This post contains a detailed breakdown of costs for 2 GRANDPAckers holidaying in El Esteron, El Salvador to GRANDPAcking standard.
As a reminder, this “standard” requires 2 GRANDPAckers to:
- Stay in an Hotel Double Room with Fan and Private Bathroom
- Eat 3 ‘balanced’ meals each day in a budget restaurant
For more detail, read El Esteron – El Salvador – Information.
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Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.
MY ACTUAL 1 PERSON GRANDPAcking COSTS:
I DID NOT live in El Tunco to GRANDPAcking standard.
My costs are purely provided for information purposes. I do not always follow ‘GRANDPAcking Standards’. In fact, I deviate from them all of the time! But, my costs are real costs and they may help you formulate your own budget.
In all respects (other than my room), La Tortuga Verde was a nice, clean, well-run, beach resort.
Otherwise, you are ‘resort-bound’.
Communications & Fees:
I purchased a TIGO SIMcard for US$2 at a small, local store in Santa Ana. TIGO has the best overall coverage in El Salvador.
I topped it up in El Tunco with a new 2-week 3.0GB Internet Plan ‘promotion’ (which doubled the normal 1.5GB to 3.0GB).
Internet in La Tortuga Verde is pathetic and unreliable. I needed my own Internet Plan. I got a consistent ‘H+’ signal everywhere in the area.
Food & Drink:
I averaged US$8.90 / day on food but I ate very ‘frugally’.
I don’t really eat Lunch anymore. A good Breakfast keeps me going until Dinner time. But, I spent an average of US$0.50c / day on snacks from the local store (about 200-300 meters east of La Tortuga Verde). A candy bar was 50c 🙂
Water was provided free of charge by my hotel.
My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was NZ$24 / US$18 / €16 / £14.
MY COST OF LIVING (COL):
My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were NZ$53 / US$35 / €31 / £28. This was more than enough to LIVE on.
… to El Esteron at a total cost of US$8.90. This includes the US$5 taxi fare from El Cuco town to El Esteron.
I will tell you more about that in my next post.
Drink / Partying:
I had a couple of 300ml beers in the hotel some nights at US1.50+10% each but I, usually, just had a 750ml beer at Adela’s with my meal for US$1.50. I spent an average of US$1.80 / day on beers
I bought a 950ml bottle of local spirits in El Cuco town for US$4 and was happy to mix this with Lemon Iced Green Tea when relaxing in an hammock in the evenings.
Entertainment / Trips:
Other / Gifts:
I found US$1.70 somewhere in one of my pockets.
My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at NZ$46 / US$31 / €27 / £24 per day. This was 57% of my total budget … I had 43% left to play with.
I couldn’t find anything of interest to spend my money on … I was surprised to find out how little I spent.
WHAT IT SHOULD COST 2 GRANDPAckers:
As usual, costs are broken down into:
- Cost Of Existence
- Cost Of Living
COST OF EXISTENCE (COE):
If you read my El Esteron – El Salvador – Information post, you will see that accommodation is unaffordable if you book through the ‘usual’ online search engines.
I suggest that you go to the La Tortuga Verde site and book 1 night there at their standard rate of US$25 / night for a Meso Room with Private Bathroom.
Once there, I would try and negotiate a discount on staying for the rest of the month. I couldn’t get a discount for 7 nights and you may not succeed … but, for a 1 month stay, it is worth a try … money talks.
Such a trip would need to come out of your ‘Living Funds’.
I have included a TIGO SIMcard (US$2) and two prepaid 2-week Internet Plans with 1.5GB of data for US$6 each. You may get lucky with TIGO texting you with a ‘double up to 3GB’ offer … if so, take it … it means that you can stream a few movies.
You will need your own wifi.
I have budgeted for you to eat all of your meals at Adela’s.
You won’t be able to afford to eat at La Tortuga Verde. If / when you do, it will be a treat / ‘Living Expense’.
The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about NZ$68 / US$46 / €40 / £36 per day.
COST OF LIVING (CoL):
This is not enough to have fun with but is enough to have a couple of ‘quiet ones’ back at the hotel on the beach.
El Esteron in October (and, probably, Rainy Season per se) is over-priced. But the weather was good and the hotel was pleasantly quiet, relaxed, and devoid of people.
There are better places to go to for the money … but, if you particularly want a beach holiday in El Salvador, this should definitely be top of your list … as long as you are prepared to stay at La Tortuga Verde and eat all of your meals at Adela’s.
El Esteron is TOO quiet and TOO far away from required facilities … it has NOT made it into my Retirement REVIEWS.
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