Currency in Chile

The Chilean peso

Currency in Chile

The currency in Chile is the peso, denoted as CLP. The symbol is, somewhat confusingly, the same as the US dollar $. The peso used to be divided into 100 centavos but centavos are no longer valid.

Peso notes in circulation are CLP 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000. Coins in circulation are  1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 pesos. The system changed in the 90’s because of inflation and the 500 peso note was substituted for a coin. 

It is still possible to find 500 peso notes and if found, they are still valid. Most people refer to the CLP 1,000 notes by the name “luca”, therefore CLP 2,000 is “dos lucas” (two lucas), and so on. Other unofficial names for money are “gamba” for 100 pesos and “quina” for 500 pesos. 

The currency is not stable but inflation in the past few years has been between 2% and 5%. Chile has had a huge struggle with inflation in the past, especially in the 70’s when it reached a rate of more than 500%, and through the 80’s. Only in the 90’s did it start to be more stable and to reduce to the levels it has now, making Chile into of the most stable and prosperous countries in Latin America.

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