I just arrived in Argentina on Sunday and the first thing I noticed were the prices…
Last year – the 4th year of the Blue Dollar – I was a rich man. I was getting 63% more money for free on EVERYTHING in Argentina. It was glorious… Truly glorious…
I was dining out 4 nights a week, hitting the breweries, grabbing apres ski beers, drinking fine wines, and eating lots of chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate…
That all come to a screeching halt this year.
For the past 4 years, former President Christina Kircher had imposed financial controls that included the prohibition of exchanging Argentine Pesos for US Dollars. For the past 4 years, 1 USD = about 8-9 Argentina Pesos, but the black market dollar or Blue Dollar was worth about 13-15 pesos. You were getting up to 63% free money when you exchanged on the black market (which was super normal and safe, by the way).
This past fall, the new President, Macri, assumed office and ditched those financial controls and thus the Blue Dollar immediately. Now, 1 USD = 15 Argentine Pesos on the official market and there is no more Blue Dollar.
The prices of everything have gone up since this change. Many food items are nearly double the price they were a year ago.
Ski lift tickets have also gone up from around $50/day to around $60/day in Argentina.
Things are still a cheaper than the USA, but they’re a helluva lot more expensive than they were the last 4 years. The last 4 years were the good times! If you were here, you lived in glory. If you weren’t, you’ll get real sick of the gringos telling you about it.
Don’t let this hold you back from coming down to Argentina. In reality, the Blue Dollar was a sneaky, cheaty thing we got away with for 4 good years. Now, things are balancing out and most likely for the good of Argentina. It’s still very affordable and cheap for people from the USA and Europe. But man… that Blue Dollar was fun!