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Easter Island (via Peru) money and exchange question

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Easter Island (via Peru) money and exchange question


In a few weeks I'll be visiting Easter Island and am generally all set except for finances.

In general how much cash money should I be traveling with to the island and how much in each currency (USD or Chilean pesos)? Should I exchange for pesos in the States beforehand? What can I expect to purchase on the island with USD (and what can I only purchase with pesos?)

Also, I'm going through Lima, Peru and will have about four hours there during the late night hours. Do I need Peruvian soles at the airport? Will anything be open after 9 p.m. to even worry about it? Is there an exit fee I have to post (I've heard of this happening to other travelers)?

Edited: 11:05 am, July 30, 2012
Santiago, Chile
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1. Re: Easter Island (via Peru) money and exchange question

Cash is preferred to credit cards on the island and pesos better than dollars, especially for small purchases, although tours etc will take dollars. There are now 4 ATM machines on the island but they can run out of cash and accept different cards (do a search on here as someone will have posted which accepts what). The Santander bank will usually change dollars for you during banking hours.

Buy your entrance tickets to Orongo at the airport as it is cheaper bought there. Check out the ATM at the airport for pesos when you arrive.

Tamworth, United...
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2. Re: Easter Island (via Peru) money and exchange question

Cash is king on the island! But as suggested - there are a few cash machines around now - but they are regularly out of order or out of cash. I found the airport the most reliable ATM (only a short walk from Hanga Rao).

Lima airport is a very modern international - I flew at night and plenty of shops were open, they should take dollars though. Will certainly take card.

There wasn't any exit fee to pay. However think from memory the flight was longer than 4 hours... was very bad weather when i traveled though so this may be why.

spending; The park pass (very important) buy from the airport for around $60 or park gates $80 (accept USD). Food (more expensive than mainland, self catering or meals out?? - probably similar prices to the US - BUT pay in Peso). Guide? We rented bikes for the day 10 Peso - perfect way to see the island. Souvenirs - limited supply and pricey, all in Peso.

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Easter Island (via Peru) money and exchange question

Please dont exchange your money at a US bank. You will end up paying a very high exchange rate that is completly unnecessary. Of course there will be bars and pubs and even restaurants open around 9 o clock. In fact night life in Lima is a fun thing to experience.

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4. Re: Easter Island (via Peru) money and exchange question

OK this helped a lot - so I can likely wait upon arrival in Easter Island to obtain pesos through the airport ATM. I will have to have pesos for food, as I don't think I'm going to be bringing too much over (can I bring food/snacks from the airports in U.S. or Peru as I buy them on my travel day?). I'm sure I'll try eating out a time or two, but am relatively low maintenance and plan on doing a lot of hiking and biking, so "cheap" snacks would be preferred (I hear nothing is that cheap on the island though).

I was hoping to exchange my leftover British pounds from last month's trip to UK (have around £100). I probably should have exchanged for USD when I got back, but forgot. I assume the Santander bank would be ok exchanging pounds for pesos if I desire to do that...

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5. Re: Easter Island (via Peru) money and exchange question

I used USD for almost everything in the island, for example I bought food in grocery stores with USD getting CLP (Chilean pesos) as change, bought park tickets with USD, rented a car with USD.

The grocery stores gave me bad rates and my Chilean friends were aghast but I didn't want to have leftover pesos.

I went to exchange money to the Santander bank during my last day in the island just to pay for the hotel room (because the owner offered an extremely low exchange rate for USD).

You can use USD in the Peruvian airport, you will get Peruvian soles (PEN) as change. You can carry food/snacks into Easter Island as long as they are in their original package and not fresh produce. I took pasta, instant coffee, powdered milk, canned food.

I don't think you can exchange British pounds in the island. They seemed to only exchange USD.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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6. Re: Easter Island (via Peru) money and exchange question

Cash is king on the Island. We were there a week from July 19 this year and generally anyone will take USD$.. Dont exchange before you leave as the exchange fees will be killer. If you want pesos, do it at Santander Bank. The ATM never worked the entire time we were on the Island and I never saw anyone accept Euro nor Pounds. Visa and Master Card are accepted at a lot of places. Get USD$ before you leave or exchange at Santander Bank. Also, the Park fee is the same at the Airport or the parks.. USD$60 per person. The booth at the airport was not open when our flight arrived..

Enjoy your trip and expect to have the MOST FASCINATING experience of your life!! If you dont have a guide lined up, try Carlos Cabezas (CabezasCarlos@hotmail.com). He is outstanding and speaks fluent Engish and Spanish!

Edited: 8:28 pm, August 11, 2012
7. Re: Easter Island (via Peru) money and exchange question

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