Dolar Blue in Puerto Iguazu


If you have ever been to Argentina you might know that they have a very unstable currency, the Peso. It is unstable for many reasons, but this has led the Argentinians to want other currencies to keep their savings in, and most of all US Dollars. The Argentinian government answered to this by putting taxes on Argentinian cards buying foreign currency, so the only solution for someone with money in their Argentinian bank account to convert this to dollar without the hefty tax is to exchange it on the black market. The result of all this is that there are two different exchange rates, the official and the “dolar blue” rate. As of today the official is somewhere between 9 and 10 pesos to the dollar, and the blue rate is 14-15 pesos to the dollar.

So, if I were to buy a steak at a restaurant and pay in peso with my card, I would pay maybe 150 peso, which with an official rate of 10 peso on the dollar leaves me with 15 dollars less in my pocket. If I on the other hand bring US dollars in cash and exchange them on the black market at 15 peso on the dollar the same dinner sets me back just 10 dollars, and this applies to every penny you spend in Argentina!

How does one get the blue rate? Where do you find the black market? Will the police arrest you?

My experience so far is that you can get it everywhere, some restaurants and stores will give you the blue rate if you pay in dollars cash. Our experience so far is from arriving into Puerto Iguazu and feeling a bit lost in all this. We had 265 dollars in cash with us, which we after some investigation found a place at the bus stop in Puerto Iguazu to exchange at 14 peso on the dollar. This rate was OK, compared to the one you probably can get in Buenos Aires of 14,7 according to a guy we met on the bus.

The police will most probably not arrest you, this is as common as jaywalking and is sometimes done very openly, but beware of fake notes and not getting the correct amount.

To find the place that exchanges at the blue rate in Puerto Iguazu bus terminal, look for a number connected with the national board game of india. Then just ask “Dolar Blue?” Otherwise just ask around, most people will know someone doing these exchanges, we only offended an old lady in a store which looked a bit angry about us insinuating that she was a currency broker.


Money that might change value overnight.

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