Table of Contents

How Much Does Backpacking In South America Cost? A Budget Travel Guide

Torres del paine views

South America is a great choice for backpackers. Nature lovers will find beguiling flora and fauna, majestic waterfalls, and wild landscapes, from volcanoes to deserts. There is plenty for city slickers too. The continent hosts world-class museums, delicious gastronomy, and nightlife galore. So, how much does it cost to backpack South America?

While the continent is generally pretty budget-friendly, this isn’t true of every country. Read on for our guide to planning a backpacking trip that hits all the best places while still staying within your budget. We’ll break down the cost of backpacking in the most popular countries as well as offer you our top tips to travel South America cheap. ¡Vamos!

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Travel Costs for Backpacking in South America

Daily Cost of Backpacking in South America – Quick Answers!

  • Cost of street food in South America: $1-5USD
  • Cost of local restaurant food in South America: $5-30USD
  • Cost of food in a tourist restaurant: $10-30USD
  • Cost of water in South America: less than $1USD
  • Cost of beer in South America: $0.50-3USD
  • Cost of hostel bed in South America: $4-30USD
  • Cost of private room in South America: $15-60USD

Cost of Backpacking South America by Country

Costs in South America can vary widely depending on where you are, both within countries (e.g. cities versus countryside, mainland versus islands, etc.) and between countries, depending on exchange rates and other factors.

When planning your trip, consider a combination of countries depending on what sights you most want to see – this will allow you to plan a trip that suits your budget accordingly. South America’s islands tend to be universally expensive regardless of the country but don’t dismiss them right away!

Overall, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile are considered to be the more expensive backpacking destinations. However, many of the continent’s must-sees are located in these countries, such as the Patagonia region and the Atacama Desert.

Paraguay, Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia are often considered the cheapest, largely due to favorable exchange rates, and are also packed with things to see. Mainland Ecuador is quite economical, but the Galapagos Islands can get very expensive. The above-mentioned countries are often the most popular with backpackers, but there are a few more to consider like Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. These aren’t necessarily budget destinations, but don’t rule them out entirely!

Conversely, Venezuela is extremely cheap, but this is largely due to the political instability of the past few years. The decision to travel here shouldn’t be taken lightly, so make sure you check with your State Department equivalent prior to traveling.

Recommended daily backpacker budgets are in the table below (scroll left and right to see the full table on mobile).

CountryShoestring Backpacker Daily Budget $ (USD)Livin’ it Large Backpacker Daily Budget $$ (USD)Flashpacker Daily Budget $$$ (USD)
Argentina$30-50$60-85$85-100
Bolivia$15-25$30-50$50-60
Brazil$30-40$50-80$80-110
Chile$35-45$50-80$80-100
Colombia$20-40$40-60$60-90
Ecuador$30-40$40-70$70-100
Paraguay$25-40$30-50$50-70
Peru$20-35$40-60$60-80
Uruguay$45-60$60-90$90-120

Note: Exchange rates can change quickly and should always be used as a guide. All exchange rates are correct as of March 2022 but we recommend seeking an up-to-date conversion when planning your trip.

Argentina Backpacking Budget

Argentina is one of the top destinations in South America, and for good reason! It has gorgeous, chic cities like Buenos Aires and Rosario, the sprawling countryside in La Pampa, the beautiful wine country in Mendoza, and of course, a major bucket list item: the Perito Moreno Glacier in the one-of-a-kind Patagonia region. Argentinian beef is considered one of the best meats in the world, and you can’t miss an asado with a nice glass of wine while you’re there.

While asado can get fairly expensive, there are lots of places where you can buy cheap eats, like Argentine empanadas, choripan, pizza, and other local treats. Food prices increase quite a bit in the towns around big tourist destinations, like El Calafate, so consider grocery shopping here.

There is a wide variety of accommodation available, from dormitory-style hostels (from $12USD per night) to a private room (from $50USD per night), or lots of camping opportunities in the national parks (from $5-7USD per night.)

Argentina has great public transport, from the Buenos Aires metro (the Subte) to an interconnected web of buses spanning the whole country. When planning your travel, keep in mind that Argentina is huge, and large distances between major attractions mean that it may be best to fly to places like Patagonia or Ushuaia.

Even on budget airlines like Aerolineas Argentinas, the popularity of these trips mean that these flight prices are expensive even in the off-season. It is definitely worth putting on a flight alert when you know your dates!

Activities vary widely in cost – entrance to Los Glaciares National Park to see the Perito Moreno glacier costs $13USD, but many parks are much cheaper or free in other places. Similarly, a winery tour in Mendoza can cost as much as $200USD per person, but the individual wineries often have much more reasonably-priced tasting fees.

Bolivia Backpacking Budget

Bolivia is often considered the cheapest country for backpackers in South America, and it is packed chock-full of wonderful adventures to be had. From cycling Death Road, marveling at the Uyuni Salt Flats, hiking in the Amazon, or visiting Lomas de Arena, there is so much to explore for outdoor enthusiasts. Gastronomy fans will love the foodie scene in Cochabamba and don’t miss a ride on cable car Mi Teleférico to see La Paz from above.

While most things are very inexpensive, lodging isn’t quite as bottom-of-the-barrel as you may think. A dorm bed will cost $6-9USD per night, and a private room starts at about $15USD.

Food and transportation, however, are indeed super inexpensive, so be sure to take advantage of eating the delicious fare at local markets. The best way to get around is by bus or taxi but beware of common scams and pickpockets while doing so.

Brazil Backpacking Budget

Brazil is an intimidatingly large country, which makes it a marvelous destination for backpackers. From Carnaval or a soccer match in Rio de Janeiro, hiking in the Pati Valley or Tijuca National Park, learning samba or capoeira, and trying the country’s many delicious cuisines, Brazil is a feast for the senses.

However, depending on the time of year and destination, Brazil gets expensive fast. Unless you have your heart set on Carnaval, consider skipping it. Prices skyrocket during this time, up to quadruple normal levels, and peak season (December to March) is very costly.

As in other countries, street food like pão de queijo or pastéis is very budget-friendly. Restaurants can get expensive, so consider grocery shopping, but definitely make sure to try feijoada (a meat stew, Brazil’s national dish) while you’re there– typically served for lunch.

Due to Brazil’s vast size, there are many options for accommodation, ranging from hostels (from $11USD per night) to Airbnbs or budget hotels (from $20USD per night) or camping near the beaches (from $8USD per night.)

Public transport is widespread and convenient, but perhaps best avoided at night. Keep in mind that pickpocketing, carjackings, and other forms of theft are sadly very common in Brazil, and always pay close attention to your surroundings. We recommend investing in a money belt or alternative to keep your valuables out of sight.

Chile Backpacking Budget

Chile’s long and slender shape provides an astounding amount of biodiversity, from the peaks of Torres del Paine in Patagonia to the high-altitude, other-worldly Atacama Desert.

