Behind the Scenes of a RTW Trip – Month 11 Travel Review

Posted By Jeremy in South America

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Riding our Llama in the Uyuni Salt FlatsOne month left until we hit the milestone of traveling for a year!  We keep getting blown away every time we publish one of these posts as we realize just how long we’ve been traveling for.  So now it is time for our Month 11 review!

As with our last report, each month we feature a travel review of the highlights, lowlights, and spending we had during the course of our adventure.  These are provided as a snapshot of what our RTW trip is like for your reference, although we know that every trip is different.   


Gorgeous Isla del Sol, Bolivia

During our eleventh month of travel we finished exploration of Argentina and Chile and spent the remaining time in Bolivia!  During month eleven we visited Salta, Argentina; San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, and spent three weeks in Bolivia (Uyuni Salt flats, Uyuni town, Potosi, Sucre, Cochabamba, La Paz, and Copacabana).   As we also spent just two more days in Bolivia at the beginning of Month 12 at Isla del Sol, we’re including that destination in this post as well to finish our Bolivia summary!

Our total out-of-pocket spending for the month was about $3,162, or just over $100/day.  This was right on target as we hoped Bolivia was as affordable as everyone says it is, and it was.  Hooray!  We took the opportunity to splurge a bit while staying in nice hotels and enjoying nice meals for very little spending.  In fact, about 15% of our spending in Bolivia was just to pay for that $135 visa Americans have to buy which is quite unfortunate if you ask us.  As we also spent a few days in Chile and Argentina during this month, our average spending was only slightly higher at around $110/day.

Stunning Copacabana, Bolivia

This spending includes the following breakdown on a per day average for the two of us combined (in USD).  The following figures are for Bolivia only as our published numbers in last month’s report are roughly the same when factoring in our last cities in each country.  Although we had a few extra days in Bolivia in Month 12, since we were a bit delayed in publishing this post the following averages include that spending as well:

Accommodation Food Transportation Sight Seeing Souvenirs Misc. Purchases
Bolivia $33.70 $27.54 $13.64 $6.57 $3.20 $14.89*

Our Misc. Purchases include $270 for visas that US citizens must buy upon entry into Bolivia ($135 each, good for five years).  Without this our spending would have been cheaper by $12/day.

As always, our full spending log is available from our menu under “Plan Your Trip.”

RTW Tally Snapshot

We had fruit shakes at the Sucre Market every day.  Love it!

Well, this was certainly one very dull month for the tally.  Our spending was very low (with a fourth being pre-purchases for future travel), we covered everything overland, had no bad weather, and only two days of being sick!

Apart from the days being sick, you really couldn’t ask for a better month of travel than this last one.

Days Traveling: 335 (+30)
Countries Visited: 31 (+1)
Dollars Spent (USD): $62,690 (+$4,687)   Many pre-purchases for upcoming months.
Pictures Taken (Jeremy):  23,727 (+1,754)
Miles Traveled: 45,834 (+1,717)
Planes: 22; Trains: 43
Vehicles: 60; Ferries: 2
Days of Rain: 7 (+0)
Sick Days: 11.5 (+2)
Itinerary Changes: 4 (+0)
Arguments: 9 (+1)
Days Apart: 4 (+0.5)
Nights in a Dorm Bed: 39 (+5)
Combined Books Read: 43 (+5)
Bottles of Wine: 48 (+1)

Random Thoughts

A performance at the scenic overlook in La Paz

As with the last RTW trip covered on this site, these monthly updates are a great place to put in the little random details that we found interesting in the countries we visited that may not find their way into a full blog post.  The following are some of our favorites from the countries we visited in Month 11:

  • San Pedro de Atacama is an amazing destination to explore.  It is the driest desert in the world and also has some of the clearest skies for star gazing.  There are so many activities to do here you could easily stay for a week and many travelers do.
  • About that star gazing.  Our hostel told us the wrong time for the show and we missed almost half of it.  Luckily we voiced our concerned after they gave us 66% of our money back and admitted their mistake.  That doesn’t happen very often!
  • The Uyuni Salt Flats are much larger than we ever expected, making it truly one of the top highlights from our stay in Bolivia.
  • Angie survived the journey into the silver mine at Potosi by herself because I was not feeling well and had to skip it.
  • Sucre is by far our favorite city in South America.  We’re considering going back there at the end of this trip to stay for a few months and learn Spanish.  Expect a lot of posts on this one soon.
  • So far we have not had any bus issues in Bolivia, which is surprising considering what bad reviews they get.  Try and book with Bolivar (they have cama class!) as they are frequently rated the best and are only a few dollars more expensive.
  • Cochabamba is not worth spending a lot of time in, so we’d recommend going somewhere else.  You would also avoid the bumpy night bus from Sucre (which was not as bad as we expected, however).
  • Copacabana and Isla del Sol are two stunning places that make you wonder if you are still in the same country.  With Lake views everywhere, gorgeous sunsets, and delicious trout (trucha) you can’t go wrong here.

Bolivia Posts

Church at Potosi, Bolivia

Since each month is limited on the number of days, we cannot write our posts fast enough to fit them all in!  But don’t worry, we’ve got ideas for a lot of great posts for after this trip ends (if it ever does).  The following are a selection of some we’ve published!

Exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia
Lake Titicaca – 5 of the Best Things to do on the Bolivian Side
Bolivia Tourism – Surviving a Trip into the Mines of Potosi
Cal Orcko – Getting Up Close and Personal with Dinosaur Footprints
Bolivian Salt Flats – How to Take the Best Perspective Photos
…and more!

So where will Month 12 take us?
  To round out our first year (yay!) we will be spending nearly the whole month exploring the Inca ruins and relaxing on the beaches of Peru!

Is there something you’d like us to cover in our monthly reviews? Or perhaps something you’d like to see more or less of in our posts? Comment below to let us know and we’d be happy to feature it!

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