Ohh my. The currency in Argentina was greatly devaluated in their economic crisis, but the price of commodities went up through the roof. This destroyed our budget.
Our estimate for Argentina was 3 years old, which we knew it is not a realistic one, but we did not expect to be so wrong. We were on a budget and stayed in dorms the whole time, apart for when we slept in a Hospedaje type of accommodation. We mostly ate home cooked food and only had few empanadas and Locro to try out. In the shops we were searching for the cheapest meals, although they were not always the healthiest. We did not do a winery in Mendoza, but took cheaper option in Cafayate. We tried everything to try to lower our daily spending.
Our route was supposed to take us through the cheaper northern parts, but even there the prices were similar to the ones in Chile. So we changed our plans and hurried out of Argentina, skipping Rosario and Buenos Aires. The only regret about this change was not learning the Argentinean tango, but on the other hand as a former dancer I know ballroom tango. That is sufficient enough for me.
We are aware that we could take advantage of the Blue market peso, where we could strike a 30-40% better currency deal. There is an illegal currency exchange market (although all newspapers are letting you know the daily blue market exchange), but we did not have enough dollars in cash. We were not aware that in Argentina ATMs do not dispense US dollars, as we did not put enough effort in this sort of research. Due to that we were debating crossing border with Paraguay or Brazil as we were nearby, but for unknown reason we said no to Paraguay and in Iguazu we learned there is no ATM dispensing US dollars. As a result our budget was suffering like never before. My body was suffering as well, but that is a different story (bedbugs and lice).
So here it is our sum up of our 24 day long budget torture.
COST PER STAY
Sum per person including visa
Estimated total cost: 291.50 GBP
Actual cost: 640.92 GBP
Off budget: - 349.42 GBP
COST PER DAY (per person)
Estimated per day: 10.00 GBP (+ reciprocity fee of 160.00 GBP for the whole stay for Tan only) BUDGET
Actual cost: 26.71 GBP (includes reciprocity fee cost) BUDGET