If you are on a tight budget and want to visit South or Central America, or even if you are not, there are various things you can do which will allow you, for example, to get better rooms in certain hotels by saving money at others. Below are some destination tips!
This is a destination which involves a lot of travelling, as each area deserves anywhere between 2 to 4 nights. However, there are two places where you should seriously consider where you stay. The first is Lima. Generally flights arrive late in the afternoon or at night and by the time you get to your hotel it is normally 23:00, so stay somewhere cheap, which is clean and comfortable as you will be gone first thing in the morning anyway. The second place is Machu Picchu where you will spend the whole day at the ruins arriving at your hotel around 18:00 and you will be up at 05:00 to return to Machu Picchu to watch the sunrise, so you don’t need anywhere flash here either. By doing this you will free up some of your budget to allow for a better hotel or a longer holiday
Guatemala & Belize
The cost of international flights to South America – which start at £800 per person and the vast distances of Argentina, Chile and Brazil means you also need 3 or 4 internal flights – which can cost around £600 per person. So before you have even spent a night on holiday you have spent a minimum of £1,400 per person, leaving you with less money for the hotels that you want to stay in. The advantage of Central America is that international flights start at £600 per person and distances are not so vast so none or very few internal flights are required, leaving you more money for your holiday.
Chile is long and thin and the three main tourist areas; Patagonia, the Lake District & Atacama are remote locations where hotels generally offer full board basis including all activities. This can be very expensive and although fine in Patagonia and Torres del Paine as there is no other choice, in both the Lake District and even more so Atacama, we would recommend booking on b&b (bed & breakfast) basis only. In both of these areas you can book your activities locally with one of the many operators that offer the same services as the hotels, but at a far cheaper price.