Currency

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Venezuela: Bolivar fuerte. Renamed and revalued by former President Hugo Chavez, in 2007, this is a photo of the “new” bolivars. Wikipedia does a pretty good job of explaining the currency here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuelan_bol%C3%ADvar.

There are extreme differences in the USD to Bolivar fuerte rate of exchange. Dollars are in high demand, and have an extremely strong exchange rate on the black market. The current, published, exchange rate (Oct 2013) is $1 USD equals 6.29 Bs.F. I’ve read that the exchange rate can be as high as 1:40 on the black market; making the Bolivar a very weak monetary system.

Tipping in Venezuela is much like that in Curacao. Tipping is already included in your service, but widely accepted if offered in addition. Taxis do not expect tips, which we found to be surprising.

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Island of Curacao: Here they use the Netherlands Antillean Guilder. It’s also called the florin.
I didn’t get very familiar making transactions with money; mostly because we were graciously taken care of by my husband’s family and we didn’t buy much. As part of the Dutch-Caribbean, the florin is equivalent to around seventy cents USD. Tipping in Curacao is including in most restaurant service (about 10-12%). And porters/service/taxi folks generally expect Nafl. 1 per bag, or a ten percent tip.

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