We decided to travel through Chile towards Bolivia after our budget busting bus travel experiences in Argentina. From our research, we found out that we could save a lot of money traveling by bus in Chile rather than Argentina. What we didn’t really think through was the cost of everything else. However, overall our travels through Chile were amazing thanks to some great Couchsurfing hosts (for entertainment, friendship and budgetary reasons).
We had the wonderful pleasure of having one of our CS hosts drive us to Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, two popular tourist stops in Chile. Though we only made day trips of it, they were great experiences and provided an opportunity to snap some amazing pictures.We also spent a few days in Santiago and La Serena.
Since we stayed with two CS hosts in Santiago and 1 in la Serena we splurged on some of our other expenses. Though this later hurt our budget once we got to San Pedro de Atacama which is a very expensive place to visit. San Pedro has many great tour packages around the area and is a launching point for the Salt Flat tours from the Chilean side – though packages are significantly more expensive here it was easier than purchasing multiple buses to hop over to Uyuni and buy our tour package directly.
And here is the breakdown for Chile…
Our “Special” events included a “Free Walking Tour” tip CLP $5,000, Art Museum in Valparaiso CLP $2,000, La Serena’s disappointing Japanese Garden CLP $2,000, Moon Valley Tour CLP $16,000 plus a CLP $4,000 entry fee, Geyser tour CLP $26,000 plus a CLP $10,000 entry fee and finally our Salt Flat tour CLP $130,000. My recommendations are if you go to San Pedro de Atacama and are taking the salt flat tour you can skip the Geyser tour because you visit some geysers and hot spring bath in the packaged tour. I wish we would have went night sand boarding instead.
Our Salt Flat tour included food and transportation for the 3 day tour.
If you see any other indicators where there is CLP $0.00 or the days visited and days paid for accommodations do not add up, it is because we used Couchsurfing.
Our “Other” slot was a catch all so when we bought bathroom supplies, a blanket and sleeping bag we bought to stay warm at night, some gloves and wool socks for our trip, more beads and string to make bracelets for our CS hosts, as well as using public restrooms.
“Transportation” not only includes local transportation (bus, metro, and taxi) but our tickets to each destination as well. To give you an idea of what we paid for each leg (this is the total for our tickets):
Santiago -> La Serena CLP $ 9,800
La Serena -> San Pedro de Atacama $40,600
|Food & Beverage||CLP $145,868|
|GRAND TOTAL LOCAL
|AVG. Exchange Rate||$570.49|
|GRAND TOTAL USD||$1,060|
|Local Average||CLP $98,336.21|
Here is a break down of a few items you may be interested in purchasing
Coca Cola – CLP $400
Pisco Sour – CLP $1200
Chorillano Dinner – CLP $10,000 (French Fries and sausage with two beers)
Mote con Huesillos – CLP $500 (Sweet drink with wheat and peaches) – it’s better than you think
Terremotos – CLP $2,000 An alcoholic drink whose name (earthquake is befitting)
Metro CLP $700 per-person in Santiago, it changes between 650-900 depending on the time of day