The Budget

The budget is something I found that many people had questions about but few travel blogs actually discuss (at least in detail). I’m not sure why this is..? Is it because some people think discussing the financial aspect is personal? or maybe they don’t really get that in depth with their planning? Regardless of the reason, I’ve decided to post my budget for other travelers to use since there isn’t really a lot of info out there on the topic. I’ve been tweaking it for the past year or 2 and the data was gathered from reading other travel blogs, guide books and various internet forums such as ADVrider and HorizonsUnlimited.

VariablePer DayPer MonthPer 9 MonthsPer 12 MonthsPer 15 Months
Daily costs
  Entertainment (Beer!)$5$150$1,350$1,800$2,250
Total $60$1,800$16,200$20,250$24,300
Maintenance costs
Oil Changes (x6)$30/each$180
  x3 Rear tires$150/each$450
  x2 Front tires$100/each$200
Darien Gap Crossing (Boat)
  (San Blas to Cartagena)
Darien Gap Crossing (Flight)
  (Panama City to Bogota)
Amazon River (Ferry)
  (Belem to Manaus)
Return Home (Flight)
  (Bogota to Miami)
Spanish School
Border costs
  Fees & Moto Insurance$1001
  Postage Home$100
  Emergency Moto Repairs$500
  Misc costs$500
Grand Total$22,596$26,646$30,696

 I expect to be on the road for about a year but have also included 9 and 15 month budgets as well. Additionally, I have included an alternate route around the Darien Gap (shown grayed out). Something else worth noting is that these costs are a bit inflated, as I do plan on camping a few times a week once I get to South America which will drastically cut down on the Lodging Cost. I also won’t be riding everyday which will cut back on the Gas Cost. Furthermore, I’ve left the Gas Cost the same for the 9, 12 and 15 month budgets as they are more dependent on mileage rather than days and $4,000 should be more than enough for the expected 30,000 mile round trip. Another note is that the above budget is only for Mexico/Central America/South America and does not account for the ride from Alaska to Florida.

Country Border Costs:

Border Crossing:Exit feeVisaMoto ImportFumigationInsuranceOtherTotal
United States to Mexico$0$37$22$0$55$2$116
Mexico to Belize$0$0$0$5$23$0$28
Belize to Guatemala$19$3$11$3$0$0$36
Guatemala to El Salvador$0$0$0$0$0$1$1
El Salvador to Honduras$0$3$35$0$0$3$41
Honduras to Nicaragua$0$12$0$3$12$3$30
Nicaragua to Costa Rica$0$3$0$5$17$0$25
Costa Rica to Panama$0$1$0$0$15$2$18
Panama to Colombia$0$0$0$0$20$1$21
Colombia to Ecuador$0$0$0$035$0$35
Ecuador to Peru$0$0$0$0$8$0$8
Peru to Bolivia$0$135$0$0$0$0$135
Bolivia to Chile$0$0$0$0$46$0$46
Chile to Argentina$0$160$0$0$12$0$172
Argentina to Uruguay$0$0$0$0$0$0$0
Uruguay to Brazil$0$145$0$030$0$175
Brazil to Paraguay$0$45$0$0$0$0$45
Paraguay to Brazil$0$0$0$0$0$0$0
Brazil to Venezuela$0$0$0$0$45$0$45
Venezuela to Columbia$3$0$0$0$20$1$24

Planned Excursion Costs:

Location / Activity:Country:Nearest City:Cost:Notes:
Central America:
Mexican RuinsMexicoVA$40Park fees for Mayan Ruins, etc
Guatemala RuinsGuatemalaVA$30Park fees for Mayan Ruins, Tikal, etc
South America:
Isla de la PlataEcuadorManta$40Visit to Isla de la Plata (poor mans Galapagos)
Machu PicchuPeruCusco$150Park entance, train pass, etc

I’m still plugging in locations and excursions as I come across things I’d like to see along the way, so the above section is a work in progress.

You can download the excel file here: South America travel budget

Budget Last updated: 1JUNE2013


The folks over at have also done a really good job of helping aspiring travelers to plan/finance their trip. Not only that but they posted their actual costs broken down by country and spending category. They are continuing to update as they make their way around South America. Check them out here:


Below are two additional sample travel budgets I found online that I used in creating mine. You might find them useful in creating yours:



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