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Billthekid

Buenos Aires currency exchange

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We are on a Christmas cruise out of Buenos Aires 12/2019.  We arrive at EZE and transfer to the cruise port and stay overnight on the ship.  Plan to take taxi next day, BUT they take cash (Peso) only.  So the question is will I be able to exchange USD for pesos at the cruise port either an exchange office or ATM?  And/or will the ship have the capacity to exchange?  At the airport there is reportedly an ATM bank machine and an exchange office but location is not well defined where I have googled.  Any help? 

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In my opinion, just as a matter of convenience, and stress, I don't think it would be worth it to save a few dollars getting your currency in Argentina. You don't want to waste any of your limited time looking for local currency. I'd bite the bullet and get the currency before you go. You really are talking pennies for the short time you need the local currency.

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Not sure about BA but we frequently find ATM's here  in Uruguay empty especially during weekends and tourist season.

The amounts you can draw out in Argentine I believe is only $4000 pesos ( $70.00 USD ) with a hefty withdrawal fee (Last I heard was $11.00 UDS per transaction)

 

The locations of the ATM at EZE are in Terminal A at Arrivals and also there are Cambios to change money - Banco Nación Arrivals Terminal A on the left and Banco Piano on the right. I agree bringing some pesos with you would probably be better.

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Did this cruise last year at that time just a heads up because of huge fluctuations in their currency you can not purchase outside of their country.

We pre booked our transfer to a hotel and used their ATM.

The ATM is also limited to amount dispersed these days. We contacted several exchange places and banks in Canada and US and were told same info.

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The exchange rate has been fluctuating a lot this year, hence the lack of availability outside Argentina--the rate was around 40 to 1 in March and about 56 to 1 today.  ATM's are not great for the reasons mentioned--high fees, low maximum withdrawal, out of cash.  I would be surprised if your taxi would refuse USD since the value is not as likely to be lost as the value of pesos. There are lots of exchange places on Florida St. in the microcenter.  At the money exchange places, you may have trouble changing less than a crisp, new $50 bill  Some require $100.  You may want to change at the airport but the lines can be long.

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The cruise terminal Quinquela Martin has a bank and cambio according to their website. How likely you are to find it a) open and b) with any money is an open question.

On our cruise from Buenos Aires to Rio the ship did not have any currency exchanges and to our surprise almost all services such as the casino, photoshop, all stores etc. were closed the whole time we were in Brazil waters. By law apparently.

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On 9/24/2019 at 8:12 AM, Lunenburg said:

casino, photoshop, all stores etc. were closed the whole time we were in Brazil waters. By law apparently.

Interesting.  We're cruising Rio/BA so mostly in Brazilian waters.  If we're closed in port and at sea I guess the casino won't be getting my donation 🙂

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On 9/22/2019 at 5:57 PM, mcmarya said:

The exchange rate has been fluctuating a lot this year, hence the lack of availability outside Argentina--the rate was around 40 to 1 in March and about 56 to 1 today. 

  I was checking exchange rates for Argentine pesos yesterday in Uruguay.  They are giving  1425 Argentine pesos for USD $25.00  and  1568 Argentine pesos for 25 euros here. 

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I am in NY City for 2 days. I called several foreign currency exchanges nearby and no one has ARS (Argentine Peso) in stock. They do have Chilean Peso.

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As I said last year we were told by many exchange places they will not carry Argentinian money as it fluctuations are too great.

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I had asked another CC to share their post re this but I guess they didn't care to.  They said US cash is king. Oh, wait.  Here's the thread. 

  If you scroll you'll see where I "hijacked' the thread and eventually and outstanding explanation of how to deal these days.  Turned our plan around quite a bit.

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It took a fortnight for our foreign currency exchange here in Perth Western Australia to manage to get some pesos in for us - rate wasn't even published online - but they finally managed! Lots of 100 pesos notes to use now!

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My bank won't deal in Arg. pesos.  So I'm bringing a couple of NEW $100 bills to exchange at a cambio.

 

I did find it interesting that I was able to order Chilean pesos - in view of the fact the currency is tanking.  I'm sure I'll take a beating but at least we have a supply and won't have to worry about changing for it.

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You can exchange money right at the airport. There is a small and somewhat hidden branch of a major bank close to the arrival hall.

