Argentina Currency Exchange Guide

Located in the southern part of South America, Argentina boasts stunning landscapes and a diverse culture that is a unique blend of European and Latin American influences. As the world’s eighth largest country, Argentina offers endless opportunities for exploration – from the vast Pampa region to the awe-inspiring Andes mountains. Whether you are a foodie, a nature lover, or a history buff, Argentina has something to offer. Come and discover this captivating country for yourself!

General Argentine Currency Information

What is the currency of Argentina?

The official currency of Argentina is the Argentine peso (ARS).

What do Argentine notes & coins look like?

Argentina Money

Argentina’s new banknote series features stunning images of native animals found in different regions of the country. The front of each note showcases a unique animal, while the back features its natural habitat. With the vertical layout, these notes offer a different way to look at currency and also raise awareness about environmental conservation. Furthermore, the release of higher denomination banknotes like the ARS1000, ARS500, and ARS200 has made replenishing ATMs and everyday transactions more efficient.

Argentina Coins

As for Argentine coins, the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) has announced the release of new coin series to standardize the currency in circulation. Among these are the 2 Peso coin featuring the silk floss tree and the 10 Peso coin showcasing the calden tree – both part of the “Peso Trees Series of the Argentine Republic.” The new coins, containing highly detailed designs on both faces, will circulate alongside older versions of coins and banknotes of the same value. The 2017-dated 1 Peso coin features a jacaranda tree, and the 2018-dated 5 Peso coin features a myrtle tree, both displaying unique designs, with denominations referencing geographic regions of Argentina where the trees grow.

Economy

As the second-largest economy in South America, the Argentine economy is one of the most dynamic in the region. With a highly literate population and a diversified industrial base, Argentina stands to benefit significantly from its export-oriented agricultural sector and rich natural resources.

However, the country’s economic history is characterised by periods of high growth and severe recessions. Income inequality and poverty have increased in recent times, challenging the nation’s progress. Despite this, Argentina remains one of the most promising countries in South America, with the potential to emerge as a major economic player on the global stage.

Brief currency history

The currencies used in Argentina can be traced back to the pre-independence period. During the colonial era, the Spanish Real was primarily used as the currency until Argentina gained independence in 1816. Following independence, the country introduced the Peso Fuerte as its official currency.

In the 20th century, Argentina went through various economic crises that had a significant impact on its currency. The first crisis occurred in the 1980s, which led to hyperinflation and the introduction of the Austral currency. The currency had a short lifespan and was later replaced by the Peso Convertible, pegged at a 1:1 official exchange rate with the US dollar in 1991.

The Peso Convertible was successful in the short term, stabilizing the economy and reducing inflation. However, in the early 2000s, Argentina suffered another economic crisis that led to the abandonment of the fixed exchange rate system, and the Peso Convertible became the Peso once again.

Today, the Argentine Peso operates under a floating exchange rate system, with its value determined by supply and demand in the foreign exchange market. The currency has historically been troubled by high inflation rates, which significantly affected its value against the US dollar and other major currencies.

Overall, the history of Argentina’s currency has been marked by economic instability, devaluation, and crisis. Despite these challenges, the government is working to find solutions to stabilize the currency and strengthen the economy.

Taking Travel Money to Argentina

Travel Argentina

What currency should I take to Argentina?

If you’re travelling to Argentina, you’ll need to exchange your Australian dollars (AUD) for Argentine pesos (ARS).

Is it better to convert currency in Australia or Argentina?

For a more convenient travel experience to Argentina, it is advisable to convert Australian dollars to Argentine pesos prior to departure. This will allow you to determine the exact amount of travel money you have and plan your expenses accordingly. Furthermore, you’ll have immediate access to your funds upon arrival in Argentina without the worry of looking for a currency exchange booth or incurring high fees.

How much money can I take to Argentina?

Visitors are allowed to bring in up to US$10,000 or its equivalent without having to declare it. However, it’s important to note that exporting foreign currency for amounts higher than US$10,000 or its equivalent in other currencies is strictly prohibited.

Where to convert currency?

Crown Currency Exchange is a go-to destination when exchanging money in Australia. We offer a wide range of major and minor foreign currencies with no extra charges or hidden fees. You can easily buy and sell currencies such as Maldivian rufiyaa at our store. With 50 outlets located throughout the country, we provide competitive exchange rates for patrons. Our knowledgeable and hospitable professionals have almost two decades of experience in the industry and deliver quality service with no hidden fees or commissions, ensuring that you get the best exchange rate for your money.

Is tipping customary in Argentina? How much is expected?

Tipping is not compulsory in Argentina, but it is considered customary and strongly ingrained in their culture. Argentinians view tips as a form of reward for good service. Tourists are encouraged to display some generosity when tipping, and this can go a long way in building relationships with the locals.

However, it’s key to note that tipping is discretionary, and one should only give a tip when satisfied with the service received. So to help give you an idea of how much you should tip, here are some common tipping practices in Argentina.

Restaurants: 10% is the norm for tipping in restaurants in Buenos Aires, and it’s common to leave less or nothing if the service is poor. Fine dining restaurants expect tips. A cubierto charge is sometimes added to the bill, which goes to the restaurant and not the waitstaff. Credit card receipts don’t have a tip section, so bring cash to pay the tip separately.

