Cost of Travel South America

How Much Money I Spent Travelling South America for 3 Months!

This post most likely contains affiliate links to things such as tours, transport, accommodation, products & amazon associate links. I may receive a small commission if you use the links which costs you no extra, but helps keep this blog going.

Updated 2019. I spent just over 3 months in South America at the start of 2015. When I booked the trip I really wasn’t too sure how much money I would need, I knew I wanted to go and once I have an idea in my head there’s no stopping me!

I knew it was going to be more expensive than South East Asia where I had travelled for 5 months before but I hoped it wouldn’t be European Prices.

I visited 6 different Countries and it turned out that the way I had booked my trip meant I started with the most expensive countries (Brazil, Argentina & Chile) and ended with the cheaper Countries (Bolivia, Peru & Ecuador) which worked out pretty well and less stressful than the other way round.

I was on a budget in South America and travelled South America in a backpacker way but I tried to not miss out on too much because of my budget! After all, who knows when I’ll go back!

2019 Update: My friend Danielle from the travel blog Escaping Essex visited South America for 3 months at the start of 2018 on a ‘flash packers’ budget. For up to date costs and a great 3 month in South America itinerary, make sure you check out her posts:

A Flashpacker’s budget for 3 months in South America

3 Month South America Itinerary

How I travelled South America on a Budget:

I always stayed in hostels in a shared dorm. I did most of the trips available. I didn’t spend much money on alcohol as it really isn’t that cheap in South America. On average breakfast was included in the hostel rate, I would eat a lunch out and then cook dinner in the hostel from food I brought in the markets and supermarket, I also did this for snacks. I didn’t spend much money on clothes or souvenirs. I didn’t take any flights apart from to get there and leave. I took all buses to get around ranging from 4 hours to 10 hours to 22 hours.

In fact, I spent a lot of time on buses so I wrote a post on how to best survive buses in  South America which you can read here!

Here is a break down of how much I spent in each country in South America, along with how long I was there for:

Days Spent: 9
Money Spent: £478

Days Spent: 11
Money Spent: £415

Days Spent: 10
Money Spent: £400

Days Spent: 12
Money Spent: £389 including £126 on the 3 day Salt Flats trip.

Days Spent: 21
Money Spent: £670

Days Spent: 21
Money Spent: £555 including £149 on the 4 day Amazon trip

Peru (again)
Days Spent: 6
Money Spent: £130

Have you remembered to get travel insurance? World Nomad’s is a travel insurance provider designed for travellers by travellers. Get a quote from them using the banner below before you forget to get it!

My flights from Birmingham UK > Rio Brazil and Lima Peru > Birmingham UK were £750 with Lufthansa. Have a look at Skyscanner to see what deal you can get!

As I mentioned the countries definitely got cheaper as I went along. I think the main thing that effected how much I spent were the prices of the buses- in Brazil, Argentina and Chile they were very expensive, whereas in Bolivia and Peru they were perry reasonable for the distance travelled and in Ecuador they were very cheap- $1USD per hour!

Day trips were another thing that I hadn’t thought about, in most places a day trip is involved in order to see the full area and its attractions and you can’t really go all the way to South America and not do them!

Some of the day trips I did and would recommend are- Rio city tour, Iguazu Falls, Wine tour in Mendoza, visiting moon valley and geysers in North Chile, the Salt Flats tour, biking death road in La Paz, visiting the floating islands on Lake CopacabanaSand boardingMachu Picchu, Glacier tour in Peru, Amazon tour in Ecuador.

Overall I loved South America and the money I spent in South America was totally worth it!

south america cost to travel 3 months

More Posts from South America:

 How to Survive Bus Travel in South America 

9 Places you MUST visit in South America as a Backpacker!

All South America Posts

This post contains affiliate links but at no extra cost to you.



  • Reply
    April 24, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    This is such an informative post and really useful! It’s good to know how much things cost and especially the more expensive countries.

    • Reply
      April 24, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Glad you liked it. This is the sort of thing I was trying to find when working out how much the trip would cost me so I thought I should then put my spendings out where onto the World Wide Web lol 🙂

  • Reply
    May 1, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I’m currently planning my trip around the world and I have to say that places like Brazil and Argentina are off my list at the moment, due to the high cost. :/

    • Reply
      May 2, 2015 at 11:04 am

      It’s a shame that this is the case but yes they are SO much more expensive than a lot of countries and what I found is I went but couldn’t even do much there because of the prices so better off visiting other countries and seeing more I think!Hopefully this post helped you to decide 🙂

  • Reply
    June 16, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    […] of a budget, you should read my buddy Ellie’s breakdown of her costs on a very similar trip here! She spent £3,787 in three months during […]

Leave a Reply