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Travel Through South America for a month

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Travel Through South America for a month

Hi All,

Please help, i'll be travelling through South America for a month starting in Lima, Peru and going through to Bolivia then on to Brazil. Can anyone who has been through here suggest the best way to carry money or get money out etc during this trip?

This would be greatly appreciated



Santa Cruz...
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1. Re: Travel Through South America for a month

I was thinking of trip just like that, am I am hoping to avoid just using air travel, and would love to take some of the amazing looking train routes or even catch a nice bus overnight to save some lodging costs and getting to my next city as I sleep. How are you traveling to and from each country?

When I was in Brasil two years ago, credit cards worked out very well- the exchange rates were very good on my amex and visa. I called all my banks first and found out which ones had the lowest rates. Once I had a hard time once because they took only Mastercard, and not Visa-After this I always carried one of each, there were very few times we could not use one of the major cards.

Using credit cards seemed safe at you don't need to carry as much cash around- We used ATMs in the Major banks and the Amex office at the airport (RIO) to get cash, you just need to make sure you are using the international atm, there was usually one or two at each bank but they were not marked as such, so it one atm won't work for you, just try another or ask which one will work with international cards. I'm sure the more seasoned travelers here will know about Peru and Bolivia.

One last thought is that "Traveler Checks" just are not used that much anymore.

Sugar Land, Texas
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2. Re: Travel Through South America for a month

It's very easy to get money out of ATMs about anywhere in Peru, and you can even chose between US$ and soles.

Last time we went to La Paz / Bolivia, there were lots of ATMs, most of them in safe, well-lit places.

I would guess that Brazil is the same.

You really don't need to carry a lot of cash around.

Split the cash between your pant pockets / bag / backpack / hidden pouch.

The previous poster is right - travel cheques are not readily accepted anymore, but I still keep carrying about $100 just as a precaution.

Washington DC
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3. Re: Travel Through South America for a month

I was just traveling in Bolivia and Peru this summer. Credit cards are fine in the major cities (la paz, Lima, Cusco, etc), but many places do not take credit cards in the smaller towns or they will only take them at certain times during the day (don't even ask). Depending on where you are going to cross into Brazil, some of the smaller Bolivian towns do not even have ATM's. Always make sure you are carrying some extra cash in Bolivia. Oh.....and never accept any ripped or old bills in Peru, nobody will take them as pay and you will be stuck with them. Lower denominations are best. When I tried to but something for 6 neuvo sols in Cusco and handed them a 10 neuvo sol note, they refused and told me it was 6, not 10. Not all are like this and many go out of there way to make change, but it gets frustrating when the ATM's spit out 100's and no shops will take them. Enjoy.

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: Travel Through South America for a month

>>it gets frustrating when the ATM's spit out 100's and no shops will take them.<<

On a few occasions after withdrawing money from an ATM, I went into the bank and changed all the money into smaller notes. Combined with a strategy to use large notes whenever possible (to pay for more expensive things like bus tickets, museum entry, and hotels), I almost always had enough small change handy.

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5. Re: Travel Through South America for a month

Hey Laura--

I saw your post and I am trying to plan a similar Trip: Peru to Rio through Bolivia, but I am having a hard time figuring out how to get there. How did you do it?

Thanks SO Much for your help!


6. Re: Travel Through South America for a month

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