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Avoid Visa Costs in South America

How do you plan to avoid visa costs and reciprocity fees in South America?

Hello Todd,

Thanks for the note. Simply put, we are just not going to go to the

South American countries that are charging a lot for visas. It would
be silly for us to pay 500 USD just to enter a country haha. So this
mans that Bolivia is out, along with Brazil, Suriname, and probably
Paraguay, we will not fly into Chile or Argentina (no visa fee if
crossing by land), and stay in Colombia for under 60 days.

It is a real shame to have to travel like this, as I really like South
America, but I can’t responsibly pay 300 to 500 dollars for visa fees
every few months.

I traveled extensively in South America 9 or so years ago, and the
doors were open wide to travelers looking to spend their money — now
those doors seem to be closing a little more.

A 130 USD visa fee is like the country telling me that I am not wanted
there, and this is alright — the world is big, I can just go to other

Thanks for the email!

Walk Slow,


Original question about avoiding visa fees in South America

Hello Wade,
First I would like to say I love your blog and how much I admire your commitment to staying on the road. I have a question for you because maybe I am missing something. I noticed your long term plans are to travel through parts of South America…What about the visas that are required for Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, and Paraguay? Maybe you have already budgeted for these expenses but it would seem it will be extremely expensive to travel and have to pay for all these visas X3. Since you cancelled Belize based on cost I am curious as to how you will deal with these costs.
Be safe…

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Filed under: South America, Travel Help, Visas

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3167 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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