Whether you opted for outlet shopping in the Fall, flew to Florida to escape winter, or caught a sports game at stadiums south of the border in spring, we Canadians have made the most of the on-par exchange rate with our American neighbours for years now.

But these days, it’s not just Netflix that’s stronger in the US – it’s the value of their dollar, too. Just as we’d gotten used to the comfort and convenience of being able to flip across the border as needed, we find ourselves once again waiting for the economic tables to turn. But we Canadians are resilient. When we want to travel, we won’t let a bad exchange rate get in the way. We’ll do our research and find the places where the Toonie can still get you your Double Double – or that country’s coffee equivalent. So where in the world will the Canadian dollar go the farthest? Believe it or not, there are still many places, but here are my five favourites.


canada-mariusz-kluzniakImage c/o Mariusz Kluzniak, Flickr

Feb 23, 2016 1 CAD = 11.26 ARS
Feb 23, 2015 1 CAD = 6.92 ARS

From the bustling back streets of Buenos Aires to the icy wilds of Patagonia, Argentina is a traveler’s paradise. Home to steaks that could rival even the finest cuts of Alberta beef and a music scene that keeps the clubs buzzing all night long, Argentina is a sensory experience sure to excite each and every Canadian traveler. Not to mention, as of February 23rd, we hit a 1-year high at 11.26 ARS to every 1 CAD.


canada-sandeepachetan.com_Image c/o sandeepachetan.com, Flickr

Feb 23, 2016 1 CAD = 2.88 BRL
Feb 23, 2015 1 CAD =2.28 BRL

The Olympics haven’t even started and already Canada is seeing gold. Fresh off the World Cup, Brazil is offering Canadians a nice discount at 2.88 BRL to the dollar. The country is a hub for history and culture, and not to mention home to a waterfall that makes Niagara look like a small swimming pool. Whether you’re in town this summer for the holy grail of sporting competitions or finally ready to explore the underrated gems in the North, Brazil is undoubtedly a strong choice for your hard-earned travel dollars.

South Africa

canada-flowcommImage c/o Flowcomm, Flickr

Feb 23, 2016 1 CAD = 11.03 ZAR
Feb 23, 2015 1 CAD = 9.24 ZAR

One of the continent’s most iconic countries, South Africa is a superpower offering world-class dining, safari, coastlines, and mountains. Johannesburg has become a hub for international business and a launching point to Kruger. Cape Town is kind of like Calgary if Calgary had an incredibly beautiful oceanfront with crystal blue waters and jaw-dropping landscapes. Year after year, South Africa continues to “Wow” its visitors, and now it’s time for us Canucks to get in on the action. It certainly helps that we’re almost up a full Toonie in 2016, sitting pretty at 11.03 ZAR to every 1 CAD.


canada-eric-montfortImage c/o Eric Montfort, Flickr

Feb 23, 2016 1 CAD = 3.05 MYR
Feb 23, 2015 1 CAD = 2.89 MYR

For me, Malaysia is the first place that would have me packing my bags. Malaysia has quietly (Ok, not that quietly) been gaining recognition as one of Asia’s must-see destinations for 2016. The country has no shortage of city sites (Petronas Towers in KL) but still plenty of beaches, mountains and hillside escapes for a more off-the-beaten-path experience. Of course, the real shining star may very well be Malaysian cuisine, the beautiful intersection of Chinese and Indian flavor with influence stretching to all of its neighbouring countries. I don’t want to make any bold claims, but Malaysian cuisine may very well be the best in the entire world. Good things come in three, and today 1 CAD will get you a clean 3.05 MYR.


canada-dennis-jarvisImage c/o Dennis Jarvis, Flickr

Feb 23, 2016 1 CAD = 13.20 MYR
Feb 23, 2015 1 CAD = 11.99 MYR

We Canadians are no strangers to Mexico. Our friends and family have been escaping winter on Westjet flights to Mexico for longer than many of us care to remember. But beyond the beaches and the all-inclusive resorts lies one of the most vibrant countries in all of Central America. Mexico has restored Mayan ruins that are almost inconceivable to the average traveller. Plus, their street food puts all neighboring countries to shame. Could you imagine how many tacos you could get for a toonie? I’m not a gambling man but at 13.20 pesos to the dollar, my money’s on mucho.

Rates as of February 23, 2016 via http://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/exchange/10-year-converter/. This article first appeared at Intrepid Travel, it has been republished here with permission.


  1. John on March 1, 2016 at 9:35 am

    It’s seems the author isn’t either a traveller or hasn’t done his research properly. Or maybe hasn’t been to Argentina in a long time. I’m currently travelling around South America and Argentina is quite pricey – even with the fx. Businesses have adjusted the prices bc/of the rampant inflation. Same goes to Brasil. There’s a reason why many travellers try to do couchsurfing or camp around as much as they can. If you really want a bang for your buck in South America, better head to Colombia or Bolivia, those countries are dirty cheap if you use CAD.

  2. peter on April 20, 2016 at 10:03 am

    I was in Argentina just over 1 year ago and nobody used the official rate – which is what the author is quoting. The unofficial blue rate was about 11 to the CDN dollar. The Argentinas got rid of the blue rate and devalued the official rate. So with the Argentina inflation it is probably now more expensive to go there now.
    Note Singapore is not in Malaysia and has its own currency!

  3. peter on April 20, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    It is nice to see the reference to see Singapore while in Malaysia has been removed. The sentence used to read “The country has no shortage of city sites (Petronas Towers in KL and pretty much all of Singapore).”

    • Barry Choi on April 20, 2016 at 12:45 pm


      Good catch, I’ve removed it since you’re correct,

  4. Andrew on April 20, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Regarding Mexico as destinations where the Canadian $$ goes further. This is still the case, however, in conjunction with the better dollar value, the internal cost of living throughout Mexico has significantly increased, especially over the past year or 2….don’t get me wrong, the CDN $$ does go further, just not as well as even as 2014. I’m a retired snowbird from Toronto area, and my wife have purchased a home south of Guadalajara, and have been wintering here for almost 10 years now. There are a lot Canadians (and Americans) here in this retirement community, & the majority are here for TWO dominating reasons: the amiable weather of 75+/- day in and day out, and the fact you can live here and ‘save’ expenses of about 30% over staying throughout the winter in Eastern Canada. Although we are not ‘yet’ prepared to call Mexico our permanent ‘home’…..we are here to ‘save’ $$$ so we can afford to return to Canada and continue living there over the summer period. What’s not to like !

    • Barry Choi on April 21, 2016 at 9:17 am


      Do you think the raise in price is due to the weaker Canadian dollar or simply inflation in Mexico?

Leave a Comment