We did it! The first country where we came in under budget. We were (spending money) in Chile for 8 days even though a couple were half days Here is a breakdown:
Where we DID save money? The most obvious answer on what made Chile different than the other two countries we previously visited was that we weren’t paying to see a major landmark or taking expensive tours. The other thing that helped us save money (much to Caitlin’s displeasure) was that we were staying outside of town in San Pedro de Atacama. Although this is a small desert town, they realize they have you captive and the prices reflect that. So if we would have been staying directly in the city, it would have been pricier. In Santiago we also took advantage of there being grocery stores around us and got some meats and breads to snack on for breakfasts and lunches.
I also think that just under $300 for 7 nights in private rooms is a major win and something we should appreciate now because that will most likely be changing in the near future.
Where COULD we have saved some money? I was slow on the trigger to book the original stargazing tour so settled for the only other one I could find. That ran us about $80 USD. Considering our budget, that may have been a bit of a stretch for a 2 1/2 hour activity. Other than that, I think we did a pretty good job of spending in Chile.
Summary - As I said above, San Pedro is a bit pricier just because it’s are a tourist destination so try looking for accommodation well beforehand. Santiago is like any big city. There are pricey options for everything but there are also less expensive ones if you search hard enough.