El Tunco – El Salvador – GRANDPAcking Costs

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OCTOBER 2017:

OVERVIEW:

This post contains a detailed breakdown of costs for 2 GRANDPAckers holidaying in El Tunco, El Salvador to GRANDPAcking standard.El Tunco Location Map

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

CROSS REFERENCES:

For more detail, read El Tunco – El Salvador – Information.El Tunco Town Map

Click here to read about Retirement Locations in this country.

Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.


SPREADSHEET SUMMARY:

El Tunco GRANDPAcking Costs


MY ACTUAL 1 PERSON GRANDPAcking COSTS:

I lived in El Tunco to GRANDPAcking standard – ish.

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.


Accommodation:

My accommodation at La Sombra Hostel met ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’.El Tunco - La Sombra - Grounds

It was a Double Room with Fan and cold water ensuite on the first floor with an hammock on a balcony over-looking the dipping pool and grounds.El Tunco - La Sombra - Balcony El Tunco - La Sombra - Pool El Tunco - La Sombra - Room Entry El Tunco - La Sombra - Storage El Tunco - La Sombra - Vanity El Tunco - La Sombra - Shower

I ‘walked in off the street’ and negotiated them down from US$18 / night to US$13 / night for single occupancy and a 1 week stay paid in cash in advance.El Tunco - La Sombra - Common Area

There was a Common Area with shared fridge(s), cooking facilities, free coffee, and free water.El Tunco - 8 - Track to La Sombra

It was a 50 meter walk down a lane to the seafront … and an easy 100 meter walk to the Main Street.


Transport:

You can walk everywhere. You don’t need any transport.El Tunco - 9 - Main Road

You can walk a 200 meters to the highway to catch Public Transport to the surrounding towns.El Tunco - Bus 102A Stop

A one-way ticket to La Libertad is 0.25c. To El Zonte, a little bit more.


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.El Tunco - 22 - Waterfront Bar

I topped it up in Santa Ana and arrived in El Tunco with a new 2-week 1.5GB Internet Plan.

Internet in El Tunco is very ‘variable’ and I got through my data quickly. I topped it up with another US$5.25 whilst in El Tunco … and bought another Internet Plan.


Food & Drink:

I averaged US$10.40 / day on food but I ate very ‘frugally’.

I ate Breakfast in the cheapest local cafes. To keep costs down, I took free coffee with me from the La Sombra (otherwise, I would have been paying another 0.75c per cup). It was, usually, US$3.00 for a Desayuno Traditionale. I only averaged US$2.80 because I skipped breakfast on the morning that I left.El Tunco - Typical Breakfast US$3

I don’t really eat Lunch anymore. A good Breakfast keeps me going until Dinner time. But, I spent an average of US$0.10c … I had a 60c Pupusa one day.

I averaged US$7.60 on Dinner. This ranged from a US$5 Fried Chicken Meal (US$3) with beer (US$2) at a local cafe to a $10 Macaroni Cheese (US$7) with beer (US$3) in a hotel restaurant.El Tunco - Street Cafe - Fried Chicken US$3 El Tunco - Mopelia - Macaroni Cheese US$7

Water was provided free of charge by my hotel.


Summary:

My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was NZ$31 / US$21 / €19 / £17.


MY COST OF LIVING (COL):

My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were NZ$49 / US$33 / €29 / £26. This was enough to LIVE on.


Getting There:

I travelled from Santa Ana …Santa Ana - Bus 201

via San Salvador …San Salvador - Bus Terminal Occidente

to El Tunco by Chicken Bus(ses) at a total cost of US$2.80.San Salvador Bus 102A


Drink / Partying:

There wasn’t much ‘partying’ to be had in El Tunco in October … the place was very quiet and most bars were empty.

I was happy to grab a US$2 (750ml) bottle of beer … some local cafes ‘double up’ as stores … so you pay store prices.

Otherwise, I might stop for a US$1 (300ml) beer in an Happy Hour bar.

I went out on Saturday night to see what the town had to offer. This was my biggest night listening to a live Heavy Jazz band down at the La Guitarria … but, even then, they had a special on all night with 2x Rum & Coke (Cuba Libra) for US$5.El Tunco - La Guittarra - La Guitarra El Tunco - La Guittarra - Band

I spent an average of US$5.60 per night on drinks … but, this included US$10 for 4x 300ml beers on the waterfront whilst watching Real Madrid vs Tottenham Hotspurs 🙂

I spent nearly US$20 on my Saturday Party Night :-).


Personal:

None.


Entertainment / Trips:

None.


Shopping:

None.


Other / Gifts:

None.


Summary:

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at NZ$43 / US$29 / €26 / £23 per day. This was 54% of my total budget … I had 46% left to play with.

I couldn’t find anything of interest to spend my money on.


WHAT IT SHOULD COST 2 GRANDPAckers:

As usual, costs are broken down into:

  • Cost Of Existence
  • Cost Of Living

COST OF EXISTENCE (COE):

Accommodation:

If you read my El Tunco – 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 Sombra Hostel site (above) and book 2 nights there at their standard rate of US$18 / night. If you like the La Sombra, you can extend your stay and, probably, get a discount on that rate … however, I have kept the budget at US$18 because you may be able to find a nicer place at that rate when booking 4 more weeks.


Transport:

I have included a budget to take a weekly trip to a local town on Public Transport.


Communications:

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 will need your own wifi – even in your hotel.


Food:

I have budgeted for you to eat Breakfast & Lunch in a cheap local cafe, and something from the ‘lower quartile’ of the Dinner menu in a budget restaurant. This budget is for a ‘balanced’ diet … you are not expected to live on tortillas every day. Don’t expect to eat anywhere ‘fancy’.

Tips are included in those prices.

Expect to pay an average of US$4.00 each for a Breakfast with a coffee.

Expect to pay an average of US$5.00 each for a Lunch with a fruit drink (like a Lemon Water).

Expect to pay an average of US$6.50 each for a Dinner with a fruit juice / beer.


Summary:

The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about NZ$71 / US$48 / €43 / £39 per day.


COST OF LIVING (CoL):

This leaves you NZ$9 / US$6 / €5 / £5 per day to LIVE on. This is 11% of your daily budget.

This is not enough to have fun with.


CONCLUSION:

El Tunco in October (and, probably, Rainy Season per se) is over-priced and soulless.

To get the best out of the place, come between November and May.

There are better places to go to and better places to see.


RETIREMENT:

El Tunco has NOT made it into my Retirement REVIEWS.


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