People visiting Argentina can get even more for their cash in the current financial climate, after the national currency – the Peso – went into freefall.
It declined in value by 17% across two days, leading to a lowering of prices across the country while the black market for US dollars is currently booming.
Additional uncertainty adds to the rates currently being experienced, while the cost of basic services such as hotels and food has declined.
With the World Cup in neighbouring Brazil quickly approaching, some tourists could change their plans and take in the delights of South America at a much reduced cost.
A black market boom
The government in Argentina has implemented a protectionist policy that restricts Argentine nationals from buying dollars.
As a result, many official outlets are being bypassed and this is creating a black market boom, which consequently impacts the national economy.
Unofficial traders are offering even greater rates to boost their own business and the black market has grown so much that both the official and unofficial rates appear side by side in the national newspapers.
Many tourists are now entering Argentina with more dollars, in order to take advantage of the exchange rates.
Finding unofficial dealers is not believed to be difficult either, given that many Argentineans can be found on street corners offering all sorts of financial deals.
For example, while the official exchange rate fluctuates around eight pesos to the dollar, a ‘blue rate’ deal could see 11 for every dollar.
At several points since the turn of the year, the difference between the two rates has reached 60% while tourists are now being offered favourable rates if they pay by cash or in US dollars.
Use credit cards with caution
Holidaymakers are advised to avoid using credit cards in Argentina as using them can push prices up, but using a prepaid travel card could still be an option.
Customers looking for the best deals could be better off converting their pounds into dollars rather than pesos though.
Additional security exists on these cards, while the exchange rate seen will be the one when the original transaction took place – providing protection should the exchange rate vary dramatically during a trip.
The peso crashed in 2001, and many Argentineans are said to be distrusting of it, instead preparing to store their savings in dollars – despite inflation reaching 30%.
For the moment though, the strength of the “blue market” in Argentina makes it an incredibly attractive proposition for holidaymakers looking to visit South America.
Those choosing to do so also get to experience the wonderful culture, scenery and food that Argentina has to offer.