rich cultural patrimony.

Real or Fake...

 

Handling Money in Peru

To make you aware of tricks and traps and to avoid dangerous situations, we want to let you know what can happen and give you some tips on either to avoid these situation or on how to handle them. Not to scare or even upset you, but to sensitize you for the local situation. In fact already your appearance or behavior can make you a victim. With taking a little precaution at the right time and knowing or recognizing critical situations you can avoid them or react correctly.

Handling Money...

Handling Money in Peru
 
Change Money in Peru

Change Money in Peru

US Dollars and Euros can be changed in Lima without restrictions in hotels, banks, exchange offices or on the street. Some places don't accept US$ 100 bills. The safest way to change money is in banks and your hotel, but this will result in much lower rates compared to exchange offices and the money-changers on the street. If possible try to avoid changing money at the airport exchange office. The rate is one of the lowest we have discovered in Lima and we think that you shouldn't support this rip-off.

Change Money...

 

ATM´s & Credit Cards

Credit cards come very handy. All well known international credit cards (just known as "tarjetas") are accepted nearly everywhere in Lima. You can pay with your "tarjeta" in hotels, restaurants, shops, supermarkets... Make sure you have your ID or passport with you. One tip: don't give your credit card to anyone unless you can watch closely what they are doing with it. If for example the waiter in a restaurant doesn't bring this little machine to your table, better follow him to where they have it.

ATM´s & Credit Cards...

ATM´s & Credit Cards in Peru
 

Value of old Peruvian Banknotes?

Old Peruvian Inti banknotes are no legal tender anymore! You can't exchange them anywhere! While the one or other bill might have a value for a collector if in impeccable condition, Intis are except for their sentimental value unfortunately worthless!

 

Money Transfers

To send money from home to Peru or vice versa is easy and quick, unfortunately it can be quite expensive (depending on the amount the sender will have to pay a substantial fee). Still it's good to know that in case of an emergency funds can be transferred reliable without an account (Valid ID will be necessary).

Money Transfers...

Money Transfers - Peru
 
Banks & Banking in Peru

Banks & Banking in Peru

In Lima you find banks nearly at every corner. But finding a good and reliable bank is as difficult as in any other city around the world. Being here only on holidays, you might not need a bank at all. For changing money you should better use exchange offices anyway and for drawing cash use ATM's that are placed all over the city. If you are a customer of an international bank that is present in Peru you should preferably use their ATM's.

All Peruvain Banks...

 

Old Currency

Old Peruvian Banknotes

The first banknotes in Peru were introduced by local private banks around 1864. These Peruvian banknotes (issued between 1864 and 1922) used currency names like Soles, Pesos, Incas and Libras. There was no unified monetary system for the country until 1926, when the Central Reserve Bank of Peru (Banco Central de Reserva del Peru) started issuing paper money.

All Old Banknotes...

Old Peruvian Banknotes
 
Old Peruvian Coins

Old Peruvian Coins

The use of official coins in Lima and Peru can be traced back to the year 1566. Since the foundation of Lima by Francisco Pizarro in 1535 it was very difficult to execute commercial transactions without any established monetary system. At that time silver and gold bars were used for large transactions, but these were not efficient for small businesses and operations.

All Old Coins...