Cheap South America vacation spots are plentiful and can be found in every country on the continent. Even Colombia, which has undergone several decades of internal conflict has a thriving tourism industry that is full of travel deals because of the newness of the industry. Along with a universally low cost of living, the continent offers just about every conceivable attraction. You can indulge in cheap South America travel that takes you from Andes Mountains skiing in Chile and world-class surfing to miles of pristine beaches and dense rainforests full of exotic wildlife and rare tropical plants. You can even get a taste of Old World Europe, as the South America countries were largely colonized by Europe, primarily Spain and Portugal.
Cheap trips to South America are possible not only in new markets like Colombia, but also to the continent's top attractions. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu in the high Urubamba Valley of Peru is one of the most visited sites on the continent, and is known for its extremely affordable budget hotels, lodges, and inns. There are adventure treks to this remarkable ancient city that spend the nights camping and staying in small family-run guest houses. There are also Amazon Rainforest river cruises for cheap that usually embark and disembark in the city of Manaus. More wild adventures and cheap South America travel can be found in the Pantanal, the world's largest wetlands.
Other cheap South America vacation spots in Brazil include the bustling metropolis of Rio de Janeiro. While it is known for its world-class luxury hotels and hedonistic beaches such as Ipanema and Copacabana Beach, you will also find a wide choice of cheaper accommodation suitable for those on a budget and even those on family vacations with children. If cities beckon, you can find cheap trips to South America in other cities, including Buenos Aires, known for its sleek sophistication. It can be expensive to stay in this city, but it is the gateway to the legendary Pampas, breadbasket and ranching center of the country and home to the famed gaucho cowboys. Here you can find estancias (ranches) that operate much like bed and breakfast inns and dude ranches, where you can stay cheaply and learn the skills of the cowboys.
Cheap trips to South America can take you to more than one country. One of the continent's most visited places (and another UNESCO World Heritage Site) is Iguazu Falls, which straddles the border between Brazil and Argentina. This also places you in close proximity to both Paraguay and Uruguay. On the other side of the continent, about 500 miles west of Ecuador, are the Galapagos Islands made famous by Charles Darwin. This can be one of the cheap South America vacation spots if you choose the boat you will use carefully. There are numerous deluxe cruise ships and yachts that sail the water around these islands in search of some of the best snorkeling and most unique creatures in the world. But look carefully, and you can find very affordable boats, especially if you are a family or small group who can charter the entire vessel.
Also in the seafaring category, you will be able to find cheap South America travel onboard large international cruise vacation ships. Itineraries for these ships are varied. Some embark in ports like Miami, sail through the Caribbean, and make stops at major ports such as Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Valparaiso, Lima, and Guayaquil. Others transit the Panama Canal to reach the west coast of the continent, and sail along the beautiful fjords of Patagonia.