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.)