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Choquequirao, Peru

How much does it cost to travel in Peru? Our budget and tips

Peru is a country of contradictions so also the spendings are extreme from really cheap dorms to expensive restaurants. In Peru we really wanted to do everything possible just because for us it wasn't a country that we would LOVE to come back to. Let's say people over there were not our favorite part of Peru. And so we stayed for 70 days spending a total 5227 euro so 37 euro per day per person. That includes fancy dining and also a new laptop and some clothes:)

Where did we go?

In Peru we saw a bit of everything. We started around Lake Titicaca which we didn't like at all so we moved quite fast to Cusco. There we stayed for a long time to explore all the surrounding ruins. When all the Inca constructions and mummies started to look alike we hit the road again to get to Lima. The city itself didn't take our breath away (not even with the amount of pollution in the air) so we left it after a few days to see a bit of Peruvian coast. And so we ended up in Huanchaco, a tiny town on the coast. From there we went for the adventure- The Amazon, visiting Tarapoto, Yurimaguas, Lagunas and Samiria- Pacaya National Park. Afterwards on the way out of Peru we passed by Chachapoyas.

How did we travel?

By kayak, by local buses, on foot:) spending 458 euros on transport (including bus to Guayaquil in Ecuador)
Example of bus ride: Bus from Lima to Trujillo was 75 soles (around 21 euro) and it took around 20 hours.

Where did we stay?

In tents, on the floor in the jungle, in dorms and sometimes in private rooms.

On accommodation we spend 828 euro spending 21 days in private rooms and the rest in dormitories, tents and on the floor. Generally the prices in dormitories didn't vary that much per city but the private rooms were a different story. In cities they were way more expensive than in the Amazon or close to Lake Titicaca.

Examples: a bed in dorm in Cusco was a cost of around 6-9 euro. Going to the Amazon for 15 euros we already had a private room with private bathroom.

What did we eat?

From shitty imitation Chinese food to high quality food in fancy restaurants- in Peru we wanted to try everything, it's highest and it's lowest just because it seems to have the best food of South America (Peruvian dreamers even say world's best). We did have some amazing food but as a cuisine I wouldn't say it was anywhere near Asian, French , Italian or even Spanish.

We spend 538 euros cooking on our own. Buying ingredients without saving in the supermarkets  and local markets (no dry rice or instant noodles unless on a hike). 1039 euros was invested in various eating out experiences, some fancy and some on the edge of poisonous (our dinning experiences in Lima)

How expensive are museums, tours etc?

On tourism we spent 1722 euro  of which around 843 dollars went for a 5 day Salkantay trek to Macchu Picchu (for the two of us). The rest went for different hikes that we did (Choquequirao trek), excursion through the Amazon, entrances to museums and ruins.

What else did we spend our "soles" on?

In Peru we finally bought a laptop- tired of trying to post and write and do everything with a smartphone. We also bought some clothes. All of that falls into the category "equipment" which cost us 393 euros.

In miscellaneous (249 euros) we placed hairdresser failures, liters of mosquito repellent, washing our clothes etc.

Our tips to save money in Peru:

  1. Hike on your own, renting equipment and buying food is way cheaper than going with an agency and the exact routes can be found online
  2. To avoid spending money on withdrawing cash just send money to yourself via Azimo. You can send up to 800 euros in local currency or in dollars and you pay only up to 3 euros for the transfer
  3. Always check buses before buying, the price varies insanely depending on the company, comfort of the seat and time.
  4. On short distances try to use local buses
  5. If Machu Picchu is too expensive, think of an alternative trek. For example Choquequirao- cheaper, more adventurous and less crowded
  6. Don't go to Iquitos or Manu for a jungle experience, those are already pretty touristic so prices are already adjusted to heavy wallets. Choose mostly skipped Lagunas from where a local guide and a whole excursion will cost you veryyyyy little

P.S. Exchange rate used 1 EUR = 3.56 PEN

If you have any questions or you would like to take a look at our spreadsheet, let us know:)

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How much does it cost to travel in Argentina? Our budget and tips

Short answer would be: a lot more than you think! Somehow we tend to think that the whole South America is cheap. Unfortunately it's not. Countries like Uruguay, Chile and Argentina are as expensive as for example Holland.
During our 99 days in Argentina we spend a total of 6827.52 euro which means that our budget per day was 34.48 euro per person.

Where did we go?
Our trip like many others started in Buenos Aires where we stayed for two weeks than we went close to Mar del Plata, here we stayed for a month volunteering. Afterwards we hit budget-breaking South of Argentina (Bariloche, El Bolson, Calafate, El Chalten). Even though out of season it was really expensive. We have also visited Iguazu Falls and the North of Argentina from Salta up to the border with Bolivia.

