Bolivia Currency - Bolivian Money
About Boliva Currency
Bolivia currency is called the boliviano(bs). The boliviano is the official currency used in Bolivia.
The currency is divided into 100 subunits, called centavos. In circulation are coins of denominations 1, 2, and 5 bolivianos, and banknotes (paper money) of 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Bolivianos. Also, in circulation are smaller coins of 10, 20, and 50 centavos, which are of lesser value than 1 boliviano.
The United States dollar is also accepted just about anywhere in Bolivia. Although, it is recommend to use the Bolivian boliviano when traveling Bolivia because some stores will not like exchanging large U.S. dollar bills. Also, if the U.S. bill is in poor condition or there is a tear, most places will hesitate to take it. Always know the current exchange rate when you exchange your money.
You can exchange your currency upon arrival at the airport or there are plenty of currency exchange bank services in the cities. Look for places called Casa de Cambio (money-exchange house) to exchange to the Bolivian currency. There are many options to get and stay funded. Here is a list of options for getting money and exchanging:
- ATMs are the easiest way for travelers to stay funded because the machines are usually up-to-date with the current exchange rates. ATMs accept Visa, Cirrus and MasterCard. Most ATMs give you the option of being operated in English or Spanish.
Before you go, check with your bank whether your ATM card will work overseas and make sure your pin is four digits before you go because Bolivian ATMs can't deal with pins more than four digits long. When you withdraw cash from an ATM you have an option of taking out U.S. Dollars or Bolivianos. There is usually an ATM transaction fee of $2-3.
ATMs are available all over the larger cities such as La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. Look for machines that are on the ENLACE network. In smaller towns ATMs can be tough to find. When your taking cash out be aware of your surroundings, there could be thieves in the area, though I have never had a problem before.
- Casa de Cambio (money-exchange house) are found in the larger cities. They will exchange your paper bills or traveler's checks. They usually charge a 3%-5% commission.
- Moneychangers are usually found on the street around the main plaza in the larger cities. You'll see these guys shouting out and saying they exchange money for U.S. Dollar, Euro and other countries into the Bolivia currency. Most street moneychangers are legitimate and can offer better rates than Casa de Cambios, but some can be con-artists. If they are your only option ask them what the rate they are offering first. If you agree on a rate, tell them you want the cash in as small denominations as possible. Make sure you count to see if you got the correct amount back and inspect the bills to make sure they are not fake.
- Travelers checks can be cashed at a Casa de Cambio inside the larger cities. However, most banks don't exchange traveler's checks. Most upscale hotels and restaurants will accept traveler's checks in Bolivia. There is usually a 3% to 5% commission for changing traveler's checks. Citibank will exchange its own traveler's checks. Last I heard you can't exchange American Express traveler's checks at the American Express offices in Bolivia, which is very strange.
- Banks are good and trustworthy in the main cities. Some banks are Mercantil Santa Cruz, Banco Nacional de Bolivia, Banco de Credito, Banco Union. Also, there are Citibank branches in both Santa Cruz and La Paz. You can almost always find ATMs at banks, where you'll find a security guard in front of the bank. Most banks don't exchange traveler's checks though.
Currency Exchange Rates$1 US Dollar
= 7.10 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Euro = 9.05 Bolivian Boliviano
1 United Kingdom Pounds = 10.4 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Australian Dollar = 4.65 Bolivian Boliviano
1 New Zealand Dollar = 3.85 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Canadian Dollar = 5.6 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Brazilian Real = 2.85 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Peruvian Nuevo Sol = 2.25 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Argentine Peso = 2.05 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Chilean Peso = 0.011 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Bolivian Boliviano (BOB) = 93 Chilean Peso (CLP)
1 Chinese Yuan Renminbi = 1.04 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Japanese Yen = 0.077 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Bolivian Boliviano (BOB) = 12.91 Japanese Yen (JPY)
*The above exchange rates will change from time to time. Make sure you know the current exchange rate before traveling. There are currency converter calculators that can be used online to check the current exchange rates.
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