Moai sculptures and volcanic craters dot intriguing the Easter Island, and Santiago, Valparaiso, and Viña del Mar offer beautiful parks, museums, and architecture to admire. You can visit poet-diplomat Pablo Neruda’s homes, explore the serene Lake District, and visit a variety of wineries that rival neighboring Argentina’s Mendoza.

Dormitory-style hostels and Airbnb rooms range from $10USD per night, with a private room starting at about $40USD. Take advantage of set lunch menus, starting at $6USD or so, as well as the abundance of reasonably-priced seafood due to Chile’s long coastline. Note that (similarly to Argentina) food prices increase sharply in towns bordering tourist sites.

Relatedly, food often must be imported to these areas, which leads to high prices. Traveling by bus is comfortable and affordable, but due to Chile’s length, not always doable time-wise. There are several budget airlines, and renting a car and driving yourself places is largely considered safe. In fact, Chile is actually one of the safest countries in the whole of South America!

While many outdoor attractions are free, note that entrance to Torres del Paine specifically is about $25USD per person for non-Chileans. This can be a wallop to your wallet if you don’t know ahead of time. Chile also has a less-developed tourism infrastructure in Patagonia than Argentina does, making an off-season visit to Torres del Paine very challenging (and perhaps impossible.)

Colombia Backpacking Budget

Colombia has a big and bold backpacker scene, with hostels, parties, and excursions galore. It’s one of the most popular places for backpackers for good reason, and your money will go quite far here.

It’s a great place to take Spanish lessons and boasts gorgeous beaches, beautiful colonial architecture, and great weather. Bigger cities include Bogotá, Cartagena, Cali, and Medellín, and there are great beaches in Santa Marta, Rosario Islands, and Playa Blanca.

Colombia is known worldwide for its coffee production, as well as its wonderful musicians, like Juanes, Shakira, Fonseca, and more. Outdoor enthusiasts can trek to the Lost City, sail to Isla Gorgona, or explore Tayrona National Park.

A bed in a hostel dorm room can cost as little as $4USD per night, but keep in mind that budget accommodation is often not air-conditioned, and mosquitoes may prevent you from opening windows. A private room with AC is likely to cost between $10USD and $20USD per night depending on the time of year.

Street food like arepas or empanadas can cost as little as $1USD, and set lunch menus are also common for $3-4USD.

Mini-buses, called colectivos, are the best way to get around internally, and intercity (charter) buses are also common. Budget airline Viva Air has great deals on flights– often cheaper than the bus, though certainly with more environmental impact. Be careful of pickpockets and robberies, and avoid renting a car or walking around too much at night.

Ecuador Backpacking Budget

Ecuador’s size-to-activities ratio truly can’t be beat, with all sorts of sights eminently accessible to backpackers. From outdoor adventures in Baños or Ibarra, to the cool, urban vibe in Quito, and the natural wonders of Cajas National Park, Ecuador has something for everybody.

You can easily explore the Amazon, hike the Cotopaxi Volcano and Laguna Quilotoa, and marvel at Incan splendor in Ingapirca. All in all, Ecuador is much more than just the Galapagos.

That said, mainland Ecuador is also much cheaper than the Galapagos. If spending time in the Galapagos is a dream destination for you, keep in mind that it’s very pricey, and likely will cost over $1000USD for just a few days. However, hostels on the mainland can cost as little as $6USD, and budget hotels or Airbnbs around $20USD.

Food from street vendors or markets, as well as a set almuerzo menu, can cost as little as $2-3USD, and many attractions are relatively inexpensive. Be sure to try Ecuadorian empanadas and arroz con pollo, or perhaps (if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous), guinea pig, or cuy.

Buses are comfortable and very inexpensive, and there are also budget flights for longer distances.

Paraguay Backpacking Budget

Paraguay is one of the lesser-known destinations in South America, and many make the mistake of skipping it. You shouldn’t! It’s very budget-friendly, less touristy, and offers you the rare opportunity to get completely off the “gringo trail” for some new and different experiences.

Asunción is a lovely mix of old and new, with horse-drawn carriages pausing in front of modern shopping malls and Encarnación is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Jesuit ruins, and the Itaipú Dam.

If you haven’t visited Iguazú Falls in Brazil or Argentina, it’s often cheaper and easier to do so from Paraguay – the falls are very close to Ciudad del Este in eastern Paraguay. There are ample other opportunities for nature, from Eco Reserva Mbatoví to the vast Chaco wilderness or Paraguay’s most-visited park, Parque Nacional Ybycuí.

Dorm beds cost around $6-10USD per night, or $20USD plus for a private room. Public transportation is very cheap, but (as in other areas) beware of pickpockets. Meals at local restaurants can start at about $3USD per person, and $10-20USD can get you a very nice dinner with drinks.

Note that Paraguay is known for being quite conservative, and many travelers recommend refraining from too much PDA while out and about.

Peru Backpacking Budget

Peru is best known for the iconic Machu Picchu and the aptly-named Inca Trail leading to it. While these are absolutely transformative experiences and must-sees while in the country, Peru has many other fabulous experiences to offer!

Hiking in Colca Canyon, relaxing at Lake Titicaca, sightseeing in lovely Lima, and exploring Cusco’s old town and Rainbow Mountain are all budget-friendly and fun. There’s definitely a reason why Peru is such a popular destination for backpackers!

Peru is another place to try guinea pig if you didn’t try it in Ecuador, and many of their speciality dishes are filling and substantial, featuring root vegetables and lean protein. Ceviche is from Peru and a must-try dish. Peruvian food at a local restaurant can be almost mind-bogglingly cheap, as little as $2USD or so for a full meal. It’s quite doable to eat out for practically every meal in Peru without overdoing your budget, provided that you stick to local places.

Accommodation is also quite cheap: you can get a dorm bed for as little as $7USD per night, or a private room for about $20USD. It’s easy to travel around the country by bus or colectivo, or a budget flight for longer distances. Flights aren’t necessarily cheaper but will save you a lot of time.

Read Post  The Safest South American Countries in 2022

What begins to add up in Peru is the excursions. Machu Picchu will cost at least $50USD per person, and if you choose to do the Inca Trail, this can cost close to $1000USD per person for a multi-day trek.

Uruguay Backpacking Budget

Uruguay is often considered the most expensive country for backpackers in South America. However, this doesn’t mean you should rule it out! There is plenty to see in Montevideo, plus opportunities for relaxation in Punta del Este or small-town charm in Colonia del Sacramento (also the jumping-on point for the quick ferry to Buenos Aires.)

Check out artist Carlos Páez Vilaró’s gorgeous seafront Casapueblo, catch a performance at Teatro Solís, or enjoy horseback riding or hot springs along the Río Uruguay.

Lodging in particular in Uruguay can get pricey fast, with even a dorm-style accommodation costing upwards of $20USD per night. The big tip for budgeteers visiting Uruguay is to head there in the off-season, as you will save a lot on lodging. In the high season, expect to pay upwards of $35USD per night.

