Problems with dollars in Argentina

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by GastonUSAChile, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

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    We will be down there in a few months time unless we get stuck enjoying ourselves too much on the way.

    We will wing it and see, I will be happy to give "the real oil" when we get there as a Kiwi traveling from top to bottom, there are also around six other travelers hitting it with a similar timetable to ours.

    Things may have changed by the sounds of it, time will tell.
    #21
  2. Manolito

    Manolito Patagonia guide

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    Tourists in Argentina can exchange their dollars with no problem but they have a limit. They are allowed to exchange 500 dollars (half of a argentinian salary, approximately)
    #22
  3. LoTz

    LoTz n00b

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    Gaston
    great info, I'm going to BA in a couple months. Just wondering, how can you be sure that you're getting real money when you exchange with cashing stores or private citizens. I've been warned that a lot of people try to give you counterfeit money? Is that any issue ?

    LoTz
    #23
  4. robram

    robram Trilheiro

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    Gaston,

    You always have great news to us about South America.

    I live here, and I didn´t know about this tip, changing in "mercado negro".

    Thanks a lot, and don´t worry, be happy.

    Best regards from Brazil

    Robram
    #24
  5. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

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    Robram,

    The idea is having common sense. Always approach decent people , store managers and offer them to buy Arg. pesos. Know in advance the black rate of the day. Then you change your dollars.
    Liing an economic crisis was a common thing in LatAm. for years and decades when a country is living an strong inflation and local currency depreciation. It is not new and cyclic. However in the latest years most of the L.A. are booming , those that have been organized and looking for truly progress.
    There is no drama over it. Getting fake money almost never happens because it is a temporary fact. If you ask me those ex communist eastern European countries, well , that was different because they lived for decades on the edge of economic crisis and people was already prepared to screw you.
    #25
  6. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    I saw counterfeit money in Argentine before the current crisis, and I got some myself from a bank ATM. It's not uncommon, no matter what Gaston says. You need to be careful wherever you're getting your money.

    I'm pretty comfortable using black markets. Sometimes they're the only practical way of dealing with fixed currency rates, like in Venezuela currently and many places in the old days (tm). If you're not comfortable, you've always got the option of taking the hit by changing legally: just expect the usual shenanigans, including a certain proportion of fake bills.

    Mark
    #26
  7. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    I got a $100 Arg Peso counterfeit bill at one of the ATMs near Dakar Motos as well. I returned to the bank the next day and with some persistence got them to exchange it for a real one. I got the impression this is not something they are in the practice of doing.
    #27
  8. luciosiq

    luciosiq Been here awhile

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    No big deal.
    Not a big issue.
    Common Sense as usual.
    I wouldn't take several thousand dollars in cash with me to another country - not safe at all walking around carrying big money with you.
    As we know, it is a good ideal to take some cash (it can be USD to be exchange into Pesos) to be used at places where credit cards are not accepted.
    Plus a couple of Credit Cards (Visa and Mastercard).
    Thats all.
    The US Dollar Control in place by the Argentinian Government at the moment should not affect the way we handle money while travelling abroad.
    I have several friends travelling in and out of Argentina every week. And they just follow these simple rules.
    Take care.
    #28
  9. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    I recently used the black market in downtown Mendoza to change the wad of Chilean money I had. Got a really good rate. The transaction was smooth and done in an office.(so not too many eyes watching what you're doing)
    No attempt to slip in any counterfeit bills.(I doubt they'd want to muck up their biz with bad money.

    Currently they are offering a 27% bump for USD.

    The tip for spotting a counterfeit banknote is the feel of the paper, a real bank note has a linen content and has some texture, the fakes are smooth to the touch.

    The other useful tip regarding thieves is one I learned up in Alaska; if you see the same bear twice, he is hunting you! Also "bear" in mind these scumbags work in teams of two or more and often ride motorbikes.
    Keep you eyes open and your heads down amigos!:evil
    #29
  10. CheckerdD

    CheckerdD Long timer

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    Another problem is if your flying out, they wont let you change pesos back into dollars unless you have a receipt showing you changed dollars into pesos. I had a couple of good drinks and a great meal before I got on the flight home.
    I had such a good time in Argentina, I did not mind getting a little ripped off at the end. Dave
    #30
  11. Apocalipsis FZR

    Apocalipsis FZR I´m too old for this....

