Anyone who has been on the Patagonian tour, did you feel the need to have both Chilean and Argentinian pesos for incidentals along the way during your trip, or was the American dollar accepted in both cities as well as in Patagonia?
Thanks for any input!


  • We used dollars and credit cards. The Argentinian currency is very unstable and I would discourage getting any.

  • Agree with British. No need for local currency.

  • edited March 5

    Comments from British and BKMD still valid when we were there in 2023. Argentinian currency is a mess - highly variable exchange rates. You will get great discounts in BA when you pay with cash American $ (highly desireable by locals). Charge cards accepted everywhere. VISA gives best exchange rate for Argentinian currency. In Argentina, many places show prices in American $, they will convert it to Argentinian pesos and charge your cc in pesos (normal procedure). Many places were good, but some used an artificially high pesos conversion and your cc will use a lower conversion rate for $. You definitely lose out on this deal, so carrying American $ with you is a great idea. Most souvenirs and gifts for friends and family bought in BA. Best prices there. Chile is much more stable from a currency standpoint and having some local currency is fine, even encouraged. But we didn't do that. We just paid with a cc and it wasn't a problem.

  • You will not need any money on the actual tour - all the meals are taken care of, and any additional charges at the hotel can be paid easily with a credit card. You'd only want local currency on the trip for souvenirs, and many places take cc and American dollars ( though the change will be in pesos).

    We did take some money out of the ATM in Santiago to finance the few days we were there before the start of the tour. Having cash in that city was nice as it allowed us to buy food from street vendors, top off our BIP card, and give a tip to our walking tour guide.

    In Argentina, we only exchanged money, and not a lot of it. Some street art in Patagonia we were able to buy with a smaller $20 bill, but in general, you'll get the best rate with a $50 or $100. We took advantage of the blue rate, changing at a store (in Feb23, that gave us about 350 pesos to the dollar compared with the official rate of 180). As for how much to exchange, a taxi from our hotel to a restaurant 20 blocks away cost fewer than 1000 pesos (prior to tip).

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