How did we travel?
The most expensive part of our budget was transportation (2735 euro) which includes our flight from Calafate to Montevideo. But the real budget breakers were the buses which are extremely expensive. There is no way to get a better deal when booking beforehand or just a promotion like in Europe. The buses are organised in classes depending on the service and chair that you choose. So you can decide to just sit and starve or to have a chair that will lean almost like a bed and have all the meals (don't expect anything delicious, they are worse than on the plane). Unfortunately on long distances it's impossible to find only sitting seats so you are forced to travel "business class ".
Example: Bus from Mar del Plata to Bariloche was 1298 pesos (around 131.29 euro)

Where did we stay?
On accommodation we spend 1659 euro spending 37 days in private rooms, one month in our wwoofing and the rest in dormitories. Definitely the most expensive region was Patagonia where for example in a dorm in Calafate (out of season) we paid 18.34 euro per person per night. To compare for 30 euro per night we had a double room with private bathroom in Cafayate in the North of Argentina.

What did we eat?
We spend 1362 euro on food, mainly cooking ourselves but we were not really saving on ingredients and we ate a lot of Argentinian meat:) we also didn't deny ourselves wine:) especially in Cafayate where we bought a bottle of wine every day.
Good bottle of wine: around 7-10 euro.

What else did we spend our pesitos on?
1071 euro went for entrances to national parks, wine tasting, tours (for example to see glaciers by boat in Calafate we paid 130 euro per person).

P.S. Exchange rate used 1 EUR = 9.887 ARS

Our tips:
1. Transportation is just insanely expensive so it's a good option to hitchhike! Just don't forget that Argentina is huge and it takes hours to travel through it.
2. Take as many US dollars as you can- exchanging dollars on the blue market will save you a lot of money. When the official dollar is around 8-9 pesos on blue market you can get even around 13 pesos. Euros are also ok.
3. When taking dollars is not an option transfer money to yourself using Azimo. It's a bank which charges you 2.99 euro to send money and you can send up to 800 euro. It gives you a very good exchange rate which is in between the official and the blue one. It's a big game changer especially because we couldn't withdraw more than 150 euro per time and the Argentinian banks were charging 55 pesos per transaction.
If you have time, volunteer. We did it for a month and during that month we almost didn't spend any money and it was a lot of fun. We learnt a lot about the culture and the country. We used WWOOF Argentina but you can also try HelpX or Workaway. The advantage of the last two is that you can create a couple account and pay less then for two individual ones and that you pay for two years and it's for the whole world. With WWOOFing the rules differ per country.

If you have any questions or you would like to take a look at our spreadsheet, let us know:)

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How much does it cost to travel in Uruguay? Our budget and tips

Uruguay is definitely not a cheap destination especially in high season so between December and the beginning of March (busiest month is February). We were there in May/June so in a bit of a dead season when accommodation is cheaper and the beaches are empty. In total we spend 1538 euro (so 46 363 pesos, 1 euro was 30.15 pesos for us) for us both during 29 days so 26.5 euro per day per person.

Where did we go?
We went through the whole coast of Uruguay starting in Montevideo and ended in Chuy. We visited Colonia del Sacramento for a day trip and later we stayed in Punta del Este, Punta Rubia, Cabo Polonio and Punta del Diablo.

Where did we stay?
Mostly dormitories in hostels except for Cabo Polonio where we stayed in a double room (it was 700 Uruguayan pesos and bed in a dorm was 300 per person) and Punta Rubia where we had a double room with a private bathroom (35 euro per night).
Bed in a dormitory: around 300- 450 pesos (10-15 euro) per night

What did we eat?
We mostly ate meals prepared by ourselves but we didn't save on ingredients (so no instant noodles!:)). Generally fruit and vegetables are cheap compared to western Europe. It gets more expensive when you want to buy processed food and chocolate is like gold among all the sweets. We also didn't deny ourselves a nice bottle of Uruguayan wine from time to time.
Good uruguayan wine: 200-300 pesos (7-10 euro)

How did we travel?
By bus with joy! Buses in Uruguay are comfortable, punctual and cheap. Often they even have WiFi. Our budget includes also our tickets to Brasil (also by bus).
For example: bus Montevideo to Punta del Este (130 km)- 489.83 pesos (16.25 euro)

What else did we spend our pesitos on?
Entrances fees, tip for "free" walking tour, laundry. Definitely nothing fancy.

Our tips to save money in Uruguay
1. It's better to travel out of season when accommodation is at least half the price and you can actually travel without booking it in advance (often we were booking hostels one or two days before).
2. Wash your own clothes. Laundry is really expensive, in Montevideo we spend 480 pesos (16 euro) on one quite big bag of laundry(!) In Punta del Este for a small bag they wanted to charge us 250 pesos (8 euro).
3. Travelling out of season be prepared for things to be closed.. Uruguay doesn't have many citizens and most of them live in Montevideo so going further in the coast most of the houses are empty and supermarkets closed. There is also no possibility to withdraw your money so unless you don't want to travel for an hour only to get to the ATM make sure you withdraw all you need in Montevideo or Punta del Este.
4. Not only, and airbnb are handy! if you want to go to Cabo Polonio you won't find many hostels on those. Go to Portal del Cabo. There you find more options and for all the budgets. It's better to contact the hosts by phone as they don't have easy internet access.
5. Try to pay by card - in many places you get small discounts for paying by card. Always nice to have some spare pesitos:)

If you have any questions or you would like to take a look on our spreadsheet, let us know:)

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