best south american countries to visit

5 Best South American Countries to Visit (On a Budget)

There is a lot to see in do in South America, so narrowing down your itinerary can be a real challenge. Do you want to visit the Incan ruins in Peru, or the beaches of Colombia? And what about the cosmopolitan cities in Brazil and Argentina? It’s even harder to narrow down travel options with a budget in mind.

After visiting (almost!) every country in South America and living in several, I’m sharing this ultimate guide to help travelers find the best countries to visit in South America and especially the best South American countries to visit on a budget.

Some of the best places to visit in South America are within the budgets of every traveler, and the cheapest countries in South America are actually the most fascinating. With all the natural wonders here, you’ll never be far from some of the most beautiful places in South America no matter what itinerary you choose.

best hotels in cusco

Best Countries to Visit in South America On a Budget

While travel in South America is generally much more affordable than it will be in North America or Europe, if you’re traveling on a budget, it’s important to choose your destination wisely.

Some cities and regions can get quite pricey, and some of the best places to visit in South America can get expensive if you’re not watching your budget.

Despite this, the cheapest countries in South America for visitors also happen to be some of the most fascinating and downright stunning, packing a huge bang for your travel buck.

After traveling throughout South America, we’re sharing the standout travel gems you won’t want to miss, but will still be gentle on your wallet. They’re home to some of the most beautiful places in South America you won’t want to miss, and we’re sharing below exactly where to travel on a budget in each country.

These are our top choices:

  1. Bolivia
  2. Peru
  3. Argentina
  4. Ecuador
  5. Colombia

Keep reading more below for why each of these countries made our list of the best South American countries to visit when traveling on a budget! Plus, the best South American cities to visit while you’re there!

best south american countries to visit

1. Bolivia

Why Bolivia?

Bolivia is one of my favorite recommendations for an unforgettable and affordable travel adventure – not just in South America, but anywhere! The landscape here is varied and extreme – think snowcapped peaks, deserts, the Amazon, and high-altitude lakes.

In my experience, this is both one of the best South American countries to visit and one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

Even among South American countries, Bolivia is still considered relatively off the beaten path, despite having some incredible bucket-list destinations that are like nowhere else on earth – most notable, the Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats.

Bolivia’s Best

  • Otherworldly landscapes, like the Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats and the bright red Laguna Colorada
  • The Witches Market in La Paz
  • The Amazon rainforest
  • Riding a cable car across the mountains over La Paz
  • The sights and sounds of Lake Titicaca

Because it’s off the beaten path and its tourism infrastructure is still developing in many areas, Bolivia can be extremely affordable. You can easily get by here on $30 USD or less a day, though the multi-day tours of the Salt Flats will be at least $75 USD per day.

On a budget, Bolivia is easily one of the cheapest countries in South America for travelers – if not the number one!

La Paz

Definitely, an off-the-beaten-path Latin American capital, La Paz has plenty of things to see and do and is a great destination for exploring the rest of Bolivia. La Paz is easily one of the best cities to visit in South America for backpackers, and a standout favorite.

Plus, the city is stunningly located amidst the mountains, and there is a view at every turn. It can be quite inexpensive to visit La Paz, and many of its favorite attractions are free or extremely cheap.

Favorite experiences in La Paz include:

  • Riding the cable cars over the city – this is public transportation here, but a great way to see the entire city and surrounding mountains.
  • Visiting the Witches Market, a market dedicated to items used in rituals and ceremonies traditional to Bolivia’s indigenous groups. You’ll find dried frogs, soapstone statues, teas, herbs, and even llama fetuses, which are offerings to Mother Earth, known as Pachamama.
  • Visiting the Valle de la Luna, which has jagged rock formations that look like a landscape straight from the moon.

Stay at Hotel Rosario, which has long been a favorite place to stay in the historic center of La Paz. Set in a traditional colonial-style building, the hotel has charm, and rooms are comfortable if a bit basic. Service is excellent, and the hotel offers many great amenities and a delicious included breakfast.

bolivia salt flats reflection

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Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats

Visiting the Salt Flats in Uyuni, Bolivia is one of the reasons that many travelers come to Bolivia in the first place – they’re a bucket list destination for many!

Visiting the Salar de Uyuni is well worth it – though most of the multi-day jeep tours that travel through this remote area start at around $75 per day, it’s worth saving in other areas of your budget to visit!

