Sorry for another budget post!
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Sep 4, 2012 9:42 PM Last Post By: ban_janti_return
Sep 4, 2012 5:00 AM
Sorry for another budget post!I know there are hundreds of posts on backpacking budgets for South America (I have looked at them all) but for my peace of mind it would be good to get some opinions on our specific plans.
For a bit of a background, I will be there for 8 months with my girlfriend from late November. We have a rough itinerary but it's very flexible especially after Carnival. We will be staying only in hostels (some dorms, some private rooms), we want to do the Salkantay trek instead of the inca trail, an amazon tour probably in Bolivia, a 3-4 day tour in the Pantanal, the Galapagos, carnival in Rio and a salt flat tour in Bolivia and what ever else comes up along the way. We will be cooking some meals ourselves but hopefully eating out cheaply quite a bit and we will spend a bit on booze I'd say as we do enjoy a party.
So this is how the trip is looking: (I realise the route at the start is a bit strange but that's how it has to be to be in Valpo for NYE)
Late Nov and December ~ Cordoba > Cafayate > Salta > San Pedro Attacama > La Serena > Elqui Valley > Vina Del Mar > Valparaiso - $60AUD a day
January ~ Mendoza > Buenos Aires and surrounding towns > Colonia del Sac > Montevideo > Punta del Este - $60 a day
February ~ Heading up the Brazilian coast to Rio for Carnival > Foz do Iguacu > Campo Grande (pantanal tour) - $65 a day plus $600 for Rio accom (already booked).
March ~ Bolivia - Not sure on itinerary but will do salt flats and Amazon - $40 a day
April ~ Bolivia/Peru - Will tie in the end of Bolivia, Lake Titicaca, Cuzco, Salkantay - $50 a day
May ~ Working our way up Peru $50
June ~ Up to Ecuador > 8 - 10 day trip to Galapagos > into Colombia - $45 a day plus $1000 for the Galapagos
July ~ Colombia (fly home from Bogota) - $45 a day
All up this works out at roughly $14,000AUD each
I am confident we will get by on this budget but how comfortably will we be traveling?
Would love to hear your thoughts but please only comment if your experiences are current (within the last 12 months) as costs certainly seem to have risen across the continent over the last few years.
Scott & Georgie
Sep 4, 2012 5:07 AM
Sep 4, 2012 7:17 AM
2Your budget question is an example on how to do it. Most of the budget posts are just to generally and impossible to give correct information. I think your budget is fine and you will be comfortable with it. Agree with the above poster that often small family accomodations or gusthouses are cheaper and much better deals than hostels
Sep 4, 2012 10:59 AM
3Yes, a well posted question. Also a sensible budget and itinerary given your time frame. Congratulations :-)
Your budget is fine you should be able to travel quite comfortably, by backpacking standards.
You'll probably spend a little more in Colombia and a little less in Peru/Ecuador.
A lot of your budget in Argentina/ Chile will go on those expensive buses. But don't worry you will still have a enough. Cheap steaks and wine from the supermarket are just as good as those fancy restaurants.
When you want a private room as the above posters stay check out a small family run joint. Hostels are better for when you want to meet others and party.
I haven't been to Pantanal but I think it's pretty expensive. There should be plenty posts on here.
Sep 4, 2012 11:46 AM
4Just to expand on what the others said about hostels. In Bolivia, for example, we tended to just turn up and I would go asking around town. I was a bit shocked at how much the hostels were charging (Not that they were expensive by UK standards but it was more than I expected). A very nice young lady in one of the first places I called in to asked me how much I was looking to pay. She told me I was best looking at Hospedajes and Alojamientos. We took her advice and stayed in private rooms in such establishments and when you lumped in the cost of eating out it was still cheaper than sleeping in a dorm in an international style hostel and cooking in the kitchen. The one we stayed at in Potosi actually had a television in the room showing English language films and I got to watch Liverpool v Manchester City in the FA cup aswell. We only stayed in two hostels in Dorms in the whole of South America and they were both in Chile.
Sep 4, 2012 3:39 PM
5If this is per person budget you will be very comfortable in all countries but Brazil, when you would have to budget from time to time. If it's per couple it's doable but very tight, pretty impossible for Brazil, in this case excluding Bolivia when still a couple can get along in pretty mid-range conditions for $50 a day.
I'm pretty sure it's the 1st scenario, as you said 14k each, but just to make sure... ;-)
Sep 4, 2012 5:45 PM
6Thanks for your responses! I feel quite assured now. I might up the budget in Brazil slightly.
Yes, those daily budgets are per person not for the 2 of us.
I will take the guesthouses into consideration. I hadn't really thought about them as I've only travelled around Europe where hostels are generally always the cheapest option.
Sep 4, 2012 5:55 PM
7Spending $80-100 in Bolivia even if you take flights and trips into consideration is rather hi end of midrange budget, so you should be able to save some money there to spend it in Brazil.
In Brazil $130 a day is not that bad, but take into account that transportation and accommodation is expensive. It means you have to leave your gourmet restaurant experience for another countries. Comida por kilo comes handy ;-)
Also try to book your flights in Brazil ASAP, as if booked in advance they are often cheaper than buses!
With that budget for other countries you definitely don't have to stick to the cheapest accommodation!
Nice, midrange guesthouses and hotels are the way to go for couples.
If you are not looking for constant party I wouldn't really recommend hostels.
BTW If you are not into this particular bird or water lily you can save tons of money by skipping Pantanal in Brazil and doing Pampas in Bolivia instead. It's very similar experience for a fraction of the price.
Carnival in Rio on the other hand is unique and being very expensive it's still worth it.
Hot chicks dancing samba are still much superior than devil masks and drunk campesinos IMHO ;-)
Sep 4, 2012 7:34 PM
8We were planning on taking busses wherever possible as we don't really want to be booking flights in advance. The Pantanal isn't on our must do list but we figured we would do a tour as it was on our way. I haven't found much information about bus travel from Brazil into Bolivia particularly getting from Rio to Campo Grande and it looks quite tricky, long and expensive so it might be worth taking a flight straight into Bolivia and skipping the Pantanal. Although I'm guessing flights will be very pricey straight after Carnival. Any advise with this leg? I will definitely look into the Pampas in Bolivia!
Sep 4, 2012 9:42 PM
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