£5000 budget for South America?

Old Oct 5th, 2014, 01:29 AM
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£5000 budget for South America?

Okay, so this is the trip I have in mind:

Argentina (excluding Patagonia)
Chile
Peru
Bolivia
Ecuador (excluding Galapagos islands)
Colombia

Is £5000 ($8000 USD) about right for that? (Flights to and from the region not included in this. The £5000 would be purely for travelling through the continent).

I would stay in hostels, and travel everywhere by bus. I'm happy to buy food from supermarkets on occasion if this is cheaper, but would rather stick to street food, budget places to eat, etc.

I would do some of the big tourist attractions (Inca Trail, Salt Flats, Iguazu falls) but not Galapagos Islands, Easter Island. I would spend time in the major cities and towns and hit a few beaches too where possible.

I'm 29 years old so I won't be out partying constantly but would certainly like to have few beers here and there along the way with fellow backpackers.

If you're wondering why Brazil isn't included it's because that country is SO big and SO expensive, I think it might warrant a separate trip by itself.

There's SO much conflicting information out there and so much of it is out of date, that it's very hard to know what's accurate in terms of costs.

Based on the information and I've provided, I would be very grateful to receive opinions of my £5000 budget idea.

Thank you so much!

Richard
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Old Oct 5th, 2014, 01:37 AM
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Hi again!

Sorry, I forgot to say that I intend this trip to last 5-6 months.

Thanks!
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Old Oct 6th, 2014, 02:54 AM
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Over 5 months that comes out at just over US$50 a day? That is certainly fine for Bolivia and alright for budget lodging/eating in other places, but low if you want to do anything other than that. The longer you stay in each place, the further the money will go, but something like the Inca Trail or even long bus rides in Argentina can take a large chunk of your budget with them. On a trip which lasts over several months you will also find yourself wanting to up the quality of your lodging and eating occasionally, as constantly pinching the pennies can wear you down, especially if travelling alone.
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Old Oct 6th, 2014, 05:20 AM
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Huentutu has summed up my thoughts perfectly. Start by breaking it down to a daily budget. $50 a day will get you a barebones trip in Bolivia, Ecuador and maybe Peru but will not be anywhere enough for Chile or Argentina.. Travelling around,even using cheap buses soon adds up, so as Huentutu suggests, staying longer in each place will reduce costs ( and provides a better way to really get to grips with a culture - sometimes less really is more!).

One important thing to do is to price the cost of places or things you want to see or do. Macchu Picchu,, Iguazu, the Amazon, Uyuni salt flats. Some of these can be really expensive. Add them up and deduct from your daily rate.

Eating in markets etc. Can be exceedingly cheap ($2-3) and often very good but, it can get very boring eating the same thing again and again.

In most countries you will be able get accommodation for $10-15 per night, sometimes less. www.hostelworld.com is a good place to get an idea of costs

Buses are generally the cheapest way of getting around and can save accomodation costs if you schedule longer trips overnight.

Brenden, an Aussie guy recently finished his trip and posted here as Brendensadventures has recently completed his trip around SA and may be able to provide some detail on his costs He can be contacted via his blog @ http://brendensadventures.wordpress.com/
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Old Oct 6th, 2014, 05:57 AM
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Great advice guys, thank you so much! It looks like perhaps getting a budget closer to £6500 / $10500 USD ($60/day average) would be better for a 6 month trip. No point going if you can't afford to do anything when you get there, right!

That being said, my research on each country suggests I'll be spending more time in Bolivia and Colombia then Chile and Argentina.

Even so...sigh... the saving must continue a little while longer then!
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Old Oct 6th, 2014, 09:44 AM
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Peru is sort of middle of the pack, cost wise. I typically spend about $100 per day, including admissions and travel.

For Ecuador and Bolivia, $50 per day might do fine.
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Old Oct 6th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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Except if you must go to the Galapagos. Then add in $2,000-$3,000 minimum. There are few single-occupancy cabins on those cruises.
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Old May 31st, 2015, 12:17 PM
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you can save money on food by eating the large cheap ´corriente almuerzos' set lunches in Andean countries which are available in all towns and roadside cafes, usually filling local lunch and juice. Costs US$1 to US$2. Local markets in any town have a hot food section where you can get very cheap hot food (soups are good for breakfast in colder Andean countries). Good chance to meet locals.
Any backpacker/gringo restaurant will cost a lot more.
Same goes for hotels; go off the 'gringo trail' backpacker places and you will pay a lot less. Small hotels near transport hubs with the sign ´ambiente familiar' usually means its an Ok place for local travellers (and not a brothel!), of course quality varies but bring a sheet sleeping bag liner so you get a clean bed.
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