The cheapest country to visit en Latin America

south america map to find the cheapest destination in latin america

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Latin America has an infinite number of places and cultures to discover. In general, it is an area where it is quite cheap to travel, although everything will depend on how much you want to spend and the currency of your country of origin.

In this post, we are going to tell you which is the cheapest destination in Latin America.

Preliminary tips before choosing the cheapest destination in Latin America

In general, as we have already told you, traveling to these countries is really affordable. The prices of food and basic things are quite cheap.

What tends to encumber the trip are the extras that we want to add. Off-the-beaten-path activities will usually be the most expensive part of your trip.

And if you plan to visit each of these places, but you want it to be cheap, the best thing you can do is to seek cheap accommodations, without spending too much on hotels, meals or other extra activities that will increase the price of your trip.

Below we break down each country, so you can compare the possibilities and decide which country to visit first. Because we’re telling you, you’re going to want to visit them all!

Bolivia

Daily menu Half liter of beer Espresso coffee One-way ticket by public transport Average lodging Average week
Price 20 BOB ($2,90) 14 BOB ($2,10) 12 BOB ($1,70) 2 BOB ($0,29) 330 BOB ($50) 898 BOB ($130)

We start our analysis with Bolivia. In this country you can’t miss the Uyuni Salt Flat tour, nor the visit to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world.

boy jumping in uyuni salt flats

Undoubtedly, traveling to this country is synonymous with nature, Amazon jungle, and deep-rooted customs. In addition, it is one of the countries with highest percentage of indigenous people today.

If we go to the most common expenses, eating a menu of the day in this country, is around 20 BOB ($2,90). In the typical food markets of both La Paz and Sucre, you will be able to enjoy its most native gastronomy.

If you decide to have a coffee in any of its restaurants or bars, it will be around 12 BOB ($1,70), while half a liter of beer will cost 14 BOB ($2,10). As you can see, it’s almost more expensive to drink than to eat, so don’t miss the chance to gorge yourself on local food.

As for the accommodation, everything will also depend on the level of comfort you choose. Still, an average stay, on the cheap side, can cost you around 330 BOB ($50) per night. Not to mention a hostel, where for 101 BOB ($14,6) on average, you will be able to spend the night.

views from copacabana city in bolivia

If we talk about transportation, it is also quite economical. A one-way ticket on public transport costs an average of 2 BOB ($0,29).

In this case, an economy style trip, with hostels and few luxuries, can cost around 898 BOB (107 €) per week, depending on the excursions you want to do.

Ecuador

Daily menu Half liter of beer Espresso coffee One-way ticket on public transportation Average lodging Average week
Price $3 (€2.48) $1.30 (€1.10) $1.30 (€1.10) $0.30 (€0.25) $54 (€44) $142 (€117)

The gastronomy in Ecuador is a real luxury for any visitor. And more, considering the price for eating here.

Compared to Bolivia, the cost of a cheap daily menu is practically the same price. For about $3 (2,48€) you can enjoy the best dishes in Ecuador.

ecuadorian ceviche dish

Having a coffee and half a liter of beer in this country will cost you the same, an average of $1,30 (1,10 €). Here we can no longer recommend anything, although we are clear about what we would opt for…

The costs of your trip to Ecuador will not vary too much with respect to Bolivia. The accommodation is at an average price of $54 (44 €), while the average price of a one-way public transport ticket is about $0.30 (0.25 €).

Summarizing a little, a week of travel in the purest style trying to spend the least for Ecuador, would be around $142 (117 €). Not bad if you want to combine your vacation with the Galapagos Islands tour.

boy diving in galapagos islands

Peru, the home of the Incas, is one of the cheapest destinations in Latin America.

Daily menu Half liter of beer Espresso coffee One-way ticket on public transportation Average lodging Average week
Price 10.00 PEN ($2,70) 7.00 PEN ($1,90) 5.70 PEN ($1,6) 1.50 PEN ($0,41) 167 PEN ($55) 581 PEN ($158)

Peru is one of the main tourist destinations for adventure lovers. Its main destination is undoubtedly the Machu Picchu tour. Even so, there are countless places to see in Peru, with which you are going to enjoy.

man jumping in machu picchu with views to huayna picchu in one of the cheapest destinations Latin America

If you are thinking of traveling to this country, we can already tell you that it is also one of the cheapest destinations in Latin America.

