Update (3 November 2014)
I arrived in BA today, and was able to exchange my dollars at the exchange rate of A$13.5 for US 1.00 dollars. It appears that the peso has stablilized against the dollar, and has dropped from the 15 to one exchange rate that could be had a few weeks ago.
Update (22 September)
Today, the Blue Dollar in A$15 pesos of you are selling them for US Dollars, or A$14.80 pesos if you are buying them with US Dollars. Everything else written below still applies.
Update April 2014
I just returned from Buenos Aires, and was able to trade my US $’s for pesos at the rate of 10 Argentine pesos / US dollar. The official exchange rate during my was was approximately 8 Argentine pesos per US $. This is an update from this previously written blog post. Everything else written below still applies.
Original Posting – November 2013
The answer is most definitely, yes, however, you might want to think about what you are doing before you try to do this.
Official exchange houses in Buenos Aires today in Buenos Aires would have paid about 5.134 pesos to the dollar. Why are people willing to pay 8 pesos for one US dollar? People are willing to pay this much because the average citizen in Buenos Aires / Argentina has lost faith in their currency due to many issues that are too much to explain here.
On 29 October 2013, the official exchange rate was 5.89 pesos to the dollar. A blue dollar exchange rate can be found daily at:
I have a friend that exchanged $1,000 US dollars in Buenos Aires 3 weeks ago for 7.9 pesos to the dollar in March 2013. He got back $7,900 pesos instead of about $5,000 pesos at the official exchange. Gee if the average tourist cold do that, he could cut his expenses while in Argentina by almost 60%.
Lets first see where the average tourist would get the chance to exchange their money for 8 pesos for one US dollar. The place this is most likely to happen for most tourists in Buenos Aires is on Florida Street. There you will find all sorts of people walking around saying “Cambio, Cambio”. See below the types of people you will find of Florida Street offering “Cambio Cambio” services.
Please understand, I am not saying anything about the integrity of these people above. As far as I know, these people give the services they claim, and I do not know of any illegal activities performed by these people.
What is the point then? From everything I have known or read, YOU DO NOT SHOW ANY MONEY, VALUABLES, CAMERAS, EXPENSIVE WATCHES, OR ANYTHING OF VALUE EVER ON FLORIDA STREET, or for that matter, anywhere in Buenos Aires. This being the case, how are you going to get 8 pesos for one dollar from these guys. There is NO WAY in the world that I am going to break out money on Florida Street and start changing money with these guys. Of course, if want to, that is your choice. Have a good life also.
To change any real amount of money, these guys, or others offering cambio services will take you to another place to do the real exchange of money. Where you do this, you will be dealing with people you know nothing about, have no idea as to whether you will be robbed, of if not robbed, will be provided with some counterfeit money as part of your transaction.
My friend assures me that the $1,000 US he exchanged for A$7,900 pesos was does through a reputable source. When I asked how he found the source, he told me that a trusted source told him where to go, and that someone called to the place he was going to do the transaction, and to confirm both his identity and the amount of money to be changed. So even with a trusted source, it still gives me an uneasy feeling to have to exchange money like this.
How else can one get 8 pesos for one dollar in Argentina?
The real answer is to do all of your transactions in $’s for those that will do them. This way, you can keep your direct exchange of $’s to pesos to a minimum.
When you first get off your international flight at Ezeza (EZE) or Aeroparque (AEP) arriving in Buenos Aires, you will need to pay in pesos to get to your hotel, and the current price for the trip to the hotel will be about 220 pesos (about $44 US at the 04 April 2013 exchange rate). When I was here in Oct. 2012, it was 190 pesos. The taxis will not take US dollars for your first transactions. There is a bank and ATM’s in the arrival area. You can get pesos there, but if you need to do this, get the least amount pesos you will need, and only a little extra. After this try to do all of your transactions in US dollars.
You will need pesos for some things in Argentina, but may vendors will take dollars when you need to pay, and many of them will do it at a 7 to one, or 8 to one exchange rate.
Examples of where I did get a good exchange rate using US dollars:
1. Hotel in Bariloche two weeks ago had a posted sign in their window that all transactions could be done at the rate of 7 pesos to one dollar.
2. Shopping in a store in Buenos Aires today, the store owner converted 8 pesos to one US dollar when doing the transaction.
If you do a credit card transaction, it will be done at the official rate. Today that rate again was about 5.134 (04 April 2013) pesos per dollar.
So while it is possible to get 8 pesos for one US dollar, you should be very careful. Remember, if something is too good to be true, it is not really a good deal.
Have a good time on your trip to Argentina. It is a wonderful place to visit, and it can also be an easy place to part with your money under conditions that you did not expect to happen.