Cheap Places in South America FREE E-Book

Cheap Places in South America & Budget Travel Tips is a 110 page FREE e-book. It is a travel guide written in the style of a travel memoir and features our favorite low cost destinations in South America plus budget travel tips you will not find anywhere else.

We lived and traveled on the continent for 4 1/2 years and created South America Living website which we sold (Sept, 2013) to Andy Alexander who is the new South America travel expert. You can email Andy with any questions at editor @ Safe travels.

Reviews of Cheap Places E-Book

1. Maggie James, author and writer:

“Molly has written a very practical, very readable guide to travel in South America for those on a budget. Everything you need is in here, from where to stay, eat and visit to visa and travel tips, along with useful links. The book will appeal to anyone doubtful about travelling with children or pets, as Molly has combined both and made it seem easy! The photos are stunning, as well. A great read.”

Maggie James is a British author who writes psychological suspense novels. You can find out more at

2. Matthew Kepnes, travel writer, author and blogging consultant:

“Molly’s extensive experience living and traveling in South America shines through in this excellent guide book on how to find your away around the continent without spending much money and enjoying the local culture.”

Nomadic Matt is one of the most popular travel bloggers on the Web, and the author of “How to Travel the World on $50 USD per Day” plus other books. You can read more about him at

3. Jena Davison, travel writer and editor:

“Cheap Places in South America” is extremely useful for travelers and expats of any income level, but especially to those under a tight budget. Molly uses her own personal experiences to give valuable tips on how to stretch your dollars in South America—a void completely ignored by most travel guidebooks on the market. Not only will you get practical advice on where to eat and sleep—and tricks for how to get discounts for longer stays—you will also learn about the best places to grocery shop, which parts of a town or city have the cheapest rent (but are still safe and convenient to get to), and viable, worthwhile side trips to keep your adventurous spirit satisfied.”

“Even some quotes from current expats are woven in, giving the eBook a heartbeat and an undeniably personable twist. By the end of reading the informative and easy-to-read “Cheap Places in South America,” you, too, will feel inspired to sell your stuff, pack a backpack, and move to this beautiful and rewarding continent to travel long-term or to live, no matter how much money you have in your bank account.”

Jena is a travel writer and editor based out of Quito, Ecuador. A native to New Jersey, Jena has lived and traveled in Ecuador and throughout most of South America for the past three years. She also maintains a travel blog on her experiences as an expat in Ecuador:

4. Alexandra Pucherelli, travel writer and blogger:

“As someone who often dreams of ending my nomadic life somewhere on the beach in South America I found this book very enlightening. There was so much insider information you don’t find in typical guidebooks. No matter what one’s budget is I think most try to travel as inexpensive and close to the local culture as possible. “Cheap Places in South America” helps you do just that.”

Alexandra is a Hawaii native who focuses on the fun of travel as much as the destination. She shares her adventures on and knowledge of Maui at:

5. Larissa Milne, travel bloggger:

“The best books about destinations are written by those who have “been there, done that”, and Molly certainly has those qualifications for South America! Cheap Places in South America will point you toward places you’re unlikely to find on your own. These are the places that the other guide books will be talking about 10 years from now.”

Larissa and her husband Michael took a RTW trip (2011-2012), visiting 32 countries on six continents. They blog about their adventures on and have a book coming out soon!

6. Pia Jensen, experienced expat (Costa Rica) in the process of making a move to Ecuador:

“Cheap Places in South America* was a joy to read. Receiving it via email direct from the author, Molly, was like having a friend hand me a well researched logistical guide to places I would love to travel to. My idea of experiencing South America is much like Molly’s – via immersing one’s self in the local culture and finding great ways to be in beautiful locations on a budget. Molly provides real life experience about the important aspects of traveling in foreign countries in an easy to follow format and provides external links for more information.”

“I also really appreciated the fact that she does not sugar coat her experiences and realistically advises travelers regarding transportation, safety, and costs. In all, I found “Cheap Places in South America” more informative than some of the online guides offered by other well-known travel advisers.”

7. Dr. Jessie Voigts of

“If you’ve always dreamed of getting away and truly exploring a place – but thought it was too expensive to do so – I’ve got the book for you. Cheap Places in South America & Budget Travel Tips, by Molly McHugh, is an extraordinary resource. This book covers six countries – and places I’d not thought to visit.”

“Molly speaks from experience, having lived there for four+ years, and publishing an ENTIRE site on South America Living. And she is the expert on budget travel, again speaking from experience, and traveling and living with a budget of $800-1200/month for expenses. In one town, she notes that you can live off $650/month and have money left over to take trips!”

The full interview is here: Cheap Places in South America Review on

Dr. Jessie Voits runs the very popular and successful website with her husband Ed. The site is full of travel advice, articles, book reviews, city guides to places all over the world and much more.

8. Renee D’Antoni, travel writer & nomadic Mom:

“Love it! My family and I have traveled throughout Europe, Turkey, North America & Central America, and are heading to SA next year. “Cheap Places in South America” is a fantastic read, packed with great ideas and lots of inspiration.