 

Here is what I did, somewhat taking care of taxi and money at the same time:

After collecting ones luggage and walking through all the formalities, one passes a number of booths where one can arrange a taxi and pay with credit card. The assigned taxi driver meets you immediatly after the door.  I told mine that I needed to exchange money and asked him for guidance. He took me to the bank, waited for me and took care of my luggage while I was standing in line.

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We have about US$300 to take. A $100, two $50s and about a hundred in smaller bills which I understand can be quite handy. You may be able to pay less for something if you pay in US$. What I just checked showed 100 pesos equals US$1.68.

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At the airport is a large circular  kiosk  which handles taxi requests. We paid in USD cash and they gave us a receipt. We waited until  we were  called and escorted to our taxi. I think the kiosk is run by Tienda Leon (a large taxi and bus company) but I could be wrong.  I think you can also prebook with Tienda Leon via their website.

Many restaurants  wanted US  dollars  in cash not credit cards. The HoHo is cash only if you buy  from their downtown  kiosk. You can pay by credit card on website . Note the HoHo is capacitycontrolled which can cause  long waits. 

The Casa Rosada is often open on Saturday  or Sunday  and is well worth a visit. Also the Teatro Colon offers English language  tours at various times during the week. 

Enjoy! BA is a great city!

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1 hour ago, Traveling Library said:

At the airport is a large circular  kiosk  which handles taxi requests. We paid in USD cash and they gave us a receipt. We waited until  we were  called and escorted to our taxi. I think the kiosk is run by Tienda Leon (a large taxi and bus company) but I could be wrong.  I think you can also prebook with Tienda Leon via their website.

Many restaurants  wanted US  dollars  in cash not credit cards. The HoHo is cash only if you buy  from their downtown  kiosk. You can pay by credit card on website . Note the HoHo is capacitycontrolled which can cause  long waits. 

The Casa Rosada is often open on Saturday  or Sunday  and is well worth a visit. Also the Teatro Colon offers English language  tours at various times during the week. 

Enjoy! BA is a great city!

"Many restaurants  wanted US  dollars  in cash not credit cards." Would that be places that cater to tourists or to locals? We tend to 'hang' with the locals.

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13 hours ago, clo said:

"Many restaurants  wanted US  dollars  in cash not credit cards." Would that be places that cater to tourists or to locals? We tend to 'hang' with the locals.

I guess more tourist oriented but there were locals as well at the places we went.  It was a clear preference to not use a credit card. I suspect some of it had to do with the credit card fees and the stability of the USD.

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4 hours ago, Traveling Library said:

I guess more tourist oriented but there were locals as well at the places we went.  It was a clear preference to not use a credit card. I suspect some of it had to do with the credit card fees and the stability of the USD.

So would the menu be in pesos and then you would convert it to dollars?

 

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Menu will be in peso, if not, it is a tourist trap.  The restaurant will have their own exchange rate which may be better or worse of the interbank rate.  You have to be aware of the official rate and the blue rate which are posted on line.  So if the rate the restaurant wants to give you is off base, then use an credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee.  The fee the credit card company charges the merchant is excessive so ask the management for a better exchange rate and they probably will grant it.  

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One of the best meal bargains in BA will be the 3 course lunch menus which are aimed at the local business crowd.  Lots of food at a price well below what the same venue will charge at dinner.  You will see many spots advertising the meal in their windows throughout the city.

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4 hours ago, clo said:

So would the menu be in pesos and then you would convert it to dollars?

 

Yes. Prices were in Pesos. I agree with  BillTheKid's comment. Enjoy!

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2 hours ago, Billthekid said:

Menu will be in peso, if not, it is a tourist trap.  The restaurant will have their own exchange rate which may be better or worse of the interbank rate.  You have to be aware of the official rate and the blue rate which are posted on line.  So if the rate the restaurant wants to give you is off base, then use an credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee.  The fee the credit card company charges the merchant is excessive so ask the management for a better exchange rate and they probably will grant it.  

Great info. Thanks. I don't think we've been anywhere where things change so quickly. A new way of thinking about things.

 

Just a point of reference. We have a wonderful looking, large airbnb in Recoleta for the princely sum of $42/nt.

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I usually carry new US Dollars or Euros for this reason: As in Argentina or Chile this year, the locals dearly want a stable currency when their currency drops weekly in value.

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