This is how much it cost us to travel around South America for 1024 days

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South America travel cost / Ταξίδι Νότια Αμερική κόστος

Are you wondering how much it's going to cost you to travel around South America with your own vehicle? Here's what we paid...

As we've told many times in the past, our lifestyle is not a luxury but a choice. Of course, some preparation is needed – if you want – and some money too – at least in the beginning – but there's no need to be a millionaire or a pensioner(!) in order to ride your scooter around the world.

The most important part is to make the decision. Then, it's good to have the will to continue and not give up at the first hardship – and when I talk about hardship, I mean hard hardship...such as eating rice and legumes for days in order to keep the budget low. Oh, and you'll be pleased to know that if there's two of you in the equation, not only will you be able to share the unique experience of the trip, but also the expenses!

After 1024 days of everyday, meticulous record keeping, we patiently gathered all our expenses and made some very detailed charts and pies. You'll see information about the scooter's fuel consumption as well as its 2T-oil consumption and the costs (psychological ones, too) we paid at various technicians. You'll find out how many kilometers we rode on paved and on dirt roads, how many nights we spent wild camping, couchsurfing etc. You'll also see how much we spent on tolls, insurances, food, medicines... Everything!

We hope you'll find this post interesting and useful. And most importantly, we hope that it will give you one good motive to make the decision yourselves and take the first step towards a simple and beautiful life on the road. Or at least, to take the leap and set off on a big ride around the world.

If reading is not your thing, you can watch the video Stergios made just for you:

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Days on the road : 1024
Days spent at one place (not riding): 821 (80.2%)
Days on the road (riding): 203 (19.8%)

Countries visited: 7 (Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Chile)


Number of days in each country


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Argentina: 528 (51.6%)
Paraguay: 210 (20.5%)
Chile: 102 (10%)
Bolivia: 72 (7%)
Brazil: 54 (5.3%)
Peru: 41 (4%)
Uruguay: 13 (1.3%)
Airports / Airplanes: 4 (0.4%)

Total distance traveled : 45,099 km (28,023 mi)
2,600 km (5.8%) on friends' cars or taxis (1,615 mi)
390 km (0.9%) on friends' motorcycles (242 mi)
42,109 km (93.4%) on the Vespa (26,165 mi), from which:
37,871 km (89.9%) on paved roads (23,531 mi)
4,238 km (10.1%) on dirt roads (2,633 mi)

Average distance per day: 41 km (25.4 mi)
Average distance per day counting only the days we were actually traveling: 207 km (128.6 mi)

Average fuel consumption: 4,9 l/100km (48 mpg)

Petrol: 2,059 litres (543.9 gal)

2T Oil: 43 litres (11.3 gal)


Type of accommodation


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Apartments, hostels, hotels etc: 688 nights (67.2%)
Campsites: 133 nights (13%)
Wild camping: 100 nights (9.8%)
Staying at friends' houses: 83 nights (8.1%)
Couchsurfing: 16 nights (1.6%)
Airplanes: 4 nights (0.4%)

Average accommodation cost 2.94€ ($3.46) per person per night
Average campsite cost: 3.65€ ($4.30) per person per night
Average hostel/hotel/apartment cost: 3.60€ ($4.24) per person per night

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The total of our expenses per category per person


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Accommodation: 3,005.50€ ($3,546) (30.8%)
Supermarket : 2,510.10€ ($2,961) (25.8%)
Eat out (street food, restaurants etc) : 1,362.50€ ($1,607) (14%)
Maintenance, spare parts etc : 1,154.25€ ($1,362) (11.9%)
Petrol: 763.35€ ($900) (7.8%)
Tolls, insurances, paperwork etc : 242.75€ ($286) (2.5%)
Sightseeing & transportation : 227.25€ ($268) (2.3%)
Misc : 121.75€ ($143) (1.3%)
Meds & doctors: 98.25€ ($115) (1%)
2T Oil: 96.75€ ($114) (1%)
Internet / Telephony : 91.25€ ($107) (0.9%)
Clothing : 69.25€ ($81) (0.7%)


Daily expenses per country per person


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Uruguay: 17.12€ ($20.20)
Chile: 14.59€ ($17.21)
Brazil: 14.45€ ($17.05)
Peru: 9.85€ ($11.62)
Argentina: 8.57€ ($10.11)
Bolivia: 8.45€ ($9.97)
Paraguay: 7.29€ ($8.60)


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Expenses per country per person
Argentina: 4,525€ ($5,339)
Paraguay: 1,530€ ($1,805)
Chile: 1,488.5€ ($1,756)
Brazil: 780.5€ ($920)
Bolivia: 608.5€ ($718)
Peru: 403.9€ ($476)
Uruguay: 222.5€ ($262)


Grand total
So, the total amount after 1024 days on the roads of South America (from which the 180 “trapped” in Argentina under the covid-19 lockdown) is 9,742.9€ ($11,496) per person or 9.51€ ($11.22) per person per day or 19,485.9€ ($22,993) for the two of us or 19€ ($22) for the two of us per day! Not that much, huh? Keep in mind that these numbers are based on our needs and habits. The text you just read is not a guide and its purpose is not to teach or give any advice – but now you know how little money it can cost. Maybe it gives you the “push” you need to start preparing your own trip and stop using the “but I'm not as rich as they are” excuse!

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We (Stergios & Alexandra) are traveling around the world 2-up on a Vespa scooter. For 4 years we've been traveling in Africa & South America and we're still rolling. Our book "Rice and Dirt: Across Africa on a Vespa" is now available.

3 Comments on “This is how much it cost us to travel around South America for 1024 days”

  1. Hi, great site. I have been trying to figure out how to get a Toyota car and get insurance as a foreigner? Nothing too special but a 4×4 Toyota and we are off camping through South America

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