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Payment Method for South American Guide Services

Regional discussion and conditions reports for South America. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the South American Climbing Partners section.
 

Postby Vic Hanson » Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:36 am

I'm way late on this I know, but just saw the post.

Here in Peru US$100 bills are very common and normally are no problem to use if you are paying for a high priced item. Yes, they will look at them very carefully, as they do with any bills, US or Peruvian. They know the difference between real and fake. As was said they must be almost like new - any rips or tears and they will refuse them. You MIGHT be able to exchange them for soles at a money changer but they will not give you the full rate for them.

If you have a large amount to exchange, they prefer $100's. There was a group here trying to exchange about $5000 in US $20 bills and the money changer refused them, said it was too many bills.

Also don't try buying any low priced item with a large bill, most places don't have much change on hand. An exception is the large supermarkets and drug stores, where you can pay in soles or dollars, they have a lot more cash on hand. Out in the villages you need to have almost exact change.

A money belt is a good idea, don't keep much money (or cards - credit or debit) in you wallet, the pickpockets are very good here.

Vic
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Postby Brad Marshall » Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:21 am

Tom Fralich wrote:Here's a funny story, not that helpful, but funny:

I once bought something in Peru, paying by cash, and they gave me my change in $2 bills! I think I had four of them. Then a bit later, I wanted to buy something somewhere else, so I tried to unload the $2 bills. But the Peruvians wouldn't accept them, insisting that they were fake. They even laughed..."a $2 bill, ha ha!" I insisted that they were an uncommon denomination, but were in fact real. But they wouldn't take them. I thought it was funny, a couple of foreigners arguing with an American about what is and isn't legitimate US currency, but I could understand why they were skeptical. So I brought the $2 bills home with me and used them for lunch at Wendy's one day.

So the lesson is: avoid $50 and $100 bills...I've also had $100 bills turned down with claims that they weren't legit. Be careful, since some ATM's dispense $100 bills which are then hard to unload. And avoid $2 bills as well...lol.


Want funny Tom? I once had to make so many withdrawls on my bank card at a bank on Belgrano Street in Mendoza, Argentina that I actually forgot to take my debit card with me when I left! Good thing those machines have the common sense to take in the card if it sits in the machine too long unclaimed.
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