That sounds about right. My advice is that if 500 is your budget then go for a DSLR bridge (fixed lens), and check that you can buy fixable accessories - you might want to get a macro lens to supplement your macro work.
I have a fuji finepix s9600, and can do everything you need + the macro lens if necessary. In fact this cam has 2 macro modes, 1cm and 10cm both work extremely well and certainly no colour loss.
A few days before a big trip, spend a couple of hours, read your digital camera's manual, and get outside (weather permitting, of course!) and practice every feature you can think of. Trust me, most people use a very small subset of their digital camera's capabilities. Your camera may have macro mode, letting you take beautiful pictures of flowers if you get your subject in the right focal range. It may have a landscape mode that brings clarity to a panorama of outdoor sights, but you have to know how to enable this feature. Perhaps your digital camera has a special portrait mode to enhance the subject and blur the background. If so, grab a couple of friends and take a few practice shots in your neighborhood.
Remember - you can always delete practice photos before you go out on a trip. But, while you are away from your friendly confines and a photo opportunity arises, it's hard to fully take advantage of digital camera features that you have not previously practiced!