Peru Currency: The Nuevo Sol (PEN)
When you first arrive in Peru, you’ll need to adapt to the financial side of things: The peru currency, the shopping culture, and money-related customs. If you’re not familiar with Peruvian currency or handling money in Peru, read on for some frequently asked questions.
The currency of Peru is the nuevo sol. Nuevo sol banknotes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200. One nuevo sol is subdivided into 100 céntimos. Coins are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 céntimos, as well as larger denominations of 1, 2, and 5 nuevos soles.
How you decide to carry your money in Peru depends on factors such as the duration of your trip and your style of travel. It’s not a great idea to carry large amounts of cash in Peru (dollars or nuevos soles), but it’s certainly a viable option for short visits. Otherwise, you can simply withdraw money when needed from ATMs all over Peru. Visa is the most widely accepted debit or credit card in Peru; there will be fees associated with each withdrawal. Traveler’s checks are also an option (ideally in US dollars or Euros) but may be hard to cash in small towns and villages, and the exchange rate can be poor.
Peru Currency: Payment methods accepted in Peru
Note, that US dollars are widely accepted by many tourist-oriented businesses in Peru, but a good idea is to exchange some Nuevos Soles.
The use of credit cards is becoming more widespread in Peru, especially in larger cities where they can be used to purchase almost everything. Visa tends to be the easiest credit card to use in hotels and restaurants, although some places will also accept American Express and MasterCard. You will typically be unable to use credit cards in smaller cities and more remote areas. Have cash on hand while traveling to such places.
Peru Currency: Where to exchange money in Peru?
Money can be exchanged at banks and exchange houses (Casas de Cambio), both of which are found in most cities and airports. in the Casas de Cambio, typically have slightly higher rates than banks. Representatives of these exchange houses will sometimes come to your hotel to exchange money.
Never change money with unlicensed money changers and be sure to check soles to make sure they are not ripped or counterfeit. Peru's economy is rapidly growing, which lends strength to the nuevo sol. Additionally, the fact that the Peruvian government is stable means that you should not have to worry about dramatic swings in the exchange rate during the duration of your trip.
Peru Currency: Banks and ATMs
ATMs are called "cajeros" automáticos, and are very common in Peru, especially in popular destinations. ATMs make it easy and cheap to get cash in Peru. U.S. banks typically charge a transaction fee. Most ATMs accept both Visa and MasterCard; Global Net and Banco de Crédito are the only machines that accept American Express.
Do note, however, that ATMs in Peru first deliver your cash and then return your card. Don’t forget to take your card or it will be pulled back into the machine and become a real pain to get out. Banks are located throughout the country and are usually open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m to get Peru Currency. Monday-Friday, and on Saturday mornings. Travelers can use Peruvian banks to receive wire transfers, cash traveler's checks, and get cash advances on credit cards.
Want to visit Peru?
Peru is an amazing country in South America, and if it´s your first time, a good itinerary would be our #551 - Lima, Nazca Lines, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu in a wonderful week tour
Check interesting tours to visit Peru
We have a wide variety of tours to enjoy Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Nazca Lines, Puerto Maldonado and the Peruvian Amazonas... Check a complete list of tours to visit Peru