Bolivia is a cheap country, surely the cheapest we have ever been. But instead of saving, we rather decided to significantly upgrade our standard of living for the time we spent there: we chose more comfortable hotels, always with heating on the Altiplano and with a much higher level of comfort; we did not bother to cook and hardly ever frequented cheap food stalls but more often pleasant, even at times fancy restaurants; we booked many tours and chose the more expensive ones to optimize our comfort and experience; …
Even with that, we kept our average daily budget as low as 29.30 Euros per person, more than 10% less than in any other country. Hotels cost us no more than 10.60 Euro per night, by far the cheapest of our trip, even with the increased comfort.
Transport as well is extremely cheap in Bolivia. But the level of comfort has never been anyhow good. After the somewhat bumpy flight to Rurrenabaque, Heidi was too scared to fly, so we had to take far more dangerous busses, which are, no matter how much you are ready to spend, more of a torture than anything else! Gilles would definitely recommend flying more often and avoiding nights on bumpy and extremely uncomfortable bus rides. One way inland flights cost approx. 50 Euros, not a real fortune.
But in order to get an understanding for the cost of living in Bolivia, some information about the level of income might help. For an unqualified job, the minimum salary is as little as 520 Bolivianos a month, that is to say 49 Euros! People working in the mines under inhuman conditions in order to make a higher salary, earn an average of 800 to 1.000 Bolivianos per month, or 75 to 94 Euros.
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