3 low cost countries to visit in 2023 (S&C America)
Translation: How many times have you dreamed of being on a tropical beach with palm trees and a coconut in your hand? Do you perhaps prefer the world's largest forest (the Amazon) or a volcano that erupts every half an hour with the best view of it?
All of these may seem difficult and utopian, but in reality, you can find them for much less money than you imagine!
Of course, a week in an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic or the Bahamas can cost a lot of money, but you can enjoy the waters of the Caribbean without spending five salaries for this luxury.
We have gathered for you three countries in Central and South America that combine beautiful natural landscapes, extreme activities, and are incredibly affordable.
You don't need a tourist visa to enter these countries (which automatically reduces the cost), and accommodation and food start from 20 euros per day!
However, it should be noted that you do need a passport to travel to all these countries, and flights can be quite expensive because they are located far away. Of course, if you do your research early, you may find deals and reduce this cost.
--- PERU ---
Peru is a great choice as it combines significant archaeological sites with incredible natural environment.
It is located in Western South America and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean.
The main reason why people visit Peru is the famous Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is the most important monument of the Incas and one of the new seven wonders of the world.
In addition, it is connected to the Inca Trail (the trail of the Incas - or a part of their many trails) and hiking on it.
It is a once in a lifetime experience, a challenging 4-day trek through a stunning landscape. The difficulty and duration of the hike make the view of the monument even more beautiful and give a sense of accomplishment to anyone who attempts it.
For those who find climbing the mountain challenging or for those who do not have the time, there is also the option of taking the train to the monument, which allows you to arrive rested and sleep in your bed at night.
The best time for this experience is from April to October, with the highest demand during the summer months due to the clarity of the weather.
The second and dreamy reason for someone to visit Peru is that the largest part of it is made up of the Amazon rainforest.
The Amazon needs no introduction, it is a tropical forest, the lung of the earth, with huge biodiversity and is a MUST-SEE when you are in South America.
In Peru, you can see the Amazon in many ways and at various prices. You can take a one-day excursion or stay as many days as you want in an eco-lodge. For most places, you will need to take a plane from Lima, but you can also go by road if you have enough time.
Other attractions in Peru include the mountain Rainbow Mountain, a colorful mountain where you can climb to see the view and swim with sea lions.
Costs for Peru:
-Hotels and Airbnb from 20-30 euros
-Street food from 1 euro and local restaurants from 7-8 euros
-Hiking to Machu Picchu (the classic 4-day trek) 600 euros
-Amazon jungle depending on the number of days and program (from 100 for one day to 400-500-1000 euros)
Between Colombia and Costa Rica is the country of Panama. With many natural parks and a dreamy tropical coastline, Panama is high on our list.
The official currency of the country is the balboa, but the US dollar is widely used, and the language is Spanish, although most people in tourist cities speak English as well.
What to see in Panama
The Bocas del Toro archipelago in the Caribbean. Its most famous islands are Isla Colon, Isla Carenero, Isla Bastimentos, Isla Solarte, and Isla San Cristobal, with the city of Bocas in Colon being the center of tourism.
There, you can find a floating bar, literally in the sea, in an excellent spot for swimming as well as for food and drinks.
In addition, there are many beaches with white sand and clear waters, such as Pluff and Polo, but also beaches ideal for surfing (the area is famous for this activity) such as Tiger tails and Black rock.
Finally, the place is a great opportunity to go scuba diving, as it has a rich reef and good prices for the activity (starting from 85 euros).
In Panama, you will also find the wonderful village of Boquete, a place where the country's unique volcano, Volcan Baru, is located.
The village's uniqueness lies in the variety of its natural attractions. It has a mountain with remarkable flora, the volcano, and the Caldera River running through the village.
A hidden (maybe not for much longer) gem in Panama is the San Blas Islands.
It's a beauty taken straight out of a magazine, with beaches of white sand and palm trees, and not too much tourism. For us, it's a must-see spot in the country due to the phenomenon of bioluminescence that exists in some beaches of the world (it exists in these islands) and it looks like glitter (an unprecedented sparkle) in the sea at night.
Finally, a highlight of the trip to Panama is definitely the Coiba National Park. It's a national natural park that presents a huge variety of flora and fauna, from cows to whales. The land consists of forest and is bathed by the Pacific Ocean. There are a total of 38 islands in the park and the largest coral reef in America.
Costs for Panama
-Hotels and Airbnbs from 20eur.
-Food from 8eur.
Guatemala is one of our favorite countries for many reasons. The first reason is its variety of places. It has volcanoes, lakes, cities with a unique culture, and plantations. The second reason is its vibe, the feeling it emits. And the third reason is the coffee, it is said to have the best coffee in the world, and this is by itself a reason worth visiting (for us).
Initially, in Guatemala, there is Tikal. As lovers of history, we cannot fail to mention this very important Maya monument. In ancient times, it was the most important city of the Maya and now it is located within the forest with the largest and best-preserved monuments being the temples.
The complex of monuments is quite large and there is the possibility to go with a guide or on your own.
The most famous place in Guatemala is perhaps Lake Atitlan. It is the deepest lake in Central America and offers a cinematic scenery as it is surrounded by volcanoes. There are various Airbnb accommodations around the lake that maintain the aesthetic and are wonderful to enjoy for a few days.
In the larger area of the lake, you can simply swim, just make sure to check where most people are swimming first because some parts of it are dirty and not recommended for swimming.
A very popular activity in the country is hiking up a volcano.
The most famous one (and with the most beautiful view) is Acatenango. Usually, the hike lasts two days with an overnight stay on the volcano at the camp of the provider you have chosen. This way, you have the best view at night and in the morning.
Acatenango itself is inactive but is located very close to Fuego, which offers the scenery with its eruptions while you see it safely from the other side. The hike takes about 5 hours and the descent is a little less, but it is a challenging activity for those who are not used to it.
Another famous volcano is Pacaya, which you can hike up and down in a day and is easier than Acatenango, also offering a very beautiful view.
Last but not least, Semuc Champey park is one of the most famous destinations in the country and rightfully so. It is essentially a tropical forest, with lakes and small waterfalls. The best part is that you can swim in many areas of it.
Costs for Guatemala
-Hotels and Airbnb from 30 euros
-Food from 5 euros
-Acatenango with overnight stay from 90 euros.
These places are certainly among the best choices in Central and South America but also worldwide, as they combine culture, incredible natural scenery, and value for the money we spend.