Money and duty free for Peru
Currency and Money
Nuevo (new) Sol (PEN; symbol S/.) = 100 céntimos. Nuevo Sol notes are in denominations of S/.200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of S/.5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20 and 10 céntimos.
Note: US Dollars are also in use and accepted for payment, particularly in tourist areas. While effectively interchangeable, it is best to use local currency wherever possible, and it is always good for tourists to have some local currency in small denominations, to pay for buses, taxis and goods in some small establishments.
All major credit cards are accepted, but usage may be limited outside of Lima and tourist areas. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted. It is also sensible to carry some cash rather than rely on cards.
ATMs are now generally regarded as one of the best ways to obtain money in Peru. They are found almost everywhere, including in small towns, although when travelling in remote places it is best to have some cash just in case the nearby ATMs are not working or have run out of money. In bigger cities, use ATMs inside banks for greater security, especially at night. Many banks have gun-carrying security guards.
Banks will exchange traveller’s cheques although it can be a slow process outside Lima. The ability to use traveller's cheques is also quite limited in some areas so you should check whether or not they will be accepted in the area you are visiting prior to travel. The use of ATMs is generally preferable, but if you do decide to bring traveller's cheques, the best currency to bring them in is US Dollars.
Mon-Fri 0900-1800, Sat 0900-1300 (may vary during the summer).
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency, but amounts exceeding US$10,000 must be declared.
Only a few bureau de change in Lima and Cusco will exchange currencies other than US Dollars. Outside Lima, it is virtually impossible. US Dollars can be exchanged everywhere and banks, hotels and many shops also readily accept US Dollars (although very old, torn or damaged notes are usually rejected). It is not recommended to exchange money from street vendors.
Peru duty free
The following items may be imported by visitors over 18 years of age into Peru without incurring customs duty:
• 20 packs of cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 3L of alcoholic beverages.
• Gifts or new articles for personal use up to a value of US$500.
• One laptop with its own power source.
• One electronic tablet.
• Two mobile phones.
• Unlicensed firearms and narcotics.
• Raw ham from Italy and Portugal.
• Salami, sausage meat, ham and cheese must be in their original packaging and unopened.
• Genetically modified organisms.
You must carry the appropriate certificates if importing plants or animals and their products.
The export of artistic or cultural articles is prohibited. Taking protected plant and animal species out of Peru is also prohibited – this can include products containing seeds and feathers.