The cheapest set lunch menu will cost about $7-8USD per person, and a cup of coffee is likely to cost more than $2USD. It may be best to go grocery shopping while in Uruguay rather than eating out. Traveling by bus is relatively cheap, but again, not as cheap as other destinations in South America.

8 Tips to Travel South America for Cheap

  1. Keep an eye out for free days at museums and cultural attractions, and prioritize which higher-cost activities are must-sees for you. A lot of outdoor attractions are very inexpensive, often just with a nominal entrance fee, but major attractions (like the Perito Moreno Glacier) in Argentina, are much more expensive.
  2. The best way to save on lodging is to book a dormitory-style room with a shared bathroom. While you may be sharing with lots of people, each bed is very cheap and breakfast is often included. Be sure to bring a padlock for your belongings.
  3. If dorm life isn’t for you, be sure to check prices for small hotels or locally-run B&Bs, called hospedajes. They are often cheaper than private rooms in a dorm and sometimes even include meals, with lovely and welcoming proprietors.
  4. If you’re planning to stay longer-term in a place, consider a work-exchange program like Workaway or Worldpackers. Here, you exchange a few hours of labor at a hostel, farm, store, etc. for free lodging. Couchsurfing (while less popular than it used to be) is also a great option to save money and meet people.
  5. Eat local! There is an abundance of delicious, cheap street food and lunch deals in South America. Sometimes a set lunch menu (almuerzo) can cost less than $1USD.
  6. When visiting somewhere outside a city for the day, bring your lunch, as the restaurants surrounding parks and popular day trip areas have super inflated prices and often subpar options.
  7. To keep costs low, independent travel is far cheaper than tours. While sometimes a day tour can be the best way to see a place, overall stick to planning your transport and transfers yourself. Public transport is very cheap and largely safe and reliable in South America, an easy way to save money.
  8. If you do decide to go somewhere on a tour, be sure to price-compare. There are almost always multiple tour operators running the same or very similar tours. Read reviews and check what each tour offers– maybe similarly-priced tours offer different things, like an included lunch or an extra excursion.

South America is often depicted as being an ultra-cheap destination for backpackers. However, depending on where you go, the continent can get expensive quickly – an unpleasant surprise if you’re not prepared ahead of time.

You needn’t worry though, it is very possible to travel cheaply with some planning! Taking advantage of free walking tours, public transportation, and mixing higher-priced must-sees with free or cheap options will save you a lot of money.

And, as always, getting off the beaten path can lead to you making some of your best memories. Exploring the countryside and prioritizing cheaper countries is perhaps the most reliable way to save, and don’t forget those almuerzo deals!

What are your tips for a budget-friendly South America backpacking trip? Let us know in the comments!

Tegan & Alex Bio Pic

Tegan George & Alex McKenzie | Why Not Walk

Tegan and Alex are travel, hiking, and biking enthusiasts currently based in Boston, USA. There is nothing they love more than exploring new places by walking, and they have visited over 30 countries together since they met in 2015. Their love for “walking the world” led them to found Why Not Walk, a travel guide site. Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest to start planning your next adventure!

Cost of Travel in South America – complete breakdown

Over the last couple of years we have visited South America several times with the cost varying greatly depending on length of trip and countries visited. Our longest trip was a 13 month shoestring budget backpacking trip through Latin America. We also explored South America as mid-range backpackers and more comfortable budget travelers. In this article we discuss cost of traveling each country in South America with different traveling styles Backpacking, Backpacking on a Shoestring Budget and Holiday style travel

It is important to remember that there is a dramatic variation in price between countries when planning a trip. Bolivia, Equador and Peru are traditionally seen as the cheaper countries to travel, each extensively traveled by a large numbers of budget travelers. Chile, Brazil and Argentina are relatively more expensive, almost reaching European prices. Colombia is sort of mid-range between the two groups and the cost of travel in Venezuela is so low it is in a budget travel category of its own. Be aware that crime is a very realistic consideration when traveling here and purchasing and organizing anything is difficult in this torn apart country.

In this post

  • Travel budget for every country in South America
  • Budget for
    • Backpacking
    • Shoestring Backpacking
    • Holiday style travel

    Table of Contents

    South America on a SHOESTRING BUDGET

    -Traveling on a very tight budget we spent $3881 in 275 days (over 8 months) so an average budget of $14.11 each per day. We camped a lot, hiked many of the most popular trails on the continent independent and did a lot of hitchhiking. This was in 2016, so even when adjusting at a very steep inflation rate it is still possible to do this for less than $20 per day.

    Backpacking budget is not only dependent on price!

    -The cost of travel on a shoestring budget in each country is not only dependent on price. Some examples; Chile is an expensive, but safe country that is very camping and hitchhike friendly and it is possible to hike independent. In contrast Bolivia is a cheap country, but crime can be a problem and activities are expensive. Consequently we spent more per day in Bolivia than Chile.

    South America on a TOUR

    Traveling solo or figuring everything out for yourself is not everybody’s idea of fun, there are organised overland tours exploring South America, where all you have to do is enjoy the ride. Check out some of world renowned company, G-adventures’ programs.

    Lima to Buenos Aires – an epic adventure: beginning in Lima and ending in Buenos Aires, 35-full days. You’ll hike the Inca Trail, cross the Salt Flats of Bolivia by 4×4, and feel like a sophisticate sipping wine in Argentina. Along the way, you’ll engage with local cultures with a small group of other young travellers to back you up.

    South America on a BACKPACKING BUDGET

    -A Comfortable backpacker’s budget when sleeping in a hostel dormitory bed, cooking for yourself or eating in cheap local restaurants, being selective on activities and traveling with public transport should be around $35 per day, so $1000 per month.

    HOLIDAY BUDGET South America

    -Giving an estimate for holiday travel is not really possible; double the backpacking figure for a comfortable, budget holiday trip, double again for traveling in more luxury. I try to give some prices for individual countries.

    Tours South America

    It is strongly advised to do book popular activities ahead, specially if you have limited time or travel on an itinerary. All travelers are different, we discovered this awesome page where G-adventures grouped tours according to the style of travel making it super easy to start searching for the perfect package!

    Travel Budget per country in South America

    • Argentina
      • Holiday $60-100
      • Backpacking $30-40
      • Shoestring $20
      • Holiday $50-100
      • Holiday Backpacking $30-40
      • Shoestring $20
      • Holiday $80-120
      • Backpacking $35-45
      • Shoestring $25
      • Holiday $100-150
      • Backpacking $40-50
      • Shoestring $20
      • Holiday $40-80
      • Backpacking $35-45
      • Shoestring $20
      • Holiday $40-80
      • Backpacking $30-40
      • Shoestring $20
      • Holiday $50-70
      • Backpacking $25-35
      • Shoestring $15
      • Holiday $60-100
      • Backpacking $30
      • Shoestring $20
      • Holiday $ 70-100
      • Backpacking $50 – 60
      • Shoestring $25
      • Backpacking $10

      Comparing Cost in South America through the Big Mac Index

      The Big Mac Index compares the economy of different currencies by comparing the cost of a Big Mac in different countries. You can see according to the Big Mac Index Uruguay is the most expensive country with a Big Mac costing slightly less than it does in the US, Argentina is the cheapest country.

      big mac index south america 2018 stingy nomads

      The price of a Big Mac in various South American countries.

