what we spent in chile

budget: £2070 | $3174

total spent: £1815.6 | $2809

# of days: 69

avg. daily spend: £26.3 | $40.7

all costs for two people in average exchange rate at time of travel - currencies are £GBP / $USD




where we were: Arica, San Pedro de Atacama, La Serena, Valle del Elqui, Valparaiso, Santiago, Valarpaiso (again), Pucon, Puerto Montt, Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine

We never expected to enjoy Chile as much as we did, largely because everyone had told us how much we'd struggle on our budget. However, we cycled through the Atacama desert, made it to Torres del Paine, sailed through Patagonia, fell in love with Valparaiso and made some excellent friendships over cheap, delicious wine. 

However, before you get all excited and think that Chile is one of the cheaper South American countries in which to travel, we'll add a couple of very important caveats to our average daily spend of £13 each. Firstly, more than half of our time in the country was spent house sitting a lovely pair of dogs in Santiago whilst staying rent free. Secondly, we worked with some hostels in Valparaiso, Pucon and Puerto Natales, so that meant we didn't pay for accommodation for seven nights. 

However, from our time there, we can happily attest to the fact that Chile should not be viewed as off-limits for budget backpackers. Although, it's certainly more expensive than Colombia and Ecuador, you can still have a great time in the country if you plan your route, opt for dorms instead of private rooms and appreciate that some tours may have to be missed. 

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£663 GBP | $1014 USD | $303,294 CP

The standard of hostel in Chile was much higher than elsewhere in Latin America, with most having good kitchens, basic breakfast, good beds and facilities. In fact, a number were extremely stylish and a pleasure to stay in.

Whilst we will often opt for a double room, in Chile we were usually only able to afford dorm beds.


£311 | $478 | $327,594

To navigate the unique landscapes and geography of the country, night buses are essential - thankfully these are actually pretty cheap, and bar a couple of frustrating experiences, fairly decent quality.

In addition to the buses, this amount also includes a portion of what it cost for us to sail through the Patagonian Fjords (with food and accommodation comprising part of the ticket).


£115 | $177 | $121,246

One word. Empanadas.

We couldn't afford to eat out much in Chile, but that didn't stop us indulging in one of the country's best street foods. The best? That would have to be at El Pato in Valparaiso.


£414 | $636 | $121,246

Unsurprisingly, as we couldn't afford to eat out, we did a lot of home cooking, especially whilst house sitting. .

In fact, this amount would probably have been much smaller had we not had our very own excellent kitchen for six weeks - because we weren't paying any rent, we indulged in some choice ingredients to make some of the meals we missed most.


£89.5 | $137.4 | $94,079

Despite alcohol composing only 5% of our budget in Chile, this does not mean we reined the drinking in.

Good wine is so cheap in the country that we quite often found ourselves having the first glass at 3 p.m. in the afternoon - well, at £1.50 a bottle, it would have been rude not to!


£412 | $633 | $433,732

Chile is a not a country in which to sit and be idle.

When we were house sitting we paid for a somewhat overpriced gym subscription (in our defence, it was very fancy!) and went on twice daily walks with the dogs.

When we were travelling, there were hikes galore, more hours spent on bicycles than our bottoms were strictly comfortable with, and trips to pisco bodegas. We also spent a substantial portion of this sum on the Patagonian Fjords cruise.

And, although this may look like a significant outlay, we must stress that we pretty much always took the the cheapest option to do an activity and had to skip all the tours on offer in San Pedro de Atacama because we couldn't afford them.


£65 | $100 | $68.550

The usual coffees in the sun, ice-creams on warmer days, and the-day-after-the-night-before recovery sugar.


£65.6 | $101 | $69,050

In two months, we pretty much ran out of everything - so everything needed replacing!

There were also a couple of haircuts thrown in, one of which was the first for Emily on this trip.


£32 | $49.5 | $33,850

Chile in the winter was, unsurprisingly, a little chilly. A supermarket sweep supplied fleeces, warm PJs and fluffy socks and a great second hand store in Pucon supplied some much needed items for Andrew's tatty wardrobe.


£6.8 | $10.5 | $7140

Months of lugging around an oversized backpack finally caught up with Emily but a somewhat confusing outing to the pharmacy sorted her out.


£0 | $0 | $0

Once again, we prove that being British comes with its advantages - no fees to enter or leave Chile!



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Chile has got a bit of a reputation as one of South America's pricier countries - but is this warranted? Click on our pin to discover just how much we spent backpacking in this diverse country for two and a half months.

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