Published on September 1st, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut

Seven Things I Bought in Central America for less than $3

Traveling through Central America can be as economical as it is enjoyable.
Guest contributor Matt Hope, founder of backpackingworldwide.com, shares some great travel values for budget-minded wanderers in Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. (Text and photos courtesy of Matt Hope.)

Travelers are almost always on some sort of budget. We try to make the money we’ve set aside stretch as far as it can possibly go, enabling us to see as many places as we possibly can. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of a number of things I was able to purchase in Central America for under $3. Some things on this list aren’t a huge surprise, but there were a couple of times I was baffled at some of the low, low prices I encountered. So, here it goes…

1. Sandals. I was plagued with the broken sandal syndrome for a majority of my five weeks in Central America, but luckily each time I was able to find a replacement pair for under $3. Maybe that is why the kept breaking, huh?

2. A one-hour Kayak Rental. While on Lake Atitlán, we were able to rent Kayaks for $2 an hour. I was able to snap some amazing photos and shoot a video while out on the kayak.

3. Lots of Beer. Everywhere you go, you can snag a regular 12-ounce (or smaller) beer for a dollar or two, even in Belize! In Guatemala, however, my friends and I were able to track down a few of the big 32-ounce beers for as low as 20 Quetzales, or $2.50. They were few a far between, but every now and then we would walk into a local shop and stumble upon this liquid gold.

4. A Bed in a Hostel.  In San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala, my friend and I were able to strike up quite a deal with the owner of Hotel San Francisco. For two rooms, each of which would each sleep three people, she agreed to only charge us 15 Quetzales per night each, so less than $2! It wasn’t necessarily the nicest place we stay, but for $2 it was a great find and the view was absolutely stunning!

5. Meals – Lots of meals!  All of the street food and many of the restaurants run in the local areas of towns were extremely cheap. There were many times when I ate for under $3.

6. A three-hour bus ride. In Guatemala, it seemed the public bus price was about $1 per each hour that the trip was supposed to take. This was usually 10% to 20% what a tourist shuttle or private taxi would charge!

7. A Personal Guide. While in Copan Ruinas, Honduras I paid a tuk tuk driver $3 (technically not under $3, but oh well) to take me up the mountainside overlooking Copan Ruinas. After a long and windy ride to the outlook I was able to snap some great shots with a bird’s-eye view of the town.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matt is a recent college graduate based in Orlando, Florida, who is taking some time off before law school to travel the world.  Follow along as he visits destinations around the globe at http://backpackingworldwide.com.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of LatinFlyer.com, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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