      How to choose accommodation online

      We recommend using Booking.com to book accommodation it is how we do it most of the time;

      -check for accommodation with a rating above 8 in your price range

      -make sure the location is good, if you are willing to spend time on transport it is usually a bit cheaper

      -check that the property has many reviews, often a place has a rating of 10 given by 3 friends of the owner that stayed there, I try to go for more than 50 reviews

      -read the reviews! Focus on things that are important to you

      Want to see what places we think are the absolute highlights of South America?

      Excellent books to help you plan

        – Great guidebook, many tips and facts, small print, thin pages. Read the reviews – Awesome starting point for planning a trip to multiple countries.
      • For Inspriration: Salt & Silver: Travel, Surf, Cook -this book blends traveling, surfing, and the food cultures of Central and South America together through the travel stories of two young, adventuresome guys. : Things I wish I had known before I rode my motorcycle to Mexico, Central and South America by Michelle Lamphere (2015-09-05)

      ARGENTINA travel cost

      At the time of updating this post (November 2018) Argentina is a cheap to travel again! With the exchange rate going from ARS 17 to 37 for one USD in less than a year goods and services priced for locals dropped in price by about 50%. I am not going to go into the yo-yo state of Argentina’s economy, but in our visits here went from cheap too expensive to cheap again. Until December 2015 the Argentinian Peso had a fixed exchange rate. Similar to Venezuela this created a huge US dollar black market where you could buy 50-100% more pesos per dollar. This stopped when Argentina got rid of the official exchange rate as far as we are aware. Argentina, like Chile, is safe, with top quality products and services, the closest you will find to European in South America. You can find bargains now on all local produce, meals in local restaurants, drinks in local bars, Argentinian wine and beer, even Argentinian beef is cheap and expect to pay less for museum admissions, taxi and bus rides and local guides and excursions.

      Mendoza and Bariloche are regarded as the most expensive places to travel in Argentina and hostel prices here was definitely higher than in Buenos Aires. Mendoza is renowned for its wines, but tasting Malbecs at different estates is definitely not a budget activity, expect to pay $150-200 for an organised tasting tour of the 3 major wine areas; Maipú, Luján de Cuyo, and Uco Valley. Doing it independent you can do it for about half, but will definitely see and taste less.

      Flights and hotels are priced in dollars, so here you are not going to find massive bargains.

      Argentina, it takes careful traveling to see these amazing sites on a budget! South America travel budget

      Argentina, it takes careful traveling to see these amazing sites on a budget! South America travel budget

      Travel Budget for Argentina

      • Backpacker’s budget
        • $30 per day
        • $60 – 100 per day
        • $15 per day (no this is not a typo, read on)

        We spent ARS 4238 ($ 212) in 17 days, thus ARS 297 ($ 13.97) each per day including all food, transport and other expenses. During our last visit to Argentina the peso was much stronger, we still managed to backpack it on a very frugal budget by hitchhiking, camping and couchsurfing, like Chile it is a safe country allowing to travel in such a manner.

        FOOD

        • Food is definitely one of the highlights in Argentina. They have a reputation for good steak, wine and mate and this is well deserved. Steak in a restaurant and on the barbecue was first class.
        • A nice Bife de Chorizo (sirloin steak) is about ARS 500 ($13) in a restaurant in Buenos Aires.
        • Argentinians are addicted to Dulce de leche (caramel/boiled condensed milk), big containers are cheap. We ate lots of dulce de leche on Maria biscuits during hikes. Ice cream and alfajores sweets is something not to be missed! The top of the range sweets Cachafas Afajores and Freddo ice cream is worth buying once to taste. Falling back on Grido ice cream and Guymallen alfajores for a fraction of the price is a good budget strategy.

        TRANSPORT

        Despite the favourable currency for traveling the bus prices that I find online is still high. A bus from Santiago to Bariloche is about $70 for a 24 hour bus ride, not that much cheaper than what we experienced a couple of years agol The buses are very comfortable and by taking a night bus you can save on accommodation.

        We broke our hitchhiking records in Argentina by traveling almost 4000 km in 2 rides from Punta Arenas in Chile all the way to Buenos Aires. This trip would have cost us $180 by bus. I will not recommend hitchhiking around the cities it took us 2 days to get out of Buenos Aires!

        ACCOMMODATION

        In Buenos Aires a dormitory bed in a hostel costs $6-10. A budget double room starts at $25. Camping at El Chalten costs about $5 per day, a dormitory bed in a hostel here starts at $10.

        VISA FEES FOR ARGENTINA

        There were not visa fee for Russians or South Africans. Australian, US and Canadian passport holders do not require a visa, there used to be a reciprocal fee to enter Argentina, I understand that was recently cancelled.

        BUDGET ACTIVITIES

        • Hike and Camp at El Chalten, the route and camping on route is free.

        South America Tours – Explore Argentina with G-Adventures

        Looking to experience amazing highlights of Chile and Argentina? Visit coastal Valparaíso, get active in the adventure-sport mecca of Pucón, and journey to a genuine gaucho ranch outside of quaint, lakeside Bariloche, before finishing up in the iconic “don’t cry for me” cosmopolis of Buenos Aires. Get yourself to this southern part of the world and go home recharged.

        BOLIVIA travel cost

        Bolivia is another South American country with a lot to offer adventurous tourists. It is known as the cheapest country in South America and is thus great to travel if you are on a budget. If you love to get your adrenaline pumping there are some unique opportunities in Bolivia, one of the easiest 6000m peaks to climb, cycle the most dangerous road in the world and do some spectacular hikes.

        Food and accommodation were cheap in Bolivia, but activities and tours were expensive like in all other countries. We were discouraged from hiking and camping on our own, due to muggings and robberies. So traveling on a shoestring budget Bolivia ended up costing us more than many other countries on the continent. If you however travel by bus and stay in hostels during your travels Bolivia will probably be your cheapest country.

        Bolivia -The Uyuni Salt desert was one of the highlights of South America! South America travel budget

        Bolivia -The Uyuni Salt desert was one of the highlights of South America!

        Travel Budget for Bolivia

        We spent BOB 2020 ($ 294) in 15 days, thus BOB 135 ($ 19) each per day including all food, transport and other expenses, but if you only subtract the cost of the 3 day Uyuni tour, Bolivia cost us less than $14 per day.

