Looking for somewhere to go on your next international adventure that’s not only affordable, but also out of the ordinary? Here is a roundup (in no particular order) of some of the best places you may have never thought of visiting, but should definitely not miss. Since most of these places are on the road less traveled, and many are most easily reached by bus, we thought we’d include some pointers to help you get there.
1. Ilha Grande, Brazil
The fact that this small island is still pretty low-key makes it cheaper than many of Brazil’s tourist hot spots. The island’s Lopes Mendes Beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil—if not the world—because of its fine, white sand and tranquil atmosphere.
How to get there: Take a bus from Rio de Janeiro to Angra dos Reis, where you can catch a ferry to the island.
2. Huacachina, Peru
This desert oasis caters to adventure-seeking budget travelers, who come to Huacachina to sandboard down the surrounding dunes. Booking a guided dune buggy trip won’t cost you much here.
How to get there: Take a bus from Lima to Ica and then get a cheap taxi from there to Huacachina.
3. Warsaw, Poland
Even though Poland has gone through a huge transition since the end of the Cold War, its currency continues to have a favorable exchange rate. Often overlooked in favor of Krakow, Warsaw also has a fascinating history and charming Old Town. Bonus: the impressive Wilanow Palace on its outskirts is free to visit on Thursdays.
How to get there: From another favorite spot—neighbouring Germany—take a bus from Berlin to Warsaw.
4. Mendoza, Argentina
A small city with prices far below those in Patagonia and Buenos Aires, Mendoza offers (arguably) the best budget wine tours in the world. Malbec fans may never want to leave.
How to get there: Catch a direct bus from Buenos Aires to Mendoza.
5. Valparaiso, Chile
Still recovering from a rocky past, the port city of Valparaiso has blossomed into a colorful, creative hub full of vivid street art. A visit to poet Pablo Neruda’s former Valparaiso home, La Sebastiana, is well worth the low cost of admission.
How to get there: It’s practically a stone’s throw from Chile’s capital, Santiago, but if you’re coming from neighboring Argentina, take a bus from Mendoza to Valparaiso.
6. Isla del Sol, Bolivia
Bolivia is a cheap country to travel around in general, but this stunning island on Lake Titicaca is particularly budget-friendly because of its remoteness and limited tourism infrastructure. Explore the island’s trails and Inca ruins at practically no cost.
How to get there: Going from Peru, take a bus from Arequipa to Puno, then hop on another bus across the Bolivian border to Copacabana, where you can catch a ferry to the island.
Hopefully this list has convinced you that you don’t need to spend a fortune to see some amazing places. In fact, some of the cheapest, lesser-known spots you visit may end up being your favorites.