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Currency in South America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Currency in South America

1. Posted by Benito2k (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

With the UK pound currently collapsing against the dollar, what is the best thing to do when travelling in South America?

Will we need to have dollars are can we survive soley using cash machines and local currency?

I'm kinda hoping that the exchange rate from £ straight to local currency will be better than £ to $ to local currency.

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 7y

Yes, using cash machines and local currency would be better. Although $ can sometimes be of use when you can pay directly with them, instead of changing.

I don't get the last sentence though. It is always better to only change once, not twice, as you loose a certain amount of money everytime you change currency. I mean, the GBP and $ have an exchange rate together as well, you know what I mean?

3. Posted by Benito2k (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

Yeah, that last sentence is a bit of nonsense!!

I guess, I mean that when we were in Guatemala two years back and paid with dollars, we'd tend to get local money for change. At the time, that worked out quite well as the £ was so strong against the $. Not anymore, though!

Currency talk makes my head spin!!

4. Posted by BHammer301 (Budding Member 33 posts) 7y

your best bet is to use USD. You can change it anywhere. I have only ever had a problem exchanging money or obtaining money in very small towns. you'll jut have to prepare yourself for it in advanced.

I little trick that i found useful was to always have about twenty US singles on me. these come in real handy when you need to tip a server or pay for a cab or just make a quick purchase and you don't want to carry around too much local change.

5. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 7y

In Argentina you will be getting pesos out of the ATM's as far as I remember there isn't an option here for dollar withdrawal. In Peru and Bolivia you will automatically be given dollars in most ATM's - some have the option in Peru for soles, so where they do have this option get soles out.

It is usually best to only exchange once - you don't say if you will be using ATM's, travellers cheques or taking money with you, so it's more difficult to answer the question!

The reality of travelling at the moment is that the £ has lost rougly 30% of it's value against most currencies, we can't change that so we have to just suck it up until it improves - eventually it will...won't it?!!!

6. Posted by Benito2k (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

I really hope so, but I just can't see it at the moment with the mess our banks are in at the moment and the lack of confidence that seems to surround the UK. Thankfully, we still have have 5 months until we go and so there's some time for things to improve. It's just quite depressing that this time last year we would have been able to do much more for less.

We'll be using ATMs for money, as well as carrying an emergency supply of dollars hidden somewhere!

I guess we'll just have to tighten our belts here and then when we're out there, as well as spending, perhaps, more time in the likes of Bolivia and less time in Brazil.

I think Argentina should still be pretty cheap?

EDIT: Just noticed my first post says '...are can we...' where it should say '...or can we...'

[ Edit: Edited on 21-Jan-2009, at 02:28 by Benito2k ]