Banks and Money

The Nuevo Sol (S/.) is the currency of Peru (PEN = International code for the Peruvian currency. You can exchange USA $ or Euros at almost any place, banks, money changing offices, hotels, restaurants and with street money changers. Beware of false notes.




Many ATMs are available for all systems (Visa,Master Card,Cirrus, American Express and Diner's Club,etc)

You can withdraw money in Peruvian Soles or USA Dollars at most ATMs across the country.

Most ATM machines in Peru do not add any charge for withdrawing money from your home bank account, but your own bank might. As of April 2008, the only banks that add a surcharge for withdrawal were Interbank Globalnet ATMs, and Banco Continental (each adds a surcharge of about USA$2 per withdrawal). 

In the Lima airport, the only ATMs are Interbank Globalnet,

If you want to buy tours in Cuszo like Machu Picchu or Manu trips,

you get a much better total cost paying the tour operator in cash. But that means you need a lot of cash from ATM’s. Tell your bank in advance, that you will be withdrawing substantial amounts of cash, so they can raise your limit. Many ATM’s are limited to how much you can withdraw per transaction, often 200USD or 700Soles.


it is always a good idea to inform your bank or credit card company that you will be visiting Peru. If you don't it is possible that your cards won't be accepted. Keep a note of emergency numbers in case you lose your card or have it stolen.

Credit cards can also be used to pay shop, hotel and restaurant bills  but users should note that they will be charged between 5% and 10% commission, so ask first

if you go to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu).  ATMs and banks are a rare find in those areas, plan to take cash  with you


By far the best way  to withdraw money from an ATM is by using a direct-debit card such as Visa. On withdrawal, the money is immediately deducted from your bank account and no interest is charged so long as you have sufficient funds back home. The exchange rate is excellent. You may find, however, that like credit cards you may be limited to the amount that you can withdraw each day and if you sit on your card and break it you may be in big trouble!


Try to avoid them if possible. You'll find most of your day queuing!

The big international banks are the best, including HSBC and BCP does not charge you any surcharges, but have the 200USD limit.


These 'exchange houses' can be found in just about any town or city on the tourist circuit. They're often open all day and late into the night, are rarely crowded and the exchange rate is nearly always better than the banks.


Changing money on the street is perfectly legal in Peru. Unlike other South American countries, Peru does not have a Black Market exchange rate. In fact the rate on the street differs very little from the Casas de Cambio. Unless you're really stuck for somewhere to change money I don't recommend them.


Still the safest way to travel with large amounts of money. By far the best and most easily changed are American Express, although Thomas Cook, Citibank, and Visa are usually fairly easy to change in the major cities. Try to bring travel cheques in US dollar or Euro currency. To make replacement quicker in case of theft, keep a record of cheque numbers and the original bill of sale in a safe place. Even with proper records, replacement may not always be as quick as the companies promise. 
In Peru you will find that the exchange rate for travellers' cheques is 1.5% to 2% lower than for cash - a small price to pay for the added security.

You can redeem travellers checks at most banks, but you will get lower exchange rates and charged a comission. Do not  use travellers checks in Peru, as many places do not accept them. Only the owner of the traveller check can cash it at a bank, no endorsments are allowed


For smaller villages and towns, travellers' cheques may be hard to cash or the rate of exchange is ridiculously poor. For these places bring along cash US dollars. Make sure that the notes that you bring from home or accept are in excellent condition.

Even the slightest rip will make exchange almost impossible. Try to get the new style dollars with watermarks and the metallic strip embedded in the note as you're less likely to end up with a counterfeit note. 


Link to check the exchange rate:

Banks Data:  




Actually for the past few days as I've pondered my trip and continue to read blogs and sites online, I start to feel nervous about my trip. Why?

Well I read warnings about being pickpocketed and robbed while still being in the taxi on the way to your destination!

Most guides say 'just have your wits about you' (be smart and do no expose your money and valuables) or 'exercise caution', but these warnings are more like 'Do not travel at night', 'Be careful of your taxi driver', 'keep your bag between your feet in the taxi' and 'beware of people trying to distract you from your belongings'. 


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