From the Atacama to Patagonia, discover the best ways to access your money when you're travelling around Chile.
With its volcanoes, lakes and the vast Atacama Desert, Chile has a reputation for being a wild and rugged country outside of its big cities.
Cash is often the best way to pay your way around the country. Although a few best-practice rules apply to using it. Find out all about these and the alternatives to notes and coins below.
Compare travel money options for Chile
ATMs are widely available in towns and cities across Chile and are generally known for offering the best exchange rates over and above those offered at places like casas de cambio (exchange houses) or hotels and shopping centres.
Debit, credit and prepaid cards are also accepted in the more touristy areas, although you'll always need a bit of cash on you for taxis, tips, smaller business buys and especially if you're travelling to places off the beaten track.
Should I bring a prepaid travel card, credit card or debit card to Chile?
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What's the currency in Chile?
The Chilean peso (CL) is the currency of Chile. Its denomination was originally known as the centavo but there are no longer any of these in circulation.
Over the last couple of years, exchange rates have hovered between 480 and 505 pesos to one Australian dollar.
Coins come in 1s, 5s, 10s, 100s and 500s. Notes come in 1,000s, 2,000s, 5,000s, 10,000s and 20,000s.
Travel money tips for Chile
- Unlike many other countries in South America, Chile does not widely accept US dollars.
- If you're travelling to more remote areas bring some smaller denominations of notes with you as smaller businesses may not be able to give you change for larger notes.
- Outside of ATMs, the casas de cambio of downtown Santiago are known for offering the best exchange rates.
- Never accept an offer to exchange money from a person on the street. They'll probably be offering lower exchange rates, but it will be part of a scam.