5 cheapest Latin American countries for students to visit

latin american countries
Brazil is one of many cheap Latin American countries you can travel to on a budget. Source: Silvio Avila/AFP

Latin American countries are some of the most beautiful in the world. From Peru to Chile, Latin America offers wonders as far as the eye can see, as well as unique, distinct cultures that differ from city to city — making such countries a haven for travellers and expats alike. 

This makes Latin American countries a solid option for students who are currently based in the US or in one of the many universities across the southern continent. An added perk to this is that the Latin Americas are generally known for their welcoming culture and low-cost options — a perfect solution for students looking to travel without breaking the bank.

Here are five Latin American countries students can consider visiting on a budget and the experiences you’d be able to partake in whilst there. 

Five cheapest Latin American countries for students


Brazil has everything to offer to students plagued with wanderlust: beautiful waterfalls and beaches, stunning architecture, and a lively culture that promises a good time. Above all, Brazil can be summed up in one word: colour. 

The best part? Most of these experiences come at a low cost. For students travelling to the US, you can generally expect to travel, eat, and find accommodation in Brazil for around US$1,500 a week. You can expect to spend around US$15 daily for food, and some hotels only cost around US$15 to US$20 a night. 

However, some students may need to apply for a tourist visa depending on your passport, so be sure to clarify this before purchasing your tickets. 

Brazil is home to many attractions, including the Sugarloaf Mountain. Source: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP


Bolivia is an underrated gem of a travel destination. With so many sights to see and things to do, it’s certainly a country you should put at the top of your list if you are planning to travel to Latin America. 

There’s also the fact that Bolivia is the cheapest of Latin American countries to visit. Meals cost up to US$3, transport can be found for less than US$1, and you can book hotels for as low as US$35 a night. You’d only have to save up US$294 for one week in Bolivia. 

As for top attractions, you can plan your travels around seeing the Laguna Colorada (Red Salt Lake), the city that’s geographically closest to space, and a palace that’s made out of salt. It’s certainly a trip you wouldn’t want to miss out on. 


When it comes to Spanish colonial architecture, there’s nowhere better to visit than Ecuador. Throw in the stunning beaches, tropical weather and expanse of rainforests, and it’s perfect for students looking to be at one with nature. 

In Ecuador, you can arrange to climb mountains, visit the Amazonian rainforest, or just have a holiday by the beach — all for a small fee. Full meals can cost from US$3 to US$5, with public transport being less than a dollar. Likewise, hotels can only cost around US$15. 

The Galapagos islands make up some of Ecuador’s stunning beaches. Source: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP


Latin American countries are ideal for nature lovers — and Nicaragua is no exception. It’s known for its diversity in flora and fauna, as well as many lakes and active volcanoes. One of the most popular things to do for tourists is being able to swim in a volcano lake crater — a once-in-a-lifetime experience not many can claim to have enjoyed. 

Outside of this, Nicaragua is also home to an expanse of land that makes it perfect for stargazing. In fact, you can spot 86 out of 88 known constellations from Nicaragua — more stars than anywhere else in the world. 

In terms of travel, you can expect to spend around US$315 a week to visit Nicaragua. Meals cost less than US$8, transport is less than US$1, and accommodation can be found for US$15 to US$30 a night. 


Ancient ruins, volcanic lands and more — these are some of the unique attractions that characterise Guatemala. It’s got everything on offer: rich in culture, wildlife, history, friendly locals, and delicious food. 

Outside of this, Guatemala is home to the world’s best coffee. It’s characterised by its complex flavour and hint of cocoa, making it a must-try for coffee lovers worldwide. 

Spending a week in Guatemala means you’ll only have to save up around US$273. Public transport costs less than US$1; hotels are as low as US$13; food is generally less than US$10.