Through the years a chaotic political landscape, corruption, and free-for-all privatization in the 80’s and 90’s has wreaked havoc on the economy since the golden days (or in Argentina’s case, the silver days).
Since the 2001 economic crisis and resulting devaluation of the peso, visitors looking to get mileage for their moolah have been flocking to Argentina, although tourism has slowed in the last few years.
The country’s economic situation stabilized somewhat for citizens the decade after the crisis, as employment increased and poverty rates fell.
Now, as with many places around the world, inflation, stagnant wages and ongoing austerity efforts mean poverty is on the rise again.
Argentina is still considered an affordable destination for travelers, but the 2002-2007 years of eight dollar steak and Malbec dinners have disappeared — for now. (Quality wine is still very affordable, so that’s one reason to toast).
Blue Dollar No More — Current Exchange Rates
Argentina had several years with currency restrictions in place, which created a black market for dollars, under the government of Cristina Kirchner. One of Mauricio Macri’s first moves as president was to regularize the flow of currency. Those with old guidebooks that mention the blue dollar should not be misled — the currency situation is now normalized.
Today the black market for foreign currency is almost obliterated. Travelers can still sometimes save a little money if they come to Argentina with US dollars. It fluctuates, but cash will sometimes fetch about 3% more on the black market outside of Buenos Aires.
In Buenos Aires the official exchange rate is now higher than the black market rate.
Nevertheless, carrying cash is also a good way to avoid steep atm fees which average US$10 per US$200 withdrawal. Another way to access money and avoid bank fees it to utilize a money exchange service such as the one on this site.
Travelers are legally permitted to enter Argentina with US$-10,000 without declaring it. In Argentina, rates fluctuate, so check this currency converter before planning your trip.