Multi-day tours are popular through southwest Bolivia because not just the Salt Flats are worth seeing in this area of the country – you won’t want to miss the bright red Laguna Colorada with its flocks of flamingos, snowcapped mountains on the Chilean border, abandoned mining villages from Spanish colonization, and much more. They also include at least one full day on the Salt Flats.

Make sure you get to stay in a salt hotel or hostel – Casa de Sal is one of the originals and worth a stay, if you don’t head out on a multi-day tour – most of these tours include a stay in one!

Uyuni is most commonly accessed by bus from La Paz or San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, though I visited by traveling overland from northern Argentina. I started my tour of the Salt Flats in Tupiza, Bolivia, and did the typical route backward, a great option for travelers as well! Either way, prepare for beauty.

Read More: Salar de Uyuni: Ultimate Travelers Guide

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake, and a beautiful natural attraction along the Peru- Bolivia border just a few hours north of La Paz.

This stunning location had religious importance to the local indigenous populations – it’s considered the birthplace of the creator god who rose out of the lake to make the sun, stars, moon, and people.

Here travelers can visit the many floating islands created by the Uros people out of reeds – check out this guide to visiting the floating islands in Lake Titicaca for the best way to visit. In addition, there are several archeological sites surrounding the lake that are worth a visit.

Make sure to visit and spend a night on Isla del Sol in the middle of the lake – Hostal Challapamba is a great choice for a stay.

Lake Titicaca is a beautiful destination and popular one, with inexpensive hostels here as well around $7-10. Puno is the largest city here, located on the Peruvian side of the lake, but most people visit Copacabana on the Bolivia side. A bus from Copacabana to La Paz or vice versa is about 3 hours.

2. Peru

Why Peru?

Peru is a bucket list destination for many travelers for its most popular attraction, the incredible Machu Picchu. However, there is much, much more to see and do here than just that. Here you can ride down the sand dunes, hit the beach, and hike the Incan Trail all at once.

Peru is also one of the cheapest travel destinations you’ll find! Plus, Peru is one of the safest South American countries to visit.

Peru’s Best

  • More Incan ruins that you can keep straight in the Sacred ValleyOllantaytambo, Pisac, Sacsayhuaman, Machu Picchu, and more.
  • Snowcapped mountain treks in Huaraz
  • The Amazon rainforest
  • Sandboarding in the desert near Huacachina
  • The Nazca lines, as seen from above!

Despite being popular with travelers around the world, Peru remains quite affordable and can be traveled for around $30 USD per day. However, watch your expenses if you’re traveling on a budget, as prices can sneak up quickly, especially in more popular destinations.

Visiting Machu Picchu – and especially hiking the Inca Trail – will push your budget.


Smack dab in the center of the Andes Mountains, Peru is all about hiking and incredible mountain views, and Huaraz is the place to visit for hiking. Located at the base of the Huascarán National Park, home to the highest peaks in the country, there are many popular day treks and multi-day treks in the area.

Popular hikes include visiting the breathtaking mountain lakes by trekking to Laguna 69 or Laguna Paron, and more.

Many of these hikes can be achieved independently by grabbing a taxi to the starting point or taking public transportation, but arranging a guide (Huayhuash Adventures!) can be really helpful for the longer, multi-day ones.

Huaraz is quite affordable and has the feeling of a backpacker town. Big Mountain Hostel in the center of town has dorm rooms for just $6, and there are several hostel options in the area.

Selina Huaraz is a bit further of a walk from the center town and a bit more expensive, but very popular and has all the creature comforts.

machu picchu

Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail

Of course, a major draw for Peru is Machu Picchu, the country’s most popular attraction. Visiting can easily get quite expensive, but there are ways to do it on a budget and save a lot of money.

One of the cheapest ways to visit Machu Picchu is by passing through Aguas Calientes – the town at the bottom of the mountains nearest to the ruins – and taking the bus up the mountain. You’ll want to spend a full day at Machu Picchu, so staying at least one night in Aguas Calientes is a good idea – dorm rooms in hostels in Aguas Calientes start at about $10, and privates around $25-30.

Hiking the multi-day Inca Trail trek through the Sacred Valley to reach Machu Picchu is the best way to visit, though definitely a splurge – usually around $600 per person for four days. However, this is one of those life-changing and unforgettable experiences in travel, and definitely worth it.

