We’ve been meaning to start posting about how our budget is working out, and we finally decided that the best way to do this is not by the month, but rather by the country. In addition, we want to be able to highlight some of the places we really loved (or in some cases, really didn’t). To that effect, we present the inaugural ”roundup” post – a compilation of our budget and travel statistics for each country we visit.
Number of days spent in country – 19
Cities/towns visited – Lima, Cuzco, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes, Pisac, Arequipa, San Juan De Chuccho, Sangalle
Number of different lodgings – 8
Flights – 1
Local bus journeys – 20
Combi/collective/taxi journeys – 11
Long distance bus journeys – 2
Days of rain – 2
Antibiotics needed – 1 round each (sinus infections)
Moving Box Bet – Anticuchos
*Air travel is not included in this budget*
Total US dollar amount spent – $1,335.93
Average cost per day, per person – $35.16
Average lodging cost per night – $15.73
- We stayed entirely in hostels with a private room, often with a private bath. On our last night we stayed in a dorm in Lima, but we were the only ones in that room, so it was essentially private.
Most expensive lodging – $25.90 Hitchhiker’s Hostel, Lima
Least expensive lodging – $5.51 Rivelino House, San Juan De Chuccho (Colca Canyon)
Average food/drink cost per day (per person) – $8.18
* Generally, breakfast was provided by the hostels. We often self-catered lunch by going to the markets, or went out for a set menu. We ate out for every dinner. We consumed very little beer and wine, mostly because we were hiking regularly so we weren’t going out to bars much.
Accommodation – Estela de Oro in Arequipa. Another traveller told us about this gem of a place, and it was easily the best of our time in Peru. It’s really more a hotel than a hostel as the rooms are huge, all with private bath, flat screen television, and great internet access. The rooms come with lovely fluffy towels, little bars of soap, and a pretty standard breakfast of tea/coffee, rolls and jam. We paid only 50 soles a night, which was a HUGE bargain considering the comfort level.
Food – Rasa Nostra, also in Arequipa, and only for meat lovers. Rasa Nostra is located on Bolognesi, between Sucre and the Plaza de Armas (and right around the corner from our favorite hostel). They have incredible set menus for dinner, most of which involve a colossal amount of Argentine-style grilled meat (think perfectly cooked steaks, chorizo, etc), french fries, and a salad bar. A full meal was about 15 soles, more than we’d paid generally, but a total steal for the amount and quality of the food. The restaurant itself is quite nice, and was packed for both lunch (when they have a cheaper set menu that is more traditional with a soup, entrée, and drink) and dinner.
Empanadas at the market in Arequipa. Clearly Arequipa treated us well. If you head over to the main market, there is an empanadas stand just inside the center entrance. They were the best empanadas we had in all of Peru, especially the chorizo ones.
Prasada in Cuzco. Prasada serves up delicious vegetarian dishes, including a mean falafel sandwich. They also make great fruit smoothies. You can find Prasada on Choquechaka, near San Blas.
Hostel Joe in Aquas Calientes. Based on the review in Lonely Planet, we expected this place to be basic, but tolerable. In reality, it was awful. Filthy hallways, questionable sheets, and a definitely sewage-like odor. Do yourself a favor, pay a little more and stay somewhere that understands the basics of sanitation.
Oasis Paraiso in Sangalle (the ‘Oasis’ in Colca Canyon) – This is one of the more expensive places to stay in Sangalle, and clearly it has seen better days. The rooms/huts are in various stages of tolerable, the bathrooms leave much to be desired, the bar area is literally falling apart. The pool was ok, and the staff was nice enough, but not nice enough to make up for the condition of the place. It looks good when you enter (lovely gardens, all the trees, the pool, etc) and it took us a little while to realize how run down it really was. There are at least 4 places to choose from in this village, so even if you’re exhausted, suck it up and keep moving.