As Peru’s largest city and the main point of arrival for international flights, Lima is visited by many people from all over the world on a daily basis. This means that there are loads of places offering currency exchange all over the city. With all of the options available, it can be confusing trying to decide where to change your money. That’s why we’ve prepared this guide to help you learn about the best places for currency exchange in Lima, how to change your money safely, and what to be cautious about. Read on to find out more about currency exchange in Lima.
Cambistas (Street Money Changers) in Lima
Changing your money with strangers on the street may seem bizarre, but is possibly the most common and convenient method of exchanging currency. Street money changers are known as cambistas and are found all over Lima. They hold cash in their hands in various common currencies and will calculate (using a classic calculator) the exchange rate of US dollars and Euros to Peruvian soles just for you. In Miraflores and other popular tourist districts, they are licensed by the district and are easily spotted wearing their official vests. Exchanging currency with cambistas is generally convenient, accurate, and safe. However, since you are making the exchange out in the open on the street, it’s not advisable to change large amounts of cash at once.
Currency Exchange at Lima Airport
You’ll find many currency exchange counters at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. This is a safe, easy and convenient place to change your money, but it’s also where you will get the worst exchange rate. This happens in airports all over the world. If you need some cash right away, change a little bit here and save the rest for when you get into the city and can seek out a place with a better rate.
Currency Exchange at ATMs / Banks in Lima
ATMs in Lima do give good exchange rates when taking money out with a credit / debit card. There is usually a transaction charge of around 20 Peruvian soles. Banks will also exchange your money and give you decent exchange rates. This is a good idea you have need to exchange a less common global currency. However, since you have to wait in a line at the bank, it’s not the most convenient option if you’re looking to exchange a common currency like dollars or euros.
Currency Exchange at Supermarkets in Lima
High-end supermarkets such as Vivanda & Wong often have banks inside of them. Interbank have set up in some supermarkets in the Miraflores area just for your currency exchange convenience.
Currency Exchange in Lima: Exchanging Money at a Casa de Cambio
A casa de cambio is a business whose sole purpose is to exchange currency. They will always give the correct rate and are probably the safest place to exchange large amounts of money. While they may be harder to find and less convenient, you can simply search ‘currency exchange’ on google maps and you will find many options near you.
Currency Exchange at Hostels and Hotels in Lima
Sometimes hostels and hotels will provide currency exchange. You will not necessarily find the best rate here, but it’s definitely convenient to change money right at your accommodations.
Note: Counterfeiting is a reality in Lima. When you make a purchase you will discover that the cashier often checks your notes very thoroughly before accepting it. It can be hard to identify fake notes (especially as a tourist), so make sure to familiarize yourself with Peruvian soles and look for the watermarks.
Now that you’ve read our guide, you should know exactly where to find a currency exchange in Lima and how to find the best rate. Enjoy your trip to this incredible city!