        ACCOMMODATION

        • Dormitory bed in a nice hostel in $7
        • Double room in budget hotel $25
        • Stay in luxury 5star hotel from $200

        FOOD

        • Similar to Peru a set menu “menu del dia” at local restaurants is good value for money at around 20 BOB ($3). It is normally a main course, a drink and sometimes a small desert.
        • Want to eat a Bolivian style set meal gone upmarket? Try ‘Popular Cocina Boliviana’ in La Paz. Bolivian food gone Gourmet style, great price for what you get at about 50 BOB ($7) for a set meal
        • We often bought food at the market and cooked for ourselves, vegetables some interesting and delicious fruit was very cheap here. You can usually find a meal at the market anytime of the day, we enjoyed the breakfasts.
        • You have to eat a couple ofsalteñas(the Bolivia version of empanada) or tucumanas (a deep friend salteña) 3BOB ($0.50)
        • Don’t drink the tap water in Bolivia.

        TRANSPORT

        • Roads are quite dangerous in Bolivia use a reputable company such as MEM or El Dorado
        • Cost for a one way bus ticket between La Paz and Sucre an 11 hour, 700km ride are as follows:
        • 45 ($6.50) for a seat on a local bus.
        • semi-cama seat (140-degree reclining seats) Bs 117 ($17)
        • full cama seat (180-degree reclining seats) Bs. 180 (US$26)

        Popular Activities in Bolivia

        These activities are pricey, but why come if you are not going to experience these things?

        • Cycle the ‘death road’ cost is about $80
        • Salar de Uyuni tour of the salt flats
        • Climb the 6000m peak of Huayana Putosi prices vary between $150 – $300

        SALT FLATS TOUR SALAR DE UYUNI

        You can do this independent if you have a motorbike, bicycle or Jeep. Otherwise like us you will have to take a tour. It was expensive, but amazing. The standard tour takes 3 days and most tours take you to the same sites. The cheapest tour we could find was $93 (BOB 645) with and additional $29 (BOB 206) for park fees. This significantly inflated our budget. Most premium tours cost between $150 – 200

        BUDGET ACTIVITIES

        • In La Paz take a collectivo BOB 6 ($1) and go and walk around the beautiful Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) entrance is BOB 20 ($3).
        • Go to the interesting witches market in La Paz, it is free.
        • In Sucre walk to “7 Cascadas” (7 Waterfalls) outside the city.

        South America Tours – See Bolivia with G-Adventures

        Bolivia Discovery – 11 Days La Paz to La Paz. From La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, travel to the crest of the Andes and the middle of nowhere for three days of incredible off-road exploration of the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano. Take the road less travelled and meet locals for an immersive cultural experience that few travellers get to know.

        VISA FEES

        US and South African passport holders do require a visa. You can apply at a neighbouring country (e.g. Peru) SA passport holders it is free, US citizens $160.

        BRAZIL travel cost

        Brazil is a fantastic country to travel with some of the most extraordinary places to visit in South America, don’t miss the wild Amazon, the amazing wild life of the Pantanal or the unreal vibe and beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil is not cheap, despite many poor people staying in favelas; food, accommodation and tourist activities are some of the most expensive in South America. Inequality here is massive, similar to my home country South Africa, I could not help to constantly compare Rio to Cape Town.

        brazil

        Amazing Brazil, Iguazu Falls, hiking around Ilha Grande, Rio De Janeiro and two weeks on cargo ships on the Amazon.

        Be inspired by the new edition of Insight Guide Brazil, a comprehensive full-color guide to one of the most exciting countries in the world.

        Travel Budget for Brazil

        • Backpacker’s budget
          • $40-50 per day
          • $80 to 120 per day

          TRANSPORT

          Long-distance buses are a convenient, but they are pricey a bus ride from Rio de Janeiro to Foz do Iguazu (19 hours) starting at BRL 270 ($70). Buy your ticket at least one day in advance.

          Local public transportation costs 2-5 BRL per ride. Uber works well in 11 Brazilian cities.

          We did hitchhike sometimes, but getting rides in Brazil were not always easy and we sometimes ended up taking the bus.

          ACCOMMODATION

          • Dormitory bed in a nice hostel in Rio starts at about BRL30 ($8)
          • Double room in budget hotel BRL 135 ($35)
          • Stay in luxury 5star hotel from BRL460 ($120)

          The South of Brazil vs the North

          The South is much more expensive than the north, our budget was $15 avg until we reached Rio! There are some “must see” tourist attractions in and around Rio de Janeiro that are expensive, e.g. cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain BRL120 ($30), entrance Christ the Redeemer statue BRL 43 ($11) if you hike up it is a bit cheaper, entrance Foz do Iguacu BRL 65 ($ 17)

          BUDGET ACTIVITIES

          • Cruise down the Amazon on a slowboat.
          • Do a free walking tour in Rio de Janeiro.
          • Free in Rio.
            • go to Copacabana beach
            • Walk around the favelas
            • Go to Parque Lage.

            VISA FEES FOR BRAZIL

            UK, South African and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa for entry into Brazil. $160 USD, Canadians $65 USD, and Australians $35 USD. need visas.

            about our travels in Brazil

            South America Tours – explore Brazil with G-Adventures

            Wonders of Brazil – From the cobble stoned streets of colonial Paraty to remote interior wilderness, uncover the wonders of Brazil in two exciting weeks. Experience Iguassu Falls — a series of falls so massive it straddles two countries and so intriguing you’ll need two days to fully appreciate the view. Not to be outdone, the Pantanal wetlands are teeming with wildlife like caiman, jaguar, and exotic birds. Finally, trade early morning songbirds for some samba in Rio and the rhythm of the beach. This adventure provides natural and cultural highlights and the best Brazil has to offer.

            Travel Insurance

            Insurance is essential on a long trip exploring South America. Some problems with standard travel insurance companies; does not cover long term trips since they don’t see it as traveling, you can not take out insurance while traveling, no extending insurance on the road and it often does not cover ‘dangerous activities’ like diving and climbing. Check out what we recommend for your trip Insurance for your travels

            CHILE travel cost

            Chile was our favorite country traveling in South America, we spent 3 months exploring from the Atacama desert in the north to the south of Patagonia. The landscapes are jaw dropping, from the driest desert in the world to the amazing mountains and glaciers of Patagonia. We did quite a few amazing hikes in Patagonia and if trekking is your thing, add this place to your bucket list. Torres Del Paine is the most famous hike around here for a good reason, many people walk it but it is truly spectacular. Food, accommodation and transport all make Chile more expensive than some of its neighbours.

            Lonely Planet’s Chile & Easter Island guidebook published October 2018, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you.

            Chile - picking so few photos of over 2 months that we spent in this amazing country is harder than traveling here on a $13 per day budget! South America travel budget

            Chile – picking so few photos of over 2 months that we spent in this amazing country is harder than traveling here on a $13 per day budget!

            Travel Budget for Chile

            • Backpacker’s budget
              • $40-50 per day
              • $100 to 150 per day
              • $15 per day (no this is not a typo, read on)

              We spent CLP 653 600 ($ 979,50) in 82 days, thus CLP 11 970 ($ 11.95) each per day including all food, transport and other expenses

              It is an expensive country, but an amazing place to backpack on a budget. How could we travel here with so little money? Camping, hitchhiking and couchsurfing. Chilean people are unreal, we have many stories about their fantastic hospitality. We never used public transport in Chile hitchhiking thousands of kilometers, it was safe and easy and we met some amazing people. We did many multi-day hikes here and because we did it on our own it was very cheap.

