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Money and Banks

During the late 1980s Peru's rate of inflation was running at thousands of percent, but President Fujimori's economic shock tactics of the early 1990s brought it fairly tightly under control, so that by 1999 it was below the four percent mark. Devaluation is a regular occurrence, however, and in 1986 the whole currency was changed from the sol (Spanish for sun) to the inti (Quechua for sun) and in the process three zeros were removed - one inti was worth 1000 sols. The inti has since been replaced by the nuevo sol, still called a simple sol on the streets, and whose symbol is S/.

Despite being closely tied to the US dollar, the value of the nuevo sol still varies from day to day, so we have quoted prices throughout this guide in US dollars, against which costs have so far remained relatively stable. At the time of writing, the exchange rate for the nuevo sol was roughly S/3.5=$1, S/2.3=CDN$1 S/5.8=1, S/2.3=A$1 and S/1.7=NZ$1

Costs
Peru is certainly a much cheaper place to visit than Europe or the US, but how much so will depend on where you are and when. As a general rule low-budget travellers should - with care - be able to get by on around $10-20 per person per day. If you intend...
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Traveller's cheques, cash and credit cards
For safety's sake the bulk of your money should be carried as traveller's cheques - preferably of two different types, as rumoured forgeries make individual brands difficult to exchange, from time to time. American Express is probably the best...
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Banks, casas de cambio and the black market
Bank opening hours vary enormously from region to region and from bank to bank, but as a general rule most open weekdays from 9am until 5pm and in Lima, in particular, many of them close for the afternoon at about 1pm from January to March; the...
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Emergency cash
If you're in a large city in Peru, probably the quickest method of getting emergency cash is to use your credit card to withdraw money from the ATMs of major banks, or get a cash advance on your credit card. Otherwise, you can get a ...
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