Budgeting for the Chile trip

Whenever it comes to travelling, aside from vacation time issues (mostly the lack of it), I consider the financial side to be a challenge.  How much will the trip cost versus how much do I have, or can I save up before the trip?  For my Chile trip, I’d saved up a decent amount in my travel fund just because I hadn’t really gone on a big vacation for a few years.  I wasn’t too concerned that I wouldn’t have enough to afford the trip but I did want to have some funds left over; I don’t like completely using up my fund even though that’s really what it’s there for.  I paid for my flight to Santiago but a friend had kindly agreed to book and pay for some of the in-country tours and flights because he was in Santiago at the time.  As a result, the only sure thing I knew was the cost of my flight to get to Chile and that the cost of most things are fairly comparable between Canada and Chile (ie. things are not super cheap there).

Now that I’m done my trip, I have a better idea of how I should’ve budgeted for the trip and wanted to note down for the future what things cost in 2011 in Chile.

  • Glass of juice (jugo natural): CP$800 to CP$2.500
  • 5L of water (agua sin gas): CP$1.500
  • Beer (1L Escudo – the cheapest beer): CP$1.000 to CP$3.000
  • Toilet paper/washroom entrance: CP$100 to CP$250
  • Centropuerto bus fare from Santiago airport to downtown Santiago: CP$1.400 one way
  • Turbus bus fare from Santiago to Vina del Mar: CP$2.000 to CP$3.900
  • Licancabur bus fare from Calama to San Pedro de Atacama: CP$10.000 one way or CP$18.000 return
  • Empanada: CP$300 to CP$600
  • Cheapest lunch: CP$1.500
  • Cheapest dinner: CP$3.000
  • Most expensive dinner: CP$20.000 (nice seafood meal at an oceanside restaurant)
  • Funicular ride (ascensores): CP$100 to CP$300
  • Cheapest hostel I stayed at: CP$9.200 per person per night
  • Most expensive hotel I stayed at: CP$60.832 per room per night (equivalent to $130USD)
  • Base rate for a taxi (ie. starting point of the meter): CP$150 to CP$450

All in all, in reflection, I think it’s definitely possible to have gone a cheaper route (cheaper meals, cheaper accommodation) but I’m more than pleased with my overall experience and enjoyed the occasional luxury!

Sunrise from the most expensive place I stayed at - isn't it a beauty!

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