Just got some good news. I've a bit of money coming hopefully January time so as you may have guessed I have a huge map of South America on my wall (helps me get through bad days at work) and I'm raring to go already. However, money is still fairly limited and I want to go out for as long as possible. How much would you guys recommend per month or even for a period of up to 6 months to a year? I really want to make the most of this money so any advice would be brilliant.
Thanks for your time.
Count on 15$US/day in Bolivia, not including travelling. Argentina must be about 25$US in the tourist areas, 20$US outside, and taking constantly care of your budget.
Cheers for that, it's all sounding good so far. What about Central America in particular Mexico? I figure I may as well do as much as I can while I'm over there. Dollars are cool but if anyone can give a rough estimation in pounds that would be even better.
A pound is currently about .5 to 1 USD, right? So that's 18.9 Mexican Pesos per 1 GBP I think.
Mexico can (away from tourist areas)be done on 200 pesos a day, or about 20-21 USD, so that's about 11-12 GBP. It really depends on what you're looking for. I mean you can spend 9 pesos for a street vendor meal and grab a Pepsi for 3 pesos for a grand total of 1.25 USD if you look around.
The catch is to avoid high tourist areas,(Cancun, Cabo, etc.) and especially high tourist seasons. (June-August) I spend a lot of time near Monterrey (great hiking in Sierra Madres, Horse Tail Falls in nice) for about 200 pesos a day in a decent hotel. I aways carry a Katadyn Combi Plus water filter and will eat from street vendors(3 tacos for 1USD) as long as I can watch them cook my order, and can see that it was done properly. (Being a chef myself I'm picky about that)
200 pesos a day (approx. 11-12 GBP)is even easier if your are backpacking and spend some time tent camping. USD is easily exchanged, not sure about GBP. Buses are cheap if you know how to use them (schedules are never right) and if you can speak Spanish, you'll have an easier time bargaining for the really good deals.
I have friends that went to Mexico City and say it's about the same there in the off season with guided trips to the ruins running from 100-250 USD per day. But you can backpack there too for cheap.
Hotels cost more In Mexico City, so look for Hostels or personal Housing for the best rates.
Overall I'd say if you can plan for 15 GBP a day, you'll have a blast! But it can be done on 10.
Lonely planet´s south american guide has some info on aprox. minimum daily per person budgets. I think this info can be usefull for you. Sorry not to post them in GBP, but you will get the idea of relative prices, anyway:
Bolivia: US$20 or less
Brasil: US$25 to US$ 35
Colombia: US$15 to US$25
Ecuador: US$15 to US$20 (remember that Ecuador uses US dolars)
Paraguay: US$15 to US$25
Peru: US$25 to US$30
Uruguay: US$15 to US$25
Venezuela: US$20 to US$30
Perhaps the prices for Argentina and Uruguay are a little low, but the prices for Colombia are very accurate!