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1 year in Central / South America - budget

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean 1 year in Central / South America - budget

1. Posted by Beckiboo (Respected Member 134 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Planning on heading off on a year long trip this December... just received my Lonely Planets / Rough Guides in the post and it's all I can do to stop from shrieking out in excitement in work :) :) :)

How much money would you say is a decent budget for one year in this region?

I'm probably gonna have a million and one questions nearer the time but would like to know how much I will need, whether I'll have enough or whether I need to live like a hermit from now til December to fund the trip!

2. Posted by kichikacha (Respected Member 328 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hi Beckiboo,

Lonely Planet details how much money you may need for each country. It is actually a good estimate how much backpackers spend. My experience is that it can be done app 30% cheaper but then it is very tight and you really have to look for always the cheapest places to stay and eat.

There is big difference from country to country, that's why it would be easier to read the money chapters through and decide how much you want to spend in each country. In general:
- in cheaper countries (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, North of Brazil) / rural areas you will be able too get by from US$20 a day (including cheap lodging, food and transportation) and
- in more expensive ones (Argentina, Chile, South of Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay) it will be $30-40.

These costs do not including adventure activities (they are very expensive!), partying, taking taxis, etc.

Hope this helps. Have a great time!

3. Posted by Atacames08 (Budding Member 14 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hi Beckiboo,

I'm doing a similar trip arriving at the end of October for 6-7 months and am budgeting USD 1,300-1,800 per month depending on which country as per Kichikaka's post) . This includes accomodation (mixture of onsuite/shared bathroom private rooms, bus travel, tours and trips, food, 2-3 nights out per week and souvineers. You can of course do it cheaper with dorm hostels etc and by spending more time in the cheaper countries (I've heared Patagonia is really expensive but worth it though!). Another good tip is to have a look on one of the hostel websites to see how much the accomodation is for each place you're going to visit.

Have a great trip


4. Posted by enf (Budding Member 32 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!


I can't disagree more with the above comment - we've found the Lonely Planet to be completely wrong on prices, around 80% of the time. After 5 months in South America, we've spent quite a bit more than expected - if I was coming again, I would budget 800 - 1000 pounds a month (Rob's budget would be about right).

This would include some tours, eating out now and again (but mostly cooking yourself), dorms most of the time but a nice place maybe once a month. The countries and individual regions vary greatly in budget, for example, based on our experience:

Brazil (South) - Think London prices. There has been 20% inflation in the last year since the LP was written and with the Olympics and World Cup coming to Rio in the the next few years, prices will only go up. It's the everyday things that cost a lot - food, drink, accomodation...and if you're going there first, around December/January, then this is high season and prices will be very high.

Uruguay - a bit cheaper than Brazil but still pretty expensive. An amazing place though, with stunning beaches and the nicest of people. Very under-rated!

Argentina - cheaper than the above countries, but depends a lot on region. Patagonia is expensive but try and go there end of season (end of March - April) and you can get some good deals, and the weather isn't bad. Expect to spend a bit in Buenos Aires and Mendoza, if you like a good time! We spent 3 months in Argentina alone and we went a bit over budget, but not by much.

Chile - Like Brazil, very expensive compared to the rest of south america. Travel is expensive, as are the basics.

Boilivia - Cheap, although while a few years ago you would work in pennies, you are now working in a couple of pounds. Travel and the basics are super cheap - if you stay a month, you will probably only spend half your monthly budget, and that's staying in nice hostels. The tours can be quite expensive though - death road bike tour for example, but not compared to other countries.

Peru - pretty cheap, but a little more expensive than Bolivia as it's more touristy.

To be honest, we are glad we started in the most expensive country and worked ourselves around to the cheaper part - it would be such a shock the other way around!

Hope that helps, if you need any specific info, please feel free to PM me - we're travelling SA for 7 months altogether.


5. Posted by Frey201 (Budding Member 69 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hi Beckiboo,
Im also going to South America for part of my round the world trip but I must say that this is the place that I am looking forward to most. I have actually starting daydreaming and obessesing a bit abou tit lol. The countries just seem so interesting and beautiful, and some are realy cheap! What countries are you most looking forward to?


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