Perú was a fascinating country and we had an amazing month-long trip. Today’s blog includes a few odds and ends and the Trip Expense Report.
We’ve noticed in South American cities that similar businesses are all located on one particular street. Walking around one comes across an entire block of stores all selling the same stuff: party decorations, office supplies, home improvement stores, musical instrument shops, optical shops, clothing boutiques, travel agencies and so on. We find this both strange and yet, at the same time, convenient, but wonder why a business would want to be on the same street with the competition.
Peruvian banks are making a killing in ATM fees. Throughout Peru we could not find ATM machines that would dispense more than $100-$200 at a time meaning we had to make daily withdrawals. This can add quite a bit of extra expense in bank fees unless you have an account which reimburses ATM withdrawal fees like Charles Schwab Bank.
We get a kick seeing motorcycles for sale in stores that sell small appliances like irons, blenders, toasters and microwaves, TVs, and washing machines! I can just imagine some husband justifying his motorcycle purchase to his wife, “But honey, I bought YOU a toaster AND a blender!
Something to consider from fellow travelers Pete and Dalene of Hecktic Travels.
WE PLEDGE TO BUY LOCAL
Being a citizen detective is not an easy job. It can be an all-consuming activity to constantly patrol where we spend every dollar to ensure it is having the most positive impact. But when you are traveling, especially in less-developed countries, the impact of your everyday spending can be substantial.
And while tourism in general spreads the money, it’s local-level tourism specifically that has such a profound effect on poverty alleviation — and it’s here that travellers and the industry must more fully commit to using tourism for good. source
Researchers found that “in Thailand [an] estimated 70% of all money spent by tourists ended up leaving Thailand (via foreign-owned tour operators, airlines, hotels, imported drinks and food, etc.). Estimates for other Third World countries range from 80% in the Caribbean to 40% in India.” This trend, dubbed ‘tourism leakage,’ stems from all-inclusive travel packages that prevent travellers from interacting with local communities — meaning “not much opportunity is left for local people to profit from tourism.” source
It is heart wrenching to see people working long days at restaurants and stores, women carrying children on their backs and doing needlework with wares spread out around them, old women sitting (and snoozing) on cold stone steps with items for sale, a blind man singing on the street hoping to receive coins. They are industrious and not asking for a handout. I don’t buy many souvenirs and often have to say “No gracias” to many vendors. In Peru several of them will tried to engage me in conversation in hopes that I change my mind. I like having conversations with the locals and in one instance I tried explaining that I had already bought one of what she was selling to which she bitterly replied, ‘Yes, at a store!’ I was able to say, ‘No, from a woman selling on the street just like you.’ Her reaction is why I endeavor to buy from individuals.
Teachers were on strike and schools were closed all across the country. We saw them marching in many cities. One guide explained that teachers have 5 years of education and receive S1200 soles or about US$400 a month whereas police receive nearly 3x that salary yet only need 7 months of training. Later we heard that the government offered to increase the teachers’ pay if they could pass a competency exam (which seems fair) but that it was rejected.
Cost of Travel: Perú
For 31 days of travel for 2 people we spent $3,528.97 an average of $113.84 a day.
Accommodation: $1690.57 or 54.53/day
Food: $597.85 or $19.29/day
Local Transport: $235.06 or $7.58/day
Entertainment and Admissions: $239.26 or $7.72/day
Travel to Machu Picchu: $455
Laundry: $40.08 or $1.29/day
Souvenirs: $67.71 or $2.18/day
Misc: $9.55 or .31/day
Airfare booked with miles fees: $190.56
List of Accommodations: We stayed in small local inns booked on Booking.com except for when we were at the convention in Cajamarca. Accommodations cost more here than many other places where we have traveled in South America.
3 Bs Barranco; B & B Chic & Basic, Barranco (Lima): 2 nights, $84.70/night
Solar de Arequipa, Arequipa: 4 nights, $45/night
Hostal Suecia I, Cusco: 5 nights, $44.55/night
Hostal Iskay, Ollantaytambo: 4 nights, $51.13/night
Quechuas Inka Palace, Puno: 2 nights, $27.72/night
Hotel Las Américas, Cajamarca: 1 night, $70.75
Wyndham Hotel Costa del Sol, Cajamarca: 8 nights, $80.46/night
Hotel Due, Trujillo: 2 nights, $37.10/night
Andesmar, Miraflores (Lima): 1 night, $72.90
That’s a wrap on our Perúvian vacation. Thanks for reading!
Until next time…