Pre Travel Currency Options
The official currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso, however it's common to use US dollars when travelling in the country, and most hotels and restaurants will accept them.
GBP and EUR are not easily accepted.
Major credit cards are widely accepted in the main tourist areas and cities, and ATM’s are prevalent.
There are 'casas de cambio' (money exchange booths) where you can use to exchange your money, as well as ATMs throughout all cities and major towns in Argentina.
The official currency of Chile is the Chilean Peso. In Chile everything is official and you can simply pay for items or meals by card or withdraw cash from an ATM. Some hotels may exchange USD for pesos in an emergency, but we wouldn’t recommend that you rely on it.
Things to consider
- Travellers cheques are not advised for either country as they are hard to change and are given a very low rate
- Your card provider will charge you at a higher rate for making payments or withdrawals while abroad, so it may be worth checking these tariffs before you leave
- To avoid any extra charges you could consider getting a card which you can preload credit onto
ATMs are widely available in most major towns, but make sure you stock up before travelling to more remote areas.
We think it is still a good idea to travel with some USD cash through Argentina, although it will be much easier to exchange them at an official rate now that the black market no longer exists.
Budgeting & Tipping
While in Argentina or Chile, a rough budget of $50-100 USD per person per day for lunch and dinner may be helpful. However, this will obviously depend on where you choose to eat.
Antarctic landscapes from the vessel
Tipping on board ship
If you want to tip your guide if they've done a great job, a rule of thumb is $10-20 USD per person per day on board.
It's very much at your discretion, however there are some great guides out there who are passionate, knowledgeable and really go the extra mile to make your trip as good as it can possibly be, and it's nice to reward them.
This is usually collected just prior to the end of the cruise and can be paid on credit card. If you pay in cash, it’s very often an anonymous payment, by credit card anonymity is less easy.
Tipping in Argentina & Chile
Argentina particularly is a very tipping oriented country, like the US, and tips are expected so keep a stock of small denomination notes handy. In Chile, tipping isn’t quite as prevalent, but it's very much appreciated (e.g. taxi) and is certainly expected in restaurants.