Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Follow up to I gave up on Europe because of the low $ and choose Peru instead--We're back--Here's info on costs

Follow up to I gave up on Europe because of the low $ and choose Peru instead--We're back--Here's info on costs

Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:09 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
Follow up to I gave up on Europe because of the low $ and choose Peru instead--We're back--Here's info on costs

Two months ago I posted that as former frequent travelers to Europe, it has now become unaffordable for us (we'd been to Italy in Dec/Jan. and the $1.46 exchange rate was such a killer we decided to expand our horizons to other locales). So, I booked a two week trip to Peru and promised to get back to people here on what your dollar can buy elsewhere. Here's what I discovered.

First, we are typically budget to moderate travelers and didn't change our style for this trip (other than our rainforest lodge experience that I'll get to in a minute) even though with relatively inexpensive prices in Peru we could have gone much more upscale for not a lot more money. What we did do differently is that we hired guides and drivers when we wouldn't have in Europe where we are typically completely independent.

We've moved more into the slow travel mode than the try to catch a glimpse of everything in a whirlwind two weeks mode, so our trip reflects that. Yet, because Peru is a large country and flying is often the most efficient means of transportation, we still had 4 internal flights in Peru--these averaged out to around $100 a leg.

Our first 6D/5N were spent 80 miles out by boat from the nearest city in a lodge in the Amazon jungle. Our rainforest package included all transportation from the second we got off the plane to the second we got back on the plane, all meals, lodging, and best of all a private guide for all of our excursions into the jungle. For this we paid $850 a person.

The remainder of our trip was spent in Cusco and the Sacred Valley area around it, including Machu Picchu. Our hotels averaged out to around $40 per night, with the exception of the night we spent in the town closest to Machu Picchu. Here everything is more expensive because of the captive audience, and here we spent $70. All hotels were fine/adequate but nothing spectacular, probably comparable to a 2 star. We are not foodies. Meals we generally spent $15 to $30 for two people with beer or sodas. We infrequently had wine because we were trying to minimize the effects of the altitude, and alcohol causes dehydration which is a cause of altitude problems. Our most expensive meal was in Lima the night we left for home. Here we had two fantastic mains of fresh fish with shrimp in sauce and a bottle of wine. This meal was $60 for two.

Admissions were relatively affordable with the exception of Machu Picchu which is very expensive when compared to the base Peuvian economy. To reach Machu Picchu you must take a train and bus combo. Cheapest train--$62 roundtrip for the 1 1/2 hour ride. Bus $12 roundtrip for the 25 minute ride. Admission for the day is $45. So, one day at Machu Picchu will cost you at a minimum $120.

We don't like tour groups, and normally we aren't people who hire private guides, but in Peru we did this some of the time. We arranged private sightseeing and hiking tours into small villages not visited by tourists for two of our days. For these, we had a driver and an English-speaking guide for the day. Cost was $150 per day for the two of us. On our way out of the country in Lima we arranged for a private guide who picked us up at the airport, showed us the highlights of the central city, drove us to dinner and back to the airport. For this service for 8 hours we paid $100.

Our transportation costs were minimal. A taxi to our hotel from the Cusco airport was around $3.50. In the Sacred Valley area around Cusco we hired a driver (older Toyota station wagon) for around $40 a day.

I hope this helps others who might be interested in seeing what the dollar will buy elsewhere. Much as we like Europe, we'll probably be visiting elsewhere until the dollar/Euro cycle starts to trend the other direction. I should also note that Peru could be done much more cheaply than we did it if one would eliminate the days of private guide service that we opted for and also chose not to visit the rainforest lodge. For example, the standard group bus tour of the Cusco area was around $15 a person a day.

We really enjoyed our trip, and are glad we visited now while we are still relatively young (we just hit 60) and fit. Our trip was primarily focused on Peru's marvelous outdoor activity opportunities, and one needs a relatively good level of stamina to be able to keep up with all of the opportunities.

Happy traveling.

julies is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:22 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,342
Thanks so much for this report. I am thinking of going to Peru next year. It sounds great.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:25 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,176
How much did the total trip end up costing, with airfare, guides, hotels, restaurant meals, etc.?

This is very interesting to hear about Peru, and I plan to make more trips to Latin America when I have the chance also.
WillTravel is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:33 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
Why is this posted on the Europe forum?
Padraig is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:41 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,574
Padraig: "Why is this posted on the Europe forum?" Because julies has been beating this horse for quite a while . . . .
janisj is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:56 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,719
I hope Julies does post this on the Latin America forum so that others making trips to Peru can benefit from the info. It's not really relevant to Europe, I don't think, despite the references to the euro/exchange rate.
hanl is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 07:03 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 897
Julies,

Any chance you can post some links to the $40/night hotels. Would be quite interested to see what you get for that. Peru is on our list of places to go. Thanks for the info...