Bars: Tipping is becoming more common in bars, and bartenders appreciate it. There is usually a tip jar available, and it’s better to put the tip directly into the bartender’s hand. Tipping for high-end specialty cocktails is appreciated.

Taxis: Tipping is not expected for cab drivers in Argentina. It’s polite to round up to the nearest whole peso multiple of $5. If the cab driver helps with your luggage, it’s nice to give them something in gratitude. For remis and private rental cars, tipping around 10% is common.

Tour Guides: Tipping around 10-20% of the tour price is common for professional tour guides, but only if you have a good experience. “Free” tours typically require giving around $200-300 pesos per person for a 3-4 hour tour.

“Car Attendants” (trapitos): Car attendants or trapitos can charge $20-$30 pesos in some neighbourhoods to park on “their” block. Tipping them is wise, even if it’s not much, and a “half now” and “half later” approach works best.

Delivery Person: Tipping 5-10% is a good rule of thumb for delivery guys, in addition to any delivery fee charged by the restaurant. It’s also polite to give something to the delivery man who helps unload the groceries if you have them sent “a domicilio” (to your house).

What is ATM access like in Argentina?

Most major cities in Argentina have a plethora of ATMs that accept all types of debit and credit cards. Despite the availability of the MEP exchange rate for card transactions, budget-conscious travellers often avoid using ATMs due to the risk of losing money. This is because Argentina’s ATMs have been known to impose high fees and low withdrawal limits.

What should you budget per day?

Budget

If you’re backpacking around Argentina, the average daily budget ranges from 3,700-6,200 ARS per day. This budget includes essentials such as accommodation, food, transportation, and activities. Staying in hostels, eating at affordable food stalls, and doing free activities like hiking and city tours can help you save costs.

Moderate

For a moderate budget, we recommend budgeting between 7,100 and 11,500 Argentine pesos per day. This budget will allow you to stay comfortably in a private Airbnb or private hostel with some extra money for transportation and activities. You’ll have the opportunity to indulge in local drinks and occasional taxi rides, and even participate in popular tours like wine tours and dance lessons. Ensure you plan your budget wisely to get the most out of your travel experience.

Luxury

When it comes to budgeting for a luxurious trip, you’ll want to aim for a daily allowance of 13,800-23,500 ARS. With this type of budget, you can indulge in a range of activities and experiences without having to worry about breaking the bank. From staying in lavish hotels to dining out for every meal, the options are endless. You can even explore the rugged wilderness of Patagonia or hop between cities via flight. And if you’re willing to spend even more, the possibilities truly become limitless.

Currency details

Currency:

Argentine peso

Currency code:

ARS

Currency symbol:

$

Central bank:

Central Bank of Argentina

Nickname:

None

Currency sub-unit:

Centavo = 1/100 of a Peso

Bank notes:

2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 Pesos

Coins:

1, 5, 10, 25, 50 centavos. 1 Peso

Must-do's while you are in Argentina

Tango in Buenos Aires​

Tango in Buenos Aires

Get ready to experience the pulsating heart of Argentina’s capital city, Buenos Aires, and immerse yourself in the birthplace of Tango. The captivating city, bursting with vivacious energy, is a melting pot of cultural diversity, and Tango embodies its essence in every note and move. Don’t miss out on the dazzling Tango shows that are a sight to behold! Visit the enchanting La Boca neighbourhood, where artists perform on the streets, presenting their extraordinary talents. Take Tango lessons from skilled professionals, be it private or group classes, and dance your way to gracefulness and confidence.

Patagonia

Hiking in Patagonia

Enter the realm of adventure seekers and get lost in the unspoiled landscapes of Patagonia. Let the awe-inspiring glaciers, breathtaking turquoise lakes, and towering mountain peaks leave you spellbound. Los Glaciares National Park, one of the most significant tourist attractions in Argentina, is an adventurer’s paradise. Stand in awe of the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier, a spectacular natural wonder, or hike up to Mount Fitz Roy and let the panoramic view take your breath away.

Mendoza

Wine Tasting in Mendoza

The wine capital of Argentina, the beautiful Mendoza region, offers wine enthusiasts a unique and exclusive wine-tasting experience. Discover the renowned Malbec and other internationally acclaimed wines as you stroll through picturesque vineyards, soaking in the aroma of the grapes. Learn about the wine-making process as you witness the passion and dedication of wine-makers. Delight in a sumptuous meal, perfectly paired with your preferred wine, for a complete sensory experience.

Peninsula Valdes

Wildlife spotting in Peninsula Valdes

Travel to the heart of Peninsula Valdes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and behold the exquisite beauty of an incredibly diverse ecosystem, which is home to penguins, sea lions, elephant seals, and southern right whales. Set sail on a thrilling whale-watching tour and view these awe-inspiring creatures up close. Head to Punta Tombo for a remarkable experience as you stand witness to one of the world’s largest penguin colonies.

La Bombonera stadium

Football match in La Bombonera

Get ready for an unforgettable adventure as you step into the mecca of football in Argentina. The iconic La Bombonera stadium, the home of the famous Boca Juniors, is alive with passionate fans, dazzling flags, and pulsating excitement. Be prepared to be swept away by the enthusiasm and energy of the football fanfare as you cheer on your team in a live match. A must-visit for anyone searching for an authentic Argentine experience.

Other helpful guides & resources on travel in Argentina

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