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¡Buen Viaje! Great Cheap Countries to Visit in Central & South America

Written by Chris Osburn

This blog post was updated on September 5, 2022.

Ever imagine what it’d be like to travel the globe without spending a large chunk of money? Well, you can! Some of the most beautiful countries in the world in both South and Central America are—believe it or not—really inexpensive to travel through! Here’s a list of countries in Central and South America for you to venture to without completely emptying your bank account. And if you start out with some cheap flights to get you there, well, all the better! 


Tango in Argentina

Average daily spend: US$75-$85

Tango your way down to Argentina for the best of Latin life. Whether you’re there to engage in the elegant bustle of Buenos Aires, to “go gaucho” and ride the range out on the pampas, or take in the panoramas of Patagonia, there’s something for everyone in Argentina. Be sure to try the world famous wine, superb steaks, and uplifting yerba mate during your visit. Even if you’re on a budget, you’ll find a silver lining with low prices for top quality in Argentina.


Snorkeling in Belize

Average daily spend: US$70-$80

Believe it or not, this tiny Central American country offers big value for cost-conscious travelers. Discover Mayan ruins, dive into crystal clear Caribbean waters, and get up close with amazing rainforest wildlife – all on the cheap!


On the salt flats in Bolovia

Average daily spend: US$25-$35

For an affordable Andean adventure, your best bet is Bolivia. Lake Titicaca, the Uyuni Saline salt plans, and the vibrant capital of La Paz are a few of the most lauded reasons to visit this friendly mountainous nation.


Soccer on the beach in Brazil

Average daily spend: US$65-$75

Big beats, big cities, big beaches, big rivers, big flavors, and big fun! Yes, indeed, it’s hard to beat Brazil as a brilliant choice for anyone seeking a sensational experience while also saving money.


Taking in the view in Colombia

Average daily spend: US$65-$75

Remember that one phenomenally flavorsome cup of coffee or that extremely delicious piece of artisan chocolate you had that one time? There’s a good chance that the main ingredients of both came from Colombia. A moderately high altitude garden of Eden, this equatorial wonderland offers loads of tasty temptations to lure travelers in search of excitement at modest expense. Colombia cities are among the most modern and welcoming in South America. Its beaches and beach resorts—on both its Pacific and Caribbean coasts—are some of the most beautiful across the Americas.


Jungle expedition in Ecuador

Average daily spend: US$40-$50

Impeccably preserved colonial architecture, pristine Pacific beaches, Amazonian headwaters, and awe-inspiring volcanoes are just some of the excuses to plan an excursion to Ecuador. And if you really want to go all out while you’re there, be sure to include a tour of the Galapagos Islands, about 600 miles off the coast.


Traditional celebrations in Guatemala

Average daily spend: US$40-$50

One of the Americas’ most beautiful countries is also one of the cheapest to visit. Whether it’s the indigenous culture and cuisine, the rugged and varied landscape, the Mayan ruins, or a beach break on your choice of the Caribbean or Pacific coast, you’ll get more bang for your buck in Guatemala than almost anywhere else in the world.


Volcano view in Nicaragua

Average daily spend: US$35-$45

Enjoy epic hikes up active volcanoes, go island hopping on a surfing safari, and experience rainforest canopy adventures while indulging in scrumptious street food and award-winning rums, all while reveling in the knowledge that you’re stretching your dollars to the max. For an inexpensive back-to-nature break, you need to go to Nicaragua.


Selfie at Machu Picchu

Average daily spend: US$90-$100

Peru may be Latin America’s premiere place to visit. With the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, the Nazca Lines, massive mountains, untouched rainforests, a long stretch of Pacific coast, and one of the world’s most adored cuisines, it’s no wonder this nation full of wonders would feature high on anyone’s bucket list.


Colonial streetsign in Uruguay

Average daily spend: US$75-$85

Southbound sojourners on a shoestring budget should put Uruguay high on their agenda. In some ways, the best aspects of this underappreciated Atlantic coast nation mirror those of neighboring Argentina: scrumptious wines, magnificent meat, and old world charm – just at even lower prices. The sandy beaches of Punta del Este offer a haven full of resorts and seaside attractions.

Heard enough? Ready to fire up your browser and start looking for some last-minute deals to these wondrous southern nations? We thought so.

Got more tips on doing Central and South America without going broke? We would love for you to share your insight in the comments section below.

About the author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, and curator and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world and has called London home since 2001.

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