Hiking the Inca Trail would be an area to stretch your budget – it’s easily one of South America’s best and most memorable experiences.


Many consider Cusco as a stop-off or a place to acclimate to the altitude before visiting Machu Picchu, but Cusco and the surrounding Sacred Valley have so much more to offer.

There are so many things to do in Cusco, including exploring plenty of markets, colonial buildings, and Incan foundations. In my opinion, it’s one of the best cities to visit in South America.

Plus, nearby in the Sacred Valley are destinations like Pisac (which has one of the best markets in Latin America!) and Ollantaytambo.

Though too often skipped on quick itineraries to Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley has so much to offer – this would easily be a stand-alone destination were it not for its wonder of the world neighbor stealing the thunder!

Looking for where to stay in Cusco? Selina Cusco in Plaza de Armas has private rooms between $28 – $50, plus hostel dorms for around $10. Cheaper but nice hostel dorm options are at Kokopelli Hostel Cusco which starts at $7 USD. Private hotel rooms in the historic center start at around $50.

Read More: Where To Stay in Cusco (+ Cusco Neighborhoods Guide)

cheapest south american countries

3. Argentina

Why Argentina?

Surprised to see Argentina on the list of affordable destinations? You might be if your image of Argentina is steak and red wine and tango in the bustling, cosmopolitan Buenos Aires.

But, travelers here are in for a real treat, as there are some budget travel deals to be found here given the current exchange rates of the Argentine peso.

Buenos Aires is easily one of the best South American cities to visit – there is so much to do and see here, and the city itself will take your breath away. Plus, you’ll be close enough to visit the beaches of Uruguay, Iguazu Falls, and Argentine wine country, all some of the best places to visit in South America.

Argentina’s Best

  • The multi-colored hills in Jujuy – they look like they’re out of a painting!
  • The world’s best steak in Buenos Aires (it’s at Don Julio!)
  • Sipping on Malbec in the wineries in Mendoza
  • Insane mountain views in Patagonia
  • Cafe culture, European architecture, and the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires.

Argentina has so much to love – I lived in Buenos Aires for six months and still have worlds left to explore – including the intoxicating Buenos Aires and beyond. Expect some of the excursions and tours in Patagonia to tempt you to push your budget higher, but Argentina can be traveled around $30 a day.

As a solo female traveler, I also felt that Argentina was one of the safest South American countries to visit – certainly take care of pickpockets in crowded areas and on transport, but I never felt unsafe here.

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires can be a great place to visit on a budget, but a place where you can also blow any budget easily – but as a major Latin American city, there is nothing like it, and can snag Argentina the title of the best country to visit in South America.

Here you’ll find a mix of Paris, New York, and Latin America in a way that exists nowhere else. There are truly endless things to do in Buenos Aires, and much of it is cheap or completely free.

You can visit the San Telmo market, one of the best markets in South America, visit the MALBA (Museum of Latin American Art) for their impressive permanent collection and inexpensive movie showings, and visit the city’s numerous parks. Plus, this is definitely the place to attend a soccer game in Latin America!

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Things that are homegrown and local to Argentina are quite inexpensive, while imported things can get pricey. For example, a dinner of steak and Malbec will usually be quite affordable. However, prices can vary wildly for meals, so check the menu first!

Check out Pick Up the Fork as Buenos Aires’ undisputed best foodie website for even more insight and recommendations.

Dorm rooms in hostels go anywhere from $7-12 in some of the best areas of the town, which is a fantastic deal – another reason it’s one of the best South American cities to visit on a budget.

Privates in my favorite Selina in the traveler-favorite neighborhood of Palermo are around $50 a night, Viajero Buenos Aires Hostel is a great option for dorms and private rooms in San Telmo… oh, and it has a pool!

best countries in south america


Mendoza is the capital of wine country in Argentina, running right along the Andes and the Chilean border. When visiting, I found that most wine experiences here were surprisingly affordable yet can feel quite luxurious.

Mendoza is also a starting point for climbing Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, and there are plenty of other incredible hikes in the area as well.

There are plenty of ways to see and visit wineries here – we did a self-guided bike tour of the wineries – it was fantastic and a great way to enjoy the incredible scenery. If you’re (rightly) skeptical about the idea of combining alcohol with bike riding, there are tour options with transportation as well.

