Rio De Janeiro, Machu Picchu, Buenos Aires, Lake Titicaca, Rainbow Mountain, all of these fantastic colorful wonders of the world, can be found in South America. And they are all very affordable to visit, and will leave you with an unforgettable experience! 

Here are the cheapest countries to visit in South America:

  • Brazil 
  • Bolivia
  • Ecuador
  • Nicaragua 
  • Guatemala

Side note: If you are an American citizen and want a memorable trip that does not break the bank, South American countries are also some of the cheapest countries to visit from the USA.

Brazil

Color, color, and color, you can never get enough of good weather and colorful atmosphere, and Brazil is precisely that! From waterfalls to beaches to even beautiful architecture, Brazil is the perfect destination for tourists. However, many of them may need to apply for a visa before visiting the country. As if this does not sound amazing enough, Brazil is also one of the cheapest countries in South America to visit! You can travel, eat, stay in a hotel and experience the attractions Brazil has to offer for only $1,500 a week. You can eat delicious food daily in Brazil for around $15, and staying in a hotel will only cost $15-$20 a night.

What Can I Do in Brazil?

Watch a football match

When you hear about football, there is no way you can’t immediately connect it with Brazil. Brazil has a lot of accomplishments under its sleeve, from being the country with the most world cup wins to being the country with the most scored goals of all time! As a football fan, Brazil is a place you need to visit!

Take part in the biggest carnival in the world

Rio De Janeiro is home to the biggest carnival in the whole world. Almost 2 million people visit the Rio De Janeiro carnival every day. Foreigners claim it is the perfect portrayal of Brazil and Brazilians themselves. So if you want to fully be part of Brazilian culture, visiting Rio De Janeiro is a given.

Visit the Amazon rainforest

The amazing Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil, and although you think you know enough fascinating facts about it, there’s always something more that the Amazon offers. It has around 16,000 tree types, two and half million species of insects, and over 2,200 animal species. Being able to see all of these fantastic creatures for cheap means that you need to visit Brazil!

Bolivia 

Bolivia is a breath of fresh air that you should never miss out on! There are a ton of sights to see and emotions to feel when visiting Bolivia. There are a few requirements that travellers should fulfill to be able to enter the country. It is the cheapest country to visit in South America and the prices for hotels, food and fun are very low! 

Meals can cost up to $3, transportation is cheaper than $1, and hotels can go as cheap as $35 a night. The best part is that you can visit Bolivia and all of its attractions for the expense of only $294 a week per person.

What Can I Do in Bolivia?

Visit the Laguna Colorada (Red Salt Lake)

Just like the name suggests, Bolivia has a Red-colored lake that was nominated once for being one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The reddish color comes from the algae in the lake, and it gives a striking view from any angle. The best part of it? You can see a lot of new animals and even three species of flamingos habituating the lake!

Visit La Paz

La Paz grabs attention because it is the highest city in the world and the closest to space. Another attraction that foreigners love is the North Yungas Road in the city. This road is known as the Death Road because of the number of deaths reported there. However, this has never stopped tourists from visiting the spot out of curiosity!

Visit the Palacio de Sal (Salt Palace)

There is a Salt palace/hotel located in Bolivia, and yes, you definitely read that right! The walls and pillars of the palace are all made out of salt, so tourists are in shock when they first hear about it.

Visit the Witches’ Market (El Mercado de las Brujas)

Indigenous women are known for their belief in spiritualism, and this is best portrayed in the things available for buying at the Witches Market’. The market is not recommended for light-hearted people because it sells everything from dried frogs, potions, talismans, and llama fetuses. 

See the pink dolphins!

If you thought seeing colorful flamingoes is good enough, wait until you hear that there are pink dolphins that you can see in Bolivia. No, not white-colored or washed-out colored dolphins; when we say pink, we mean pink! The pinkish color gives the loving animal extra charms you have to witness for yourself!

Ecuador

Ecuador is filled with houses built with Spanish colonial architecture, and combining that with beautiful beaches and comfortable weather, it is a perfect spot to visit. Due to the perfect temperature of 60-80F, Ecuador experiences spring throughout the whole year. Full meals in Ecuador cost from $3 to $5, public transportation is less than a dollar, and hotels can be as low as $15.

