Budget Synopsis: Guatemala
Days in country: 19
Lodging: $120 (Couchsurfed or with Jonathan 10 out of 19 days)
Transport: $172 (buses and boats)
Other: $135.50 (internet, tour guides, entrance fees)
Dare Donations: $20 credit
TOTAL: $728= $38.32/day for 2 people
This was a higher average than what I (Leah) was originally planning, but our guidebook defines a daily basic budget as $20/person, so in theory we’re right on track (as Steve reminds me). Although we enjoyed amazing company and (free) incredible comfort staying with Jonathan in Guatemala City, our food expenditures were higher than usual there due to the restaurants (and epic bars!) we visited with him and his friends. We also took a fairly expensive tourist shuttle between Antigua and Lago Atitlan; if we had taken local transport instead, just that expenditure would have bumped our cost per day down by over a dollar more.
Otherwise, I was surprised to see that we Couchsurfed more than we stayed in hostels—it seemed like the reverse while traveling. It’s also definitely been harder than I thought it would be to arrange Couchsurfing hosts in Central America so far—they aren’t as widespread as in other parts of the world and many people never even responded to us. We were really good about buying fruit and bread in the market for breakfast and then typically eating our main meal in a comedor (cheap local mom and pop places that usually have a set menu), supplemented by other market snacks and street vendor food for our third meal. However, besides at a few hostels, we needed to buy bottled water everywhere we went and bottle after bottle definitely adds up in an attempt to stay hydrated. Besides the one shuttle early on, we took chicken buses and microbuses exclusively and while we could have been a tiny bit more stringent with our lodging (sometimes a private room was only $2 more than a dorm and in those cases we’d take it), we definitely haven't splurged yet.