We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
Level Contributor
2,053 posts
4 reviews
New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

For those of you visiting Venezuela there are some things you need to know about money exchange here.

The government has an official exchange rate of Bs.6,3 to US$1 for the last year.

If you went to a bank or exchange house to change your US$ that is the rate that you would be paid.

It also applied to all credit & debit card transactions.

Once you arrive in Venezuela you will quickly realize that there is an active market for exchange at 9 or 10 times the official rate. Based on this very few visitors ever changed at the official rate.

Unfortunately many uninformed visitors arrived in the country thinking that they could just use their credit or debit cards. They are shocked when they discover that they have to pay the official rate on these transactions.

Just to give an example if you had a meal with drinks & the bill for 2 people was Bs.1.000 & you paid for this with your credit card the charge that would appear is US$158.73 + any bank charges. On the other hand if you had brought US$ cash & exchanged in the "street" then that same meal would have cost you around US$18.

The government announced this week that in order to encourage visitors to exchange at official rates they will pay Bs.11,3. Wow, what a savings! In the example above the meal would then cost US$88.50 if paid for by credit card.

The moral of this explanation is bring US$ cash!!

Only use credit or debit cards in extreme emergencies.

B.C.
Level Contributor
102 posts
11. Re: New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

In an attempt to reduce parallel market currency exchange the government requires airline tickets to destinations abroad purchased by tourists to be purchased in $. (as previously discussed here).

Now tourists will require proof of legal exchange if they pay for accommodations or tours in Bolivares.

With roving bands of compliance officers checking the operations of commercial establishments and handing out hefty fines, businesses will be reluctant to accept (illegal) payment in $.

However it is Venezuela and passing a law and making it work are two different things.

Just a comment on the restructuring of Playa El Agua. Locals I have spoken to (and I agree) believe the removal of the establishments from the beach side of the boulevard is not a bad thing. Relocation to the land side would provide the same service. However as I have stated planning and implementation seldom go together in the land of Chavez. The rubble of the buildings knocked down last year still litters the beach. I am sure any new restaurants and other businesses planned for the other side of the boulevard will belong to those plugged in to the red machine as only they can obtain the materials to build them.

Edited: 10:06 am, June 22, 2014
Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
Level Contributor
2,053 posts
4 reviews
12. Re: New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

I returned to Isla Margarita this weekend after being away for a month.

Coming through customs in Caracas I noticed that they have a new customs declaration form which asks you to list how much foreign cash or traveler's cheques you have with you.

We just left that area blank becuase we had under US$10,000 which current law says you are alowed without declaring.

Not sure if they are going to require tourists to fill this out.

Reminds me of Jamaica in the old days where you had to account for all foreign currency.

As Guamache points out there is virtually no way they can control this.

After all the years I've lived here there has always been an alternate market to change currency.

I would recommend anyone coming in to not fill in that section if they have under $10,000 or, if you are forced to put in something, just list an nominal amount. You can always say you are using credit cards like in the rest of the world.

Still haven't been able to determine at what rate credit & debit cards are charged.

Anybody able to help on this?

Isla de Margarita
Level Contributor
1,128 posts
37 reviews
13. Re: New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

PlayaelAgua-

I believe that the 6.4/1 USD rate is still being applied to foreign debit and credit cards.

Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
Level Contributor
2,053 posts
4 reviews
14. Re: New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

Wow, that's just incredible and another indication of the total mismangement of everything they touch.

The left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing.

It should now be at the Sicad 2 rate of Bs.48+.

Warning to foreign tourists - do NOT use your debit of credit cards while in Venezuela.

If you spend Bs.1.000 at the Sicad 2 rate it will cost you US$21

If you use your credit card it will cost you US$156

Los Angeles...
8 posts
1 review
15. Re: New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

I agree! If you want to make the "best bet for your buck" make sure to bring cash to Venezuela. Furthermore, please remember that getting money out of banks is not easy and credit cards are not widely accepted.

16. Re: New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 7:35 am, July 13, 2014
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
8 posts
11 reviews
17. Re: New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

I just posted a Help!! regarding Venezuelan currency. If I need to book a flight from Caracas to Aruba on a Venezuelan carrier and want to do so before I arrive in Caracas, how do I do so without using a credit card. I am specifically talking about Laser Air. AND, where do I "convert" US dollars at the better rate? If you can, please read my post from earlier today. Thank you for your assistance.

Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
Level Contributor
2,053 posts
4 reviews
18. Re: New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

Please read all the comments in this post.

It will explain clearly what the situation is.

copenhagen
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
19. Re: New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

8 th. of june. In the airport of Caracas, I asked at the official exchange counter (in the arrival area, where you get your suitcases) if I could change a the Sicad II rate.

The answer: NO - they change at 6,3 the official rate.

As I am aware (sep14), the banks also don't changes dollares at Sicad II.

Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
Level Contributor
2,053 posts
4 reviews
20. Re: New tourist exchange rate of Bs.11,3

city 130

That would seem about right for this government.

Enact laws & announce changes & then do nothing about it.

As noted in a previous comment I asked at our bank, a large national chain, & they advised that they were not changing tourist dollars.

Get answers to your questions about Margarita Island