The Argentine unit of currency is the peso (AR$)Prices are quoted in Argentine pesos unless otherwise noted. The value of the peso fluctuates in relation to the US$. The current state of the currency strongly favors foreign travelers. You should check exchange rates before your arrival for current exchange rates.
All travelers should use caution when traveling in big cities or small. While staying in hotels, we recommend using safety deposit boxes, but this is not necessary at El Encuentro.
CashPaper money comes in denominations of five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 pesos.
Cajeros automaticos (ATMs) are found in nearly every city and town in Argentina. They're the best way to get cash if you're running low, and nearly all of them have instructions in English. Almost all ATMs use Cirrus, Plus or Link systems. The downside to ATMs is that most machines only allow a maximum withdrawal of AR$2000 per transaction, and sometimes have withdrawal fees. Be sure to check with your bank about fees to avoid surprises later on.
The most widely accepted credit cards are Visa and MasterCard, though American Express and a few others are also valid in many establishments. Before you leave home, warn your credit-card company that you'll be using it abroad or it may put a hold on the card thinking it was lost.
Some businesses add a recargo (surcharge) of 5% to 10% toward credit-card purchases. Also, the actual amount you'll eventually pay depends upon the exchange rate not at the time of sale, but when the purchase is posted to an overseas account, sometimes weeks later.
If you use a credit card to pay for restaurant bills, be aware that tips can't usually be added to the bill. Some lower-end hotels and private tour companies will not accept credit cards. Holders of MasterCard and Visa can get cash advances at Argentine banks and most ATMs.
US Dollars are easily exchanged into Argentine Pesos in Buenos Aires and Patagonia. ATM machines dispense Argentine Pesos from your credit or debit card for personal shopping (There are several ATM's in Esquel). It is recommended that you take enough US Dollars for gratuities and any additional fees.
Taxes & Refunds for Argentine Purchases
Under limited circumstances, foreign visitors may obtain refunds of the impuesto al valor agregado (IVA; value-added tax) on purchases of Argentine products upon their departure from the country. A 'Tax Free' (in English) window decal identifies merchants participating in this program. Hang on to your invoice and you can obtain refunds in Buenos Aires at Ezeiza, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery.