The Price of Gas and the Exchange Rate in Iquitos Peru
This series of posts should help answer some of the questions I get asked all the time. What is the exchange rate? How much for a gallon of gas in Iquitos, Peru? How much does it cost to outfit a major Amazon expedition? How long does it take to get organized? How do you know how much pure water to stock? How much food? How much does your insurance cost? How much would it cost to build a boat like Dawn on the Amazon?
This post is about the price of gas and the exchange rate. On October 18th 2007, the exchange rate for one United States dollar was S/2.98 soles. Eight years ago I would never have predicted the exchange rate would fall below three soles for a dollar. I prefer not to speculate about what that says about the United States economy, but I know it is not good for my personal economy.
We are organizing a six day expedition up the Nanay River into Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve.
For part of our preparation we purchased 215 gallons of diesel fuel priced at S/8.20 per gallon ($2.75 per gallon) which equals S/1763 ($592).
We also purchased 90 gallons of 90 octane gasoline priced at S/10.32 per gallon ($3.46 per gallon) which equals S/9,288 ($312).
We purchased 3 ten-kilo tanks of propane gas for cooking priced at S/33 per tank ($11.07 per tank) which equals S/99 ($33).
S/1,763 ($592) + S/9,288 ($312) + S/99 ($33) = S/11084 ($937), total price of fuel.
This is not the total cost to take on petroleum products for this expedition. We changed the oil in three motors, hired moto-kars to take us back and forth after gas and oil and filters, filed a form called a zarpe with the Captain of the Port, bought my crew breakfast for starting work early to get the diesel fuel, and other miscellaneous nickel and dime costs. For the purpose of this blog we can round it off to $1000.
If the expedition was to the Triple Frontier or the Pacaya River entrance to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve the expedition would travel three times as far and would cost approximately three times as much, so the cost for petroleum products alone would be more than $3,000.
There you have it; the purchasing power of the dollar is falling while the price of fuel is rising. I have been asked by several people if Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises will raise the prices in 2008 to reflect the low exchange rate and the higher price of gas? The answer is no, my prices will remain the same for 2008. The reason is Dawn on the Amazon has great reviews in the Lonely Planet Travel Guide, the Moon Travel Guide, Iquitos, Gateway to Amazonia, and others, as well as various places on the internet quoting today’s prices.
In future posts we will examine the costs of food, labor, insurance, taxes, fees to access the reserves, the help we provide the native villages, and the permits necessary to operate a boat on the Amazon River in Peru. Another question that I am asked over and over is how much would it cost to build a boat like Dawn on the Amazon?
I hope you will check back here as I attempt to answer those questions, and tell stories about what we see and do operating out of Iquitos Peru.