              TRANSPORT

              Transport is a major expense when traveling here, the buses are quite expensive, especially when you get to Patagonia. The Carraterra Austral is mostly gravel road so the trip from Puerto Montt to Puerto Natales takes 34 hours by bus, costing $80.

              Flying is sometimes a better option than the bus, if you go to Puerto Natales to hike Torres del Paine it is a lot faster.

              Hitchhiking worked fantastic for us in Chile all the way from the most Northern to Southern towns, San Pedro de Atacama to Villa O’Higgins.

              VISA FEES

              Citizens of US, UK, Canada and Australia and South Africa do not need visa, 108 other countries do so check before going. Australians have to pay a $117.

              ACCOMMODATION

              This is the country to travel with a tent, there are campsites everywhere. When there were none we did some ‘bush camping’ and even pitched our tent at a fuel station. We made great friends couchsurfing and off course saved a lot on accommodation in the cities this way. If you look at hostel prices you can see that if you do not camp accommodation in Patagonia will cost you a pretty penny.

              • Camping CLP 2000-7000 ($3 – 10)
              • Hostel in Santiago. Bed in dormitory – $9, Standard double room – $36
              • Double room nice budget hotel Santiago- $80
              • 5 star hotel Santiago – $200
              • Hostel in Coiyhaique (Patagonia). Bed in dormitory – $22, Standard double room – $60

              South America Tours – Patagonia Adventure with G-Adventures

              G-Adventures adventure tour – Imagine almost three weeks packed with every activity you can think of and then some! Trek through perfectly picturesque Patagonia, wake up early for whitewater rafting, hike through crisp mountain landscapes on Torres del Paine’s renowned W Trek, and bike, raft, and smile to your heart’s content. Your adrenaline reserves will be tapped by the end of it all.

              COLOMBIA travel cost

              We loved Colombia, nice people, the people are very friendly, the food is amazing, there are some awesome activities to get your adrenaline pumping and the best is that it is very affordable.

              What an adventure we had traveling in Colombia; I am a coffee junkie and following a coffee the world’s best coffee from bean to cup in the mountains was amazing. Beautiful country to explore a variety of interesting places from colonial cities, great beaches and the Amazon to a beautiful desert.

              Lonely Planet Colombia (Travel Guide) – up to date travel guide released August 2018

              • Backpacker’s budget
                • $35-45 per day
                • $40 to 80 per day
                • $20 per day
                • We spent 1 851 135 COP ($636) in 31 days, thus 59 714 COP ($20.50) each per day including white water rafting, paragliding and a plane ticket from Bogota to Leticia.

                colombia

                At $20 per day each our budget was on the high side for Colombia, but we did awesome things. Camping at the airport helped with our budget! South America travel budget

                FOOD

                • Meal at a local restaurant COP 11300 ($3.50)
                • Meal at a midrange restaurant COP 32 380 ($10)
                • McDonald’s meal COP 16 000 ($5)

                We spent very little on food by buying groceries in the supermarket and cooking in the hostel. You can see exactly how we regulated our budget in our Colombia Budget Backpacker’s Guide.

                ACCOMMODATION

                • Backpacker Hostels
                  • Dormitory bed varied between 15 000 and 30 000 COP ($5-$10)
                  • Awesome Hostels
                  • Bogota – awesome hostel for $5 – Casa Capita Hostel
                  • Cartagena – well rated, well priced – Casa Hostal el Prado

                  Great Budget Hotels

                  • Bogota – beautiful, comfortable, modern – Hotel El Dorado Bogota
                  • Cartagena fantastic atmosphere, spacious – Hotel Manglar 421
                  • Stay in Luxury
                    • Bogota – treat yourself – Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia
                    • Cartagena – amazing refurbished colonial mansion – Tcherassi Hotel

                    TRANSPORT

                    Local transport is really cheap. Three major cities in Colombia (Bogota, Cali, Medellin) have mass transit systems similar to those in Europe and the United States. Bogota’s system is called the TranMileno and – bright red buses almost like a subway. Medellin has a subway, rides less than a dollar. Public transport in the city $1-2 per day

                    Buses between cities in Colombia are actually quite expensive. A bus from Bogota to Medellin will cost around COP 65 000 ($20)

                    The budget airline Vivacolombia is a cheap way to move long distances.

                    Uber is available in cities and is cheaper than taxis.

                    ACTIVITIES

                    • Adventure activities was well priced in Colombia, it was the only country we decided to splurge.
                    • white water rafting ($40)
                    • paragliding ($20)
                    • Scuba diving – there are some cool spots from Cartagena with nice wrecks and marine life.
                    • Don’t miss a tour of a coffee plantation starting at about 15,000 COP ($5) – Don Elias in Salento is fantastic.

                    VISA FEES FOR COLOMBIA

                    UK, US, Canadian, South African, Australian and New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa for entry into Colombia for stays of up to 90 days. Visas can be easily extended for an additional 90 days

                    TIPS

                    • Transport was expensive. We saved a lot on accommodation by taking night buses for longer distances, thus saving on a night’s accommodation. We did not hitchhike in Colombia (no reason).
                    • Cook for yourself, food in supermarkets was good and very cheap.
                    • Visit museums on Sundays, many are free.
                    • Get a ‘Hola Hostel’ card, they are free, good discounts.

                    BUDGET ACTIVITIES

                    • Free walking tour in Medellin – excellent!
                    • Hiking around San Gill – well marked 3 day trail to do on your own.
                    • Walk around in The Tatacoa Desert.
                    • Coffee tasting in Salento, cheap not free, but a must for a coffee lover.

                    South America Tours – Colombia with G-Adventures

                    G-Adventures Colombia 9 Day Bogota to Cartagena – Where to go if you only have a week to experience a truly unique part of the world? The answer: Colombia. If you think a week isn’t enough to tour the beaches, coffee regions, and metropolitan cities of this reemerging country, think again — this trip makes it possible. Check out the resurgence of culture, art, and food in Bogotá and Medellín, dive deep into the Caribbean vibe in Cartagena, and enjoy the Latin-Caribbean fusion of flavours in local cuisine. All this in only nine days. Start packing now.

                    ECUADOR travel cost

                    Located between Colombia and Peru, Ecuador straddles the equator on the Pacific side of South America, Ecuador is a small, but diverse country most famous for the Galapagos Islands, which sparked the genius idea of evolution in Charles Darwin. It is perhaps the cheapest place from which the Amazon jungle can be explored. In Quito you can straddle the equator or go shopping for authentic souvenirs in the Otavalo market 3 hours away. Up for adventure? Climb the 5897m Cotopaxi volcano or ride down from 4500m on a mountain bike! The great thing about Ecuador for backpackers is that it is fairly cheap to travel here with lots of well-priced accommodation and adventure activities.

