If you’re looking for a winter escape on a budget, you won’t need to look further than Latin America! These five countries offer a beautiful climate and unique cultural experiences on a budget. Prepare your luggage and set off to some of the world's most remarkable and welcoming countries.
Some of these countries have a cost of living that is significantly cheaper than Canada, giving you the freedom to treat yourself and extend your stay a little longer than you typically would.
Spanish is the primary language in most Latin American countries, so you may have a bit of a language barrier to overcome. Thankfully, many of these areas also have expat communities so that you can adapt to your settings quickly.
This country is the perfect destination for those who love culture and adventure. With its luscious forests, towering volcanoes and ancient ruins, Guatemala offers a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
Antigua and Lake Atitlan are popular destinations for travelers and expats to settle down for an extended period.
The average cost of living in Guatemala is lower than in Canada, meaning you can stretch your budget out longer during your stay. To give you an idea, the cost of living in Antigua, Guatemala, versus Montreal, Quebec, is 39% cheaper (Source: Numbeo).
You can find rental properties for several months starting at approximately $640 CAD a month.
This country will charm you with its breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural experiences. From the Amazon Rainforest to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador is a nature lover's dream.
In Ecuador, it’s possible to live comfortably with a small budget. Hiking, exploring mountain villages, and visiting colonial towns are just a few of the many activities available to you during your stay.
Some of the most popular destinations to settle down in Ecuador for an extended period of time are Quito, Otavalo, and Cuenca.
Make the most of your winter budget and explore everything this country has to offer since the cost of living here is much less than in Canada. For example, the cost of living in Cuenca, Ecuador, compared to Calgary, is 53% less expensive (Source: Numbeo).
You can find an apartment to rent for about $570 CAD per month.
This country is home to some of the most iconic sites in Latin America, from Machu Picchu to Lake Titicaca. Peru is rich in culture and history, and every type of traveler will be able to enjoy this country.
Along with visiting ancient Incan sites, you’ll get to explore the Amazon Rainforest, hike in the Andes Mountains or learn Peruvian cuisine… all on a budget.
Several popular areas to stay long term are Cusco, Lima and Arequipa.
You can make your budget last in Peru since the cost of living is much lower than in Canada. For example, compared to Toronto, the cost of living in Cusco, Peru, is 64% cheaper (Source: Numbeo).
Apartments can be found starting at $685 CAD per month.
Travelers often overlook this landlocked country, but it is a hidden gem of Latin America. With its diverse landscapes and kind people, Bolivia is an ideal destination to spend an extended amount of time.
Bolivia offers many places worth discovering, including La Paz, the most elevated capital in the world. Enjoy a nature walk in the national park of Sajama, or take a moment to admire the Salar of Uyuni.
Sucre, Cochabamba, and La Paz are popular cities to settle down for an extended time.
You will find that the cost of living in Bolivia is much lower than it is in Canada. By staying here, you will definitely get your money's worth. For example, the cost of living in Cochabamba compared to St. John’s is 60% cheaper (Source: Numbeo).
You can find apartments starting at about $450 CAD per month.
Mexico is a very well-known touristic area for travelers to spend an unforgettable winter under the sun, and with good reason. The beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and mouthwatering cuisine of Mexico prove that it is a destination that truly has something for everyone.
Generally, you’ll find that the comfort of a Mexican apartment or house is similar to that in Canada or the United States, which can help you adjust to your new environment. Your taste buds will be in heaven with the culinary diversity of this country. Exploring historic villages, Mayan temples, and ancient ruins are just a few of the many things to do. You can also enjoy the many Atlantic and Pacific Coast beaches.
Puerto Escondido, Lake Chapala, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, and San Miguel de Allende are popular places to stay for a long time, especially in winter. It’s important to stay alert and research the neighborhood's safety rating.
The cost of living in Mexico is lower than in Canada, so you can enjoy life without breaking the bank. For example, the cost of living in San Miguel Del Allende versus Halifax is 35% cheaper (Source: Numbeo).
You can find apartments to rent for several months from $575 CAD per month.
In addition to having one of the lowest living costs in Central America, Nicaragua has an endearing population to meet, beautiful beaches to visit, and volcanoes to admire.
On your list of must-sees during your extended stay, spend a few days at Ometepe Island, Laguna de Apoyo, the Solentiname Archipelago and the paradise island of Little Corn on the Caribbean Sea side.
Many long-term travelers opt for Granada, Leon, Matagalpa, or the area around San Juan del Sur as a base for an extended stay.
Living in Nicaragua is much more affordable than living in Canada. To illustrate this situation, the cost of living in Granada, Nicaragua, versus the same quality of life in Quebec, is 68% less expensive (Source: Numbeo).
You can expect to find a home to rent for $450 CAD per month.
Travel Longer, Worry Less
These affordable destinations offer plenty of choices for your next extended stay in Latin America. No matter where you're headed, don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go. Contact a soNomad agent to get advice on the best travel insurance for your needs and a customized quote based on the length of your trip.
If you can't decide on a single Latin American country, nothing stops you from visiting several countries this winter! Buen Viaje!