Before we go to our Bolivia Budget and Expenditures, here are some statistics to place all this in context:
- Time spent in Bolivia: 340 days (2007-2013), 120 days of which we lived in La Paz because of the Land Cruiser’s massive overhaul.
- The average distance covered: 37 kms/day (but then again, for 120 days the car was in a workshop for the overhaul)
- Average expenditure: €23 /day (2 persons)
Our Bolivia Budget
Not included in expenditures: insurance, electronic equipment, medical expenses, and the restoration of the Land Cruiser in 2010.
Prices differ not only per region but also went up between 2007 and 2013. Whereas in 2007 we could eat a set meal (almuerzo) for 5 or 6 bolivianos, in 2013 we hardly ever lunched for less than 10 bolivianos and paid up to 15.
01. Bolivia Budget – Documentation
Our visas were free of charge (for Europeans), as was extending them. Here’s more on visa and car papers for Bolivia, where you can also read about our mandatory purchase of an Orden de Translado which costs 50 Bolivianos, but for which we paid a dear 100.
02. Bolivia Budget – The Land Cruiser
Maintenance is cheap but don’t expect quality, with the noticeable exception of Ernesto Hug’s workshop in La Paz. Having the overhaul done in La Paz definitely has been one of our least, if not thé least brilliant, ideas on our journey, of which we still suffer the consequences, and is definitely not something we’d recommend.
Having said that, for regular maintenance and simple jobs you’ll find numerous workshops in Bolivia.
03. Bolivia Budget – Diesel
I’ve written a lot about petrol stations and the logic of Bolivia’s two-tiered price system for fuel. Bottom line: during the past three months in Bolivia we could not achieve buying fuel for the foreigner’s price (3x the local price), even if we wanted to. How we managed? Here you can read all about it.
04. Bolivia Budget – Public Transport
Nothing of note.
05. Bolivia Budget – Tickets Sightseeing
Among the sights we visited:
- The San Francisco church and museums in La Paz.
- The Che Guevara museum in Vallegrande (a must of Che Guevara admirers).
- The Jesuit Missions (fantastic).
- Museums in Sucre (Check out its textile museum).
- The UNESCO site El Fuerte in Samaipata (disappointing for lack of explanatory panels).
- The historic site of Incajallta ( a pleasant surprise, enjoyed details on explanatory panels).
- The UNESCO site of Tiwanaku (somewhat disappointing for such a major site).
- Biocentre Guëmbe in Santa Cruz (a must for bird photographers).
- Coffee plantation of El Cafetal near Santa Cruz (worth a visit).
You can conclude considering the number of sights and the low percentage of budget we spent on it, sightseeing in Bolivia didn’t eat up much of our travel budget.
06. Bolivia Budget – Paid Accommodation
We rough camped quite a bit as well as stayed with friends. We spent money on one or two campsites and Hotel Oberland in Mallasse (La Paz, book here) where we stayed a couple of weeks + parked the Land Cruiser for the duration of our visit to the Netherlands. Here’s an overview of accommodations overland camps in Bolivia, including GPS Waypoints.
07. Bolivia Budget – Special expenditures
Not clearly defined. Anything of size/price that I’d write down, which could be books, clothes, repair/replacement of stuff (not car related), etc.
08. Bolivia Budget – Daily expenditures
Even less defined. All expenditures mentioned above minus what we totally spent is what we call daily expenditures. This is mostly groceries and going out for lunch/dinner.
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