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John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
7 yrs and 6 days - end of the road

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Expenses: Peru

Oct 1, 2018
by John

Here they come, here come the numbers, bury your head, deep in the sand. Over the 127 days we spent driving back and forth over the Peruvian Andes, we spent $8,071.14 or $63.55 per day. Our figure is much higher than the actual cost due to huge expenditures under miscellaneous. Not only did we have to replace items that couldn’t handle the strain of almost three and a half years of travel, Mandi started rock climbing which led to us purchasing a fair bit of gear. Totaling up those purchases, not including the souvenirs, amounts to roughly $10 per day...putting Peru closer to $53.55 per day. Our crazy posh ass hotel in Machu Picchu accounts for $3.80 per day, making $50 per day an easy number to achieve. None of this changes what we spent, ending close to $60 per day fits within our budget. The exchange rate was between 3.27 and 3.31 Peruvian Soles to $1, all expenditures were converted to dollars at their respective rate.


We didn’t incur any border fees to enter Peru but we made some copies in preparation. At $0.01 per day, insignificant doesn’t even come close. We did spend it, of course we account for it, so in your face Chester Copperpot.

Our communication costs have happily remained under one dollar per day, exactly $0.78 per day for Peru. We used Movistar as our provider and were quite happy with the service. Claro was touted to have greater coverage in the high mountains but we didn’t bother picking up a SIM. We never turn our DeLorme InReach on anymore, hopefully it still works.

We visited 20+ ruins in Peru, several museums, and many other attractions. Our favorites being the Marvelous Spatulae Tail hummingbird, Lake Paron, Hatun Machay, Humantay, and Rainbow Mountain. While we did enjoy some of the ruins, they weren’t the superstars of Peru we thought they would be. All in the $5.37 per day we spent under entertainment was worth what we experienced...well, not Machu Picchu.

Our highest category, food, accounted for 34.5% of our total expenditures or $21.92 per day. We dined out 93 times for an average of $15.01 per meal. Some were under $5 and others up to $60. We went a little crazy in Cusco with all of the international options.

Living expenses amounted to $11.22 per day, not bad in our opinion. We spent 125 days in the van, averaging $6.87 per night. We did free camp a decent bit so the actual cost per night for a campground was higher. That means we spent 98% of our time in Peru comfortably, for the most part, slumbering in our little home on wheels. Our longest stretch spent entirely in the van, 114 consecutive days, was broken when we visited Machu Picchu.

At $1,420.23, $11.18 per day, miscellaneous expenditures were huge. As mentioned, we spent $753.70 on climbing gear and had to replace several high end pieces of gear. Mandi’s rain jacket started to fail, like mine did in Ecuador, and we picked up a few other things to make life above 4,000 meters a little more bearable. Under souvenirs we bought a couple hand made purses (his and hers), alpaca sweaters, a lap blanket, some hats, and a throw. We couldn’t resist all the beautiful colors.

Over the 127 days we drove 4,236 miles, consumed 323 gallons of diesel, averaged 13.11 miles per gallon, and spent $3.97 per gallon. We experienced our worst tank of the trip at 9.8 miles per gallon. We think that horrible tank was due to the several gallons of diesel spilt on the mechanics floor when they were installing our new fuel filters. It’s not like we could scrape it up and put it back in our tank. Mass transit was higher than usual but we hired a private driver in Trujillo to visit the ruins in style and we opted for the bus in Machu Picchu. Removing parking, tolls only amounted to $35.67. We can live with the $13.07 per day we spent under transportation, diesel accounting for 77% of it.


The pie chart and expenses table are programmatically added to this page. Meaning, if we update our expense information then those will automatically reflect the change possibly creating a disparity between the textual breakout and the actual expenditures. This information has been provided to assist others in planning a long-term trip so use accordingly, by all means contact us to ask any questions or to point out any errors so we can remediate them.

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