Budget Report: Ecuador

Budget Report: Ecuador

Since the beginning of the trip, we’ve been attempting to track every expense to get a better picture of where our money is going and if we’re on track to make it last.  After each country, we’re planning on posting our resulting budget to give a better idea of how much it actually costs to travel in each place.  Next up: Ecuador!  We were in Ecuador for a total of 24 days, although 5 of those days were spent in the Galapagos and are accounted for separately so as not to skew the true averages of travel cost.  The first chart shows the non-Galapagos expenses averaged over the remaining 19 days.  Ecuador uses the US Dollar, so no currency conversions are necessary.

Category Amount Amount/Day Amount/Day/Person
Lodging $297.00 USD $15.63 USD $7.81 USD
Transportation $145.50 USD $7.63 USD $3.81 USD
Meals $202.61 USD $10.66 USD $5.33 USD
Soft Drinks $79.10 USD $4.16 USD $2.08 USD
Groceries $19.45 USD $1.02 USD $0.51 USD
Alcohol $173.35 USD $9.12 USD $4.56 USD
Sightseeing $151.00 USD $7.95 USD $3.97 USD
Necessities $105.75 USD $5.57 USD $2.78 USD
Miscellaneous $222.45 USD $11.71 USD $5.85 USD
Total $1396.21 USD $73.48 USD $36.74 USD

Galapagos Expenses (5 day cruise)

Expense Amount Amount/Person
Cruise $3600 USD $1800 USD
Entry Fees $240 USD $120 USD
Tips $160 USD $80 USD
Alcohol $120 USD $60 USD
Total $4120 USD $2060 USD

Some observations:

  • The Galapagos were clearly the main expense here, and we knew that going in.  We figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so we saved up for it separately.  If you’re planning a trip to Ecuador, don’t expect to head to the Galapagos on a whim; it’s an incredibly unique place to visit but due to its remote location and eco-travel restrictions, it can be prohibitively expensive.
  • Our Galapagos cruise was obtained at a much lower price than you can find online due to the fact that we booked just a couple days before it left, from an office in Quito.  There are always last-minute offers at as low as half the listed price, so if you do plan to go, you can save a lot of money by booking on the ground in Ecuador rather than months in advance online.
  • The cruise included all meals (oh so many meals) as well as all activities and tours.  The boat was incredibly nice, with a full crew complement, luxury bedrooms, a bar, sun deck, and jacuzzi.  If you go for a more modest boat the cost can be brought down closer to $1200 per person for the same length of time.
  • Our day-to-day expenses were higher than they were in Colombia.  Ecuador is much more heavily visited by tourists, and the prices are inflated to match.  The upside to this is that the travel and tourism infrastructure is much better developed, so it might be a good option for a more inexperienced traveler to ease into South America.
  • We were moving much more quickly in Ecuador than in Colombia, so our transportation costs were higher overall and we had many more restaurant meals and fewer grocery store visits and self-cooked meals.  We could have brought the cost down a bit more if we had made the effort to cook in hostels.
  • We shipped a package home to Ohio, hence the high numbers in the Miscellaneous category.  If you’re coming for a shorter visit, you probably won’t have anything to mail, so you can subtract that $96.00 expense for a better idea.

Budget Report: Peru


Budget Report: Colombia


It’s All About the Money