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Wondering how to save more money and accelerate your path to retirement? Consider the geoarbitrage strategy.

Geoarbitrage is living in one location with a lower cost of living while working for a company in a location with a higher cost of living. Think of it like this: You work remotely for a Silicon Valley tech company while living in Costa Rica. You get the Bay Area salary with a Costa Rica cost of living.

Sounds intriguing, right?

By using geoarbitrage, you can increase your savings, invest more now, and get to financial freedom sooner. You could even semi-retire much earlier than you previously imagined.



Since remote work has gone mainstream, with roughly 30% of employees working remotely, the geographic arbitrage opportunity is feasible for tens of millions of workers in the USA and millions more around the globe.

If the idea of geoarbitrage now has your interest, you may be wondering which destination to choose. Well…how about South America?

From the Andean peaks and Amazonian rainforest to the white-sand beaches of Palomino (Colombia) and the incredible nightlife of Rio de Janeiro, South America offers incredible adventures and experiences. The continent calls you to live in the moment at every turn, whether you’re haggling at a market in Quito or making the trek to Machu Picchu.

In our geoarbitrage guide, we cover everything about geographic arbitrage, from choosing a destination to renting a home in your new city. In this article, we’ll help you with choosing a destination in South America. Read on to learn about the best geoarbitrage destinations in South America.

Why You Should Choose South America for Geoarbitrage

Most big cities in South America have a lower cost of living while offering plenty of modern amenities, entertainment, and culture. The continent is incredibly diverse, which means there’s a destination for everyone. Whether you love nature or nightclubs, there’s a place for you here.

Just consider the potential of geoarbitrage in South America: You could work for a company headquartered in Toronto, making a big-city wage. But you could live in a town in Peru, enjoying the country’s famous cuisine, historical sites, scenery and more. Your rent in Peru could be as one-third of what it was in Toronto (or even less!). Think of how much cash you’d save.

Indeed, the financial opportunity is tremendous.

Now, let’s explore the best geoarbitrage cities in South America. See which destinations catch your eye, and begin planning your geoarbitrage move.

Montevideo, Uruguay

Average Rent 

  • City Center: $620 (1-bedroom) up to $1,049 (3-bedroom)
  • Outside City Center: $461 (1-bedroom) up to $838 (3-bedroom)

Consider This Cost of Living Comparison: 

According to Numbeo data, consumer prices, including rent, are 177% higher in New York City than in Montevideo. Making $80,000 annually in Montevideo will yield you a similar standard of living as making $222,000 annually in New York City.

Why It’s Among the Best Geoarbitrage Cities in South America: 

A vibrant, eclectic city, Montevideo brings it all to the table, especially when it’s time for a barbecue. The city has a great arts and music scene, as well as ample green space and nightlife options. One day here and you’ll see why Montevideo is a favorite among digital nomads. With solid infrastructure, healthcare, and education, the city consistently ranks at the top or near the top in quality of life rankings for Latin America.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Average Rent

  • City Center: $490 (1-bedroom) up to $933 (3-bedroom)
  • Outside City Center: $357 (1-bedroom) up to $621 (3-bedroom)

Consider This Cost of Living Comparison:

The cost of living is 253% higher in Boston than in Buenos Aires, according to Numbeo data. Making $80,000 annually in Buenos Aires will yield you a similar standard of living as making $283,000 annually in Boston.



Why It’s Among the Best Geoarbitrage Cities in South America:

Is it time to tango? Then it’s time for Buenos Aires, a city that wonderfully combines colonial architecture with dynamite dining and nightlife. Whether you’re taking in a performance at Teatro Colón or strolling through Parque Tres de Febrero, this city will touch your heart and win you over. Like Montevideo, Buenos Aires is considered one of the most liveable cities in South America. If you’re coming with a family, international schools in the city are quite good and affordable too. Overall, Buenos Aires’ cultural vibrancy and quality of living make it one of the best geoarbitrage cities in South America.

