My Spending Breakdown While Travelling in Chile and Lima

Who knew that travelling in Chile can be so expensive? Lima in Peru; on the other hand, is relatively cheap. During my most recent trip, I got stranded in Toronto, Canada causing me to lose my non-refundable bookings in Chile. I felt horrible about this because I saved up for months to make this dream trip a reality. And I was hoping that my trip to Chile would finish my bucket list of completing the W Circuit. It was suppose to be my final multi-day trek before I retire my hiking boots for good. And when I mean for good I actually mean retiring from multi-day treks, I’ll still do day hikes.

My 3 days spending breakdown while travelling in Lima

  • Santiago to Lima – 563 Soles ($196 CAD)
  • Half day tour of Lima – 200 Soles ($70 CAD)
  • Food – 50 Soles ($17.43 CAD)
  • Airport drop-off (twice) – 35 soles ($12.20 CAD)
  • Lima Airport Hostel for 3 nights – 78 Soles ($45.65 CAD)

Total cost of travelling in Lima with international flights

  • 926 Soles ($322.82 CAD)

The average daily cost of travelling in Lima with flights

  • 309 Soles ($107.72 CAD) per day

Total cost of travelling in Lima without international flights

  • 363 Soles ($126.55 CAD)

The average daily cost of travelling in Lima without international flights

  • 121 Soles ($42.18 CAD) per day

I never planned on going to Peru on my most recent trip. However, when I got stranded in Toronto during the Christmas holiday season, my only way out was to fly to Peru. I bit the bullet and ended up in Lima. After being confined in an airport hotel in Toronto, it was nice to finally go exploring outside Canada.

My girlfriend and I decided to join a Lima city tour. The owner of the accommodation we stayed at also ran his own tour company. Carlos, the owner of the hostel, showed us around Lima and it was cool to learn more about the capital city of Peru. I’d definitely return and use Lima as a connecting hub when I travel down to South America in the future. Lima is inexpensive with good food and affordable accommodation. The only downside is the pollution.

My 9 days spending breakdown while travelling in Chile

  • Flight – 190,473 CLP ($320.22 CAD)
  • Round trip flight from Santiago to Easter Island (with the help of Scene Points) – 184,120 CLP ($309.54 CAD)
  • Round trip flight from Santiago to Calama (Atacama Desert) (with help of Scene points) – 46,604 CLP ($78.35 CAD)
  • La Quinta Santiago (two nights – my girlfriend and I split the cost so this is my half) – 65,662 CLP ($110.39 CAD)
  • Cabaña Vaenga Miro (four-night stay in Easter Island – my half of the cost) – 127,975 CLP ($215.15 CAD)
  • Chill Atacama Harichuntur (two nights) – 68,000 CLP ($114.32 CAD)
  • Food and groceries – 115,490 CLP ($194.16 CAD)
  • Money exchange fee – 17,500 CLP ($29.42 CAD)
  • Taxi and Uber – 77,343 CLP ($130.03 CAD)
  • Easter Island Ticket – 72,000 CLP ($121.05 CAD)
  • Full-day tour of Easter Island day 1 – 50,000 CLP ($84.06 CAD)
  • Full-day tour of Easter Island day 2 – 50,000 CLP ($84.06 CAD)
  • Laundry washing service in Easter Island – 10,000 CLP ($16.81 CAD)
  • Round-trip bus from Calama Airport to San Pedro de Atacama with Transvip – 27,000 CLP ($45.39 CAD)
  • Valle de la Luna tour – 40,800 CLP ($68.59 CAD)
  • Ticket to Tatios Geyser – 15,000 CLP ($25.22 CAD)
  • Tatios Geyser tour – 40,000 CLP ($67.25 CAD)

Part of the trip that I paid for but was lost as a result of being stranded in Toronto, Canada on my way to Chile

  • Roundtrip Bus from Torres Del Paine to Puerto Natales – 38,562 CLP ($64.83 CAD)
  • Bus from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas – 19,600 CLP ($32.95 CAD)
  • Paine Grande camp – 112,123 CLP ($188.50 CAD)
  • Paine Grande and Grey Glacier camp – 245,220 CLP ($412.26 CAD)
  • Cuernos camp – 126,399 CLP ($212.50 CAD)
  • Flight from Santiago to Puerto Natales – 81,835 CLP ($137.58 CAD)
  • Flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago – 78,950 CLP ($132.73 CAD)

Total cost of travelling in Chile with international flights

  • 1,846,249 CLP ($3,103.89 CAD)

The average daily cost of travelling in Chile with international flights

  • 205,140 CLP ($344.88 CAD) per day

Total cost of travelling in Chile without international flights

  • 1,655,776 CLP ($2,783.67 CAD)

The average daily cost of travelling in Chile without international flights

  • 183,977 CLP ($309.30 CAD) per day

Total points and miles spent while travelling in Chile

  • 130,000 Aeroplan points
  • 60,525 Scene points ($605.25 CAD discount off my LATAM flights within Chile)

travelling in chile

My recent trip to Chile is a real tragedy. When Karen and I missed our connecting flight from Toronto to Santiago, we ended up losing thousands of dollars of bookings we will never get back in Chile (as well as the hotel cost we paid in Toronto itself). To make matters worst, we missed out on going to Patagonia to do the 5-day W Circuit trek. I was really looking forward to checking out the Grey Glacier and watching glacier calving happen.

Thanks to using our Scene Points with Scotiabank, we were able to reduce the cost of the round-trip flight to Easter Island. Visiting the Island was worth it and the 4-nights we stayed at the cottage were wonderful despite our food poisoning bout on the island.

Finally, the Atacama desert was the highlight of our trip. It’s too bad we went at the wrong time and completely missed the astronomy tour. They don’t run during full moons because it’s too bright outside. Regardless, our accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama is the most comfortable place we’ve ever stayed while in Chile. It was well worth the money we paid for our two-night stay there.

Conclusion

Travelling in Chile is very expensive because it’s a first-world country in comparison to other South American countries. Being a first-world country comes with first-world prices. This means you’re looking at paying similar to what you would pay in Canada or the USA.

I’ll go back one day after I recover from the horrible financial loss of missing out on the entire trip to Patagonia. And I also want to return to San Pedro de Atacama to do the astronomy tour and do a road trip to visit Hotel Eso (Paranal Facilities) to see this amazing facility.

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