money in peru

Traveling opens the mind and produces changes in us never before thought. We learn, we enjoy ourselves, and we go home with a whole host of new memories. Going to a foreign country is an exciting experience for everyone involved. But there are certainly important issues to address. It is important to have a good understanding of certain important issues before embarking on a vacation to Peru. For this reason, together with the experts of Machu Travel Peru, we have prepared a small article summarizing the money in Peru.

Even though prices have increased a bit in recent years, it is still quite affordable compared to Chile and Brazil. Even more so when we compare it with European countries where tourism is very popular. So if you come from a country with strong currencies, tourism in Peru may seem quite cheap. Peruvians tend to haggle their prices and even accept that others haggle (politely obviously). Except, of course, in the main stores and renowned restaurants. Keep in mind that within large cities, prices can be higher, especially in Lima. But also, during the high season, prices go up due to strong demand. Money in Peru is not a big problem in general. And if you take our advice into account, it will be very helpful to enjoy your travel.

The most important things to know about money in Peru


peru coins and notes machu travel

In Peru, the local currency is called Nuevo Sol and it comes in both coins and bills. The coins available are 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, and 50 cents. Then the coins of 1 sol, 2 soles, and 5 soles follow. Instead, the notes or bills come in 10 soles, 20 soles, 50 soles, 100 soles, and 200 soles. The US dollar is also a legally accepted currency that can be used in any of the Peruvian destinations. Also, not many businesses accept one hundred US dollar bills except for exchange houses. Money in Peru is not very different from other places in the world. 

The dollar is usually the second currency of choice within Peru. You will even see how many hotels publish their rates in dollars. As well as many stores, taxi drivers, and restaurants accept dollars as a form of payment. And despite the great technological advances, Peru continues to be a cash society. In many towns and small towns, it is difficult to cash traveler’s checks or use credit cards. So it is always good to make sure you have some cash with you.

Something important to keep in mind within Peru is that some things are cheaper than others. For example, you can get a delicious and hearty three-course menu for less than $ 4. While a taxi ride to any part of Lima does not usually exceed $ 15. But at the same time, other products are significantly more expensive. Among the things you may notice more expensive are beauty and bath products. So it’s a good idea to bring your own lotions, sunscreen, and bug repellants.


where to exchange money in peru

When you like and want to change your currency, you can do so at the reception of the hotel where you are staying or at the local bank. But banks are no longer the place of choice when it comes to exchanging money in Peru. The lines can be too long and the task can take too much time. Not to mention that rates are often lower inside exchange houses. But in case you can’t avoid banks, you will find one in every city. While in the small towns you may find main branches of the different local and international banks.  

But if you are interested in better exchange rates, exchange houses are for you. The main ones are distributed in the main tourist areas, so they are not difficult to find. British pounds are more difficult to change and many households do not want to deal with them. 

Within a tour, you will notice how there are people exchanging money in the middle of the street. They are known as the itinerant money changers, who usually wear colored vests along with “$” badges. They offer the exchange service at current rates, but it is advisable to always count your money carefully. It is not recommended for anything to change money on the street, as there will be many people watching and it is not safe. It is best to do it in the safety of an exchange house. Don’t forget to always check the exchange rate before exchanging your money in Peru. If you wonder about whether it is safe to travel alone, then don’t worry. Many travelers choose to travel safely and make their trips.


real or fake money peru

Counterfeit money in Peru is a recurring problem. Both with the Nuevo Sol and with the US Dollar. And it is not always easy to spot a counterfeit bill or coin. Counterfeit bills and coins are common. So much so that it is not surprising to see merchants and consumers vigorously verifying the authenticity of money before accepting payment or change. And being a foreigner you may not be able to notice the subtle differences. So don’t be ashamed to take the time to review all your money when you receive it. 

One of the easiest ways to verify money in Peru is by holding the bill up to the light to see the watermark. If you feel that something is wrong, ask for the bill or coin to be exchanged. New banknotes or notes were introduced in 2011, combining international security measures. They are also designed with figures from the rich cultural history of Peru. If you have any questions about security in Peru, you can consult with our advisors. But in general, you have nothing to worry about.


money in peru and credit cards

Another of the safest ways to travel around Peru is with credit cards. These are easy to use and quite effective when traveling abroad. You will avoid problems such as counterfeit money and other types of scams. Although the credit card also has its main disadvantages. They are accepted in most places, hotels, restaurants, shops, and most supermarkets. MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted cards in general, although American Express is also used in several places. Most establishments that accept credit cards will have a sign showing what type of cards they accept. But it is always a good idea to ask before you buy. Although it is also advisable to have a little cash. Especially for tipping the waiter, because the tip cannot always be added to the bill.

