Where to Physically Locate Black Market “Cuevas” in Venezuela and Argentina

This is a two part series about black market houses or also known as cuevas in Venezuela and Argentina. In Part 1, I showed you how to find black market currency exchange rates in Venezuela and Argentina. Part 2 (this post) will focus on where to physically locate black market “cuevas” in Venezuela and Argentina.

So, how do I find physically find these black markets in Venezuela and Argentina?

In Venezuela, cuevas are pretty much on the down low. When walking down a street in Venezuela, people are not going to be yelling cambio, cambio because that draws too much attention and the Venezuelans like to keep things hush hush. The method to get the best exchange rate is of course to know someone in Venezuela. Locals know where the best exchange rates are and often times, they are not at a physical location. Couriers will come to your apartment and do the whole deal right in the comfort of your own home. If you’re a tourist and you ask the hotel concierge, they may direct you to a location, but you’ll only get half or less than half of the current black market rate. Often times, they will direct you to an ATM because people working in hospitality do not want to jeopardize their job by talking about the black market at work and especially not in front of customers.

In Argentina, pretty much everyone knows about the black market. You can walk down any street on Calle Florida in Buenos Aires and you will get bombarded by cat calls like “cambio, cambio”. It’s just like walking down the Las Vegas Strip and you’re bombarded with those little nude escort cards. The method to get the best exchange rate is not on Calle Florida, but to know a local or get in contact with one. They know where all the secret spots are in Palmero and Recoleta. You will get close to the official rate at Calle Florida, but if you have good bargaining skills, you may get closer to the full unofficial rate. Likewise in Venezuela, asking the hotel concierge will likely yield you to the hotel’s in house exchange desk or ATM machine where you will only get the official rate. Employees working in hospitality do not want to jeopardize their job by talking about the black market at work and especially not in front of customers.

Backtrack to How to Find Black Market Currency Exchange Rates in Venezuela and Argentina.

 

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  4 comments for “Where to Physically Locate Black Market “Cuevas” in Venezuela and Argentina

  1. ArkansasTraveler
    March 7, 2014 at 5:43 am

    So I know where not to ask in Venezuela, but do I know where to locate a cueva in Venezuela after reading this article? No. I would like to see more information in that regard or change the title, so it might not be as misleading.

  2. March 7, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Will the tellers at the airport repurchase unused pesos on your way out of the country for the official rate? Basically, is there a huge arbitrage opportunity here?

    • Nas sha
      March 11, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Nope. You need to provide proof(receipt from a licensed exchanger) that you obtained the currency at the official rate or else you’re stuck with the devaluing currency.

  3. March 7, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Damn, I thought I was one brave chino heading down to Latin America on my own, but you’re next level Jamison. I don’t think I’d roam around Caracas right now with all of the unrest.

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