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Peru Currency

The currency in Peru is the Nuevo sol. And as in most countries, ii is use the same system which is one hundred cents (centimes) for every Sol.

Nuevo sol

Monetary unit which took effect from 1 July 1991 in accordance with the provisions of Law No. 25295 issued on January 3, 1991. As we mentioned before It is divided into 100 cents with an equivalence of:

I /. 1 000 000.00 = I / .m. 1.00 = S /. 1.00

The first coins expressed in Nuevos Soles were circulated from October 1, 1991 and the first banknotes on November 13, 1991.

This coin replaced the Inti, driven by Alberto Fujimori because of the devaluation. Un Nuevo sol was equivalent, at the time of change, a million intis or billion of old soles.
Within that mainline denominations that can be found are:

10 cents
20 cents
50 cents
1 sun
2 soles
5 soles

10 soles
20 soles
50 soles
100 soles
200 soles

Coins in Circulation

Currently circulating 7 coins, the obverse shows a different picture on the back and bears the Coat of Arms of Peru in the center, in the exergue legend Banco Central de Reserva Del Peru and the year of issue.

Bills in circulation.

Money exchange

The dollar is accepted by most people and business premises of Peru. There are four ways to change dollars: In hotels, at banks, exchange houses and independent street moneychangers. It is advisable to change in the legal exchange houses, as they pay more than the hotels and banks.

Carrying cash entitles you to get the top exchange rates quickly. The best currency for exchange is the US dollar, although the euro is increasingly accepted. Other hard currencies can be exchanged, but usually with difficulty and only in major cities and tourist centers. All foreign currencies must be in flawless condition.


Peru uses the Nuevo sol (S), which has traded at S3.00 to S5.50 per US dollar (US$) for several years, although you should keep an eye on current events.

Carrying cash, an ATM or traveler’s check card and also a credit card that can be used for cash advances in case of emergency is advisable. When receiving local currency, always ask for small bills (billetes pequeñas), as S100 bills are hard to change in small towns or for small purchases. The best places to exchange money are normally casas de cambio (foreign-exchange bureaus), which are fast, have longer hours and often give slightly better rates than banks. Many places accept US dollars. Do not accept torn money as it will likely not be accepted by Peruvians. It is best not to change money on the street as counterfeits are a problem.


Cajeros automáticos (ATMs) are found in nearly every city and town in Peru, as well as at major airports and bus terminals. ATMs are linked to the international Plus (Visa), Cirrus (Maestro/MasterCard) systems, American Express and other networks. They will accept your bank or credit card as long as you have a four-digit PIN. Before you leave home, notify your bank that you’ll be using your ATM card abroad. Even better, leave your bank card at home and buy a traveler’s check card instead.

ATMs are a convenient way of obtaining cash, but rates are usually lower than at casas de cambio. Both US dollars and nuevos soles are readily available from Peruvian ATMs. Your home bank may charge an additional fee for each foreign ATM transaction. Surcharges for cash advances from credit cards vary, but are generally expensive, so check with your credit-card provider before you leave home.

ATMs are normally open 24 hours. For safety reasons, use ATMs inside banks with security guards, preferably during daylight hours.


The Nuevo sol (‘new sun’) comes in bills of S10, S20, S50, S100 and (rarely) S200. It is divided into 100 céntimos, with copper-colored coins of S0.05, S0.10 and S0.20, and silver-colored S0.50 and S1 coins. In addition, there are bimetallic S2 and S5 coins with a copper-colored center inside a silver-colored ring.

US dollars are accepted by most tourist-oriented businesses, though you’ll need Nuevos soles to pay for local transportation, most meals etc. Paying in nuevos soles can be a time-consuming hassle at some midrange hotels and many top-end establishments.

Credit cards

Many top-end hotels and shops accept tarjetas de credito (credit cards) but usually charge you a 7% (or greater) fee for using them. The amount you’ll eventually pay is not based on the point-of-sale exchange rate, but the rate your bank chooses to use when the transaction posts to your account, sometimes weeks later. Your bank may also tack on a surcharge and additional fees for each foreign-currency transaction.

The most widely accepted cards in Peru are Visa and MasterCard, although American Express and a few others are valid in some establishments, as well as for cash advances at ATMs. Before you leave home, notify your bank that you’ll be using your credit card abroad.

Traveler’s checks

If you carry some of your money as cheques de viajero (traveler’s checks), these can be refunded if lost or stolen. However, exchange rates for traveler’s checks are quite a bit lower than for US cash. With the commissions sometimes charged, you can lose over 10% of the checks’ value when you exchange them, and they may be impossible to change in small towns. Almost all businesses and some casas de cambio refuse to deal with them, so you will need to queue at a bank. American Express checks are the most widely accepted, followed by Visa and Thomas Cook.

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