I stayed at Hostal Internacional for just $8 in a dorm room when I passed through Mendoza as a college student – I loved it and met lots of new friends. A relatively inexpensive private option in the center of town is Soltigua Apart Hotel.

If you’re a wine connoisseur – or would like to try being one! – Mendoza is easily among the best places to visit in South America


Jujuy is the most northwestern province in Argentina, and for the absolute gem of this location, it gets far too little attention. Here you can find some of the most incredible landscapes and most beautiful places in South America, an extension of the incredible scenery you’ll find just across the Bolivian border, near the Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats.

One of Jujuy’s best sights is in the small town of Purmamarca, the Hill of the Seven Colors (Cerro de los Siete Colores). There are some great hikes around the mountain and through nearby towns in this very scenic and beautiful area.

We visited Jujuy via bus on our way from Buenos Aires to Bolivia, making it quite an affordable destination. Jujuy’s location between two of the best South American countries to visit on a budget is a plus, and makes for a great stopover.

The bus ride from Buenos Aires is a doozy (20+ hours), but be on the lookout for inexpensive flights from Buenos Aires, as they do exist. If traveling south from Bolivia, this area is extremely accessible by various bus routes.

where to stay in quito

4. Ecuador

Why Ecuador?

There is a joke in Ecuador that you can eat breakfast on the beach, lunch in the Andes, and dinner in the Amazon rainforest, all in one day. It’s not too far from the truth – within one of South America’s smallest countries, you’ll find every type of climate and travel experience you’re looking for in Latin America.

We may be completely biased – we lived in Quito for two years and loved every minute of it – but we would absolutely consider Ecuador one of the best countries to visit in South America, with some of the most beautiful places in South America.

Mainland Ecuador is FAR too overlooked by travelers – many head straight to the Galapagos and miss out on all that Ecuador has to offer. The Galapagos is a notoriously expensive destination, but check out this guide to an inexpensive Galapagos vacation if you just can’t miss it!

Ecuador’s Best

Having so much to offer travelers in such a small country makes this a fantastic budget destination – transport is inexpensive and frequent, and you can easily have a varied itinerary in just a few days.

Plus, Ecuador is an easy place to stick to a budget – hostel dorms are inexpensive, as are basic hotels, and there are plenty of inexpensive food options. It can easily be one of the cheapest South American countries for visitors.

Quito was our home for two years, and we’re thankful to have traveled to see what seems like everywhere in Ecuador over those two years – keep reading for some of our favorites.


Don’t underestimate Quito – it is one of the best cities to visit in South America, with plenty to offer visitors. Quito has one of the largest and best-preserved colonial centers in Latin America, so wandering and exploring the historical center will easily fill at least a day.

Visit the Basilica del Voto Nacional for a sweeping view from the spire of bell towers and the city below – it’s a view unlike any other. I’d even go so far as to say it is one of the best places to see in South America for this unmatched city view!

There is so much I could say about Quito – I lived here for two years, and my husband lived here for three! Check out my guide to some of my favorite things to do in Quito!

Quito is also a perfect hub for exploring the Andes mountains that extend down the center of the country. Nearby spots for hiking, including these:

Plus, many of Ecuador’s favorite small cities and towns are quick day trips from Quito, like Otavalo with its indigenous market, Mindo and the Ecuadorian cloud forest – a bird-watching destination and relaxing jungle retreat, and Baños, Ecuador’s adventure sports capital. Some of the best places to see in South America are just a short trip away from Quito.

Stay at Secret Garden Hostel near the historic center for inexpensive but comfortable dorm rooms — and the rooftop bar and restaurant with a view over the whole city is worth a trip even for those who aren’t guests.

Selina Quito has both dorm rooms and privates that are a step up from the standard hostel. For an inexpensive but nice hotel, Vista del Angel Boutique Hotel in the Historic Center neighborhood is a great choice.

Read More

quilotoa ecuador


The Quilotoa crater lake is a stunning volcanic crater high in the Andres, and the start of the Quilotoa Loop, known as one of the best treks in South America. Whether you plan on doing the 3-day trek or not, Quilotoa is an unforgettable and budget-friendly place to visit.

Quilotoa is accessible by direct bus from Quito or via a bus from Latacunga, the largest nearby city, at the base of the Cotopaxi volcano.

