Peru on budget
--- the ultimate backpacking travel guide ---
Peru is quite a cheap destination for backpackers regarding accommodation and food, but entrance fees to certain attractions can higher your budget significantly.
You probably want to see the Machu Picchu or the Nazca Lines even there attractions are so expensive, so you will need to save money somewhere else. This guide will give you the information you need to know before traveling to Peru. We tell you budget prices for accommodation, food and transport, but you will find out also the sky high prices for the attracitons. We hope it will help you to make good choices and visit this unique and diverse country on low budget.
Average cost per person: 35 USD per day
including accommodation, food, transport, entrance fees, souvenirs
excluding visa and flight tickets
Check also top things to see in Peru in our photo journey.
The main thing you can save money on are the flight tickets. Read our tips how to find cheap flights.
Our advice is to take colectivos (minibuses) and public transport in the big cities as they are cheap. If you travel in a bigger group, you can consider taking a taxi. The long distance buses have a wide range of prices and services. There is no problem to choose as the bus stations are full of the companies and agents trying to sell you their ticket. Don't buy the first ticket. Make a research and check other companies. Then you can start bargaining.
Prices example per person (2014)
- Cusco - Ollantaytambo by bus - 10 PEN (3 USD)
- Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu by expensive Inca Rail train - 50 USD
- Cusco - Moray- Salinas - Cusco: a private day tour by a car - 120 PEN (9 USD)
- Cusco - Puno by bus - 25 PEN (7.5 USD)
- Puno - Arequipa by bus - 30 PEN (9 USD)
- Paracas - Lima by bus - 15 PEN (4.5 USD)
There is a wide range of accommodation in Peru, so everyone can choose. We traveled in a group of 4 people and we usually stayed in a dorm, a room for 4 or two double rooms. The price range per person was 20 PEN (6 USD) per night for the cheapest places up to 35 PEN (11 USD) per night per person for more touristy places.
Food in Peru is quite cheap. If you are going for the cheapest places (street, markets), you can have a nice lunch/dinner for 10 PEN (3 USD) or even less. If you are eating in restaurants for tourists, but still cheap, you can eat for 20 - 35 PEN (6-11 USD) .
The Peruvian cuisine is one the most diverse cuisine in the world. It combines the Inca, Spanish, Chinese and African cuisines and many more. The main ingrediences are corn, potatoes, quinoa and rice. You must try ceviche (fish in lime juice), lomo saltado (stir fried beef), rocoto relleno (stuffed pepper), papa a la huacaina (potatoes in cheese sauce) and if you dare you can try cuy (the guinea pig). For drinks we recommend the coctail pisco sour.
Your every day dish will be for sure pollo a la braso (roasted chicken). Very common is also to combine french fries with rice and sometimes even pasta on one plate.
The attractions are the biggest expense while traveling in Peru.
Unfortunately, there are not that many ways how to save money there.
If you want to see the Nazca Lines from above, there is no other way than to do that from a plane.
And that costs a lot.
Prices example per person (2014)
- Huaca Pucllana - 5 PEN (1.5 USD)
- Cusco tourist ticket for 10 days, 16 attractions - 130 PEN (40 USD)
- Machu Picchu - 140 PEN (43 USD)
- Mt. Chachani 2 day tour (guide, transport, food) - 250 PEN (77 USD)
- Santa Catalina Monastery - 35 PEN (11 USD)
- Juanita - the Ice Maiden - 22 PEN (7 USD)
- Nazca Lines by private plane - 250 PEN (77 USD)
- Dune buggy and sandboarding - 45 PEN (14 USD)
- Islas Ballestas boat tour - 40 PEN (12 USD)
More tips for traveling cheap here