Inexpensive Exotic Destinations

  • Tikal, Guatemala


    For beautiful beaches and Mayan culture, head to the often overlooked country of Guatemala, where you'll get your dream vacation for a fraction of the price you'd pay in Cancun. While you're there, get some early holiday shopping done at the sprawling Chichicastenango market, filled with affordable gift options (think hand-woven rugs and colorful wooden masks).

    Photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis

  • La Boca

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Travelers looking for a taste of Europe without having to pay European prices will find the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires to be extremely appealing. Nearly every street corner has a French-style cafe where you can enjoy fresh roasted coffee and flaky croissants for only a couple of dollars. Wine flows freely here and is practically as cheap as water, perfect to enjoy during a sultry tango performance.

    Photo courtesy of Vera & Jean-Christophe

  • Mount Bromo, Java, Indonesia

    Java, Indonesia

    If you can scrounge up enough money for the flight, you'll find the Indonesian island of Java to be very budget-friendly. Yogyakarta – one of the island's tourist hubs – is brimming with budget guesthouses and cheap restaurants where you can base yourself for side trips to the nearby UNESCO-listed temple complexes.

    Photo courtesy of sara marlowe

  • Cusco, Peru

    Cusco, Peru

    Cusco is so much more than a jumping-off point for trips to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Spend a few days in this charming UNESCO World Heritage Site shopping in Plaza de Armas, digging through its layers of history and taking in the colonial architecture, all while staying in one of many inexpensive hostales (inns) scattered throughout this Andean capital.

    Photo courtesy of Ian Armstrong

  • Koh Kradan Island

    Thai Islands

    Despite massive development in recent years, the beautiful Thai Islands remain remarkably affordable, especially when you consider just how beautiful the beaches really are. In an area of the world that typically caters to the backpacker crowd, it's easy to find accommodation for less than $20 a night and hearty meals for a fraction of that.

    Photo courtesy of Mark Fischer

  • Prague at night

    Prague, Czech Republic

    While prices in Prague have certainly risen as the capital of the Czech Republic has gained tourist attention, it's still one of the best big city bargains in Europe. If you don't mind a small room, it's possible to travel here on less than $50 a day, thanks in part to the city's many free attractions, like the Havelska flower market and the clock in the Old Town square.

    Photo courtesy of Christopher Woo

  • Catedral Metropolitana, Quito

    Quito, Ecuador

    Ecuador has been using the US dollar as its currency for the last several years, so you don't have to worry about losing money in exchange fees, and this beautiful colonial capital is one of the most affordable in South America to begin with. Since it's located just four hours by plane from Miami, it's much easier to find discounted airfare than it would be to destinations further south.

    Photo courtesy of putneymark

  • Monks near Bayon Temple

    Siem Reap, Cambodia

    There's a lot to love about Cambodia, including the friendly people, beautiful scenery, unique cuisine and the iconic Angkor temple complex – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. All this is made better by the fact that Cambodia remains one of the cheapest countries in Southeast Asia, a region known for catering to budget travelers.

    Photo courtesy of Thomas Wanhoff

  • The Parthenon


    Greece has suffered from its fair share of economic woes in recent years, and consequently, hotels and airlines have been lowering their prices to attract more tourist dollars. This means you'll save money whether you're soaking up ancient history in Athens or soaking up Vitamin D on the beaches of the Greek Isles.

    Photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis

  • Quebec City from Ramparts

    Quebec City, Canada

    For a Parisian experience without forking over the dough for a plane ticket to Europe, look north to Quebec City. You'll find French architecture, art and cuisine for significantly less than you would in Paris, as well as plenty of free entertainment in the streets during the summer months.

    Photo courtesy of Dennis Jarvis

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