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What Currency is Used in Peru?

What Currency is Used in Peru? | Machu Picchu Travel

Peru has become everyone’s travel destination while traveling through South America, not only for being home to Machu Picchu but for gathering natural wonders and historical monuments that you wouldn't like to miss.

If you’re planning a trip to Peru, there are certain things you must know before venturing to Peruvian lands, like the local currency. Keep reading and learn everything about the Peruvian Soles, how to exchange money, and more!

Below you’ll find detailed information about the local currency in Peru. Make sure to read all the FAQs about this matter and optimize your experience.

What’s the Best Currency to Use: US Dollars or Soles?

Nuevo Soles is the local currency in Peru, US Dollars are widely accepted in many establishments but are mainly used for expensive purchases. Keep in mind that exchange rates may vary, which is why we encourage you to be cautious and check the actual exchange rate before trading USD to Soles.

Although most of the shops in Peru accept US Dollars, we recommend keeping a balanced amount of money in both currencies, being USD a sort of backup for emergencies. It’s worth noting that bills in bad condition are not accepted, something very likely to happen with any currency, mostly with US dollars. 

Some other currencies are also accepted, like Euros but not as commonly as US dollars. Nevertheless, you can exchange them in any money exchange house.

How to Deal with Fake Money in Peru?

Whether it is Soles or US dollars, in Peru, there’s a high rate of counterfeit bills, to the point that fake bills can be very similar to the real ones. However, there’s always a difference between texture, colors, and design, which is why we advise you to check the money you receive, either it’s just a small change from a corner shop or a money exchange house.

The Peruvian Soles come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 bills, being this last one the less used and often, not accepted.

♦ To identify a counterfeit Soles or US Dollar bill, compare its texture with another bill you may have, check for the small details: watermarks, hidden figures that only appear in backlighting, and more importantly, the security band must change colors depending on the lighting and the angle from which it is observed.

Although this is a common issue in the country, it doesn’t mean that it will happen to you. If you notice that something’s wrong, ask if they can change it.

Where to Exchange Money?

Luckily, to exchange money in Peru isn’t complicated since in most tourist places or within the cities’ center, you’ll find money exchange houses. Likewise, some people exchange money on the streets, which we’d advise you to avoid because it is not so safe to handle money surrounded by crowds.

You can also use an ATM to withdraw money since most of them count with US dollars and Soles. It is worth mentioning that the exchange rate may differ, and international banks often deduct a fee for each transaction you make.

Most money exchange houses accept different currencies. If you’re traveling with British Pounds, make sure to exchange them in Lima; otherwise, it will be difficult to do it somewhere else.

Can I Pay with Credit Cards in Peru?

Yes, you can! Some establishments even have the option to process your payment in US dollars or Soles. Keep in mind that some fees may apply. If you decide to use your credit card as a payment method, make sure to check the purchase amount on the POS.

We recommend you to carry a copy of your card in use, just in case of emergencies. For some travelers, using credit cards on international trips is more helpful than having to deal with cash.

While traveling abroad, this is one of the most important things to know before leaving your country. If you wish for more information about everything you need to know before traveling to Peru, please check our guides.