Cheapest South American Countries to Visit

Cheapest south American countries to visit are those places you can visit with your little budget and still be very comfortable. Here we have explained all you need to know about this topic, keep reading to find out more.

Rio De Janeiro, Machu Picchu, Buenos Aires, Lake Titicaca, Rainbow Mountain—these magnificent, vibrant wonders of the world all grace South America. What’s more, they offer affordable experiences that will linger in your memory.

Read More: Cheapest Countries to Retire In

Now, let’s explore the most budget-friendly countries to explore in South America:


When it comes to color, Brazil knows no bounds. It’s a paradise of good weather and vibrant atmosphere. If you plan to visit, be aware that some travelers may need to secure a visa beforehand. But, don’t be deterred, as Brazil ranks among the most economical destinations in South America. With a weekly budget of just $1,500, you can explore, dine, stay, and enjoy all the attractions Brazil has to offer. Delicious meals are available for approximately $15 per day, and nightly hotel rates hover around $15-$20.

What to Do in Brazil:

    • Attend a thrilling football match.
    • Immerse yourself in the world’s largest carnival in Rio De Janeiro.
    • Explore the Amazon rainforest and witness its extraordinary biodiversity.


Bolivia is a breath of fresh air that should not be missed. While there are certain entry requirements, it’s South America’s most budget-friendly destination. Here, you can savor meals for as little as $3, transportation costs less than $1, and accommodations can be found for as low as $35 per night. Amazingly, you can enjoy all that Bolivia has to offer for just $294 per person per week.

What to Do in Bolivia:

    • Visit the stunning Laguna Colorada (Red Salt Lake).
    • Explore La Paz, the world’s highest city.
    • Experience the unique Palacio de Sal (Salt Palace).
    • Discover the Witches’ Market (El Mercado de las Brujas).
    • Marvel at pink dolphins in Bolivia’s waters.


Ecuador boasts charming Spanish colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, and a comfortable climate. The weather, ranging from 60-80°F, provides a perpetual springtime atmosphere. Meals here cost between $3 and $5, public transportation is less than a dollar, and you can find hotels for as low as $15 per night. Additionally, citizens of most countries can visit Ecuador without a visa, though having adequate travel medical insurance coverage is essential.

What to Do in Ecuador:

    • Explore Mount Chimborazo, a unique mountain with its own claim to fame.
    • Enjoy Ecuador’s four distinct climates, offering something for everyone.
    • Satisfy your fruit cravings with Ecuador’s abundant banana exports.


With its diverse flora and fauna, tropical climate, and active volcanoes, Nicaragua draws around 2 million visitors annually. Notably, it’s one of South America’s most affordable destinations, requiring only $315 per week. Meals cost less than $8, transportation is under $1, and accommodations range from $15 to $30 per night.

What to Do in Nicaragua:

    • Explore the numerous lakes and volcanoes, earning Nicaragua its nickname, “Land of Fire and Water.”
    • Take a dip in the Laguna de Apoyo, a volcanic crater lake.
    • Stargaze and witness the beauty of 86 out of 88 known star constellations.


In Guatemala, you can comfortably manage a week’s expenses with just $273. Hotels are available for around $13, meals can be enjoyed for less than $10, and public transportation costs less than $1.

What to Do in Guatemala:

  • Start your day with world-renowned Guatemalan coffee.
  • Explore the country aboard “chicken buses,” colorful and unique modes of transportation.
  • Visit the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal.
  • Savor local delights like tamales and empanadas.

These South American destinations offer not only incredible experiences but also budget-friendly options for travelers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I obtain a visa for visiting South American countries?

Obtaining a visa for South American countries varies depending on your nationality and the specific country you plan to visit. Many South American nations have visa-free or visa-on-arrival policies for tourists from various countries. However, it’s crucial to check the entry requirements well in advance of your trip. You can typically find this information on the official website of the respective country’s embassy or consulate. Additionally, you may consider consulting with a travel agency or reaching out to the embassy for guidance. Keep in mind that visa processing times and fees can also vary, so it’s advisable to plan your visa application well ahead of your intended travel date to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

What is the best time of year to visit South America?

The ideal time to visit South America depends on your destination and personal preferences. Generally, South America’s vast size and diverse landscapes mean that different regions have distinct climate patterns. For example, the Southern Hemisphere’s summer (December to February) is an excellent time for exploring destinations like Argentina and Chile. On the other hand, the Amazon rainforest and parts of Brazil are best visited during the dry season (June to September) to avoid heavy rains and flooding. Before planning your trip, research the specific weather patterns and seasons for your chosen destination to maximize your experience and avoid unfavorable conditions.

Is it safe to travel in South America?

South America, like any other travel destination, has a range of safety considerations that vary by country and region. While many areas are perfectly safe for tourists, others may pose certain risks. It’s essential to stay informed about the safety situation in the country you plan to visit by checking government travel advisories and consulting travel forums and blogs for up-to-date information and traveler experiences. To enhance safety, consider common travel precautions such as avoiding risky areas at night, securing your belongings, and being cautious with personal information. Additionally, it’s wise to have travel insurance that covers potential emergencies or unexpected events. Overall, with proper research and vigilance, you can enjoy a safe and enriching journey throughout South America.


South America offers a captivating blend of natural wonders, rich cultures, and diverse experiences for travelers. From the colorful landscapes of Brazil to the ancient ruins of Bolivia, the architectural marvels of Ecuador, the biodiversity of Nicaragua, and the cultural heritage of Guatemala, this continent has something to offer every adventurer. While navigating visa requirements and safety considerations is essential, the affordability and uniqueness of South American destinations make it an attractive choice for budget-conscious explorers. By planning well, respecting local customs, and staying informed, travelers can embark on memorable journeys that showcase the beauty and hospitality of this remarkable region.

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