If you’re looking for cheap places to vacation within vast South America, you will surely not be short of options. These destinations also offer you something that beats any budget: when you land there, you will feel that you are only a few steps from what we could call paradise. From beaches to deserts, from islands to historic cities, passing through unique archaeological sites: in all these inexpensive destinations in South America, you will have an unforgettable vacation. Ready to start imagining yourself in that incomparable state of mind that only holidays give you? These are some cheap destinations to travel to in South America that we’re sure you’ll totally love.
#1. Machu Picchu, (Peru)
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and Peru’s main tourist attraction, Machu Picchu, cannot be missing from the list of the best cheap destinations in South America. The “lost city of the Incas,” 2,400 meters high, is a place full of history and mysticism. Adventurers will be able to follow the legendary Inca Trail, entering jungles and mountains for several days. If you prefer to keep your adrenaline levels less hectic, you can also take the train or bus journey.
#2. Banos (Ecuador)
Ready for an adventure in Baños, Ecuador? The small Baños de Agua Santa (or simply Baños), in the province of Tungurahua, is a must-see economic destination for those seeking adventure in the beautiful nature of Ecuador. It is known as the “Puerta del Amazonas” because it is on the Pastaza River banks in the Amazon river basin. In addition to being surrounded by three volcanoes and offering hot springs of mineral water, Baños is also famous for “La Casa del Arbol,” where the famous “swing at the end of the world” is located. Definitely, one of the best inexpensive destinations to travel to in South America.
#3. Las Lajas (Colombia)
The beautiful Las Lajas Sanctuary is located in the canyon of the Guaitara River, 50 meters high. It is a place of worship and pilgrimage that became one of South America’s leading tourist destinations. Las Lajas Sanctuary, in the south of Colombia, is a place of extreme beauty, either for its architecture or for the natural space in which it is located. The impressive 50-meter-high stone basilica is located in the canyon of the Guaitara River, in the municipality of Ipiales. Surrounded by waterfalls and with an exceptional wealth of details, including arches, mosaics, towers, and natural stone walls, Las Lajas is one of the cheap places to vacation that will move you.
#4. Uros Islands (Peru / Bolivia)
The legendary Lake Titicaca, the largest in South America by volume, is the equally mythical Uros Islands. They are artificial islands on the lake’s waters, which the Bolivian and Peruvian natives built in the pre-Columbian era to inhabit them. The Uros are supported on cattails, so constant maintenance work is necessary to ensure buoyancy. On these islets, residents fish and hunt birds and, of course, welcome tourists with open arms. Together with a vibrant traditional culture, the low cost of living makes the Uros Islands one of the cheap destinations in South America that cannot be missing from your travel list.
#5. Torres del Paine (Chile)
Hiking through the wild landscape of Torres del Paine is an unforgettable experience. No trip through South America would be complete without passing through the spectacular Parque de las Torres del Paine. Located in the Magallanes region, south of Chilean Patagonia, it was founded in the 1950s and declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1978. There are 242,000 wild hectares, full of mountains, glaciers, and lakes. Activities include hiking, climbing, canoeing, horseback riding, glacier tours, and many other adventure sports.
#6. Paramaribo (Suriname)
It is an uncommon option, but quite interesting to include in the list of cheap places to travel to in South America. Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, has rich colonial architecture and fascinating ethnic diversity. Small, with just over 250,000 inhabitants, but full of charm, the city amalgamates the heritage of the different cultures that are related to its history: Indians, indigenous people, Javanese, Africans, Dutch. Also, the historic center of the city was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.