Currency for circumnavigation of South America

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#1
5 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Hello !
First time posting on here . Been an avid reader until now I have a question about currency needs
We are sailing on the Q.V. in January 2018 circumnavigation of S America.
The itenary is such that we call in at various ports and countries during the 11 weeks , ie ...Bermuda , Dominica , Brazil,, Uruguay, Argentina , Chile , Peru,Jamaica ... to name but some .
DH is quite savvy where currencies are concerned and researches best exchange rates months ahead preferring not to rely on the exchange rate on board .
My ? Is what do others do please as not knowing how much we are likely to spend / need is difficult to estimate how much to change in advance . I understand US $ is valid most countries but is this for the case for example if we were only making small purchases?
Your help and advice is greatly appreciated !



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#2
Plymouth, UK
896 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
I would take some local currency for small purchase such as in a cafe or bar. Also you can use local buses and trams in places like Lima and you need local cash for that. How many stops do you have in each place?
Bermuda takes $US. You may get change in local currency and it is beautiful! Very decorative and colourful.
Hope that is of some help,
Libby


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#3
Norfolk UK
763 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
When we went we found that US dollars were readily accepted by shops and market sellers etc. In fact in some countries they preferred it to their own currency. However if you want to do anything official, visit a museum, go on public transport etc, then you need local currency. We took a small amount for countries like Brazil, Chile. Uruguay etc, but you can change US dollars quite happily at banks and money change outlets. Often the rate of exchange for cash was better than we would have got at home. Bermuda/Jamaica etc, no problem at all with US dollars anywhere.
#4
New Hampshire
737 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Just FYI for what we're doing...

we're on the 50 day Fort Lauderdale round trip portion of this voyage and I'm getting some currency before we leave for Brazil and Chili for sure and maybe Peru. We'll bring some fresh crisp $$ with us as well. I always like to have some local currency if possible. We have found getting Argentinian money to be a problem, I think because of some recent monetary upheaval there...not sure what the deal is but if they're having problems they'll probably be OK with USD.
#5
San Francisco, CA
1,120 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Originally posted by Cruise NH
We have found getting Argentinian money to be a problem, I think because of some recent monetary upheaval there...not sure what the deal is but if they're having problems they'll probably be OK with USD.
FYI - until two years or so ago, the Argentine Peso had an artificially pegged exchange rate which resulted in it becoming basically worthless outside the country (in the US you could buy Pesos but could not sell them). A widely used "blue rate" sprang up for unofficial conversions and was somewhere between the black market rate and the official rate.

The current government stopped that practice and has allowed the exchange rate to float and the blue rate has disappeared. It's not surprising that there is still some skittishness about the currency.

Here's a link with more info on the current situation http://www.milevalue.com/argentina-m...atm-bank-cash/
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#6
Kansas City
439 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
When we did the QM2 South American segments in 2016, most of the time we used ATMs to get small amounts of local currency. There were good lectures on board about each country prior to getting there and the speakers provided lots of helpful advice about the local currency and where you could find reasonable exchange rates.
#7
5 Posts
Joined Nov 2017
Really helpful thank you! We will take small amounts of local currency for some countries but mainly US$ and use ATM if need more.
Sharon


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#8
New York City
135 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
I did an around South America a few years ago on Prinsendam - superb cruise; anywho we were warned to avoid ATMs in Argentina because of the rampant counterfeiting of the 100 Peso note. I found that small amounts of local currency was helpful for small purchases , for major purchases most reliable places accepted credit cards. The ship sold Forex at the Bureau (HA’s name for Purser’s Office).

Don’t miss Machu Picchu( and take your altitude meds!); the Amazon is astonishing(if the ship goes there);the great cities are amazing; there is a very special contemporary art museum in the suburb of Hollywood in Montevideo; well there is so much to that great continent. Enjoy!
#9
51 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Bermuda will not take US dollars as a rule, even though most travel guides say they will. Perhaps shops that are geared towards tourists but you will need Bermudian dollars for bars, coffee shops etc. However, Bermudian banknotes are the loveliest in the world. (official).
#10
UK
664 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by canoncruiser
I did an around South America a few years ago on Prinsendam - superb cruise; anywho we were warned to avoid ATMs in Argentina because of the rampant counterfeiting of the 100 Peso note. I found that small amounts of local currency was helpful for small purchases , for major purchases most reliable places accepted credit cards. The ship sold Forex at the Bureau (HA’s name for Purser’s Office).



Don’t miss Machu Picchu( and take your altitude meds!); the Amazon is astonishing(if the ship goes there);the great cities are amazing; there is a very special contemporary art museum in the suburb of Hollywood in Montevideo; well there is so much to that great continent. Enjoy!


Hi, an excellent post but what do you mean by altitude meds. I was considering doing machine picchu but was worried about the altitude.


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#11
Kansas City
439 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
Originally posted by canoncruiser
there is a very special contemporary art museum in the suburb of Hollywood in Montevideo; well there is so much to that great continent. Enjoy!
Slightly off topic, but If you are referring to the wonderful Museo Rallii, I certainly agree. It is one of the best modern art museums I've ever visited. However, it is acually located in Punta del Este rather than Montevideo, Uruguay.
#12
midwest
973 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
We did "around South America" on the QM2 in 2009. (According to DH: best trip ever!!!)

Never spent a penny of local currency. Booked tours through Cunard, which included lovely luncheons (great food with wine/beer).

We didn't venture out on our own and felt safe and happy under Cunard's wing.

Bought a couple trinkets near the dock in Chile and paid in dollars. Bought paper flowers in Mexico (at a market further from the ship) and paid in dollars.

Most "nice" shops and restaurants, world-wide, take plastic. Most vendors near ships (full of Americans) take dollars.

I think your currency needs will depend on what you like to do, but I can tell you: it doesn't need to be complicated.

Happy Sailing! Jimmybean
#13
USA
4,458 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
We spent 6 weeks on Celebrity Infinity around South America in 2015. I had hired a driver to pick us up at the airport and worked out Argentine peso (blue) rate with him. It saved us a good deal of money. Have no idea if that is possible now.
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#14
Bodega Bay, CA
329 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by PRINCESSTHE BEST
Hi, an excellent post but what do you mean by altitude meds. I was considering doing machine picchu but was worried about the altitude.


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Your doctor can prescribe medication to reduce or eliminate altitude sickness. I asked my doctor if they were effective ....he said....I took them when I visited last year.