Peru was my favorite country I visited in 2022. I had always dreamed of coming here but I never thought I’d fall in love as I did. With the cost of travel being low and the hikes being high (in altitude), Peru should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list.
We stayed in certain regions for longer than most others would. This is how we like to travel. It helps us really experience the place we are in.
Because of this, we were able to budget our trip better and our money went wasn’t running out as fast.
Where is Peru Located?
Sitting as the 3rd largest country in South America, Peru is located between Ecuador and Chile on the west coast. They also share a border with Brazil, Bolivia, and Colombia.
Peru’s coastline stretches along the South Pacific Ocean for 2.4k kilometers. It is home to many different landscapes such as the Andes, beaches, highlands, and jungle.
Is Peru Expensive?
If we are comparing Peru to countries like Colombia and Mexico, then it is slightly more expensive. But both of those countries are some of the cheapest in the world.
The cost of living in Peru is very low, especially if you know what you’re doing.
Here is an example of a few items:
- A combo meal = around $19 soles or $4.89 USD
- 1 liter of milk = $4.86 soles or $1.27 USD
- 1 bottle of good wine = 35 Soles or $USD
- A month’s rent (furnished) in an expensive neighborhood costs $3,000 Soles per month or $790 USD
- A month’s rent (furnished) in a cheap neighborhood costs 1680 Soles per month or $440 USD
At the time of writing this blog, $1 USD = $3.8 soles. The up-to-date conversion can be found here.
The price hasn’t inflated that much since I’ve been. In fact, I was getting the same conversion as it is right now.
Budget Travel in Peru
When you are a backpacker or simply traveling on a budget, having a daily allowance is a good tip to follow. While the cost of travel to Peru is cheap, it could get out of hand fast if you’re not careful.
Backpacker Budget Daily Allowance: $30 – $35 USD = 114 – 133 soles
These numbers were based on:
- $10 hostel (that isn’t super low quality)
- $5 per meal for food
- ~$10 for activities
These prices can be much cheaper if you do a lot of free activities and cook for yourself. Purchasing food at local supermarkets helps a lot too.
Luxury Travel in Peru
With how diverse Peru is, you can really enjoy a multitude of different styles of activities on a big budget. Some of the most popular and also expensive activities are located in Peru.
Luxurious Traveler Budget Daily Allowance: $100 – $150 USD = $380 – $570 Soles
These numbers were based on:
- $50 ($100 hotel split by 2)
- $10 on each meal
- ~$20 – $100 on activities
There are nice hotels for cheaper and always some deals. These prices are possible to fluctuate throughout the year.
Cost of Transportation in Peru
Peru is where I really took public transportation seriously. Because of this, it really helped us cut down on our cost to travel through Peru.
Busses from town to town are very easy to make and super cheap. While in Huaraz, we took many collectivos to the trailhead of our hike.
These collectivos cost us around 2 – 5 soles depending on where we were going in Huaraz. And around 20 soles for longer trips (~2 hours).
I took a plane once from Lima to Cusco because we were on limited time at that point. The plane ticket was around $45 but I also had to pay for a carry-on. The Lima to Cusco bus trip is one of the longest in the country but if you have time, it could be worth it.
All of these bus prices can be found using the website Redbus.
Below are some examples of bus ticket prices:
- Huaraz to Lima (7 hours): ~$15 USD
- Lima to Cusco (21 hours): ~$30 USD
- Lima to Huacachina (4.5 hours): ~$9 USD
Cost of Accommodation in Peru
Depending on where you’re located in Peru, the cost of accommodation can vary. There are some cheaper but more rugged hostels in Huaraz whereas there are some nicer ones in Cusco.
Even the part of town you are in Lima matters. Miraflores is a popular part of Lima to go to but it is one of the priciest areas as well.
Hostel Price in Peru: $7 – $14 USD = $26.6 to $53.2 Soles
Hotel Price in Peru: ~$100 USD = $380 Soles (good quality)
Airbnb Price in Peru: ~$50 USD = $190 Soles
The Airbnb prices have the highest variance on where you’re at in Peru and at what time of the year. In Huaraz, it was very hard for us to find a good deal for an Airbnb that we actually wanted to stay at.
Cost of Food in Peru
During my time in Peru, I ate a variety of different meals. In my opinion, there were more cheap meals that caught my eye than in some of the other countries I visited in South America.
One of our go-to meals in Peru was Chaufa. This is a Peruvian-styled fried rice with polo or chicken in it normally. This normally costs somewhere between $4 to $6 USD.
If you are in touristy areas of Cusco, it is extremely easy to overspend on a meal. I was less likely to go to a fancy restaurant with a variety of meals at our disposal.
We also had street food multiple times while in Cusco. This consisted of meat (chicken or red meat) and a potato.
- Fast Food Combo Meal: $19 Soles or $5 USD
- Street Food: $10 soles or $2.5 USD
- Meal at a fancy restaurant: $40 soles or $10.50 USD
Cheap Activities to do in Peru
If you are not a hiker then I am sorry. A majority of activities on this list will involve hiking. Peru is a hiker’s paradise. Even if you don’t like to hike, you should still visit.
The best way to keep the cost of travel low in Peru is by doing cheap or free activities. The only costs during these days will be food from a grocery store/supermarket and transportation.
Some days we hiked for around 12 hours and only spent $10 USD in total. Below are some of the best activities throughout the country:
Hikes in Peru with Minimal Cost
Completely Free Activities in Peru
- Mirador Hike in Huaraz
- Cristo Blanco Viewpoint
- Viewpoint Hike in Cajamarca
- Climb the Sand Dunes in Huacachina
Bonus Activity: Day Hike to Laguna Humantay
This hike will cost more in transportation than the other day hikes on this list but it is well worth it.
My Suggested Hiking Gear
Below is a list of some of my favorite hiking/travel gear I bring everywhere. Everything below is something I currently use and never leave my house without.
- KEEN Durand II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots: I finally upgraded my hiking boots in 2022 and these are fantastic. They have top-notch ankle support and are super durable.
- Petzl Tikka Headlamp: A headlamp for hiking is a must if you’re like me and love sunrise hikes. This is a great price for a quality headlamp and also has a good red light to not disturb others in the morning.
- Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks: I originally got these as a present but I had to buy more because these are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever tried on.
- Grayl GeoPress Water Filter Bottle: You will never have to rebuy plastic water bottles. This is the best water filtering device on the market. It is excellent for hikers and travelers alike.
Popular Activities to do in Peru
Peru is my favorite country in South America (so far) and I cannot wait until I can go back. There are so many acitivites still left to do. I know when I go back to Peru that the cost of travel will not have changed much. Some activities here are just plain better with a specialized tour guide. Below are some of the best tours you can do while down in Peru.
My Final Thoughts on the Cost of Travel in Peru
Peru may be slighly more expensive than Colombia, I think there is an arguement the other way. One of the biggest perks to travel in Peru and espeically Huaraz is how reliable their collectivos are. This really made the cost to travel throughout Peru way more enjoyable than I ever though it could be. I highly suggest you visit here if you are an avid hiker and love to budget travel.
Thank you for reading my guide on the cost of travel in Peru. I hope this blog has helped you create your own budget for when you travel out this way.