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09 Nov South America Budget Travel Tips

Going on a trip to South America is one exciting adventure that a lot of travellers would surely want to experience. From its pristine beaches to ancient ruins, this continent has a wide array of attractions and sights to offer. It is a rich treasure haven that can satisfy any tourist’s cravings for magnificent natural sceneries and legendary, historic landmarks.

If you want to travel to South America on a budget, enumerated below are some useful tips to be able to cut your expenses and effectively manage your funds while on the road:

Research

If you are coming from outside South America, a return ticket may be a bit pricey. Therefore, you need to look up flights in advance. It is recommended that you start searching for low airfares between three and six months before your intended travel dates. Use various airfare comparison websites to luck out on a good deal.

This also applies to accommodations and lodging. Booking a bed in a hostel is usually cheaper if done at least two weeks before you arrive.

In addition to these, schedule your trip during off-peak months to avoid the sky-high costs of everything as businesses take advantage of the great influx of tourists during peak seasons.

Transportation

In many South American countries, such as Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, taking a taxi is an affordable and efficient way to go from one point to another. However, you need to practice your haggling skills to not be victimized by overcharging drivers. Look up the average taxi rates for certain distances to get an idea of how much is just right.

If you are travelling cross-country, you have two transportation options: bus and train. Buses in South America are much cheaper but they can be uncomfortable after 10 hours of journey. Trains, on the other hand, offer more luxuries and comfort, but are more expensive.

Food

South America is popular for its sundry of scrumptious and appetizing dishes that are generally budget-friendly.

For instance, in Peru, a full meal at a regular restaurant costs about US$3, while in Argentina, a serving of the best quality steak in the region is under US$10.

Beer in the cheaper countries, including Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru, is sold for a dollar, while in Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina, a pint is about US$2 to US$4.

Sightseeing

There are many activities to do and places to visit in South America, so you may want to make an itinerary of the attractions that you want to see the most.

When it comes to historical landmarks, one of the most famous is the Machu Picchu in Peru. A 4-day trek costs at least US$300, including food and accommodation, so you might want to do some research on tour packages before you arrive to find the lowest rate.

To get a feel of the urban life in a South American city, check out Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Santiago in Chile, and Bogota in Colombia. These metros offer a great mix of the old and the new, with their colonial structures and high-rise buildings coming together in the vibrant and bustling atmosphere.

Photo by Thibault Houspic