With ceviche as the star dish, the Peruvian gastronomy is full of finger-licking dishes (although at this time of the year it is the least suitable…).

And it is even more appetizing if you compare prices with other countries. In Peru, the average price of a daily menu is around 10.00 PEN ($2,70), being somewhat more affordable than Bolivia and Ecuador in this regard.

If you’re left wanting more, this menu can be accompanied by a beer for 7.00 PEN ($1,90) and a coffee for 5.70 PEN ($1,6).

As for transportation, the average one-way ticket is somewhat more expensive than the previous two countries, about 1.50 PEN ($0,41).

Accommodation will also vary depending on our preferences. About 167 PEN ($55) on average costs a stay in a hotel in this country, although like everything else, you can always find cheaper depending on the area in which you stay.

Most tours depart from Cusco, since in this area of the Sacred Valley are the main tourist attractions of the country. That is why, perhaps the prices are somewhat higher in this area, as happens in any tourist area of any country.

peru one of the cheapest destination in latin america

To summarize, a one-week trip in the purest Howlanders style could cost you around 581 PEN ($158), to which you would have to add the activities you do.

Chile

Daily menu Half liter of beer Espresso coffee One-way ticket by public transportation Average lodging Average week
Price 5,000 CLP ($6,90) 2,500 CLP ($3,50) 1,200 CLP ($1,70) 750 CLP ($1,00) 59,500 CLP ($83) 131,000 CLP ($185)

Chile is the trekking capital. The W Trek Circuit or the Torres del Paine O Circuit, are the preferred destinations for those adventurers in search of the best treks in South America.

group difficulty torres del paine

As for their prices, they are somewhat higher compared to those we had seen so far. The gastronomy of Chile is not as well known worldwide as some of its neighboring countries, although when you try its dishes in the country itself, it has nothing to envy.

Here, the average price of a daily menu is around 5,000 CLP ($6,90). As you can see, it is already somewhat more expensive than some of its neighbors, although living the Torres del Paine experience, it is well worth it.

In the case of wanting to have a beer or coffee at a restaurant or bar, the average cost is 2,500 CLP ($3,50) and 1,200 CLP ($1,70), respectively, and if you are going to use public transport to get around Chile, the average price of a one-way ticket is 750 CLP ($1,00).

The accommodation is also more expensive than the countries previously analyzed. Here, the average price of a hotel is at 59,500 CLP ($83), although you know that prices will depend on the comfort you are looking for.

In total, a week with a backpacker travel style, can cost you about 131,000 CLP (152 €). Although it is like everything else, this will increase depending on the extra expenses, and the activities you want to do, since as we said before, in this price we do not include the activities.

Colombia

Daily menu Half liter of beer Espresso coffee One-way ticket by public transportation Average lodging Average week
Price 12,000 COP ($3,30) 3,500 COP ($0,98) 2,900 COP ($0,82) 2,400 COP ($0,67) 157,000 COP ($44) 437,000 COP ($121)

The capital of world coffee. Colombian coffee is considered one of the best in the world and is a very important economic sector for the country.

The visit to the Lost City of Colombia and Cartagena de Indias are, without a doubt, two of the must-see places in Colombia.

colorful houses in cartagena de indias

If you’re looking to spend little money on food, Colombia is the perfect place. For just under 12,000 COP ($3,30), you can eat a daily menu at one of its restaurants.

As good coffee makers, trying a coffee here will be most appetizing, as well as cheap. The average price of an espresso in the area is around 2,900 COP ($0,82). But it’s not just coffee that you’ll live for here. The beer in Colombia is also very cheap, at only 3,500 COP ($0,98), so there’s no excuse to go out for a drink in your free time.

Public transport is somewhat cheaper compared to Chile, although more expensive compared to the other countries mentioned. Although not by much, but a one-way ticket in Colombia costs about 2,400 COP ($0,67).

Regarding accommodation, it also has very affordable prices. So far, the prices you’ll find here to sleep are the cheapest we’ve talked about.

