Peru Backpacking Budget – Cost of Travel in 2023

Peru backpacking in the Andes

This page looks at the estimated cost of travel in Peru. Read on for our suggested shoestring and more comfortable Peru backpacking budget. We also have some sample prices and info on how to pay for things in this popular South American country.

Peru backpacking budget
Map of Peru from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Peru Cost of Travel in 2023

Shoestring Backpacker Budget

  • 95 Peruvian Sol per day (US$25)

For anyone backpacking Peru on a low budget, expect to spend roughly 25 US Dollars (95 Peruvian Sol) per day. This shoestring budget should be enough to cover a dorm bed, bus transport and meals with a bit left over for daytime activities.

Peru is overall a cheap country with some of the lowest backpacking costs in South America. It’s slightly more affordable when compared to a typical Colombia backpacking budget for example and there’ll be days when you can probably get by on as little as $15 with plenty of real budget accommodation available while eating out in local restaurants is also great value.

However many travellers in Peru do end up spending more than $25/day on average for a couple of major reasons. Firstly the size of the country means you will spend a lot of time travelling around particularly if you are looking to go all the way from the Northern border with Ecuador all the way down into Bolivia or Chile. There are better flight options now than was the case a few years ago but you can still end up paying a fair amount in baggage fees. Travelling by bus is cheap on a per km or per hour basis, but you will need to spend several days on a bus to travel through the entire country by road and costs do still add up.

The second budget breaker in Peru is the world famous trek to Machu Picchu, one of the great bucket list trips and a highlight of travel in South America for many. Entry fees alone are greater than this suggested daily budget and many backpackers opt to do the trek as part of a multi-day tour which can run into the 100’s of dollars and push your overall daily spend in the country well beyond an average of $25/day.

More Comfortable Peru Backpacking Budget

  • 150 Peruvian Sol per day (US$40)

If you are doing a big trip in South America and have a certain time-frame for it, you might want to budget a bit more than $25/day for Peru and maybe skip some of the less interesting parts of the country by taking a flight or two. Most of the main points of interest are in the South of the country with the likes of Cusco and Arequipa among the more interesting cities to visit compared to ones in the North or even Lima.

By budgeting for $40/day in Peru, you can probably afford to skip a large portion of the country and save well over 24 hours of travelling on buses by taking a domestic flight or if you are just visiting the South, you could probably take a flight from Lima to Cuzco rather than the painfully slow bus route which can take a whole day.

You could probably also afford to fit in an organised Inca Trail trip to Machu Picchu or another long hike on this kind of budget.

Peru travel costs - street food
Eating street food is a good way to save money in Peru which has some of the best loved dishes in South America.

How much are things in Peru?

Approximate Price
Flight from Lima to Cusco (1 hour 20 minutes)From $30 + Baggage Fees
Bus from Cusco to Arequipa (approx 10 hours)$15-25
Meal in an affordable local restaurant$2.50-4
Local beer in bar/restaurant$1.50-2.50
Dorm bed in a hostelFrom $5/night
Budget private roomFrom $7/night
Entrance Fee to Machu Picchu$40
Travel insurance for backpacking PeruDepends on age, length of trip & other factors – Get a quote from Heymondo in less than a minute!

Note, a full hiking tour and trip to Machu Picchu will cost a lot more than the entrance fee which works out at around $40 at the time of writing. Machu Picchu was closed to visitors due to civil unrest in Peru in early 2023 but it reopened in February.


Currency – Peruvian Sol

£1 = 4.62 Sol

€1 = 4.06 Sol

US$1 = 3.77 Sol

Unlike neighbouring Ecuador, Peru does not use the US Dollar and has its own currency – the Sol. Some businesses may accept dollars but paying in Sol is usually the best way to go in terms of getting the best prices. These exchange rates are accurate as of March 2023.

This Peru backpacking budget was last updated in March 2023.

Peru Backpacking Budget – Cost of Travel in 2023

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