Do we need some local currency

We are traveling on the April 13 trip and didn't know if it was wise to have local currency. We usually use credit cards but like to purchase local items in remote areas. Would appreciate any help and; if you recommend local currency, approximately how much.


  • I'm on this trip in June. I will be bringing US dollars in crisp, brand new bills. I will also be using an ATM once I arrive to get local currency. I'm thinking less than $100 US. The dollar goes a lot further in Peru than here. I've heard that you will be able to us US dollars too depending on what you will be purchasing. Enjoy your trip!
  • Usually the only need for local currency on arrival is if you need to pay for a cab from the airport and it doesn't take credit cards. Pretty much any option to obtain foreign currency before departure from the US is a ripoff on the exchange rates.

    Since Tauck will provide your transfer (including driver gratuity) you can (and we will in September for Peru & the Galapagos) arrive without any local currency, but with small US bills and a planned trip to an ATM as Catwood describes.
  • We were on this trip in 2012. If my memory serves me correctly our Tauck Tour Director had to purchase visas for us using cash when we got to the border of Peru and Bolivia. The Bolivians are very concerned that the bills are very crisp without any bends or folds or tears. It did not make sense to us because a new crisp bill might seem to be counterfeit but that is not their thinking. The tour director had to scrounge around to find the "right" bills.

    I think we changed money in Peru to buy items at local markets where the locals sell on the street or off the train and do not have credit card machines of any kind.

    On a separate note, be very careful at the party/dinner the night before the end of the trip in Bolivia. I not only enjoyed Pisco sours and wine but had a big dinner. I suffered the next morning, feeling like an elephant was on my chest and we had to get the medics to come to the hotel. I had been very careful until the last night and boy did I pay for it. After drinking water and using oxygen I was better and able to make the flight back to Lima before the flight back to the states. I was not spending one more day in Bolivia! I am a healthy individual without any medical issues so this was a real shock to me.

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