Author Molly McHugh, her son, and their two dogs spent four years traveling the continent on a very limited budget. Yet despite their modest resources, they packed an incredible amount of adventure into their travels. This is a hugely helpful book if you are planning or even remotely considering traveling to South America. Even better, Molly’s engaging, conversational writing makes you feel like you are listening to a friend. Great book!”

Renee D’Antoni, her techie husband, cool ‘foodie’ daugher & crazy Jack Russel Terrier have traveled the world and don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon sharing their adventures at: They also run an eBook design company – Ebook DesignWorks at

9. Nancy Sathre-Vogel, author, motivational speaker and blogger:

“For anyone considering traveling South America on a budget, this guide is a good resource. It won’t replace a broad guidebook, but it will give you targeted information about a few places that are easy to explore on a budget. In addition, you’ll find real, hands-on advice for traveling on a budget in the area.”

Nancy Sathre-Vogel, together with her husband and children, cycled the length of the Americas from Alaska to Argentina. Read about their adventures at:

31 thoughts on “Cheap Places in South America FREE E-Book

  1. Planning to leave next year for a 2 years abroad alone with my daughters, looking for South America for economical reasons and also to learn Spanish.
    Looking forward to receiving the ebook.

  2. Very cool! Just sending now, sorry for delay, was offline a few days. If you have questions after reading it just ask, I know spots that are good for parents with children. Molly

  3. Please send me a copy of your free e-book, “Cheap Places in South America”. Thank you! – Leah Littlejohn

  4. Hi Molly,

    We were reading reviews of best beach towns to retire in and happened across your writing, which we enjoyed very much. I am 57 and getting close to retirement age and my partner is a teacher and has her masters in language arts (fluent in Spanish). Please send us your e book if you are still reading these comments and thanks for all the great information.

    cheers, tony

  5. Hi Tony, thanks for the note and of course – sending to you now via email. You can download it directly at the top of this page too.

    I will be reading, and responding, to all comments here – this site is my new project and will be around for a long time 🙂

    best of luck on your adventure, Molly

  6. Hello Molly,

    I have been to your former site, and here, to take a look at your book.

    I was very impressed at your quick and informative responses, and decided that I had to leave a comment here to commend you.

    It’s a beautiful endearing gesture, how much information you left behind to folks that made inquiries.

    Please keep it up, and a pleasant time to you.

    Regards to the kid also.


  7. Hello Molly,

    Tony again. Now I have a question!

    I am conducting a research for a client on places to retire, and was reading your book to cull ideas (subtly giving credit!).

    I would consider the most important features for the retirement destination to be:

    1. Low cost of living,

    2. Weather (warm weather, most of the year round)

    3. Low taxes.

    I’d simply like to know your take on places you’d recommend; so I could carry out in-depth research on them. I have just concluded that on Ecuador.

    Thanks and regards,


  8. You had better give me credit for my work dude! 🙂 That sounds like a cool job, you are a consultant of sorts?

    There are simply too many variables to think of to give vague, general info here – would need to know much more about the person and needs/wants… but of course that is your job, not mine, the book was to help folks learn some of the basics and fun places we liked, then go from there.

    Visa issues, rent/buy, etc. Medical care needed (or not needed), food items available. So many things are going to vary from person to person… just keep researching and assessing what your client may want/need then go from there.

    The smartest thing (that I learned from trial and many errors) is to plan an ADVENTURE first… do NOT worry about moving to a place for long-term retirement/living. Plan three months, six months, a year… whatever and enjoy various spots, get their feet wet, find out what they like/do not like. Then move somewhere else if desired. Or stay put if they have found a place they love.

    That is the best advice I can give – if you want to donate any cash for the book, advice, etc. my paypal is:

    best, Molly

  9. Hi, We are looking into relocating to Panama, have you had any experience in that country ?
    how difficult wasit for you to obtain paid gigs as a freelance writer ?
    Thanks sincerely for you FREE book,
    Warm Regards,

  10. Hi Rick, we did visit Panama and it was very cool, spent a month in Boquete and a month in Bocas del Toro, nice time in both and met some great expats, lots of Americans live/travel in Panama! Many, many places to visit and natural attractions in the country. It was really nice having the U.S. dollar as currency too, no hassle with exchange rates.

    Freelance writing is a huge mixed bag, I did a bunch of different projects, plus my own site, and now am back to freelancing (current project editing a book about autoimmune diseases). Have to just find a niche I guess and hope you get lucky, as it is pretty competitive!