                    • Travel Holiday $40-80
                    • Backpacking $30-40
                    • Shoestring $20

                    FOOD

                    • You can eat at a local restaurant for $3-5 and in the markets for less than $2.
                    • European meal (hamburger/pizza) around 10-12 USD.
                    • For a meal at a mid-range restaurant about $25

                    TRANSPORT

                    Long distance buses are a good deal for less than $2 per hour travelled.

                    ACCOMMODATION

                    In Quito a dormitory bed in a hostel starts at $4. A budget double room from $12 and you can stay in a 5 star hotel for $130

                    VISA FEES FOR ECUADOR

                    United States, Canada and most European countries can travel to Ecuador visa free for up to 90 days.

                    BUDGET ACTIVITIES

                    • Unfortunately going to the Galapagos islands is a very pricey exercise even which will cost at least $1000 even for the most stingy nomads. Flights, conservation fees and ferries alone is round $500.
                    • If you shop around you can do a 3 day local Amazon tour for about $120. With a higher budget you can do a 5-day tour and explore the Ecuador Amazon and live locally, admire rainforest wildlife, learn about shamanic practice and do several outdoor activities – isn’t it an amazing way of getting to know another country?!
                    • Stand over the equator at Quito
                    • Go to the Otavalo market.
                    • Hiking independent

                    South America Tours – G-Adventures Galagapos wild life

                    The Galápagos Islands aren’t just all about cruising! Over a week’s time and beginning and ending right in the heart of the action (the islands, of course), you’ll stay active by snorkelling, hiking, and exploring the diverse terrain before slowing things down with wildlife exploration in the company of an expert Naturalist Guide. With plenty of options to stick around after the trip’s done (or show up early for some independent adventuring beforehand), this is the perfect express trip for a most excellent Galápagos experience. G-Adventures Galapagos

                    PARAGUAY travel cost

                    I will definitely not call Paraguay ‘a tourist paradise’, one of the least visited countries in South America, with little travel infrastructure only has a handful of known tourist destinations. Getting ‘off the beaten track’ and experiencing local culture are the most popular tourist draw cards in this small land-locked country. The most well-known cities are Asuncio, the capital and popular point of entry by plane and Ciudad del Este, the second biggest city on the border with Brazil and Argentina and well known for shopping, mostly cheap and knock-off or fake goods. We entered the city from Iguazu. English is not widely spoken, so a basic knowledge of Spanish is very handy around here

                    Travel Budget for Paraguay

                    We spent PYG 191 000 ($ 34) in 3 days, thus 63 666 PYG ($12) each per day including all food, transport and other expenses.

                    We did not spend much time in Paraguay. I bought some electronics in Ciudad del Este for cheap. The Itaipu dam is located close to the city, the second biggest dam in the world is a nice site to go to from the city, the tour is free. The dam is one of the seven Engineering Wonders of the World. The massive network of waterfalls that they flooded to build the dam would have been even nicer. Apparently it was bigger and more impressive than Iguazu

                    ACCOMMODATION

                    • Dormitory bed in a nice hostel start at $13
                    • There are very few hostels, they are quite expensive
                    • Double room in budget hotel $30
                    • Good value for double rooms if you are two people sharing
                    • Stay in luxury 5 star hotel from $65
                    • For $65 you can get a double room in a top 5 star hotel

                    TRANSPORT

                    Extensive bus network connecting towns and cities, don’t expect luxury buses. Taxis are well priced, motorbike taxis are cheap.

                    PERU travel cost

                    Peru is still one of the cheaper countries to visit in South America hosting some of the continent’s most famous attractions. The two most popular highlights are without a doubt the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu and the multi day hiking trail ‘The Inca trail’ leading up to this archaeological wonder. Peru has so much more to offer, visit the fascinating man made islands of Lake Titicaca, explore the Amazon from Iquitos, check out Lima or go surfing at Mancora. Peru is a dream destination for trekking with a staggering array of trails winding through the Andes. These spectacular mountains offer a lot more than just the Inca trail; we spent a month in Cusco alone, doing some fantastic trekking like Salkantay, Choquequirao and Ausangate. If you do these treks independent it is dirt cheap, what an awe-inspiring experience!

                    Great help in doing some planning Lonely Planet Peru (Travel Guide)

                    Travel Budget for Peru

                    We spent PEN 2008 ($592) in 37 days, thus Sol 54.20 ($ 15.95) each per day including all food, transport and other expenses.

                    trekking peru

                    Trekking in Peru was very cheap, we had an amazing time and saw some unreal places!

                    For us doing a lot of hikes made Peru cheaper not more expensive. Doing independent hikes costs were minimum. During hikes accommodation was free and food was very cheap.

                    ACCOMMODATION

                    • Dormitory bed in a nice hostel in $6
                    • Double room in budget hotel $40
                    • Stay in luxury 5star hotel from $120

                    FOOD

                    • The best place for lunch is a menú at one of the local restaurants. A Peruvian menú is a set meal including a starter (normally soup or a small salad), a main course, a drink and sometimes a small dessert. The price is about PEN 10 ($3)
                    • Are you a foodie? Go to ‘Central’ restaurant in Lima, the nr 1 restaurant in South America and nr 4 in the world, a bit above our budget at round $200 for a 17 course meal, but we heard about the magic chef Martinez serves here, culinary art taking you from 20m below sea level to 4000m above.
                    • Some hostels include breakfast, usually simple (yes read not enough). We drank a lot of tea in the mountains of Peru. Most hostels give unlimited free coco tea since it helps with altitude sickness.
                    • McDonald’s meal about PEN16 ($4.50)
                    • Local beer PEN 6/ $1.8

                    TRANSPORT

                    • Bus travel in Peru is well priced with different options and prices. A bus ride from Lima to Cusco in a nice bus with wifi starts at about PEN80 ($25) for the 22 hour ride.
                    • Shorter trips of around 2 and a half hours were about PEN 10 ($3).

                    VISA FEES

                    TIPS

                    • Machu Picchu entrance is $47 including Machu Picchu Mountain. Machu Picchu is amazing despite the 4000 tourists a day, a must see.
                    • I recommend skipping the Inca Trail, hike a different route. There are many amazing hikes around Cuzco and several options to hike to Machu Picchu. The Inca Trail is the most famous and most touristy, this does not make it the best. See our Salkantay to Machu Picchu, an alternative routearticle for more on the topic.

                    Peru is an amazing culture and adventure experience; activities will be your biggest expense, go for it! It will be an experience you will treasure forever.

                    BUDGET ACTIVITIES

                    • Hike independent
                    • carry your own bag and use a map instead of a guide, there are some of the world’s best hikes in the Peruvian Andes!
                    • Take a slowboat trip in the amazon from Iquitos to Leticia. Awesome activity when traveling South America on the cheap.

