Just a quick post in honour of my favourite cash machine in Tarapoto. This ATM is awesome. OK, it’s very occasionally out of order/out of money, but I reckon the success rate hovers around 89%, which is pretty good for San Martin.
Scotiabank ATM and Money in Tarapoto
Anyway, the beautiful thing about this little treasure (if you have the right type of card – please see Leonarro’s comment below) is that you can choose the amount you want to withdraw (I’m not sure what the maximum is, but taking 1000 soles has never been a problem for me). Most of the other ATMs in Tarapoto have a 400 or 500 soles limit which, quite frankly, is a royal pain in the rear – especially when you are trying to avoid withdrawal fees using a foreign card. Also, this machine is kind enough to nearly always hand over a few 50 soles notes (which is much better than getting a load of 100 notes which can be tricky to use in smaller shops etc).
The Coolest Peru ATM
So, if you don’t want to wait in line inside the bank and you’re looking for an ATM, check out the Scotiabank machine in the main square. If you’re looking up the square towards the Real Grill restaurant, look left and you’ll spot Scotiabank across the street on the corner.
Also, if it’s unbearably hot in the street (which it could well be), the air conditioning in the Scotiabank ATM cubicle is heavenly! Unfortunately, if you try hanging out inside for more than a few minutes the security guard starts getting a bit edgy….
(Oh, by the way, the 20 soles note pictured here is just for decoration – if an ATM gives you one of these then you’ve got problems…)
Hmm. Unfortunately this is not my experience. The same ATM that allows you to withdraw 1000 soles or more, will give me only 500 soles.
The ATM that gives me most is the ATM of BCP, that allows me to withdraw 700 soles.
I think it all depends on the organization that issued your card. All my cards are Maestro cards (The debet card of MasterCard) issued by European banks.
The ATM that gives the highest standard option on the screen is from Banco de la Nacion. They allow to withdraw 1500 Soles. Unfortunately they work with Visa/Visa Electron only, so I was not able to withdraw, but a Canadian friend successfully uses it all the time.
Then there is another option that I have not tried yet. Some supermarkets act as agents of banks. You can withdraw money at the cash register. They use the same equipment as if you make a payment for your groceries. According to the girls you can easily take out 1000 soles. If this way of withdrawing money works the same way as paying for your goods, this would be THE solution. For two reasons: 1. the amount to withdraw would be higher then a regular ATM. 2. The fees are lower then using a ATM service.
When I run out of money again, I will give it a try.
Thanks for that info,
I generally use a Visa debit card – sounds like my favourite ATM is not so great for some other cards.
The supermarket idea sounds good…. especially if you can avoid fees that way. If you try it then let me know how it works out.
If you happen to have an account with Bank of America, they have an agreement with ScotiaBank called an ATM Alliance. This allows you to withdraw funds from any ScotiaBank ATM with a Bank of America card with zero fees.
Thanks Raimundo, good tip.
I just had a look at the ScotiaBank Global ATM Alliance page:
The alliance includes Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Barclays, Deutsche Bank 24 and Westpac. I’ll double check my account to see what fees I’m being hit with – according to the ATM Alliance, I should be exempt from some of the fees. Interesting.
Is it possible to use US doller in Taarapoto? Where can I exchange? Do you have any recommended? I’ll visit Tarapoto in September.
Some of the top-end hotels accept US dollars, but in general you’ll need to use soles. There are money changers on the main square – they normally give a decent exchange rate for dollars (not perfect, but not terrible).
I do best with Banco de la Nacion (except at the end of the month when all public employees are trying to use it) because they charge me nothing. I have a Mastercard debit card from a small US bank. I used to use Banco de Credito but they now charge nearly 14 soles for the privilege, as does GlobalNet.