Make sure you have your ID with you at the time of the transaction. In addition to remembering your PIN or security code. If in a business or store they take your card for payment, be sure to go with them to see what happens to your card. Despite the fact that the credit card is still one of the best ways to travel, cash still has its advantages in Peru. For example, it is better to opt for cash when choosing souvenirs to buy in Peru. It is also advisable to carry a copy of your card in case of emergencies.


atm machines in peru

One of the most common ways to obtain money in Peru is through ATMs. And fortunately, there are numerous ATMs in Peru. In Spanish, they are known as Cajeros Automáticos. And in these, you can get money quickly and safely. There are four popular banking companies in Peru: BCP, Scotiabank, BBVA Continental, and Interbank. You will usually find ATMs for each of these companies. You can find them in their main branches, large supermarkets, shopping centers, and even gas stations. ATMs dispense both Nuevos Soles and US dollars. But always keep in mind that ATMs usually have transaction fees every time you use them. A good idea is to check the charges and fees of each bank before your trip departure. As well as finding out about the specific instructions to be able to use your debit card in Peru. 

As a tip, it is recommended that you use ATMs inside banks, stores, or malls. Especially if you are going to use your credit card at an ATM. Street ATMs are a common point of theft and are not very safe. Although credit cards are accepted in most businesses in Peru, it is advisable to always carry a little cash. In local and smaller markets the use of a credit card is not always seen. If you plan to buy traditional clothing in Peru, cash may be a good alternative. 


change peru local currency

Bear in mind that many people do not accept banknotes that are not in good condition. And you as a visitor have to have the same parameters when accepting cash. Do not accept bills with tears, bills that have been written, or those that are badly worn. This will avoid problems with future payments. Taped tickets are another thing to avoid. Those US dollars that are in poor condition are also not accepted in Peru. Any foreign banknote that is dirty or broken will be frowned upon by merchants. So it is important not to have old bills, both in Soles and Dollars. If you happen to have any of these bills, don’t worry. These can be exchanged at the National Bank of Peru for free. If you are going to visit Machu Picchu, be sure to change your money.


money in peru in a budget

Fortunately, Peru fits most travelers’ budgets. Making it one of the best destinations for all travelers in the world. From thrifty backpackers to luxury-loving homeless. No matter what your vacation budget is, there is something for everyone in Peru. From thrifty backpackers to luxury-loving homeless. Whether you are looking for a certain level of comfort that includes good food and hotels with hot water, you can expect to spend between $ 70 and $ 100 a day. 

But if you are interested in staying in high-end hotels and eating in quality restaurants, the budget can exceed $ 500 a day. There are numerous luxurious hotel options to choose from as well. If you don’t have the budget for these hotels, it is worth it to visit them. The different patios are wonderful and the architecture is worthy of photographs. Now, there are also budgets for thrifty travelers that do not exceed USD $ 50 a day. There are several ways to save money while getting to know Peru. You can choose to share rooms, enjoy family restaurants. And many times cash can save you surcharges from your bank, as well as give you options for haggling in different places. No matter your budget, Peru vacations are worth it.


cost and money in peru

Over the years, the cost of tourism has increased. What makes Peru not as cheap and economical a destination as it was known in previous years. But the Andean country continues to be relatively inexpensive by North American and European standards. It is becoming an excellent luxury destination, where you can enjoy high-end international hotel chains and other incredible attractions. Despite this, the Machu Picchu cost is still quite accessible, especially if you know the prices and rates of international attractions. In the same way, the US dollar, the euro, and the pound are strong currencies that can be used on your trips to Peru. Experience one of the most fascinating cultures on the planet.


  • Watermarks are used to prevent counterfeiting and are located in the upper left corner of the face of the banknotes.
  • It is common to see people verifying the money they receive, so do not think that it is strange to take your time.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask someone to replace a suspicious-looking bill.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash. A little change will do.
  • Haggling is common in Peru, especially in those products where there is no clear price tag. This includes taxi fares.
  • Always carry a copy of your credit card as well as your main documents.
  • A good idea is to check the current exchange rate. For this, you can go to this link.


As you will see, money in Peru is a topic to continue exploring. But in general, if you keep these tips in mind, you will not have future problems. If you have any other questions about the currency of Peru, you can consult with the Machu Travel Peru team. You can also contact our team of qualified consultants so they can help you get organized. Our consultants will be happy to help you plan the trip of your dreams. Since Peru is the place where the biggest dreams come true. Don’t miss it and start booking your future vacations!

Peru has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start. With many years of experience in the tourism sector, Machu Travel Peru is happy to help with anything regarding your trip to Machu Picchu and any tours around it. Make your Machu Picchu experience an unforgettable one!