For only 157,000 COP ($44), you can have an average hotel room. Not bad if you do not plan to spend a lot of money.

Finally, by way of comparison, a trip to Colombia in the purest Howlanders style can cost around 437,000 COP ($121). It is, along with Bolivia, two of the cheapest destinations in Latin America.

Argentina

Daily menu Half liter of beer Espresso coffee One-way ticket by public transportation Average lodging Average week
Price 350 ARS ($6,45) 100 ARS ($1,10) 71 ARS ($0,79) 32 ARS ($0,35) 3,900 ARS ($73) 12,000 ARS ($137)

The country of tango. To travel to Argentina is to travel to the most impressive nature. The patagonia Argentina is one of those places you must visit when traveling to Argentina.

grey glacier with snowy as one of the cheapest destinations Latin America

The prices in Argentina are, in general, somewhat higher than those in other countries.

For example, eating here a daily menu in any restaurant will cost you an average of 350 ARS ($6,45), although if you are looking for a beer, the average price is 100 ARS ($1,10). As for coffee, it is even cheaper than in Colombia, at 71 ARS ($0,79).

In the public transportation we also find quite modest prices. About 32 ARS ($0,35) will cost an average one-way ticket for this country.

Finally, with respect to accommodation, average prices are high compared to other countries on the list. For example, an average accommodation in Argentina, can be found for around 3,900 ARS ($73).

In summary, although some prices are somewhat higher than the rest, we have calculated that with more or less 12,000 ARS ($137), you can spend a week of adventure in Argentina.

Mexico, the home of mayan culture, one of Latin America’s cheapest destinations

Daily menu Half liter of beer Espresso coffee One-way ticket on public transportation Average lodging Average week
Price 100 MXN ($4,80) 300 MXN ($1,40) 300 MXN ($1,40) 9.50 MXN ($0,45) 1,200 MXN ($56) 2,500 MXN ($121)

Finally, Mexico could not be missing from this list. The country is known worldwide for its Chichen Itza tour, and for its love of spicy food, is one of the cheapest destinations in Latin America.

chichen itza pyramid in mexico is one of the cheapest destinations in latin america

Although in our minds, Mexico may be a very touristy country due to its beach areas, the reality is that it is one of the cheapest destinations in all of Latin America.

The Mexican food is one of the most widespread around the world. Fajitas, tacos, nachos… All that, always seasoned with the typical spice of Mexican cuisine. About 100 MXN ($4,80), that’s the average price of a daily menu here.

If you want to have a beer, which you’ll also have in spicy mode if you want, it costs about 300 MXN ($1,40). If you prefer coffee, the average price is the same, 300 MXN ($1,40). You can alternate, but we don’t recommend it at all…

Getting around Mexico by public transport is also really cheap, as a one-way ticket costs about MXN 9.50 MXN ($0,45).

On the other hand, the average price of a hotel in this country is 1,200 MXN ($56), although if you are looking for another style of accommodation much cheaper, you will be able to find it.

If what you prefer is an adventurous trip, backpacker style, without many luxuries, for a price of 2,500 MXN (100 €) you will be able to spend a week. There you will have to add the places you visit and everything you want to do.

In summary… Cheapest destinations in Latin America

Bolivia Ecuador Peru Chile Colombia Argentina Mexico
Average week price 898 BOB ($130) $142 (€117) 581 PEN ($158) 131,000 CLP ($185) 437,000 COP ($121) 12,000 ARS ($137) 2,500 MXN ($121)

As you may have noticed, all countries have their things cheaper than others. Broadly speaking, Bolivia is the cheapest country, followed by Ecuador and Mexico.

la paz the cheapest destination in latin america

This only takes into account the basic aspects of your trip, such as lodging and food, and the transportation you take. The more activities you do, or the more comfort you allow yourself, the price of your trip will increase. Remember that the most expensive part of these trips are usually the meals and the extra activities you do.

If you are looking to travel without spending a lot of money, you can try backpacking style travel. You will find infinity of possibilities at different prices, although most of them are very economical.

What do you think of our list of cheapest destinations in Latin America? What would be your ideal destination?

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