How much money do I need?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean How much money do I need?

1. Posted by ashy (Budding Member 34 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey everyone!

I'm looking for some insight on how expensive/cheap it is to travel in South America? I'm heading there in October for 6 months. I want to be on a budget, but at the same time, I don't want to be on such a tight budget I can't do anything. Is $50 dollars US a day reasonable? More? Less? Help!


2. Posted by El Boot (Full Member 106 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Asha

Im arriving in BsAs in Oct and travelling SA by land for 5 months..I plan to visit arg - brasil - peru - boliva and chile...

i will have €1000 per month and €1000 - €1500 just incase...i Hope to do a few tours etc..(and bearing in mind that ill be there over xmas and NY when accom and fun costs more..

Hope this helps

3. Posted by Born2Trvl (Budding Member 10 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


A lot depends on what countries you go to. For example Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru are pretty cheap to travel in, but Brazil, Chile and Argentina (I think) are more expensive. So the longer you travel in the cheap countries the better it is for your budget. In Bolivia you could live on $20 a day, so I guess you could add the difference to your budget in the more expensive countries. The tours are the killers although, you can really end up spending a lot on them... $50 a day seems reasonable, but maybe a bit of a reserve for emergencies would be a good idea as well.

4. Posted by ashy (Budding Member 34 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I plan on travelling around Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Thanks for the info.

5. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I can only speak for Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
In Peru, my girlfriend and I budgeted $50 a day for two of us together. With the exception of our Machu Picchu trip which was paid for out of a different fund, we had no problem staying on this budget, even which quite a bit of shopping. So by yourself, I would say $30 a day would be fine.
In Bolivia things are quite a bit cheaper. We still had a $50/day budget, but I don't think we ever came close to spending that. I think we averaged more like $35-40/day for the two of us. So on your own, you can probably count on $20-25/day in Bolivia.
Chile was quite a bit more expensive than the rest, sometimes to the point of restricting what we could do. We traveled very differently in Chile in order to stay in the 50$/day budget. While in Peru and Bolivia we stayed in hotels, ate in restaurants, took taxis, and drank a beer or two every night, in Chile we stayed in hostels, self-catered for food, and didn't drink very much. We also refrained from taking tours and were just happy strolling around towns. So if you want to live like that while in Chile than you can probably do it for $30-35 a day. But if you want to get the most out of the country, then your $50 is probably more reasonable.
From what I understand Argentina is very cheap at the moment (or at least was last summer) due to some economic crises (I'm no economists, don't ask me to explain) and prices are closer to Peru.
Can't help with Brazil at all.