Change Money in Lima

Change Money in Lima Change Money in Lima
US Dollars and Euros in Lima

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. When there is absolutely no other chance, just swap the absolute minimum. Taxis from the airport can be paid in US Dollars (again make sure to have enough small change for this purpose).

Exchange rates can be slightly lower on the weekends!

Good exchange rates can be achieved with money-changers on the street. But as with all "street deals" in Peru don't forget to bargain. Inform yourself about the current rate, otherwise you might be ripped-off. The exchange rates will not only vary depending on the amount you are willing to change, but as well on your appearance. If the money-changer thinks you haven´t got a clue, he will of course try to give you a much lower rate and make a good deal for himself. When changing money on the street, remember to keep a watchful eye on your surroundings.

Money Changers or Exchange Offices?

The money-changers (called Cambistas) can be found literally everywhere (where tourists are). Those ones officially registered with the municipality wear color coded vests (each district has a different color) with a "$" sign / EURO written on the back and have proper identification documents. Don't let anybody disturb your transaction. Don't get distracted by a little chat with the Cambistas. Always check for counterfeit money. Tourists are popular victims to circulate phony notes. Have a good look at the notes you receive, but check the coins as well. Count the money carefully. Some Cambistas might accidentally (?) give you a S/. 2 instead of a S/. 5 coin. Quickly the good exchange rate can turn to the opposite.

We recommend the exchange of currency in one of the many exchange offices (called Casa de Cambio). You'll get a fair rate, but again compare to find the best deal. Some places give better rates for Dollars than Euros and vice versa. In every good exchange office you can make the transaction at ease and comfort. You have the time and a place to carefully count and examine the money without anybody looking over your shoulder. We think this is worth more than gaining a few centimos more.

  • Guest (Donald)

    Hi Eva,
    Thank you for your frank input regarding Peruvians' attitude towards emails. I'm shocked to say the least!
    I'm from the State of Hawaii and also a Government agency employee. Tourism is our biggest industry along with the US military. We bend over backwards to support our visitors by addressing all their concerns. We would never delete a genuine email even if it's written in another language. Besides, there a thing call " google translate " along with dozens of similar translation aids. English is an international language not Mongolian! I will be visiting Peru soon and hope to find Peruvians as cordial as we Americans (Hawaiians). I can get by in Spanish so taking your advice my future queries to them will be likewise. Thanks again and Aloha ! Donald.

  • Guest (Donald)

    Can I change American Express checks for Soles at the Casa de Cambios ?
    Are Peruvians shy about answering emails queries written in English ? I emailed different governments agencies, municipalities and companies and 95% of the time they do not respond ! I think it's common courtesy to answer even if they do so in Spanish ? Puzzled !
    Thank you

  • Shy? That's really nicely put. Not answering to mails is very common here and something I still can't cope with even after many years living in Peru. While the attitude improved when trying to contact tourism related companies or institutions, governmental agencies, etc. often ignore mails, especially if they are in English. As most people sitting there simply don't speak English, they prefer to delete the message instead of trying to understand it. You can increase your chances of an answer by writing in Spanish; but still this is no guarantee to get an answer. Sad, but true.
    Regarding travelers cheques: in Lima you can exchange them at main branches of banks and bigger casa de cambios. But be aware of bad exchange rates and fees. Best compare rates and fees to find the best deal.

  • Guest (Hansoo)

    Hi I'm from Canada.
    When I go back home, I'd like to change soles to Canadian dollars.
    Is there any place that I can buy Canadian dollars?

    Gracias,

  • I never specifically asked for Canadians Dollars, but you should be able to change Soles to Canadian Dollars at the places where you can exchange Canadian Dollars to Soles; so bigger exchange offices, probably some main branches of banks and of course at the airport (expect a very bad rate)
    Not sure about what amount you are talking, so it might be possible that these places don't have enough Canadian Dollars on hand and it might be necessary to ask around.

  • Guest (norwyn)

    hi,..can i change cien mil intis

  • Since 1991 the Inti is no legal tender in Peru anymore; it can’t be exchanged anywhere anymore, neither in Peru nor abroad. Even though some banknotes still have a certain value (probably a few Dollars) for a collector, if in impeccable condition, mostly the bills are except their sentimental value unfortunately worthless.

  • Guest (Dan Williams)

    Hi,

    I am travelling to Peru later this year and will be visiting Lima as well as more rural places surfing. I am looking for advice on the best way of using money. Do I use my VISA (which I can top up the amount on over the internet), cash or a bit of both. I am conscious of carrying around a load of cash but at the same time dont want to be left with no money and no cash point or anywhere that accepts VISA.

    I look forward to any advice you may have for me.

    Dan

  • You posted nearly the same comment 4 times; in one of the others you mentioned Tumbes, Trujillo, Punta Hermosa, all of them are not really rural. So don't worry you surely find ATMs there. Nevertheless I personally wouldn't solely rely on my Visa; you never know, the ATM is not working, for some reason your card isn't accepted or you loose it. So better have as well some (but please not a load of) cash with you. Enjoy the great waves in Peru :)

  • Guest (John)

    can I change UK pounds

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