budget: £660 / $946
total spent: £436 / $657
# of days: 22
avg. daily spend: £19.8 / $29.8
all costs for two people in average exchange rate at time of travel.
DAYS ON BUDGET: 4.6%
DAYS UNDER BUDGET: 72.7%
DAYS OVER BUDGET: 22.7%
So, £19.8 per day for two people, that doesn't sound too bad does it? However, we have a big confession to make here - it should have cost us A LOT more.
One of the fringe-benefits of putting in an insanely large amount of work into developing a successful travel blog are the partnerships we create with companies. In Uruguay, we worked with a lot of hostels who gave us comped accommodation in exchange for an honest review or mention on our site. Without this, our daily spend would have been much, much higher.
Lots of things in this small country are really quite pricey, which ironically is what stopped us from spending too much. For example, we knew immediately that eating out wasn't going to be much of an option (partly because of dietary restrictions in a country of voracious meat eaters), so we always bought our own groceries. That's just one of the way we made the necessary adjustments to prevent over-spending, before we had the chance to do so!
So, on our meagre but subsidised budget, did we manage to see much of this beautiful little country? Well, yes, yes we did. From the picturesque Colonia del Sacramento and hugely photogenic old town of modern Montevideo, to parties in Punta del Este, the home of the beautiful people, La Paloma (which we fell a little bit in love with) and the hippy outpost of Cabo Polonio - and not to forget Caballos de Luz, an extra special experience with beautiful Uruguayan horses!
$4920 UYU | £110 GBP | $166 USD
So, yeah, this is the section that's kind of a complete lie.
Had we had to pay for all of our accommodation in Uruguay, we estimate we would have spent at least 20,000 UYU | £454 GBP | $641 USD (and that's if we only stayed in the cheapest dorms). So, yep, for a normal budget traveller, accommodation ins Uruguay is going to take a big chunk of your budget in comparison to elsewhere in South America.
Bear in mind that we were travelling before the high season, when prices for hostels are known to double or triple in December-January.
$3668 | £82 | $124
Whilst bus transport is not the cheapest in South America, it is of an excellent standard, with quick and regular routes to pretty much everywhere the average backpacker would want to go - which is why this was pretty much the only way we got around!
Most interesting form of transport? The 4WD bus/truck that you take across sand dunes to reach Cabo Polonio - unforgettable!
$1898 | £42.5 | $64.1
Bar a few excellent empanadas, we really didn't eat out much in Uruguay, as the cost was just too high.
Unfortunately, this meant that Andrew missed out on the country's famous asado - a hearty combination of meat, meat and more meat!
eating out: 10%
$1834 | £41 | $62
So, the wine isn't quite as cheap as it is in Chile or Argentina, but for a couple of quid you can get a very drinkable bottle of red - so drinkable in fact, that we didn't stop drinking it until we left the country!
Unless you're a massive beer fan, give your gut a bit of a rest and give the local vino a go.
$4982 | £111.5 | $168
Considering we barely ate out, it's hardly surprising that a big proportion of our money went on groceries.
Uruguay has a huge number of Italian descendents, so you can find packs of home-made pasta and gnocchi for less than £1 and every store sells fresh basil and good parmagiano.
We may have over-indulged a little on that!
$1302 | £29 | $44
We spent three weeks on the beach. What more do we need to say? :)
Sweets and Treats: 6.7%
$131 | £3 | $4.5
Thankfully we didn't really have to buy any toiletries in Uruguay besides a bit more shampoo and conditioner.
$714 | £16 | $24
In Montevideo, we were constantly active. Pretty much every museum or art gallery is free and the best sights are seen with two feet and a camera.
We also had the pleasure of spending a couple of days with Caballos de Luz, horse-riding across the sierras (although that cost is not included).
Along the coast, lots of rainy days meant time to catch up on work and when the sun came out we both dived for our beach towels - and didn't leave until it set!
For those that prefer a little more action, most places do bike rental and surfboard hire.
$0 | £0 | $0
Nothing. Zip. Nada.