South America

The Best Budget-Friendly Destinations in South America

Looking to explore South America on a budget? You’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of the best wallet-friendly destinations just for you.

From the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru to the vibrant streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, there’s something for everyone.

So pack your bags and get ready to experience the rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality that these affordable South American gems have to offer.

Don’t miss out on the adventure of a lifetime!

Key Takeaways

  • Machu Picchu, Peru: Affordable hiking options with various trails to choose from, like the Inca Trail or Salkantay Trek.
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina: Plenty of affordable attractions and activities, budget-friendly accommodation options, and affordable transportation options.
  • Cartagena, Colombia: Budget-friendly beaches with crystal-clear waters, numerous cultural festivals, and immersion in local traditions and celebrations.
  • La Paz, Bolivia: Unique charm with bustling markets, vibrant street culture, cultural festivals, and a sense of belonging.

Machu Picchu, Peru

[bulkimporter_image id=’2′]

If you’re looking for an incredible historical site to visit, Machu Picchu in Peru is a must-see destination. You’ll be amazed by the ancient ruins and the breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains.

One of the best things about Machu Picchu is that there are affordable hiking options available for those on a budget. You can choose from various trails, like the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek, which offer stunning scenery and a chance to immerse yourself in nature.

As for transportation costs, you can save money by taking a bus or train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the town near Machu Picchu. From there, you can opt to hike or take a shuttle bus up to the site itself.

Don’t miss out on this amazing experience!

Buenos Aires, Argentina

[bulkimporter_image id=’3′]

Planning a trip to Buenos Aires? You’ll be happy to know that the city offers plenty of affordable attractions and activities for budget-conscious travelers.

From exploring historic neighborhoods like San Telmo and La Boca to visiting museums and parks, there’s something for everyone without breaking the bank.

Additionally, when it comes to accommodation, Buenos Aires has a range of budget-friendly options including hostels, guesthouses, and affordable hotels, allowing you to save money while still enjoying a comfortable stay.

Affordable Attractions and Activities

There’s plenty of affordable attractions and activities to enjoy in South America. When it comes to exploring this vibrant continent on a budget, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the cheap transportation options available. From local buses to shared taxis, getting around won’t break the bank.

And if you’re looking for some retail therapy without hurting your wallet, South America has numerous budget-friendly shopping spots where you can find unique souvenirs and local crafts at bargain prices. Whether you’re wandering through colorful markets in Peru or browsing through bustling flea markets in Brazil, there’s something for everyone.

Budget-Friendly Accommodation Options

When you’re on a tight budget, consider staying in affordable accommodations like hostels or guesthouses. These budget-friendly options provide a comfortable and sociable atmosphere, perfect for travelers who desire belonging and want to meet fellow backpackers from around the world. In South America, there are plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options that won’t break the bank. From vibrant cities to stunning natural landscapes, here are some destinations where you can find cheap vacation rentals and budget friendly hostels:

Destination Budget Friendly Hostels Cheap Vacation Rentals
Buenos Aires La Casa Roja Airbnb
Lima Pariwana HomeAway
Rio de Janeiro El Misti Hostel
Cusco Loki Cusco VRBO
Cartagena Media Luna Hostel FlipKey

No matter which destination you choose, these affordable accommodations will ensure that your stay is enjoyable without breaking the bank. So pack your bags and get ready for an amazing adventure in South America while staying within your budget!

Cartagena, Colombia

[bulkimporter_image id=’4′]

Located on the northern coast of Colombia, Cartagena offers you a vibrant mix of history, culture, and stunning beaches. If you’re looking for budget-friendly beaches, this is the place to be. With its crystal-clear waters and soft sandy shores, you can relax and soak up the sun without breaking the bank.

But it’s not just about the beaches here; Cartagena also hosts numerous cultural festivals throughout the year. From the colorful Carnival de Barranquilla to the lively Hay Festival, there’s always something happening that will make you feel like you belong. Immerse yourself in the local traditions and celebrations, dance to infectious rhythms, and indulge in delicious street food.

In Cartagena, you’ll find a sense of belonging as you explore its budget-friendly beaches and immerse yourself in its vibrant cultural festivals.

La Paz, Bolivia

[bulkimporter_image id=’5′]

Experience the unique charm of La Paz as you navigate through its bustling markets and immerse yourself in its vibrant street culture.

As you wander through the local markets, you’ll be seduced by the colors, aromas, and flavors that fill the air. The Mercado de las Brujas, or Witches’ Market, is a must-visit where you can find traditional herbs, potions, and mystical artifacts.

If you’re lucky enough to visit during one of the cultural festivals like Alasita or Gran Poder, you’ll witness the city come alive with music, dance, and elaborate parades. These events showcase the rich cultural heritage of La Paz and provide a sense of belonging for both locals and visitors alike.

Cusco, Peru

[bulkimporter_image id=’6′]

Immerse yourself in the rich history and ancient ruins of Cusco as you explore its fascinating Inca heritage. Cusco, Peru offers a plethora of budget-friendly hiking options for the adventurous traveler. Whether you choose to hike the famous Inca Trail or explore the lesser-known Salkantay Trek, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains and stunning landscapes along the way.

