Budget Travel in South America

A piece I wrote for Transitions Abroad’s website is up now, Budget Travel in South America.

It’s a quick rundown on what to expect there in terms of transportation, food, accommodation, and prices. There’s aren’t all that many useful websites covering South American countries, which is surprising. The ones that will really help you plan your trip are included.

There has been a little divergence over the past year in terms of the dollar pegs. The biggest gains in local currencies have been in the commodity-rich nations of Brazil and Chile. Both are 20-25 percent more expensive now than they were in 2006 just in currency gains alone. For the most part in the others you are just dealing with the inflation issues the rest of the world is experiencing, especially prices directly impacted by the rising cost of fuel. Some are managing better than others though: Argentina really is looking like it’s going to have a major crisis again and who knows where that will lead. For now expect to pay more than what is listed in any book, including The World’s Cheapest Destinations.

(Meanwhile, now you can download specific Lonely Planet South America chapters.)

  1. Nathan Shipley

    Thanks, Tim. I’m heading to South America for several months this summer for the first leg of a year-long RTW trip and you’ve provided a nice and succinct summary of what to expect price-wise. I like the comparison of expected prices from country to country.

    I do plan to take my time and try to live more like the locals do (renting an apartment room for a month in Lima, for example), so hopefully I’ll be able to come in a bit lower than the average prices you’re listing.

    Am I correct to assume that prices could be a bit lower and availability of lodging better over the southern-hemisphere’s winter during June, July, and August?

    Appreciate it!
    – Nathan

  2. tim

    Nathan – prices should be better in most places because it’s low season for the locals. But it’s high season for foreigners who want to hike the Andes, so Cuzco and the Sacred Valley are the most crowded in the summer and September. Any place that attracts ski crowds will also have high season prices–like Bariloche in Argentina.

  3. Travel South America

    Thanks for providing people with such great information. You’re making a lot of people travels on the continent more fun and efficient. Good job!

    For some more info and impression on travelling in South America, check out my website if you want.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *