Many people are attracted to Arequipa, Peru, because of its near perfect year-round mild climate and amazing colonial architecture. It also has a low cost of living and the three beautiful volcanoes that tower around the edges of the city. We definitely enjoyed all of these aspects of the Arequipa. An extra bonus was that we got to meet up with a student that Ryan taught many years ago. This was also a great base for a couple of excursions we took, including the floating villages on Lake Titicaca and the spectacular Colca Canyon. Here is a breakdown of our travel budget in Arequipa, Peru. The expenses described below are for 27 nights.
We stayed in a brand new one-bedroom apartment that had a spectacular view of one of Arequipa’s surrounding volcanoes. It was nice to have everything modern and in working order. We enjoyed interacting with our Airbnb host. It turns out Alejandro went to Marina High School in Huntington Beach, California, which is just 3 miles from where Ryan grew up. The apartment was located in a nice and safe neighborhood, just a few blocks from several large supermarkets and about a 15 minute walk to the Plaza de Armas in the center of the city.
This Airbnb was priced at $504 for 24 nights. Add in two nights for an Airbnb apartment in Puno, Peru, and one night at a hostel in Tacna, Peru, and that brings the total cost for housing to $588. We love Airbnb! It is saving us so much compared to the cost of staying in a hotel. If you are new to Airbnb and want to use this service for your next travel adventure, use this code when you sign up. You get $25 off your first stay (and we get a small credit, too!)
Food (Groceries and Restaurants): $288
As usual, we cooked most of our meals at home with food from the grocery store and fresh produce markets. We only ate out a few times, once with Julia (Ryan’s former student) and once at a food festival that was taking place while we were in Arequipa.
We were coming to Arequipa by bus from Cusco, and we decided to break up the journey with a two-night stop over in Puno, Peru. Puno is located on the banks of Lake Titicaca (that’s fun to pronounce!). The Uros people have built floating villages out on the lake. The villages are made out of grass reeds and include small houses, schools, a few restaurants, and even a small medical clinic. It’s all very touristy, but there is nothing else like it.
We also took a two-night excursion to the Colca Canyon. This spectacular marvel is almost twice as deep of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We enjoyed watching the condors soar over the canyon and trekking around to different viewpoints along the canyon rim. Read more about our visit to the Colca Canyon on our blog here.
This total includes 7 buses, 2 taxis, 5 combis (shared vans that travel around town), 3 boats, 1 van used as medical transport (Emily hurt her calf muscle and needed a ride home from church) and 1 train. We walked a total of 79 miles during this 27-day period, including 8.6 miles of trekking around the Colca Canyon.
We needed to buy two new clothing items (a hat for Ryan and a shirt for Emily). We also paid to have our laundry done and needed to restock some basic toiletry items (toothpaste, deodorant, and toilet paper).
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Total travel budget for Arequipa, Peru: $1,159
So there you have it. Our travel budget in Arequipa, Peru (27 nights) is less than the average mortgage payment on a house in the US. We are living proof that international travel can be both inexpensive and comfortable!
As always, we also pay $175 per month for a global health insurance policy that covers both of us (our coverage is better than our previous policy in the US and at a fraction of the price!). Additionally, tithing is important to us, and we were able to give to a local church and were able to gift some people some money.
Our overall expenses have been less than we anticipated, but our next country is a bit more expensive. So it’s good that we have been able to save up a little in our travel budget in Arequipa, Peru. Stay tuned to our blog to find out about our next destination: Chile!