I first visited Argentina in 2010 and fell in love with it. It is a fascinating country with great food and kind people. It’s also an incredible bargain right now.
Financial woes due to loose monetary policy is nothing new in Argentina, but has once again become a growing problem. The result is a weak Argentine peso, making travel affordable even with inflation.
With the re-introduction of strict new capital controls on the export of hard currency, like USD, the so-called “blue market” is once again flourishing. But unlike going to abandoned open-air markets to covertly exchange money, like I did in Uzbekistan, the black market currency exchange is bit easier.
In the past, department stores and restaurants would gladly take your USD at a far more favorable exchange rate than the official government price. As recently as 2015, the difference between the official exchange rate and the black market rate was 50%. It’s closer to 10% now, though it will likely rise if the hard money controls remain in effect.
As of today, the official rate is 56 Argentine Peso to 1 United States Dollar while the black market rate is about 62 to 1. That’s a great opportunity for cost savings.
When thinking about your next vacation destination, consider your USD or EUR will go much further now than in the last few years. And it may get even better.
As the winter turns into spring, now is one of the most beautiful times of year to visit Argentina. From Salta to Igauzu Falls, Buenos Aires to Patagonia, there is something for everyone. And while I hope for economic stability for all Argentines, it is particularly good time to visit with the peso so weak.