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Getting Money

Northwich, United...
Level Contributor
2,027 posts
95 reviews
Getting Money

I am worried about money in Peru. Llama Path wants paying the balance of our trek in cash - USD and a horse riding tour has asked for USD too. I don't realluy want to get 1000 USD in cash in the UK and fly with this on me as I have read some iffy reviews of getting searched in Lima Airport and demands for cash, neither do I think it is wise carrying 1000 plus of USD on me.

So, how do I get my hands on USD in Cusco? I will have my UK bank card but I imagine using this at ATM's will only let me have Soles? Some hotels quote us in Soles and others in USD and it seems strange that nowhere is consistent in which currency they want paying in! We are going straight from Lima airport to Cusco with a short transfer.

Any help would be welcome.

Thanks

Ica, Peru
Level Contributor
930 posts
39 reviews
1. Re: Getting Money

You could send yourself a Moneygram or Western Union payment.

Send it while in the UK, and pick it up in Cusco.

Yorktown, Virginia
Level Contributor
6,183 posts
15 reviews
2. Re: Getting Money

It would probably be easier to bring it with you, instead of having to go pick up money somewhere. Moneygram & Western Union also have fees attached (varies by amount).

If you are going with someone else, split the money between the two of you & carry in an under-clothing money belt. I strongly doubt you will be searched at the Lima Airport, but your money could also be packed deep in your carry-on bag when going through security for your Cusco flight, if you are worried about carrying it on your body.

For smaller amounts, ATMs are recommended to get cash, either $$ or soles, but the per-day limits are much lower than what you need (dependent on your bank). Most hotels will take payment in either $$ or soles. Varies from place to place & from time to time as to which gives you a better rate. Many hotels will also accept credit cards, which would be easiest. With both ATM & credit card, there is often a fee charged by your bank, as well as a foreign transaction fee. Try to get a card with the lowest of these fees, but if not, just consider it a cost of travel. Be sure to notify your bank & credit card issuer that you will be traveling to Peru & making charges or using ATMs there.

Northwich, United...
Level Contributor
2,027 posts
95 reviews
3. Re: Getting Money

Thanks, looks like the best option is to just take USD from the UK and as you say, half it between us. Yes, I'll use my card at hotels, and I understand its better to get them to do the charge in Soles rather than accepting their own exchange rate and let my card issuer decide the rate.

I have a good debit card that never charges for use abroad. Will ATM's give me money in Soles or USD? Where is the best place to use a safe ATM in Cusco?

Thanks,

Rachel

Yorktown, Virginia
Level Contributor
6,183 posts
15 reviews
4. Re: Getting Money

At the ATM, you can choose whether you want soles or $$. We used ATMs in several locations. The first I used was near the luggage carousel in the Lima Airport. Next one was in Cusjco, just inside a bank entrance on the Avenids del Sol. Other times, I found ATMs that were just barely inside shops on the Plaza de Armas. In Ollantaytambo, I used an ATM inside the entrance of the Hotel Sauce, another time, one that was on the street near the plaza. Never had any problems.

Edited: 7:56 pm, February 24, 2013
california
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
5. Re: Getting Money

Most of the time you can withdraw USD as well as soles. Especially in a tourist area with lots of travel agencies and hotels.

Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
565 posts
56 reviews
6. Re: Getting Money

I'm sorry everybody,but I don't understand what the post here is saying. Do I understand correctly that there is a chance of being searched at the airport by the security guards and if they find cash on you,they might demand to give it to them? I hope I am misunderstanding or that I am missing something. Can anybody elaborate on this? Has this happened to anybody?

Thank You.

Northwich, United...
Level Contributor
2,027 posts
95 reviews
7. Re: Getting Money

I started the thread as I was worried about cash. I had read a post that someone was searched by airport security and had money taken off them. I can't remember if it was on this forum or Lonely Planet but it worried me, however it could be scaremongering too.

And thanks for the help about USD and Soles being available, this I did not realise and means I will avoid taking large sums of cash if I can get both currencies from ATM's.

california
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
8. Re: Getting Money

There have been some reports here about thefts at Cusco airport by officials. Whether they are true or not, I don't remember that anyone demanded money, only that it went missing after searches of luggage or person.

Lima, Peru
Destination Expert
for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
Level Contributor
18,948 posts
538 reviews
9. Re: Getting Money

Only if you are bringing more than 10 K cash, you would need to declare them upon entry to Lima airport.

You will not be body searched at all, unless customs thinks you are bringing in drugs, which is not the normal case in Paru as drugs are normally flown out, not in to Peru

Henderson, Nevada
Level Contributor
5,097 posts
135 reviews
10. Re: Getting Money

We have never had trouble with cash, the one time we had our bags checked, the officer that checked it and saw the cash, only counted it to be sure it was under the 10,000 limit. I thing you will be fine traveling with cash, my one recommendation is to not carry it all in one place, spread it around a little.