If you plan to hike the Quilotoa Loop – starting or ending at the crater lake – prepare for 3 days of trekking through some of the most gorgeous mountain landscapes you’ll ever find, and staying in small indigenous villages. It’s a fantastic cultural exchange and travel experience at once – and considered one of the most beautiful places in South America.

Read More: Ultimate Travel Guide to Quilotoa, Ecuador


Tena is one of Ecuador’s gateway cities to the Amazon rainforest, and the best place to see the Amazon on a budget. Easily accessible to Quito by bus, Tena is inexpensive to get to, and there is plenty to see and do.

You’ll find countless options of jungle tours that take travelers through the rainforest and to the surrounding indigenous communities – day tours and multi-day tours are common. Check out our complete guide to the best Amazon jungle tours in Ecuador for more details!

Whitewater rafting is also a very popular activity in Tena – Tena is well known as the place to go for rafting in Ecuador.

Stay at Hostel Pakay – this eco-friendly spot makes you feel like you’re in the heart of the jungle while still conveniently close to town. It’s a bit pricier than a normal hostel but well worth it. Another option is Zumag Sisa, a hostel in central Tena with a great covered terrace and hammocks, and near restaurants and shops.

Read More: Ultimate Travel Guide to Tena, Ecuador

digital nomad cartagena colombia

5. Colombia

Why Colombia?

Colombia is definitely having a moment – it’s now well on the radar of many travelers and backpackers, and tourism here is growing fast.

With two ocean coastlines and pristine beaches, mountains, coffee, major cities…Colombia has it all, making it easily one of the best countries to visit in South America.

Colombia’s Best

  • The Lost City multi-day trek through the jungle
  • Coffee plantations in Colombia’s coffee triangle zone
  • The beaches along the Caribbean coast and the Pacific coast, especially those in Parque Tayrona
  • The colonial center of Bogotá and riding the cable cars over Medellín (one of the best cities to visit in South America!)

Colombia’s status as perhaps the cheapest South American country to visit is more in question given the recent tourism boom. Favorite spots (including those I’ll outline below) are creeping up in price for visitors, but Colombia is still overall one of the best countries in South America to visit on a budget.

Some additional sites to check out, even more budget-friendly, include the Cocora Valley, Popayán, and Cali in the southern part of the country.

Worried about safety? Colombia has had a bad reputation in the past, but it is much, much safer for travelers than you might expect. Check out these helpful safety guides for some of Colombia’s most popular destinations:


I spent two months living in Medellin, but there is still so much to see here. This city is booming and growing fast, is a favorite with travelers, and is even one of Latin America’s digital nomad hotspots. The days of Pablo Escobar are long gone, and Medellin is moving forward fast.

One of the most popular areas of the city for travelers is El Poblado, with plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars to enjoy, but make sure to get outside of this neighborhood too, for the sake of your budget and seeing the whole city.

Make sure to experience some of the best things to do in Medellín:

  • Ride the cable car over the city for the best views;
  • Visit Plaza Botero and the Museo de Antioquia;
  • Join a walking tour of Comuna 13 to learn about how art is transforming neighborhoods and communities.

Medellin has a whole group of trendy, tricked-out hostels in El Poblado that definitely can get a bit more expensive (between $12-17 for a dorm room) but with lots of amenities, like the award-winning Los Patios. However, there are less stylish yet perfectly comfortable options like Florentina Hostel, which has private dorm rooms for around $7-9 and doubles around $20.

Read More: Where to Stay in Medellin

For a budget hotel option, check out Stanza Hotel Medellin – double rooms here are less than $30, which is better than the private rooms at Los Patios.

Plan a day trip or overnight trip to nearby Guatapé, one of Colombia’s magical and colorful small towns, and home to the giant El Peñol rock (often listed among the best places to visit in South America), which provides incredible views over the lake. It’s one of South America’s most famous landmarks.

digital nomad cartagena


Cartagena is well known for being an incredible colonial gem on the Caribbean coast, with beautiful architecture and worth a visit in its own right. It’s also a great place to kick off a backpacking route along the Caribbean coast of Colombia and beyond, as it has a busy international airport.

While it’s not a beach destination itself, it’s a gateway to some of South America’s most beautiful beaches.

