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Budget for South America

posts: 38
reviews: 1
Budget for South America

Hi, I'm heading to South America, Mexico and Cuba for 2 months in March and would like to know what people think is a good budget. I realize this is pretty specific to each person but I just want to get an idea. I'm just talking spending money here, food, tourist sites, that kind of thing. I have $3000 at the moment and just a little worried that it won't last.

Thanks guys

posts: 1,019
reviews: 19
1. Re: Budget for South America

You'll have to work it out based on the kind of food you like to eat, which kinda accomodation you use, your class of bus, train, flight, tourist attractions to visit, etc.

Just sleeping and eating costs from us$15 a day, based on cheapest dorm accomodation and cheap eateries, but normally like us$18 per day( In Peru, not Mexico, which is more expensive)

To that, add travel costs, tourist attraction entrances, and better accomodation, food prices, etc.

Lonely planet south american guidebook has a ready calculated budget for each country, but you are probably better off tailor working out your own.

Edited: 4:10 am, January 15, 2013
posts: 781
reviews: 2
2. Re: Budget for South America

I agree that calculating a daily budget is the way to go. On average, you'll have some days that go over and some that don't to even out if you are good about keeping track.

Limit the booze, too. It is a money waster in the cost and the stupidity that it encourages.

Factor in your travel costs. Buses are generally less expensive, but not always. And the time on the bus that requires nourishment needs to be factored in to the cost, too. (Traveling overnight can save you a night of accommodations, though.)

Edited: 10:52 am, January 16, 2013
posts: 1,019
reviews: 19
3. Re: Budget for South America

Each country has different cost ranges. Whilst Peru can start reasonable for most things, Mexico costs a lot more especially travel wise, and Cuba is probably even more costly.

usS3000 (us$50 daily) sounds like plenty if you choose the budget route, and occasionally splurge. Bear in mind that cheap accomodation and food is good enough for most travellers.

Personally you're better off with more savings and a credit card, just in case. But as long as you travel wisely this can be done, but you'll have to travel like a backpacker.

Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Palm Desert
posts: 11,184
reviews: 136
4. Re: Budget for South America

If you already have your lodging and transportation booked, then I think that is plenty for out of pocket costs.

I could make $100 US last for about 3 days in Peru.

Kamloops, Canada
posts: 3,399
reviews: 21
5. Re: Budget for South America

My wife and I spent 2 weeks in Peru and our spending turned out to be around $50-$75 per day for both of us combined but thats factoring in tour costs and domestic flights as well. We stayed in Hostals but always had a private room averaging around $25-30 per night but if you dont mind sleeping dormitory style you can find beds for $5-10 per night. Food wise we ate wherever...fast food is pretty comparable to elsewhere in the world...you can find local restaurants that serve a "set" menu for super cheap.

posts: 38
reviews: 1
6. Re: Budget for South America

Thanks everyone. I'm definately looking at the backpacking option. I've already booked most of my hostels and I think the most expensive is in Rio at $20 a night which is payable when I get there. So very cheap. I'll keep saving over the next month or so but you've certainly put my mind at ease.

posts: 1,019
reviews: 19
7. Re: Budget for South America

Yes, you should be fine with the backpacking mindset.

Be aware that rising costs, and poor exchange rates have made most South American countries a LOT more expensive than they once were. For example bus rides in Brasil are expensive, but at least the buses are new and good ones!

It all depends on your travel style too. Whilst us$100 spending only cash might last one person 3 days, it might last someone else 7 days. But several years ago, Peru was considerably cheaper with more favourable exchange rates. Such is the way times are changing!

8. Re: Budget for South America

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