                    South America Tours – G-Adventures Iconic Peru travels

                    G-Adventures Peru – This adventure offers up an intriguing combination of beauty and contrasts in scenery, wildlife, and cultures, whether you’re scanning the canopy for wildlife from the comfort of our intimate and exclusive G Lodge Amazon or climbing the ancient trail of the Incas to Machu Picchu, situated in the heavens of the Americas. Because we run our own treks, we can ensure the fair treatment of our porters and the quality of food and equipment which leaves you free to enjoy the beauty of the region.

                    URUGUAY. travel cost

                    Uruguay is known as an expensive country with top quality beef and people living on Mate, sort of a super Argentina, this is not too far off. The most popular places to visit in the country are Montevideo, Punta del Este, Colonia, Punta del diablo, and Cabo Polonio Rocha. The country is predominantly a summer beach destination, which is great since going to the beach is free. Kitesurfing is a popular activity and don’t miss eating a local steak and drink some matet (the mate straw is a cool gift to take home). Most travelers arrive in Uruguay by ferry straight from Buenos Aires ($56). The ferry is expensive and we decided to hitchhike the long way around, it took a long time. The country’s small size and efficient bus system allows for easy exploring of the whole country.

                    Travel Budget for Uruguay

                    We spent UYU 3954 ($ 140) in 7 days, thus 564 UYU ($20.50) each per day total, we did some hitchhiking and camping.

                    The sculpture on the beach- Los Dedos (“the fingers”), a famous work by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal.

                    The sculpture on the beach- Los Dedos (“the fingers”), a famous work by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal.

                    FOOD

                    • Eating in restaurants is very expensive, but like Argentina eating a steak is one of the must do things in Uruguay. Chivito (Uruguay’s classic steak sandwich) goes for about US$10, eating in a midrange restaurant $25 with a drink and double that for eating in a top end restaurant with wine.
                    • Lunch in a local restaurant cost about UYU 350 ($12). A Mcdonald’s meal is about UYU 280 ($10). Shopping and cooking the prices are not that crazy and staying in a hostel with cooking facilities is the cheapest way to travel here.

                    ACCOMMODATION

                    • Dormitory bed in a nice hostel start at $10
                    • Double room in budget hotel $35
                    • Stay in luxury 5star hotel from $160

                    TRANSPORT

                    All the cities and towns in Uruguay are connected by an extensive network of bus routes. The distances are short and we were surprised that transport is relatively cheap. The inter-city buses are modern, clean and comfortable and it was awesome that these buses have quite good Wi-Fi.

                    • Local bus ride in Montevideo US$1
                    • Long-distance bus rides are about US$7 per 100km travelled.

                    VENEZUELA travel cost

                    Traveling to the beautiful, dangerous and destroyed country of Venezuela is strongly discouraged by every foreign office around the world. Once one of the richest nations in South America, with massive oil reserves, due to political corruption and civil unrest it became a country with massive social and economic problems.

                    We had a great time traveling here late 2015, the country was already in distress and empty shops, corrupt police and non-existent service made it hard to travel here. It was however very cheap, we were traveling on cents, if it is ethical to travel to Venezuela is another hot potato.

                    We spent VEF 107 999 ($155) in 29 days, thus VEF 30723 ($5.31) each per day including all food, transport and other expenses.

                    THE CURRENCY ISSUE

                    When we were here, September 2015, the official exchange rate was $1=B6, on the black market you could however buy B700 with $1! This means that a Coke will only cost 27c at the black market rate, but you will pay $33 for the same Coke at the official exchange rate! If you bring cash it is an unbelievably cheap country to travel. If however you draw money at an ATM or pay by credit card at the official rate it is maybe the most expensive country in the world. Unfortunately this downward spiral has just continued for Venezuela with inflation at over 800 000% in October 2018

                    Want to know and understand what is going on in Venezuela? read this insight full and well received book – Crude Nation: How Oil Riches Ruined Venezuela

                    currency venezuela

                    Because of the exchange rate in Venezuela, tourists with US dollars have a lot of money. These are 50B notes (almost $10 notes).

                    BUDGET AND PRICES

                    Our average budget was $5.31 a day each all inclusive.

                    VISA FEES FOR VENEZUELA

                    US citizens need visa, $30 for 90 day multiple entry visa

                    BUDGET ACTIVITIES

                    Most things, don’t get robbed.

                    More about our travels in Venezuela

                    THE GUIANAS travel cost

                    Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana collectively called the Guianas are three territories located on the North Eastern coast of South America . Getting to the Guianas is not easy and the countries are expenses, they are skipped by most travellers in South America for these reasons. We briefly set foot in Guyana hiking in Venezuela, but since it is European territories we did not want to go through visa processes to travel here. Since we did not travel through the Guyanas I am including this based on what I heard and found online.

                    – French Guiana is a part of France, and thus of the EU, here you enter the EU while still standing in South America. There are not many touristy sites in the country.

                    -Travel Budget French Guiana

                    French Guiana is a very expensive country, even as a budget traveller you will find it hard to get away by spending less than $80 per day. Since there is no backpacker facilities expect to pay over $50 per night for accommodation.

                    – Suriname was formerly known as Dutch Guiana, the smallest country in South America only has a population of 550 000, Dutch is the official language and people drive on the left hand side. Over 90% of Suriname is covered in primeval rainforest and there are some awesome fauna and flora to experience here, river dolphins, 1000 pound leather back turtles laying their eggs on the beach and the gold footed tamarind monkeys.

                    -Travel Budget Suriname

                    Suriname sounds like the cheapest of the three, you should be able to find accommodation for under $25 and get away with a budget of round $60 per day.

                    – Guyana located between Venezuela and Brazil, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the north is South America’s only English speaking country. This year (2018) Guyana was a popular destination under travel bloggers. Traveling independent I heard Guyana is a very difficult country to get around in. Visitors go to see the incredible nature, with sites like the tallest free falling waterfall in the world (Kaieteur Falls). There is an incredible diversity of animals in the Amazon jungle and savannahs in Guyana, you can see the massive freshwater fish, Arapima, giant anteaters, piranhas, tarantulas and even jaguars if you are a birder the more than 900 species of exotic birds makes this a bucket list spot.

                    -Travel Budget Guyana

                    You should be able to find accommodation in a guesthouse for about $40 per night. and get away with a budget of round $70 per day.

                    Good stuff to Pack

                    Good travel and hiking Backpack – you want something that is easy and comfortable to carry, that is a good hiking pack if you are going to Patagonia, but that is easy to open like a good travel pack.

                    This is hard to find, a great hiking backpack that is not just top loading.

                    Travel Security Money Belt

                    Nobody will know you have money on you! Travel Security Money Belt

                    Water is not alway drinkable and bottled water can be expensive, we save a lot of money with our life straw in a bottle This amazing device is super handy if you are going hiking independent.

                    Source https://southamericabackpacker.com/south-america-travel-budget/

                    Source https://stingynomads.com/south-america-travel-budget/

                    Source

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