Here is how "Soles" the Peruvian Money works:
The exchange rate is hovering around 3.00 soles for one dollar. Lets use 3.00 for the sake of discussion which means that 1 sole is worth 33 cents in our currency.
30 Soles would be 10 dollars, 300 soles 100 dollars etc.
So, looking at the coins above, this is what you have:
10 of those little Centavos (that they don't use any more on the street, only in the airport and bank) = one Peruvian centavo or penny.
100 of the centavos (or pennies) that they do use = 1 sole. See the 10, 20 and 50? those are like our dime, quarter and fifty cent piece. 100 units make up a soles.
Then there is the one sole coin= .33 cents
The two sole coin= .66 cents
The five sole coin= $1.65
10 soles bill=$3.00
20 soles bill=$6.00
50 soles bill=$16.60
100 soles bill=$33.00
Remember all these numbers will change a little depending on the exchange rate but it gives you a good idea of how it works.
Important to Remember:
BRING YOUR MONEY IN 10, 20, 50 OR 100 DOLLAR BILLS. THEY MUST BE IN GOOD SHAPE. THEY CANNOT BE WORN, WRITTEN ON OR TORN. EVEN A LITTLE TEAR ALONG THE EDGE WILL DISQUALIFY YOUR MONEY. I AM SERIOUS. EVERY GROUP HAS PEOPLE THAT BRING MONEY THAT THEY CANNOT SPEND. GO TO THE BANK AND GET NEWER BILLS. NO WRITING ON THEM OR TEARS.....I AM WARNING YOU!! DON'T TELL ME YOU DIDN'T KNOW! I DON'T HAVE MONEY TO LOAN YOU.
****WARNING**** The series of 100 dollar bills from the US that start the first line of numbers with "CB etc etc etc" and have the second line starting with B2 etc etc etc have been counterfeited here in Peru so they will not take this series so to repeat....."If the one hundred dollar bills that you have, start the first line of series numbers with CB AND the second line with B2 don't bring them"
WE WILL CHANGE YOUR MONEY AT THE OFFICE IN IQUITOS. WE WILL GET YOU THE HIGHEST EXCHANGE RATE AVAILABLE. THE AIRPORT IN LIMA WILL TAKE US DOLLARS FOR ANYTHING YOU NEED SO DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR MONEY THERE.
A good way to protect your money, if you will be traveling with lots of it, is to bring a VISA debit card. ATM MACHINES are easy to find and that way your money is secure until you need it. For a few hundred dollars it is better to just bring the cash. Don't forget to memorize your pin number. It is also a good Idea to notify your bank so they will be expecting some out of country charges. You don't want to get cut off by an over zealous fraud officer. For my Visa debit card I pay .8% to make a with-drawl from my account or 8 dollars for a thousand dollar with-drawl.
Travelers checks are a bad idea. The vendors won't take them and the lines at the banks are long and they may not take them either. Cash and debit cards are the way to go.