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Old 09-11-2011, 02:55 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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What are the cheapest and most expensive countries in Latin America, excluding the Carribbean?

Mexico seems considerably cheaper than the United States: among other places, I was in Merida, a large city in Southeastern Mexico. I could get a bottle of pop for $0.60, a delicious sandwich from a street vendor (far more delicious than almost any I've had in the States) for a little over $1.00 - and a complete dish from a "home restaurant" for about $2.50, a meal at a decent restaurant in a touristy part of town for less than $5.00, a hostel bed for $10.00 / night, and a luxury hotel room for under $50 / night ("luxury" by my standards, with a pool). Small group (6 people in one and 4 in the other) day excursions to popular sites (I did one to the cenotes and one to the very impressive Mayan ruins at Uxmal and Kabah), including transportation and lunch, ran $40 - $50. On the other hand, if you were to live in Mexico, electronics would be much more expensive (laptop prices about twice what I'd pay in the U.S.!). Mexico also has jacked up / is jacking up prices for foreign tourists for admission to many of their cultural sites - I remember paying roughly $8 for Ek Balam.

I remember a particularly hungry morning (well, actually it was closer to noon) I ordered pancakes and papadzules and juice to be brought to my room. I was amazed at the quantity - they came on two large plates - and even more amazed at the price - a little over $8, including room service charge and tip! If I remember correctly, first-class bus fares ran roughly 50-70% of what Greyhound would charge in the United States, except if you took an ultra-luxury bus (with a multimedia entertainment system for every seat, like first-class), which were probably more than a comparable trip on Greyhound.

Costa Rica seemed also quite cheap when I went there, although I didn't have to pay for much, so I don't know the real costs, but I'm guessing it is more expensive than Mexico.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:16 PM
Location: City of Angels
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depends how you're travelling. for backpacking/microbudget travel i would say something like the backpacker index is the best indicator:

Cheapest cities in South and Central America: Backpacker Index 2011

if you want to stay in nice hotels, rent a decent car, eat at nice restaurants, etc, the US is still the cheapest country on the planet (no other country even comes close).
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:07 PM
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This is not difficult, a poor country with generally be cheaper than a wealthier one, and within that rural areas are generally cheaper than larger cities, and within that areas without many tourists are generally cheaper than tourist areas.

So use common sense, Chile is more expensive than Honduras. Argentina is more expensive than Nicaragua. Costa Rica is more expensive than Guatemala. BUT that is on a macro level, just as there are places in Kentucky that are cheaper than Santiago, despite the United States being more expensive.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:55 AM
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Ecuador used to be one of the cheapest places to travel for a foreigner in South America. I am not sure if that is still true or not.
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