Originally Posted by tedmagnum
What I would now do in heinsight is to have £50-£100 for EVERY different currency you will need. Just as an emergency, stashed deep in my luggage. It can be a nightmare at some small border towns to try and change cash or find working ATM's. Not being able to buy fuel and a bed for the sake of a few quid makes no sense.
I did this for my transamerican trip. It made things so much easier. I went to a currency exchange place in Houston and ordered about $30-50US in as many latin american countries as possible.
You may not get the best deal, but it was so convenient that I would have no pressure to find money right away.
A word of advice if any of you are going to Bolivia. Don't bring back any currency unless you want to save it as a soveneir.
I had about $100us left of Bolivianos with the intention of selling it at the border with a money changer. Unfortunately, the border that I went to (south chile) was desolate.
I tried to exchange the money in 20+ casa de cambios in cities near bolivia all the way to Santiago with no luck. No one would take the money.
Once I realized I couldn't sell it to a currency exchange place I ended up finding a backpacker at a hostel and telling it to her.
Apparently casa de camibios don't want to get involved with double digit inflation