The cost of living in South America can vary immensely. It depends on the quality of life you’re use to – most expats require a high standard – or what you require in your life, such as beaches or restaurants. Some cities offer a café culture, while others a beach culture and there’s those cities offering nature trails or hiking. Natures treats are cheaper than the restaurant life.
Buenos Aires is a city in South America with culture, museums, fashion and most things to satisfy the fussiest of residents. The cost of the city can be hefty at times since most things you do in the city require your hand in your pocket. The city has a café/restaurant culture and often while sitting and being social in a café you’re required to purchase food or drinks. A coffee in a decent area in Buenos Aires will run you back around 15 pesos. At the time of writing this article one America dollar was the equivalent to 5 pesos. A decent meal in Buenos Aires will be close to 50 pesos. Therefore, a sit and a chat in a local café, not too flash and not too rough, will be around 65 pesos + tip per sitting – close to 15 dollars. At the moment Buenos Aires is not the cheapest city to live in. The country has experienced 18% inflation over the last four-years and locals believe something is due to give in the country’s economy. Taxis are not too costly in the city, although, sometimes they are a necessity – due to safety reasons while walking at night – and can add to your overall outing. A short ride in a taxi to a neighboring barrier will cost around 15 pesos. Therefore any brief outing in Buenos Aires will usually cost you 100 pesos. Keep in mind that approximately 25 dollars spent in Buenos Aires gets you a very decent meal and a taxi to and from your café. This would cost an arm and a leg if you hoped to achieve the same result in a city like New York or London. I think the issue is there are cheaper cities to travel to in South America than Buenos Aires. I’ve included this city as expats normally require the sweeter things in life – such as the quality offered in Buenos Aires. A small furnished, apartment will cost around 1,000 dollars per month. Cheaper if you’re in a shabby area or if you have a long-term lease with no furniture provided – could be 600 dollars for the month if your a wheeler and a dealer.
Florianopolis is another city in South America which is not exactly on the cheap side. Although, the prices in the city are much less than those in many major cities outside of South America. An added benefit of Florianopolis is there is a beach culture which costs nothing – the beaches are free, of course – although, you may wish to hire a beach chair and umbrella – 5 reals each. At the time of writing this article one American dollar was equal to two Brazilian reals. A coffee in a café in Florianopolis can very immensely. There are very chic cafes in Florianopolis and most of those can offer coffees for around 6 reals. Taxis are very expensive in Florianopolis since the island is very spread out. A short ride from one beach to a neighbouring beach can be close to 20 reals. This of course depends on which beaches you’re traveling between. Meals in Florianopolis can also be expansive. A nice sized plate of protein – meat or chicken – and vegetables will be around 16 reales. Drinks in a decent bar can be around 6 to 10 reals for a beer. An apartment in Florianopolis is around 700 dollars per month if renting in a decent area with a furnished apartment on a short-term lease. 600 dollars apartments can be achieved for longer leases and mush cheaper again if you leave the tourist neighborhoods.
The two cities mentioned are rather expensive and cheaper cities are possible in both Brazil and Argentina, or cheaper again in Bolivia or Peru. The cities mentioned are two which tend to attract travelers. Therefore, I’ve given a slight wrap-up on those cities. In a nutshell both cities require around 40 dollars a day on top of your accommodation costs. These are basically the more expensive cities where gringos tend to want to settle. Although, I’ve seen a decrease in the number of gringos settling in both cites over the past couple of years. You can do both cities cheaper again if you wish to live on the smell of an oily-rag.
This article is very brief. I can go on all day about the cost of living in each city in South America, or at least the cities I’ve lived in. Please feel free to ask any questions regarding further costs. If you’d like to be specific that’s fine, I’ll do my best to help any way I can.
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