A trip to South America is a very exciting prospect and is guaranteed to be one of, if not the most, memorable trip of your whole life. To make sure you make the most of it however, it is essential that you plan as much as you can in advance, especially when it comes to money; nothing worse than finding yourself stranded in a foreign place, especially if language barriers add to the problem! Here at Backpacker by TravelUp Student we want to help your plans go as smoothly as possible and so have put together a breakdown of prices for essential items in the main countries of South America. To make things even easier for you, we have planned the budget based on four weeks in Brazil, three weeks in Argentina, two weeks in Bolivia and two weeks in Peru. Keep on reading!
Although Sao Paulo and Rio might be slightly more expensive due to their popularity, the average nightly cost of accommodation in Brazil is £12 per night. Therefore if you were budgeting for four weeks in Brazil, your cost would be approximately £336.
Food is also cheap and cheerful in the country, with an average cost for the following:
Takeaway meal: £4
3 course meal for two people in a restaurant: £20
500ml bottled water: £0.40
A pint of beer: £1.10
If you were planning on eating three takeaway meals a day, as well as a few water bottles and beers the cost would amount to approximately £16 a day on food, which would amount to around £450 for four weeks in Brazil.
With such a big country as Brazil, it is also important that you have an idea of which activities you’d like to take advantage on, to be able to budget them in properly. Here are our favourites:
- Rio to Ilha Grande – from approx. £185 for 4 days
- Rio Favela tour – from £22
- Christ the Redeemer tour and sunset from Sugarloaf Mountain: from £36
If you were to take all these activities, four weeks in Brazil would cost you approximately £1,019.
Argentina is one of the most expensive countries to visit in South America. On average accommodation costs around £14 per night in a hostel, but if you visit larger cities, expect this to rise – as well as drop if you do get off the beaten track. With this in mind, a hostel in Argentina for three weeks would cost about £294.
When it comes to meal, Argentina again is slightly more expensive than Brazil. Here’s a breakdown:
Takeaway meal: £6
3 course meal for two people in a restaurant: £22
500ml bottle of water: £0.90
Pint of beer: £1.20
If you budgeted for three takeaway meals a day, with a few water bottles and a couple of pints, you would end up paying around £485 for three weeks in Argentina.
Argentina is a beautiful, varied and hugely vast country with plenty to do and see. Our favourite choices of activities would be:
- Tango show with dinner, from £53
- Vineyards of Mendoza, from £90 for 3 days
- 5 days in Patagonia, from £191
Bringing your total for 3 weeks in Argentina to: £999.
Popular with tourists flocking from all corners of the world, Cuzco and the capital Lima are the most expensive places to stay in Peru. Realistically you would look at spending around £10 per night in a hostel here, meaning you’d spend approximately £140 for two weeks.
Food here is nice and affordable, with a breakdown of essentials as follows:
Takeaway meal: £2
3 course meal for 2 in a restaurant: £13
Bottle of 500ml water: £0.30
Pint of beer: £1
If you, like for Argentina and Brazil, were to live off 3 takeaway meals a day plus a few water bottles and a couple of pints, you’d spend around £9, meaning a total of around £126 for two weeks in Peru.
There are a few “must” activities in Peru which can really make your visit to this country an unforgettable one. Here are our top choices:
- Lake Titicaca for one day from £45
- Inca Trail from £599 for 7 days
- Colca Canyon from £123 for 3 days
Based on our averages, two weeks in Peru, everything included, would cost you in the region of £952.
Good news! Bolivia is one of the most affordable countries to visit in South America. Unsurprisingly, La Paz is the most expensive city to stay in, but outside of the city walls, prices do drop considerably. The average price for a hostel stay in Bolivia is around £8, meaning you’d pay around £112 for two weeks in Bolivia.
Food is also cheap, with the essentials costing you an average of:
Takeaway meal: £1.30
3 course meal for 2 at a restaurant: £8
Bottle of 500ml water: £0.55
Pint of beer: £1
So with three meals a day plus a few water bottles and beers you would pay around £7 a day, bringing your total food spend in Bolivia to £98 for two weeks.
Bolivia is the home to some very unique and thrilling activities. Here are our favourites:
- Spend 3 days in the Salt Flats, from £173
- Cycle the Death Road from £86
This would mean you’d be spending approx. £453 for two weeks in Bolivia.
We hope this has given you a good insight into how much to budget for a trip to your favourite Latin American country. Have you been and have some good budget tips, or would you like any help planning the trip of your dreams? Get in touch with us today on Facebook or Twitter and let’s make it happen!