I am planning to go to S.A for about 6 months. I will be staying in the cheapest hostels, eating in markets/supermarkets or cheap restaurants, taking buses. I want to see Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, maybe Uruguay, Chile. I'm also planning to stay in Chile for 1 or 2 months working on a farm in exchange of free food/accomodation. According to my profile, how much money (Canadian) do you think I need?
(I'm pretty good at traveling really cheap)
I had a similar profile as yours with two exceptions, I traveled in 2004-05 and was in South America for a year. I travelled alone (so wasn't able to split some costs), stayed at cheap hostels in dorms with a few splurges (like a single room once in awhile) and I volunteered on a farm in Ecuador for a month.
Before I get to how much I averaged, I'll also add that along the way I saved money in some areas and spent it in others. I spent 11 days on the Galapagos (a $1,000 trip); hiked the Inca trail ($600-700); flew two particularly long legs (in and out of Tierra del Fuego - $300) and took the 4-day boat trip from Puerto Natales to Puerto Mont ($400).
In 12 months, with my cheap travel plus special trips above, I averaged US$1,000/month. My trip included expensive countries (Chile, Peru) and cheap countries (Bolivia, Ecuador) and Argentina and Uruaguy (kind of in the middle).
My point? You can probably travel/live for 500-700/month, and $1,000/month if you average in some splurges.
I hope this helps, and I would be glad to answer particular questions you may have. Good luck and have fun! South America is a great place to travel.
Thanks a lot for you answer, it does help a lot. Last year I traveled around Peru and thought it was really cheap, so if you say that's one of the expensive countries of South America, that encourages me a lot!
But when you say 500-700$, are you talking US or Canadian dollars?
I really love hiking, especially doing really long treks, and see dramatic scenery. Have you done or heard of any treks that can be done independantly? What were the highlights of you trip?
I have very large questions but I'm really interested in hearing what you have to say!!
Claudia, I was quoting in 2004-2005 US dollars.
Peru can be cheap as well, but when you hit the Gringo Trail, things like the Nazca flight, Inca Trail, trip to Manaus (I didn't do that) get pricey.
Re: hiking, I did a few independent hikes along the way, mostly in Southern Argentina in Tierra del Fuego, around El Chalten and in the Fitz Roy park. You can check out my travel journal http://www.mytripjournal.com/joshua_feyen starting around Feb. 12 to read about the parks and hikes I mentioned earlier.
Any other questions?
Hi Claudzia - I was in Sth America for 3 months last year - brazil, bolivia, peru, northern chile and northern argentina, we didnt go to patagonia, and we did it cheap, i think, like we got the cheapest of the semi-cama buses etc stayed in the cheapest hostel we could find (that didnt have awful reviews) and did it all overland no internal flights and we spent about 4000 euro. We didnt drink a lot per se, when we were in some of the cities we went a bit madder but then we did hit the cinema or free dvds in the hostels more often than not. We did do stuff like the original inca trail, salt flats, pantanal, nasca flight so we did spend on them.
Brazil was the most expensive part of our trip we were there for 3 weeks and spent a good portion of our budget. Next most expensive country we found was chile, then peru, argentina and bolivia, we spent just shy of a month in Bolivia for about 500euro if not less.
Hope this helps in some way?!
Thanks all, it does help a lot!
GOD 4000 euros is so much for 3 months? My budget will be more like 1000$ CAD / month, but I'll try to stick to the cheapest countries. I really wanted to go to Chile but I didn't think it was that expensive, if I go I'll try to do WWOOFing or something so I don't spend all my budget there. And I don't think I'll go to Brazil either, it's so huge that I don't even want to start!
Colombia for sure, northern Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, maybe Ecuador for a short while. And I really wanted to go to Torres del Paine national park but I want to start my trip in April so it's going to be way too cold from what I've heard, and if I go at the end of my trip (September?) it's still going to be cold so I don't know...
Anyways, if I run out of money, I guess I'll just change my flight and leave earlier...
Has anybody done a trek in Patagonia in April or September? How cold is it? I live in Quebec so I'm used to -20, but wearing 10 layers of clothes, NOT sleeping in a tent...
This is exactly the type of posting I've been longing for, as I intend on doing a similar trip starting March.
I spent 10 months in Chile and found it to be quite expensive, in the big cities, but who spends much time in the big cities anyway?
San Pedro de Atacama is a small community, but amazing. Salt Flats, natural hot springs, volcanoes. Iquique has some fun surfing ^_^
WWOOFING in Chile is the way to go. Vina Del Mar, go work on a beautiful Vineyard.