21/12/2018, updated 15/06/2023
The currency used in Chile is the Chilean peso (peso chileno). Usually represented like this $, CL$, or CLP
To give you an idea of how a peso is worth, the exchange rate USD/CLP ranged this last 10 years between 450 and 850 Chilean pesos for 1 US dollar. The currency is significantly weaker than it used to be, due to a limited growth since 2016, social protests in 2019, a pandemic that has impacted the price of copper...
Available coins are worth 10, 50, 100 or 500 pesos
In 2018, the Chilean central bank removed the 1 and 5 pesos coins. When you pay in cash, the amounts in centimes ending in 0 to 5 are rounded down. Amounts in centimes ending in 6 to 9 are rounded up.
You can find notes of 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 and 20000 pesos. Notes of 500 pesos are deemed to exist, but they seem to be all in private collections now.
You will hear often the expression luca that means 1000 pesos. Especially when walking in the street, where sellers shout "a luca, a luca", which means they sell everything at 1000 pesos.
The portrait of Gabriela Mistral (a famous Chilean poet and diplomat from the beginning of the 20th century) is on the 5000 pesos note. Therefore, the expression "a gabriela" is sometimes used to describe this note.
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