bang for the buck
October 23, 2008 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Where are the cheapest places to live/travel in Latin America right now?
posted by cookie googleman to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador should all be cheap to travel within. I've heard good things about living in Uruguay, but imported and/or luxury products will still be very expensive no matter where you go in Latin America.
posted by empyrean at 9:02 PM on October 23, 2008

i can only speak for traveling some of the countries in south america, but in my opinion chile, brazil and peru are the most expensive because of general costs and the amount and spread of tourism activities to be found there. in the middle i'd say are ecuador, colombia, uruguay, and on the lower end argentina, paraguay and by far the cheapest in my experience- bolivia.

further north than that i dont have much knowledge or memory.

as far as living I can only speak for Chile, which is not anywhere near one of the cheapest.
posted by nzydarkxj at 12:52 AM on October 24, 2008

I can only speak for Peru, but I've lived there on and off again, the maximum being for 11 months. It's cheap and pretty easy to navigate. (Well, Cusco's expensive, but other than that, you should be good.)
posted by cachondeo45 at 4:54 AM on October 24, 2008

I have to disagree that Argentina is one of the cheaper places to visit or live. I believe it is quite expensive, and is also subject to the 'tourism' clause invoked above.

Northern Brazil is a cheap(er) option. The Brazilian currency is currently in free-fall against the dollar, and consequently things have gotten quite cheap. The fact that it's in the north and largely isolated from the expensive cities of Sao Paolo and Rio, while still having the beautiful beaches and quality infrastructure, make it a good option for both living and traveling.

From personal experience, I'd also say that Nicaragua is a cheap option, but not necessarily an interesting and/or pleasant one.

Also, I second the vote for Ecuador. The andean part (ie. Quito and surrounding) is particularly nice to visit and reasonably affordable.

So, my vote is for NE Brazil, followed by Ecuador.
posted by eas98 at 7:46 AM on October 24, 2008

Coastal Venezuela.

Say what you will about Chavez, but one of the things that his brand of socialism brings is extremely low prices on all staple goods. A beer never costs more than the equivalent of 50 cents US, and you're more likely to find it for a quarter -- though it'll be one of four national brands. High quality Argentine beef can usually be found for about a dollar a pound (at least in the parts of the country where people can afford it). Coffee is nearly free, and a huge part of the culture. A freshly caught, gutted and perfectly grilled fish... about two bucks, with a free beer thrown in.

Mrs. Toxic and I lived quite well on Margarita Island for quite some time on about $500 a month, including rent in a beachfront condo with reliable Internet service. Eventually island fever caught up to us, and it was time to move on, but we both hope to go back someday for another multi-month visit.
posted by toxic at 11:03 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks so much everyone. Great information.

I can can confirm that Argentina is not cheap. I was recently in Buenos Aires and the prices are just slightly lower than U.S. prices.
posted by cookie googleman at 11:03 AM on November 8, 2008

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