I doubled my money in Argentina with a ‘black market’ exchange rate

The author in Argentinian Patagonia in February 2023. Here, the Spegazzini Glacier cascades into Lago Argentino, the third largest lake in South America.

A legal exchange rate influenced by the black market

A worker lays out 500 Argentine peso note sheets on Aug. 14, 2020 in Buenos Aires. To cope with one of the world’s highest inflation rates, Argentina produces money 24 hours a day.

Ricardo Ceppi | Getty Images News | Getty Images

In Argentina, waiting for a cash transfer isn’t strange at all. In fact, it’s custom — and an oft-recommended way to stretch your dollar there.

There are two main drivers: While the broader world has become increasingly cashless, cash is king in Argentina. Hyperinflation has also distorted the nation’s currency market and led to the creation of multiple exchange rates.

When I visited in February, the “official” exchange rate — the one quoted by online currency calculators —…

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