These Are 4 Of The Cheapest Beach Destinations In Latin America This Summer

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Summer is right round the corner, and if you’ve been dreaming of piña coladas by the seaside, basking in the sun in some tropical weather and colonial towns that exude charm, Latin America is likely to be at the top of your wishlist.

Modern Seaside Development In Cartagena, Colombia, Latin America

Still, it’s not like Cancun and its award-winning resorts are the cheapest international holiday, and albeit absolutely gorgeous, all-time fave Rio de Janeiro has mostly catered to big spenders lately (if the staggeringly-high hotel prices are any indication).

Fortunately for budget travelers, Cancun and Rio are not representative of Latin America as a whole: visiting these 4 other beach hotspots, it’s unlikely they’ll spend over $71 per day.

Lima, Peru

Panoramic View Of Lima, Peru, South America

Peru is best known as the Incan heartland, home to iconic ancient sites like the historic Machu Picchu, but it’s also a seriously underrated coastal destination.

Its capital, Lima, sits on the shores of the Pacific, and it’s the perfect affordable beach getaway.

Lima is a sprawling city with plenty to see and do, but you’ll want to make sure you stop by the colonial center to admire the well-preserved Spanish architecture dating back to the 16th century and sample the flavorful cuisine (an anticucho beef skewer from the market costs only $2).

Young Female Tourist Admiring A Colonial Building In Peru, Lima, South America

The main point of interest for beachgoers, however, is the coastal district of Miraflores, easily recognized for its luxury condominiums and hotels perched atop seaside cliffs, towering over golden sands: the Ana Frank Boutique Hotel costs $81 to book, while the local Iberostar is $166 per night.

It’s the most expensive location to be based in Lima, but you can still find cheaper accommodation elsewhere for only 50 bucks, and take the bus to the laid-back beach area when you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the big metropolis: overall, a one-week trip for two costs $1,065.

Valparaiso, Chile

View Of Valparaiso, A Historic Cliffside City On The Chilean Pacific Coast, Chile, Latin America

We’re sticking to the Pacific side for now, this time in neighboring Chile, possibly the country with the weirdest geography in the world, and Latin America’s narrowest, and it’s in this strip of territory bounded by the Andes and the vast ocean that you’ll find a picturesque Valparaiso.

A ‘mini Europe’ of the sorts, it’s characterized by its rows upon rows of colorful seaside homes, uphill funiculars, vibrant street art, leafy streets lined by stately mansions—a clear indication of previous European migration—and unspoiled stretch of coast.

Colorful Houses In Valparaiso, A Coastal City Straddling The Atlantic Ocean In Chile, South America

Beaches in Chile are not exactly tropical, per se, but they are quite scenic, and the up-and-coming resort town of Viña del Mar, where the honey-colored sands extend for several long miles, is a short 12-minute drive from the city.

There’s not an abundance of cheap street food here as there would be in Peru, but there’s no shortage of amazing harborside restaurants, where inexpensive fish-based suppers will cost you $11 on average, and 3-star hotels for around $39 a night: total cost for one week? $940 for two people.

Cartagena, Colombia

Woman Walking Down the Street in Cartagena

Cartagena is Colombia’s official gateway to the Caribbean Sea, and a culturally-charged colonial settlement famous for its Instagrammable Old Town, concentrating a large number of brightly-painted Baroque buildings and churches, and UNESCO-listed fortifications.

The historic center is entirely walkable and very tourist-friendly, and there’s plenty of affordable eateries to pick from, with plate prices ranging from a mere $5 to $12 for a more elaborate lunch, while hotels within walking distance to Bocagrande beach start from $44.

Cartagena, Colombia

As warm and lovely as they may be, the waters around Cartagena are not exactly crystal-clear, so if you’re dreaming of unspoiled islands with powdered-sugar sands and turquoise seas, you should head on a day trip to the Rosario Islands, a short half-hour ferry ride from the coast.

Colombia is incredibly cheap even by Latin American standards, owing it to a devalued currency and a lower cost of living, and indeed according to Budget Your Trip, you should plan on spending $48 per day in Cartagena, or around $333 per person during a one-week stay excluding hotels.

Mar de Plata, Argentina

Mar Del Plata, Argentina, South America

The cheapest beach destination in all of Latin America, Mar de Plata is a hidden gem of Argentina straddling the azure Atlantic, and a fast-developing resort town where modest oceanfront hotels cost a negligible $17 a night to book, breakfast included.

Argentina’s historically-low prices and attractive rates make it highly sought-after among Latin Americans themselves, especially Brazilians and Uruguayans, who flock here for the coastal atmosphere and $6 asado dinners in local restaurants.

Swimmers At The Beach In Mar Del Plata, Argentina, South America

Other than spending their afternoons at leisure by Arena Beach, tourists can explore Mar de Plata’s rich architectural heritage, including a Tudor-style water tower, Belle Époque buildings that contrast with modernist developments, and rustic holiday houses with vault-shaped porches.

If you’re very budget-conscious, you can easily spend a week in Mar del Plata on less than $313, though more realistically, we’d recommend you set aside $950 for a more comfortable experience, as some of the nicest hotels in town cost from $91.

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