It is generally known South America is more expensive than Asia, and Peru is more expensive than Bolivia. But how expensive? Bunch of Backpackers noted all expenses on a recent 3-week trip in order to give an idea of how much money we spend.  So take a look below and find out what it cost to travel Peru and Bolivia.

This article is part of the Money Matters series in which we ask travelers to keep their expenses for Bunch of Backpackers. Real travelers, real expenses. 

COSTS 16-DAY TRIP PERU*: 1170 USD (850 euro)
COSTS 6-DAY TRIP BOLIVIA*: 239 USD (175 euro)

*These daily travel expenses are per 1 person per day. Excluding international flights.
Including all tours, souvenirs, lodging, food, drinks, entrance fees, domestic flights, tips etc.

Friendly shepherd lady near colorful Lake Titicaca in Peru.
Friendly shepherd lady near colorful Lake Titicaca in Peru.


Standard expenses

A bed in a 6p / 23p dorm: 12 USD / 7,6 USD (8,76 euro / 5,56 euro)
A bed in a local guesthouse: 4 USD (2,92 euro)
A short taxi ride: 1,4 USD – 3,62 USD (1 euro – 2,64 euro)
Water: 0,50 USD (0,37 euro)
Fruit juice: 1,4 USD (1,02 euro)
Beer: 4 USD (2,92 euro)
Lunch at local restaurant: 1,8 USD (1,32 euro)
Dinner at local restaurant: 3,6 USD (2,63 euro) (12 must try dishes and drinks in Peru)
Lunch ‘western style’: 10,9 USD (7,96 euro)

Notable expenses

4 day jungle tour to Machu Picchu: 228 USD (167 euro)*
1 day Canyon del Colca tour: 43 USD (31 euro)
Massage: 8 USD (5,84 euro)
Bus from Cusco to Puno (6h): 18 USD (13,15 euro)
* Inc. entrance fee Machu Picchu, ziplining Cola de Mono (6 ziplines), accommodation, food, transport, mountainbiking, train etc

Fun at Salar de Uyuni in Boliva.
Fun at Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.


Standard expenses

A bed in a 14p dorm: 16 USD (11,69 euro)
Water: 0,7 USD (0,5 euro)
Dinner at steakhouse: 5,8 USD (4,24 euro)
Coke: 0,8 USD (0,58 euro)

Notable expenses

Abseiling La Paz via Urban Rush: 22 USD (16,07 euro)
1 day tour Salar de Uyuni: 102 USD (74,53 euro)


About the backpacker(s): A 27-year old female travelling with 2 friends 
Destination and travel period: Peru (16 days) and Bolivia (6 days) in September 2013
Places visited: ‘gringo’ trail independent style (we mainly visited touristic places such as Cusco, Machu Picchu, Pisac, Lake Titicaca, Copacabana, Isla del Sol, La Paz, Salar de Uyuni, Arequipa, Huacachina and Lima). Nothing was booked beforehand except for one domestic flight.
Type of trip: Independent
Lodging: budget (dormitories or small guesthouses)
Accommodation: budget (mainly hostels)
Transportation: budget (cheapest available modes of transportation –> local buses for small distances and local cama or semi cama buses for longer distances. All overland except for one flight from Lima to Cusco.
Food: budget (local places and cheap western places)
Exchange rate at the time of travel: 10 peruvian sol = 3,62 USD / 2,64 euro, 10 Boliviano = 1,46 USD / 1,07 euro (rates on oktober 19th 2013 on the exchange rate website XE)

View on Canyon del Colca in Peru
View on Canyon del Colca in Peru


  • Eat at local places (we found food and drinks in hostels to be quite expensive)
  • Compare prices for tours
  • Use multiple small local buses (this will take longer, but is often much cheaper)
  • Go off the beaten track

Book your Peru and Bolivia hostel through or 

Recommended further reading Peru and Bolivia

Review of the Pariwana hostel in Cusco
How much money do you need to backpack in Peru? 
12 must try dishes and drinks in Peru
Abseiling in La Paz, Bolivia


  1. Hi BoB,

    Taking the local buses in Peru – did you feel they were safe? I’m considering going with local buses but I know the roads in Peru aren’t the most well paved. But in comparison to to the tourist buses they are so much cheaper! What’s your advice, mind you this will be my first time in South America…


    • Hi Ashley, I felt the local buses were quite safe (both the roads and in the bus). That being said, we did hear/read stories about muggings and accidents. On our trip we used small local minivans (<5 hours trips) and buses from the big companies (often cama = bed bus)) for longer trips. These we are well-arranged and we felt safe on these trips. Let me know if you have more questions! You can also send me an email on bunchofbackpackers[at]gmail[dot]com! Manouk

  2. This is a great idea for a series of articles! I plan going to South America in 2018 for 6 months and I am trying to save for the trip as much as it is possible (I know, some people going to laugh thinking – in 3 years time! Why not in a year?, but I have other commitments to attend before I can finally travel full time) – money saving tips are very welcome always :) Thanks so much for that!

  3. Hey Monika! Thanks for stopping by! Glad you found it useful :). Well, 3 years a long time, but hey: you’ve got three years of travel preparation fun. Try to take on an extra job and maybe you can even earn some money with your website? In Peru and Bolivia you can save money by traveling ‘simple’ e.g. using local transportation, eat at local diners and stay in cheap guesthouses or big dorms! Please feel free to ask any questions :)!

  4. Hi Bob! Great info! I am also planning 16 days in Peru and 6 days in Bolivia. Could you share your itinerary with us please? I am trying to figure out a way to see MP, Titicaca, Salar de Uyuni and the south-west coast of Peru (Arequipa, etc) in 22 days. Thanks!

    • He William, it was something like this (by heart): day 1: flight Lima-Cusco, day 2: Cusco day 3-6: Jungle Trail Macchu Picchu Day 7: Cusco (& Pisac etc) Day 8: Southern Shore Village/Lake Titicaca Day 9-10: Copacabana/Isla Del Sol Day 11-12: La Paz Day 13-14 Salar de Uyuni Day 15-16 La Paz Day 17-19 Arequipa Day 20-21 Huacachina Day 22 Lima Let me know if you have more questions and have an amazing trip!!

  5. 50 Euros a day in Peru ? What ? I lived and travelled there extensively for over five years. I spent about half of that a day and did everything you did . Not sure what you were blowing ” your money on .


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.