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South America Expenses: Weeks 1-3

We have some weird taboos about discussing money in the US, but I personally think we’d all be a lot better of if we shared more. Like the politics or not, you can’t argue with the effectiveness of collective bargaining – from unions to Groupon, there’s a reason sharing knowledge of money is all over the news during a critical time in our economy.

Going forward, I will try to summarize my expenses on a weekly basis where possible to give you guys an idea of how much a trip like this costs. One critical thing to note: I am not “traveling on a budget” like most people, but rather the inverse – I have a certain amount of money and plan to spend it. Instead of trying to make it stretch to a certain amount of time, I’m trying to get as much enjoyment out of it and will simply end the trip when it runs out (and slink back home to get a job). Novel, eh?

As of April 2, here is my current general expense data (all amounts are USD, I arrived in Peru on March 14):

One way ticket to Lima: $520
Mototaxi Purchase: $2200
Hostel, 13 nights in Lima: $250*
Food Tour, Lima, One Time Expense: $175**
Food, Shopping, Movie Tickets, etc. around Lima over 14 days: ~$300***
Hostel, Food, Surfing Lessons, Surf Rental in Punta Hermosa for 7 nights: $560
Beer, Sodas, Snacks in Punta Hermosa over a week: ~$30

Total Spend to Date (w/o Mototaxi): $1,835
(with Mototaxi: $4,335)

I’ve also purchased round trip business class airfare to Easter Island for $650, but I’ll tie that in with next week’s expenses when I hit the island – gonna be a doozy out there!


* I switched from a $22/night private room (paying for both beds) for security to a $10/night shared room once I got comfortable with the hostel. It’s not very busy right now so I’m not worried about a bunch of strangers in my room stealing stuff.

** The food tour was a decadent expense but it was awesome to spend time with Adam & Debbie and I did learn a lot about local fruits that I didn’t know – plus I found out I could actually stomach good ceviche. Most importantly I learned the trick to making Peruvian style onion garnishes which is probably worth $175 alone (even though I probably could have googled it, I always thought it was different onion types down here, never realized they just soak them in water )

*** Most food expense is eating out, I only get a few snacks for back in my room (and have spent maybe $30 on beers to bring back). I eat out two meals a day with most meals falling in the $5 range. I’ve also been to see three movies including snacks but it’s cheap here, $3 tickets and less for popcorn and soda. I have, however, purchased minimal tourist stuff – aside from a hat and a tape measure I haven’t really bought any “things.”


Jeremy said…
Did you post any pictures or description of your surf trip yet? Curious to know how you've taken to surfing... I've been meaning to try some lessons here since it's so popular in Sydney, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
pete said…
Check the Punta Hermosa album on Facebook - also the Fourth Wave post here. I haven't done a full write up but there's a taste at least.

It's worth trying, though I believe now that "surfers are born, not made" - physically I didn't find it very hard, but I am nowhere near patient enough to sit around doing nothing for so long just to catch a short ride.

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