A very popular destination just outside of Cartagena, Isla Barú and the Rosario Islands are a group of islands just off the coast of the city that have some incredible hostels – they’ll make you feel like you have a small private island getaway on a backpacker budget.

Check out the Hotel IslaBela eco-hostel to get an idea of what you’ll find here.

Since Cartagena is now such a popular destination, you have to look out for deals to keep it budget-friendly, but thankfully there are many to be had. Check out the Clock Hostel & Suites ($) for dorm rooms on the lower end of the price range here (around $15).

Read More: Best Things To Do in Cartagena, Colombia

Parque Tayrona

Parque Tayrona is a favorite destination on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and has some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. A national park, this destination limits admission to up to 6,900 visitors per day, which makes a visit even more special, as you’ll have some beautiful spots to yourself.

Visitors can come for the day or rent campsites or covered hammocks to spend the night – these cost around $15 and have basic facilities like a bathroom outhouse. Food is available inside the park but is more expensive than it would be outside the park.

The nearest city is Santa Marta, which is less than an hour away by bus.

In addition to some beautiful and pristine beaches, Parque Tayrona has many hiking trails to explore the more mountainous area of the park. Park admission for foreigners costs about $15 USD and gives access to the entire park.

Travel Tips for South America on a Budget

There are many easy ways to save money when traveling in South America that will make a visit to any country – including the best South American countries to visit on a budget! – much more affordable, yet still just as enjoyable.

Use Money-Saving Booking Platforms

Book your accommodations and tours using the most money-saving platforms out there. Our go-to platforms are:

  • has the largest selection of hostels, hotels, and rental apartments anywhere on the internet, helping you easily find the best deals. This is my go-to!
  • Hostelworld: Hostelworld is the best option for booking exclusively in hostels, but I always check to see if the same property is listed on and if there is a price difference.

Also – try to book ahead when possible, even if it means doing so on the bus as you’re pulling into town. While showing up in a city and looking for accommodation is usually possible, this often is not the most cost-effective strategy.

Consider Walkability

Do your research before you book accommodations and think about what you’ll like to or need to do while there.

I often think staying a bit outside of town will save money on accommodations, only to make up the difference in taxis or Ubers. Small taxi or Uber fares – or even bus fares, add up quickly over time.

Eat Local Food

Skip the restaurants that serve the standard traveler fare like pizzas and hamburgers for local places with local favorites. You’ll easily save at least half of the cost of a meal.

Easy Money-Saving Food Tips:

  • Visit the markets for prepared food stalls with an array of inexpensive options. Plus, markets are great for people-watching and checking out local ingredients, too.
  • Choose almuerzos – Most local resturants in Latin America (and the cheapest countries in South America on this list!) will offer a set lunch menu called an almuerzo. These usually come with a soup, main dish, and juice – all for a very low price. These are generally delicious and will fill you up (while helping you save money).

As always, practice some simple street food safety tips, and you’ll be fine. Choose the busiest (local favorite!) spots, and opt for freshly cooked food rather than food sitting out.

Take Public Transportation

Try your hardest to take public transportation! It can be intimidating for sure, but look for local apps with bus or subway routes, and ask locals in advance to help you determine your route. I’ve never asked locals or bus drivers for help and not been met with kindness.

Almost everywhere I’ve ever traveled in Latin America has a comprehensive network of local transport that will save you so much on taxis or Ubers.

Choose Tours Wisely

Here’s the thing – it is ALWAYS the best choice to choose experiences over slightly nicer hostels or hotels when you travel. That is why we travel in the first place!

However, not every experience has to be through a tour or activity. What can you visit on your own? Think about what you’ll most value and want to look back on after your trip – and try not to miss out on the most beautiful places in South America if you can, just due to budget.

For example: ziplining for the 5th time in your life could be an easy activity to cut – put that money towards a nicer Inca Trail trek and Machu Picchu experience – one of the best places to visit in South America!

We always look for and book tours and activities ahead of time whenever possible – Get Your Guide and Viator are fantastic and budget-friendly resources we use to do this!

Best Time to Visit South America

There is no one best time to visit South America that will save you the most money or give you the best chance to experience the nicest weather – climates are so varied, even within countries!

However, look into traveling in the shoulder season – between the high and low seasons – for a combination of good deals and good weather.

carley rojas avila

Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.