Exchanging money in Argentina

Money Exchange Argentina;Where to Exchange money in Argentina;Arbolitos;Argentine Peso:Money exchange rates

Exchanging money in Argentina

Planning a trip to Argentina and unsure if you should exchange money into Argentine Pesos before you fly? It is understandable that you would like to have some local currency on you. Maybe you need to pay for a taxi or buy something small. In my opinion don`t bother to exchange money before you depart your home town. I am specifically referring to people who travel with US Dollars and Euros. You will be paying fees to the banks to have the money converted and in the end you will find that you have lost money in the process.

It is indeed interesting times in Argentina and the situation can change overnight. There are all sorts of restrictions for Argentinians and we cannot go to the bank and purchase US Dollars like we used to. I find this very alarming in a country where everybody is supposed to be free. My blog is not political and I don`t write about political issues. For now I will try to explain why it is better for you to enter Argentina with your local currency and exchange it there. Most importantly where to exchange it and what rates to expect.

When you walk in the “Micro Centro” or city center of Buenos Aires you will always hear people shout “Cambio”. We call them the “Arbolitos”. “Cambio” means “Exchange”. To be honest they drive me nuts when I go to the city. I guess mainly because I look like a foreigner and after 5 years in Argentina I will always be and look like a foreigner. They approach people and ask if you want to exchange money. Personally I would not change money with them. You never know if you will get counterfeit Pesos or where they want to exchange the money.

Exchanging Money in Argentina; Money Exchange Argentina;Where to Exchange money in Argentina;Arbolitos;Argentine Peso:Money exchange rates
Money exchange offices and the “Arbolitos” in Argentina.

Money Exchange Offices in Buenos Aires

Money exchange offices or “Casa de Cambio” are all over the city. They are reputable and some have been in business for more than 30 years. You will identify them with signs that have written on “Money Exchange”. If in doubt ask at your Hotel or Hostel. They will point you in the right direction.

US Dollars and Euros are also widely accepted at most stores and supermarkets. Check the rate before you exchange. Many of them will give you the “Official rate” or “Bank rate” and you will be losing. Always check the rate. It is very important because you could lose up to 3 or 4 pesos per Dollar if you are not careful. Compare rates that you have been given and negotiate if need be.

Official Bank Buying rate: 1 USD = 5.15 (Buying)

Exchange: 1 USD = 8.4 (Buying)

What about the banks? You can exchange your Dollars and Euros at the banks but you cannot purchase foreign currency. This also changed since my first visit to Argentina in 2007. You will be given the official bank buying rate which is a lot lower than the rate that you will get at the “Cambio offices”.

Money Exchange Argentina;Where to Exchange money in Argentina;Arbolitos;Argentine Peso:Money exchange rates

A word of caution. There is a lot of fake money doing the rounds. Learn how to identify counterfeit money from the real thing. Don`t use the hawkers (Arbolitos) in the streets. Travel responsibly and enjoy Argentina!

*** Information correct at the time of publishing the article. Please familiarize yourself with the currency values before you travel to Argentina.

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.


  1. the best rate the last time i travel to argentina i get it from exchangeinargentina.com great rate really safe, hope this helps travelers

    1. Hi Michael thank you very much for the information. I had a look at their website. Is it possible to tell me where they are located and what information you needed to provide to conclude the transaction? I am sure the information will help travellers.

      1. well i was staying at hollywood suites in palermo and i contact them from my hotel and the ship me the money, we see us in the lobby and exchange it was really simple i think the phones are in the page and the have and email
        to nelieta

        1. Thank you for the information Michael. Yes they work the same as the arbolitos the only difference is they come to you. The most important part is to make sure the money that you are getting is not fake. That happens a lot in the city.

          1. yes but bills where good thats why i used two times that week its really hard to get someone that dont give you counterfit pesos but these guys where really professional

          1. Hi Derek, we never used them in the end. I have been advised by a friend not to contact them because of all the fake pesos that are doing the round. They come to your hotel and you have no receipt or anything to fall back onto if something goes wrong.

          2. Hi nelieta thanks for the info i call them on friday and see him on saturday in the lobby luckily everything go awesome and i don’t have problem’s with the pesos, something good to know about Argentina is that there another houndred peso bill call Evita is very different but has the same value, see you and thanks again!

          3. Wonderful news Derek and I am happy that everything worked out fine for you. Yes, I know about the new Evita bill. It is more common in the big cities. People here don`t like it that much 🙂 but it is more difficult to forge. Save travels!

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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