The vast majority of world’s countries can have their citizens visit Ecuador without having to apply for a visa. Nonetheless, one of the main requirements of entering Ecuador, is having adequate travel medical insurance coverage.

What Can I Do in Ecuador?

Visit Mount Chimborazo

Contrary to popular belief that it is the highest mountain in the world, Mount Chimborazo instead has a lot of conspiracies going around it. Mount Chimborazo is the furthest point from the earth’s center. However, it does not qualify to be the highest mountain in the world because the measurements start at sea level! Besides that, Mount Chimborazo is a beautiful place to visit for mountain climbers, hikers, or just simple nature lovers!

Enjoy Ecuador’s four climates

If a specific climate is not your cup of tea, worry not since Ecuador offers you four climates to choose from. Ocean currents by the beach, breezy weather by the mountains, or even subtropical in the Amazon, Ecuador will fulfill all your required weather needs!

Go bananas for bananas

Due to Amazon’s extension to Ecuador, the highest number of bananas are exported from here. So if you’re a yellow fruit lover, Ecuador is the perfect place for you!

Nicaragua

Considering the diversity of its flora and fauna, the tropical climate, and active volcanoes, it is not surprising that around 2 million people visit Nicaragua every year. And the best part is that Nicaragua is one of the cheapest countries to visit in South America. It will only cost $315 a week, with meals costing less than $8, transportation being less than 1$, and accommodation as cheap as $15-$30 per night.

What Can I Do in Nicaragua?

Visit the many lakes and volcanoes

Due to its high number of lakes and volcanoes, Nicaragua is known as the land of fire and water. This contrast is very intriguing for tourists and is one of the main attractions of Nicaragua.

Lake Nicaragua is the most beautiful lake in Nicaragua, and it is said that it used to be part of an ocean, but due to the eruptive volcano explosion, it turned into a lake! 

Speaking of volcanos, Nicaragua also has a dual volcano. Yes, dual, meaning two volcanoes in one place! The two volcanoes form an island called Ometepe, and it is the only island in the world with a dual volcano.

Swim in a volcano crater

One of the most popular attractions in Nicaragua is swimming in the Laguna de Apoyo – the volcano lake crater! Yes, you read that right. The Laguna de Apoyo is a mystical and beautiful place and a must-visit during your vacation in Nicaragua.

Go star-gazing

Something you definitely should not miss out on during your trip to Nicaragua is star gazing. Make sure that you lift your eyes towards the sky during the night, where 86 out of 88 known star constellations can be seen!

Guatemala

Guatemala is a huge tourist destination spot, mostly due to the volcanoes, Mayan architecture and history, and the ancient city of Antigua. Guatemala is also known as the birthplace of chocolate and one of the cheapest countries to visit in South America. 

You can wrap up a week’s expenses in about $273! Hotels in Guatemala cost around $13, you can find food and meals for less than $10, and public transportation costs less than $1.

Things to Do in Guatemala

Start your day with the world’s best coffee

Except for the excellence of chocolate, Guatemala is also a producer of some of the best quality coffee in the world. So, all you coffee lovers can start your days with a nice cup of coffee to energize you for a long day of exploring!

Explore the country in a “chicken bus”

The local transport buses are an important aspect of Guatemala’s tourism. The “chicken busses” as they are known to English-speakers, are colorful, decorated busses which transport people and goods across Guatemala. They are also prevalent in many other South American countries as well. 

Although their usage is simple, tourists absolutely love the sight of the chicken buses driving around town!

Visit Tikal – the Ancient Mayan Ruins

Although hearing the name, Tikal might not ring any bells for you, seeing pictures of the ruins will immediately light up the lightbulb in your head! The heart of antique and ancient, the Mayan ruins are a sight to behold and a sight you will never forget!

Indulge in tamales and empanadas

Last but not least, the most important aspect of tourism, food. Well, trying out new food! The local delicacies, tamales, and empanadas are something that every tourist wants to try at least once, and you can find them both in Guatemala.

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