Is Travel to South America Still Affordable?
picture of the cover of a sample tour itinerary

Download itinerary

  • Get This Itinerary Now! 📬
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
Travel News

Is Travel to South America Still Affordable?

3 min read

Jul 20, 2023


Share This Post

Updated July 17th, 2023

In times of inflation and full aircraft, we all are still eager to travel and see the world. With the old dream of traveling to South America still being alive, we wonder: Can we still afford a trip to South America?


Flying to South America is still a great deal. Southwest and JetBlue for example are flying to the North of South America, including Peru. A lesser known Brazilian budget airline, Azul, is flying to Brazil.  Therefore competition is intense and brings overall prices down.

Whereas flight prices to Europe are becoming more and more expensive as airlines merge or work together in alliances, new airlines from SouthAmerica, especially from Chile and Colombia are adding competition.

And of course, South America is closer! Remember, Colombia is just 2 hours flight away from Florida, the Amazon is just 4 hours from Miami!


Hotels are generally less expensive in South America! And what makes it easy for us to shop around for a nice hotel is the fact, that by law all taxes must be included in the advertised price. NO hidden fees! So-called resort fees are either mostly absent or just illegal. You can still find a room in a nice 4star hotel in Lima for 80 USD – no problem!

You might have to fork out US prices for US chain hotels. Why would you stay at Holiday Inn, Marriott or Radisson, when you can stay in a less expensive equivalent place with some local flavor, right? But are those hotels in safe areas? Generally yes, because otherwise they would go out of business!

Hostels are not a good deal, again mostly. Hostels upgraded their rooms and services in past years and during the pandemic and now costs almost as much as 3-star hotels. But in essence are still hostels and no hotels with all the services usually attached to them.

South American Cuisine

Now, to the food in South America: That can be extremely cheap or extremely expensive: Some of the world’s best restaurants are in South America now. Think meat in Brazil and Argentina or the sophisticated fusion cuisine of Peru, where they bring together the flavors of the rain forest, the ingredients from the high lands of the Andes and everything you can think of from the sea. Many of the “super” foods that we started to eat only recently come from Peru: Quinoa, Avocados, Chia, Maca, Lucuma etc…

You can eat these in fancy places or in rather modest establishments. Just make sure your meal was freshly boiled, cooked or roasted!


Comparing the cost of visiting different countries in South America, Argentina is still a great deal. (Beware of sudden exchange rate changes!) Chile and Uruguay are probably the most expensive places to visit. Peru is very reasonable, especially for the quality you get. Colombia too, to a certain extent. Bolivia and Paraguay come out at the affordable end. In Brazil, it depends where you go! Rio and São Paulo can get quiet expensive, whereas inland and in the North East of Brazil you can find bargains.

So, yes, South America is still very affordable, not quite as much as it once was, but still a great place to visit for your wallet. And remember: You generally stay within the US time zones going there, so you do not lose a day because of a jet lag!

Happy travels!



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Plan Your Trip to
the Galápagos
the Amazon
Machu Picchu
Create Your Own Custom Tour

Click your preferences: Destinations & Activities. Be as specific or general as you like - or click Help Me Decide! We'll spice it with hidden gems & personal tips to create your perfect trip.

Choose Amazon destinations (optional)
Choose destinations (optional)
Choose Bolivia destinations (optional)
Choose Brazil destinations (opt)
Choose Chile destinations (opt)
Choose Colombia & Panama destinations (optional)
Choose Ecuador & Galapagos destinations (optional)
Choose Paraguay & Uruguay destinations (optional)
Choose Patagonia & Antarctica destinations (optional)
Choose Peru destinations (optional)
Choose Guianas destinations (optional)
Choose Interests
Choose activities
What category of accommodation?

You can choose more than one!

When would you like to go?
How many travelers?
age groups
age groups
Review my trip summary





Highly recommended - Phone: We ❤️ to talk! A brief chat with your personal Travel Consultant helps us create your perfect trip!

Hooray! Thanks for Sharing!

If you have an additional 30 seconds we’d love to learn more about you…

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Custom Tour Request Popup

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • One Moment Please

    We are matching your tour idea with the right Travel Consultant
    who will be in touch shortly.
    Thank you for your request!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.