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    OK.
    lets clarify a little bit the situation.

    Current situation in Argentina regarding the obtention of Foreigner Currency is EXACTLY the same as the implemented in SOUTH AFRICA almost 4 years ago (I've experienced this situation last year in ZA).

    There is an extremly heavy control from Argentinian IRS regarding WHO wats to spend money overseas , buy foreingner currencies, real state investments, or even buy cars; and from WHERE the money is comming to perform those operations.
    You know excatly WHY the IRS wants to know this (Snowwhite has a lot of money to spend in SA, and Dubai is too far away to invest ...).

    I dont like and I dont want these new limits for trade/use my money (in reality this piss me off a LOT) , but I can live with them, and if I need to travel overseas, is because I have to do it due my specific type of job, so I dont have any problems to get the currencies I need.

    If you need to sell Dollars, Reales, euros or anything else in BA and you are a little bit reluctant to the "dark side of the force black market", PM me. I work in an Oil&GAs company, so I have legal foreigner currency with me all the time.
    I dont have a lot, but I can give you a hand to finf a fast solution, or I can send you somewhere else where you can change in an excelent rate in a nice and secure place.

    Getting robbed or suffering a scam in a BIG MEGALOPOLIS (BA has 14 MILLON people, Sao Pablo no idea but is larger, Mexico DF...... etc) in South America or in Africa is the same...
    Dont be stupid, shake your head, and switch your brain mode from "First World Cultural/All inclusive Tourist" to the "Third World Adventure Tourist".
    If you are not sure about any currency, ask pocket money instead of one big note.

    If you are comming as a Tourist, YES, bring as much USD CASH as you can .
    It will reduce in almost 40% your dailly expense .
    TRY to avoid the use of Credit cards, because they will make the deduction at the official exchange rate, and you will loose that 40% reduction of legal / black market ratio .

    Find a local that can support you for local deals (last time a Dutch buddy came down , we were be able close an excelent deal in Leather Jackets, paying in Cash with dollars).

    Nothing else, just my 2 cents.
    #31
  12. csustewy

    csustewy Motojero

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    Fully agree with your thoughts Apocalipsis, and thanks for the offer to help out around BsAs. We have been in Argentina for a couple of weeks now, entering from both Bolivia and Chile, and can add the following advice, for whatever its worth:

    From Bolivia -

    Pull out USD direct from ATM machines. This was possible in Cochabamba, likely in other major cities. Some banks/ATMs allowed it, others didn't. Change money at the border on the Bolivian side, at least at Yacuiba (but don't use that crossing if you can help it...). We received our best rate there: 6.55

    From Chile -

    We found it worth it to pull out Chilean pesos from the ATM, then convert to USD at a cambio in Chile. I know there are a lot of fees involved with that, but getting a 40% better exchange (~6.5 vs ~ 4.8) rate in Argentina quickly compensates.

    Rates we found -

    - 6.55 /Yacuiba (on Bolivia side) around Dec. 3
    - (Salta we didn't exchange but heard around 6.3 or 6.4 from changers on the street)
    - 6.25 /Mendoza around Dec 22
    - 6.4 /San Martin de los Andes (go to the money shop, not one of the cambios) around Dec 27
    - 5.5 /Bariloche around Jan 1 (bad rate, maybe too touristy?)
    - 6.5 /El Bolson around Jan 7
    - (Buenos Aires we didn't exchange but heard highs of around 6.2)

    Compare any of those to the official rate of 4.8 and you will see why bringing dollars is worth it...
    Travel 3 days, get your 4th day FREE!!!

    And to alleviate some concern about the perceived sketchiness, most of the exchanges we've made have been in businesses. Only one was out in the open at the border, but that's fairly common. Often your hostel, hotel, campground, friendly waiter will be able to direct you to an appropriate place, or you will notice a posted sign.
    #32
  13. nomadicbear

    nomadicbear Vagabond

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    Why can't this be stopped I get so tired of GASTON and his postings on this one and others no one else here knows as much as him and it always and he has to have his biz listed and tell you he is the best at getting stuff done... This has to stop
    #33
  14. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    The shit flows both ways between Gaston and Bananaman. Try on a looser pair of panties for a change.:D
    #34
  15. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Out Standing Member

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    I was there in 1975 and the black market was going full steam. I found the best place to change money was at jewelery stores. They lock you in a private showing room and you do your business in private.
    #35