But it’s not just about outdoor activities in Cusco. The city also hosts a variety of cultural festivals and events throughout the year. From Inti Raymi, a vibrant celebration of the sun god, to Corpus Christi, where colorful processions fill the streets with music and dance, there’s always something happening that will make you feel like part of this vibrant community.

Valparaiso, Chile

[bulkimporter_image id=’7′]

When it comes to exploring Valparaiso, Chile on a budget, you’ll be delighted to discover the abundance of affordable attractions and activities. From taking colorful street art tours to riding funiculars up the hills for panoramic views, there’s plenty to see and do without breaking the bank.

Additionally, you’ll find many budget-friendly accommodation options in this vibrant city, ranging from cozy guesthouses to backpacker hostels that provide comfort without straining your wallet.

And don’t forget about indulging in the local cuisine on a budget – with numerous street food stalls and local markets offering delicious empanadas and fresh seafood at affordable prices, you can savor the flavors of Valparaiso without overspending.

Affordable Attractions and Activities

You’ll find plenty of affordable attractions and activities in South America. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant streets of Buenos Aires or hiking through the breathtaking landscapes of Machu Picchu, there are countless budget-friendly options to choose from.

Here are three suggestions to make the most of your trip without breaking the bank:

  1. Take advantage of budget-friendly transportation options: From local buses to shared taxis, South America offers a range of affordable ways to get around. Opting for public transportation not only saves money but also allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture.

  2. Tips for saving money on souvenirs: Instead of splurging on expensive souvenirs, consider shopping at local markets or street stalls where you can find unique handmade crafts at more reasonable prices. Don’t be afraid to haggle – it’s a common practice in many South American countries.

  3. Explore free or low-cost attractions: Many cities in South America have stunning parks, plazas, and museums that offer free admission or have minimal entrance fees. Research and plan your itinerary accordingly to include these affordable attractions.

Budget-Friendly Accommodation Options

Now that you’ve discovered all the amazing and affordable attractions and activities South America has to offer, it’s time to talk about finding budget-friendly accommodation options.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of alternatives to expensive hotels that will make you feel right at home in this vibrant continent.

One tip for finding cheap accommodation is to consider staying in hostels. These communal spaces not only provide a comfortable bed but also give you the opportunity to meet other like-minded travelers.

Another option is guesthouses or homestays, where locals open up their homes to tourists, offering a unique cultural experience at a fraction of the cost.

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try camping? Many national parks and natural reserves in South America have designated campgrounds where you can pitch your tent surrounded by breathtaking landscapes.

Remember to book in advance and compare prices online using websites like Airbnb or

With these tips, you’ll be able to find affordable accommodation options that suit your budget while still providing a sense of belonging during your South American adventure.

Local Cuisine on a Budget

Looking to explore the local cuisine without breaking the bank? Check out street food vendors and local markets for delicious and affordable options. South America is known for its vibrant food culture, and indulging in the local street food is a great way to experience it firsthand.

Here are three must-try cheap eats that will satisfy your taste buds and leave you wanting more:

  1. Arepas: These tasty cornmeal pockets filled with various fillings like cheese, meat, or beans are a staple in many South American countries. They are incredibly flavorful and can be found at street stalls throughout the region.

  2. Empanadas: These savory pastries filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables are a popular snack in South America. You can find them at local markets or from vendors selling them hot off the grill.

  3. Ceviche: If you’re a fan of seafood, don’t miss out on trying ceviche – a refreshing dish made from raw fish marinated in citrus juices and mixed with onions, cilantro, and other seasonings. It’s light, flavorful, and perfect for those warm South American days.

Quito, Ecuador

[bulkimporter_image id=’8′]

If you’re planning a trip to South America, don’t miss out on visiting Quito, Ecuador. This vibrant city has so much to offer budget-conscious travelers like yourself. Not only does it have stunning architecture and breathtaking landscapes, but it also boasts an array of budget-friendly transportation options that will allow you to explore every corner of the city without breaking the bank.

To give you a glimpse into the cultural richness of Quito, here’s a table showcasing some of its most popular festivals:

Festival Date
Fiesta de la Luz August
Fiestas de Quito November
Semana Santa March/April
Inti Raymi June

Salvador, Brazil

[bulkimporter_image id=’9′]

When you visit Salvador, Brazil, be sure to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and rich history of this captivating city.

Salvador is known for its stunning beaches where you can soak up the sun and relax to the sound of the waves crashing against the shore.

The city is also famous for its cultural festivals, such as Carnival, which showcases colorful parades and lively music that will make you feel like a part of something special.

To fully experience Salvador’s unique culture, make sure to explore Pelourinho, the historic district filled with beautiful colonial architecture and charming cobblestone streets.

Don’t forget to try some traditional Bahian cuisine, like acarajé or moqueca de camarão, to truly indulge in the local flavors.

In Salvador, there is a sense of belonging that will make you feel at home from the moment you arrive.


So there you have it, the best budget-friendly destinations in South America.

From the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru to the vibrant city of Buenos Aires in Argentina, there is something for everyone.

Whether you are exploring the colorful streets of Cartagena in Colombia or immersing yourself in the rich culture of La Paz in Bolivia, these destinations offer incredible experiences without breaking the bank.

So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in South America!

Related Articles

Back to top button