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1. Posted by reifreckle (Budding Member 7 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I plan on spending a few months in central america, taking buses and staying in hostels etc for a smaller budget. so i was wondering if anyone could help me with a good estimate on how much a person would spend in a day(for food, rest, transportation,etc.)? I was guessing maybe $30 was realistic but I really dont have a good idea. Things like sightseeing, national park fees,and souvenirs, i have calculated in a different "splurge" budget, seeing as they are not necassary and just extras.
So if anyone could please suggest what a good price would be, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

2. Posted by taki (Full Member 132 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

try buses, walk, eat at local places for local people, or best get a room with kitchenette so u can cook and keep the rest of the food.

But what country are you speaking about?

3. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Including intercontinental flights and all other tranportation, 30 USD a day is a tight budget, but it's certainly doable, esp. if you don't go to Chile, southern Argentina and steer clear of touristy places like Cusco (and all beach resorts).

4. Posted by lisasd (Budding Member 43 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I am also trying to estimate a budget for Peru. Hostels and food appear to be inexpensive. I think the bulk of the budget will go to city tours, park entrance fees like Machu Picchu, and trains which all look like they will add up quickly.

Can someone who has been to Peru (Cusco & Lima) give a rough estimate of their actual costs? I am taking the train to Machu Picchu, not the trail.

5. Posted by bentivogli (Respected Member 2398 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Bus transport in Peru's really cheap, except for the rail from Cusco to Aguas Calientes; there's a thread on how to get there cheaply, too.

I don't know how long you plan to go, but busses back 'n' forth from Lima to Cusco shouldn't cost you more than USD 150; add another USD 100 for the trip to MP, including accommodation, food, park entry and what have you. I don't have a clue about hostels in Lima, since I stayed with friends...


6. Posted by Shroom (Inactive 29 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

So the estimated daily costs in travel guides, such as LP and Footprint, aren't reasonable? It seems like that they're for the typical backpacker who wnats to go on the Inca Trail and so on. Because my budget(i plan on living very simple)is based on that I spend about 20-30$ a day depending on where I'm heading. So I shouldn't care about what it says in the guide books?
/a confused Lolls

7. Posted by cat009 (Budding Member 28 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I was in SA earlier this year. We visited Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru.

All in - including flights from London, some internal flights, entrance fees, accommodation (hostels but private rooms)I reckon we averaged $60 per day, but we did do quite a few organised trips and did have a hire car in Chile (bad mistake this was)

Chile was no cheaper than the UK really, Bolivia and Argentina very good value.

Have a great trip.

8. Posted by gier (Budding Member 14 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Just got back from cusco. These costs are applicable for late August through Oct. Costs will be even less Nov-Feb and can be quite a bit more (especially lodging) in June, July & August.

In the low-mid price range...

Lodging varies from $3-4 for a bed in a dorm to $20 for single room with private bath & breakfast in a nice hostal. If you speak some Spanish, there are quite a few places where you can get a private room for $10 (for this price you'll find a heater element on the shower head, furnishings will vary & usually no one will speak English).

Food cost depends on how acclimated your system is. At the low end, you can find menu al dia for breakfast&lunch for 2 or 3 soles (local places - you will not find these near the Plaza de Armas). Definitely check out the cleanliness of the serving area & the kitchen before eating in these places! You can also go to the market & neighborhood near Santa Anna Church to get different types of fruits, vegetables, etc (any type of meat also as long as you don't mind flies). There are many small stands at this market that offer meals as well (couple of soles for most). The market near the Wanchaq train station also has a lot of food vendors. Other restaurants away from the Plaza de Armas that are a little nicer will charge 5-10 soles. If you want a beer or drink with your meal, you will oftentimes pay as much for the drink as the food. There are a large # of places around the Plaza de Armas & in San Blas where you can get a very good dinner for 20 soles with a drink.

Food in Aquas Calientes (the town near Machu Picchu) varies quite a bit in cost. There are some small food markets where you can buy food to prepare yourself. If it is a slow time, the restaurants will compete for your business. On the street up to the hot springs there are a large number of places - we were able to have a 3 course meal with a small pisco sour for 10 soles. (Starting price was 15 soles since there weren't a lot of people in town - 2 restaurants across the st from each other got in a bidding war for our business and dropped the price to 10). Dinner at Pueblo Viejo(I think that was the name-on the main square by the MP ticket office) was around 50 soles for 2 (A chicken/rish dish and grilled lamb with vegetables)

9. Posted by lisasd (Budding Member 43 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the update. Did you buy your tickets to cusco/machu picchu before you arrived or when you were already there?

10. Posted by reifreckle (Budding Member 7 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

all the responses are great but I dont entend on going to south america, I'm sticking specifically to central america, starting in mexico and ending in panama. any extra advice on that area would be great as well. Thanks!