-Kevin
kevin_widrow is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:42 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,229
I have followed and/or participated in numerous threads in the past year or so where many people from the US are now saying that Europe has become unaffordable. Many have posted saying that because of the low dollar they are looking for alternatives to Europe. This is a very active forum, and I chose to share here what I discovered so that people who are making decisions about travel have some more information with which to make decisions. Many people who frequent this forum might not ever take a look at some of the other forums; that is one reason why I posted this here.

I do intend to make a complete trip report on the Latin America forum. This posting is just for those (and there were many) who regularly participate in this forum who had expressed an interest in hearing about costs for our trip after our return.

Now to answer a couple other questions. I can maybe guess at total costs. We used miles to get to Lima, but airfares were in the low 700s from MSP when I first thought about the trip and had risen to low 900s by the time we actually decided to go (6 weeks ahead of time). So, excluding airfare to South America, I think we spent a total of about $3500 for 2 people--$1700 for the rainforest experience, $800 for internal airfare, and $1000 total for food, drinks, lodging, admissions, transportation, guides etc. for our 9 days after the jungle.

Here are a couple hotel links.

http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/...ntaytambo.html

http://www.piccolalocanda.com/stanze_ing.html

http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/...saq_pisac.html
julies is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:50 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
That's a load of self-justifying twaddle, julies.

This is a forum for dicussion of travel in Europe. That's why I participate in it. I don't come here to discuss travel in South America. I'm not currently interested in travelling there, so I do not participate in any forum for that purpose. So you appoint yourself to know better than me, and make this forum into something other than Fodor's have decided that it be.

Why not have the courtesy to respect the organisation of this site?
Padraig is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:01 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 140
Granted, julies' trip was two weeks compared to the one week I am planning this fall. But I plan to spend $3500 for a week in Paris for two people INCLUDING airfare from the west coast. Peru sounds lovely and yes, the euro is pricey for us, but there are still ways to do it and my DH and I don't even feel like we are sacrificing very much. I'd still rather do Europe!
stellamarina is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:01 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
julies, you did do this with your vietnam thread. It is a little presumptuous on your part...although I can understand the motivation. When I visit Latin America (and I often do), I'd like to share my experiences with those on the Europe forum here whom I "know."

Perhaps the answer is one super-thread on non-European travel for all of us to add to here on the Europe forum. Just an idea???
Cimbrone is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:08 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 114
Hi Julies - Great posting and great info!
I would like to apologize on behalf of all the mean spirited people that waste peoples times trying to correct threads or place negative comments... Its not like they have to read any of it. So secretly they must really like it too!

I hope to utilize your information and please keep on posting wherever you feel like it, and keep on traveling... Life is too short to not enjoy it!
Kassanna is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:09 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,005
For heaven's sake - let her post it wherever she wants - and if it interests you, read it. Personally, I did enjoy it - with the bad exchange rate I have also considered going elsewhere tho I love Italy, France and Spain. South America interests me as there are so many European influences there so I enjoyed hearing from another Europe lover.
suec1 is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:44 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,433
Kassanna wrote: "I would like to apologize on behalf of all the mean spirited people that waste peoples times trying to correct threads or place negative comments... Its not like they have to read any of it. So secretly they must really like it too!"

Don't presume to judge me mean-spirited; don't presume to apologise on my behalf; don't presume to judge that I secretly like something.

This is a Europe forum. julies's post is off-topic here.
Padraig is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:54 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 184
I agree, if you don't want to read it then don't. It doesn't hurt anyone and I found it interesting as an alternative to the low dollar. Many of us are considering other options and this helps.

Don't take it all so seriously.
dwc0201 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:57 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,323
I didn't realize that Peru would be so much more expensive than Southeast Asia.
kerouac is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:07 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 50
Great post Julie! Thanks for the great info. Very interesting indeed.

I'm surprised that few people were against you posting this info here.
It clearly states on your subject why your post is in the Europe forum. It makes great sense to me. Unfortunately, few didn't get it.
frestonia is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:14 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 472
julies - Thank you SO much for posting this information. Our last few trips have been to Europe, but we are going to Costa Rica in January instead of my original Germany/Austria plan for Christmas due to the rising airfare to Europe and the weak dollar.

I am also planning a trip to Peru next summer. Your information on the costs is especially helpful, and I look forward to reading a detailed trip report on the Latin America board.

sessa is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:20 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,862
Okay then. I stand corrected. I will be posting on my upcoming Mexico trip here on the Europe board as well.
Cimbrone is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:34 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
To reach Machu Picchu you must take a train and bus combo. Cheapest train--$62 roundtrip for the 1 1/2 hour ride,

that must have been a new bullet train from Cusco. As I remember it was about a 4 hour train ride in each direction.


I agree with the few here. This belongs on the Latin America forum. There is a reason for different forums and we should all respect it.

What if everybody started to cross post all over the just because they wanted more attention?

Answering a, "Europe is expensive, where can we go?" is fine.

IMHO, making trip reports is not.

When I'm doing research about Africa, I go to the Africa forum, not here.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:25 AM.