Updated 02:09 AM EST, Sat, Mar 06, 2021

Plan Your South American Vacation: Budget Tips for Solo Travelers

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South America is not painted in the best light these days: falling economies, high crime rates, and messy politics all turn people off of travel. Take heed, though. South America boasts of beautiful scenery, interesting cultures, new food palates, and scores of festivals to go to. They key is knowing where to go.

Indie Traveller  noted that with the economic shift in South American countries, Brazil and Colombia, among others, have become cheaper than ever. 

That being said, it is always better to plan ahead. Here are ways to stay safe and save some money while on a vacation in Latin America:

  1. Search which countries you can go to for cheap. Among the best bets for backpackers, according to Transitions Abroad, are Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. However, if Brazil and Chile are more your type, stick to the rural areas, as they cost considerably less than the capitals and other large cities.
  2. Go for budget accommodations. Even better, go for establishments owned by locals. They could cost as little as $4 a night in places like Ecuador and Bolivia, while more memorable rooms can range upwards of $30.
  3. Always have a backup. Budget Travel said that it is always safe to have your passport and tickets scanned and sent to an internet address for backup. Crime rates are high in some countries, which means that you should have a backup plan in case you lose your wallet or luggage. Better be safe than sorry, they say.
  4. Take the bus. Rough Guides say that the bus is the best way to travel short journeys across most of the continent. Loving them, however, is a process -- but you will get used to riding with poultry and other farm animals. 
  5. Do your research. With high levels of poverty, some areas in South America harbor bandits. Keep in mind that there are a lot of no-go areas for tourists. Remember to look up the places you're planning on going, and make sure that you do not take those no-go warnings lightly.

There are a lot of things to see, adventures to try, and places to explore while backpacking in South America. The important thing is for you to have fun and take in as much of the sights and culture as you can. Which South American countries are you planning on seeing during your next solo vacation?

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