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Currency advice - Chile Patagonia and Easter island
Post: #1
Please can you let me know if I will be advised as to how much money to take for food and day to day expenses?

This is my first time using just you and I am not sure if this advice is given and I have no idea how much cash to take.

Thank you!

Sarah
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Post: #2
Hi Sarah,

We don't usually go into too much detail about budgeting as it is a very personal thing - some travellers prefer low key/low budget meals, others like a bit of 4-star dining, or perhaps something in between.

All of your breakfasts are included, and there are a couple of other meals too but it's mostly lunches and dinners that you'll be funding and you can often find restaurants that suit any budget.

All of the excursions are also included so other than food, you'll just need to think about any souvenirs you would like to buy. Again this comes down to whether or not you prefer to buy something like a fridge magnet or postcard - or go slightly larger with a canvas or a local craft.

There are a few people on the community who have done this trip - they may be able to share what they did.

Kindest regards,

Julia
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Post: #3
Hi Sarah
I can only really comment about Easter Island because I haven't done the main part of your tour. The Island has dual currency (Chilean pesos and US dollars) but the locals prefer pesos. It is a quite expensive island, mainly because practically everything has to be flown in so even a snack lunch of a sandwich and a drink will probably cost you close to a tenner.

In terms of souvenirs, again it can be pricey but a lot of items are made by local craftsmen and, of course, are pretty unique. There is a big craft market on the main street but I would also recommend the stalls in the café building at Ranu Raraku (the moai query) where you will find carvings and beautiful silver jewellery. If you want more traditional souvenirs like t-shirts, scarfs etc, 'Hotu Matua's Favourite Shoppe' (I kid you not...!) on the main street has the best quality but, like everyone else on the Island, they have slightly wacky opening hours! (Hotu Matua, btw, was the Island's legendary founding father and 'Ariki' i.e. the King.)

As a tip, although some people don't like to carry much cash, I would recommend it at the markets because the stall holders will usually give you a 'deal' if you pay in cash and save them from paying commission if you use their card machines. (Most of the locals only speak Spanish or native Rapanui but your guide may be willing to help you) If you buy anything fragile, make sure it will fit in your hand luggage because the Latam ground staff have a habit of insisting that wooden carvings (for example ceremonial paddles etc.) are taken off you if they spot them and put in the aircraft hold on the way back to Santiago.

Happy to help if you have any other questions
Have a super trip
Mandy
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Post: #4
This is what I wrote in Nov as part of a review after my Trip in October
MONEY
I spent about £600 in total and really did not buy any presents, but I made up for this with the wonderful red wine and Pisco Sours. I took £500 worth of Chilean Pesos and used a credit card for the rest. I planned to change more if I needed but my stash of sterling would have been hard to change up. I found dollars would have been easier to change but the best thing is to take Chilean Pesos with you whatever you feel comfortable carrying and use an ATM for the rest and these are readily available.
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Post: #5
Thank you for your replies that’s very helpful. So would £500 worth of CP fit in a bum bag? Just wondering what the logistics of carrying so much cash will actually entail! So many questions......

Sarah x
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Post: #6
I am taking £250 worth of Pesos and the rest in $ plus a credit card as a back-up. I will change $ into Pesos in Chile as I am sure £250 is not going to be enough as I am a big spender!

Jaya
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Post: #7
I've been to Santiago and found prices very similar to the UK which is expensive by South American standards.

As Julia says spending money is very much a individual thing but if you base your spending on UK cost you wont be too far out. Also was no problem using credit cards.
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