    Hope you like the book, Molly

  11. Hi Terry here ! I am really thinking of moving to Argentina (Mar del Plata) or Medellin Colombia but i am not really sure.Which is the best to work freelance and rest? And thank you a lot for your ebook i am sure it will help me a lot.
    Wish you the best,

  12. Terry, I am SO SORRY this is so late, and sending you a personal note via email as well as this reply. We have been traveling, and very little time online… then I forgot to reply! Argh. We absolutely LOVE Argentina and Mar del Plata is a great area – just really cold in winter! Summertime the ‘city on the beach’ is crazy fun and crazy full of tourists so be prepared. The whole Atlantic coast area has places to visit (smaller towns) and things to do, so is a great jumping off place to explore from. Plus, if you surf, that’s where those folks go 🙂

    Some people really love Medellin – I do not know the city well at all so can’t really give a very good description of it – research online is the best thing to do.

    Quick note: Andy Alexander is the new owner of my old South America Living website and she is now the go to gal for information on living and traveling the continent. You can email her directly and get her input on good places to visit and live at:

    best, Molly

  13. Hi Moly – I wish to move to Brazil. We are a couple with 2 little kids. We don’t speak any Latin American language but intend to learn. I was told by someone that Santa Catarina or Florianopolis is a safe place to live with little or no crime. Is that true? Is buying a home cheap out there? I am looking for a large estate at dirt cheap prices and near to all amenities and city life. Safety is a big factor too. I want to be able to build my own home when I retire and dot own farming. So something like a countryside plot with a one hour drive to all metro city amenities is cool with me. Any recommendations on Santa Catarina state in Brazil?

    Best place to reach me via my email. Cheers


  14. Hi, I did not get to visit Brazil, and have not been in South America for more than 3 years. Go to the South America Living website and check out Andy Alexander’s new posts on Brazil. She is the new owner of the site and the expert on living and traveling in South America.

    Her email is: editor (@)

    best of luck, Molly

  15. Great & hope you have a good trip 🙂 Just click on the ‘Download your free copy’ link above. It will automatically load as a pdf file to your computer or device.

    Any problems send me an email at: molly (@) and I will send you a copy via email.

    Cheers, Molly

  16. Molly,

    Just downloaded your e book and am looking forward to readying and researching some places for my wife and I to consider relocating to. I am 71 and she is 68 but adventure beckons once again.

    I would appreciate any input from you as to where to eventually land if we like beaches and warm weather. Lived in Western New York for too many years and snowstorms to want to experience that again. Also the Cost of Living should be sufficiently low enough that we can enjoy our Golden Years.

  17. Hi Sheldon and thank you for the nice comments, made my Sunday 🙂

    I have not been in SA for 4 years so am not the best person to ask but in general from my previous times traveling around would recommend the Ecuador for you and your wife to check out. Simply as there are many retirees there (that I know has not changed!) and many places to spend an extended amount of time in or move to permanently.

    It won’t be isolating, there will be plenty of expats who speak English (and many Ecuadorians too of course) and the country is very easy to navigate and travel around in plus has made it fairly easy for foreigners to purchase property. And when you said beaches and warm weather… that was the first low cost country that came to mind – they have much of both.

    Best of luck and hope it works out, Molly

  18. I am in process of selling things as I am in US. But doing a lot of research into Latin & South America. Kinda got it down to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Columbia or Chile. I am single female, not retired yet, but do make some money online, in addition to my job of course. I’m highly considering taking a course in teaching english before I expat. Which country of the above would you consider for single person in my shoes. Thanks 🙂

  19. Hi Skylar. I am not sure what to recommend as I’ve been back in the U.S. since 2012 – so not up-to-date with the word on the street anymore. I would say, if you are planning on teaching english then that should definitely be your starting point as there are areas where you can do that (schools hire foreigners) and where you can’t. And if you take a course, find one that has students living/working in the country you want to relocate to.

    Researching and planning is half the fun – exciting plans, hope it works out for you. The new owner of South America is Andy Alexander and she is current with what’s going on – definitely shoot her an email or leave a comment on the website for Andy.

    Her email is:

    best of luck, Molly

  20. Hi Molly,

    Hope things are well with you.

    Would love to have a copy of your book if you are still providing these.

    Many thanks,

  21. I just replied to your email – the download link is above at top of this page – click on the “Download Your FREE Copy Now” link and it will load to your computer or device as a PDF file.

    But I can send via an email attachment if you have any difficulties, let me know. Have a great trip! Molly

  22. Molly, I am going to Cartagena, Colombia next month. Are you still giving a copy of your book?

  23. Got your email, sent you a copy but forgot to reply here! I DO respond to comments… really. 🙂

    Hope your trip is great, Andy Alexander is the South America expert and owner of South America Living website. She’s traveled to Colombia and loves it, has a bunch of new posts up on the website, check it out:

  24. For some reason I stopped getting notifications of comments on the site. Fixing now and very sorry this got missed. I’m sure you figured out you can download it above.

    Hope you have (had?) a great trip, Molly

  25. Hi Molly.
    Our Brisbane U3A Spanish class plans to travel to South America in October , Chile, Argentina, Brasil and Uruguay. Please send us the book . Thank you

  26. Hi Nelly, sounds like a great trip 🙂 There is a download link on the page (I need to make it easier to notice) but I am sending it to you via email now.

    Have fun, Molly

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