Lima, Peru

Best Geoarbitrage Cities in South America: Save More Money as a Remote Worker - Lima, Peru - Frayed Passport

Photo by Renzo S. on Unsplash

Average Rent

  • City Center: $554 (1-bedroom) up to $1,014 (3-bedroom)
  • Outside City Center: $360 (1-bedroom) up to $707 (3-bedroom)

Consider This Cost of Living Comparison:

The cost of living is 269% higher in San Francisco than in Lima, according to Numbeo data. Making $80,000 annually in Lima will yield you a similar standard of living as making $295,000 annually in San Francisco.

Why It’s Among the Best Geoarbitrage Cities in South America:

Full of history and culture, Lima is a dynamic city that offers everything from great shopping to mouth-watering cuisine. If you’re a foodie, this is perhaps the best geoarbitrage destination in South America. Once known as the “City of Kings”, Lima offers modern amenities and entertainment alongside historic architecture and monuments. It’s the type of place that grows on you quickly, and before you know it, you won’t want to leave.

Bogota, Colombia

Average Rent

  • City Center: $457 (1-bedroom) up to $729 (3-bedroom)
  • Outside City Center: $314 (1-bedroom) up to $614 (3-bedroom)

Consider This Cost of Living Comparison:

The cost of living is 238% higher in Los Angeles than in Bogota, according to Numbeo data. Making $80,000 annually in Bogota will yield you a similar standard of living as making $271,000 annually in Los Angeles.

Why It’s Among the Best Geoarbitrage Cities in South America:

Most fall head over heels for Bogota instantly, whether they’re dancing at a club or taking in views of the Andean peaks. The capital city of Colombia, Bogota is home to 8 million inhabitants and some of the continent’s best attractions, notably Museo del Oro (Museum of Gold) and La Candelaria (the historic district). The city is full of amazing street art and graffiti as well. Additionally, Bogota is known for having an excellent healthcare system and solid public transportation. Simply put, if you’re looking for a high quality of life in a truly cool city, look no further than Bogota.

São Paulo, Brazil

Average Rent

  • City Center: $580 (1-bedroom) up to $1,070 (3-bedroom)
  • Outside City Center: $419 (1-bedroom) up to $774 (3-bedroom)

Consider This Cost of Living Comparison:

The cost of living is 143% higher in Hong Kong than in São Paulo, according to Numbeo data. Making $80,000 USD annually in São Paulo will yield you a similar standard of living as making $194,000 annually in Hong Kong.

Why It’s Among the Best Geoarbitrage Cities in South America:

A cosmopolitan melting pot, São Paulo is Brazil’s financial center and world’s most populous city outside Asia. Whatever you want or need, you can find it in São Paulo. The city is close to beaches, has a vibrant arts scene, and a diverse range of cuisine options. From the delicious scents of food at Municipal Market to the street art of Batman Alley, São Paulo offers a uniquely satisfying big-city experience that’s affordable. With it comes all the amenities you need too, from modern apartments to great transportation and healthcare.

Finding the Best Geoarbitrage City in South America

This list of the best geoarbitrage cities in South America covers cities that are both affordable and offer a high quality of life. With that said, there are plenty more great destinations in addition to the ones in this article.

When selecting a destination, consider your preferences for climate, culture, entertainment, activities, politics and more. Also, carefully calculate your budget and make certain you’re financially prepared. And before you go, study Spanish (or Portuguese if heading to Brazil); it will ease your transition to your new home.

The perfect geoarbitrage city will differ for everyone, and this article is meant to get you started. For more inspiration, and to start planning your move, read our other geographic arbitrage resources:

About the Author

Nick Callos has always had a passion for reading, writing, and discovering the new and unknown. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Nick holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Boston College. He currently splits his time between his hometown, Chengdu, China, and the open road. A full-time travel writer, Nick hopes his work can inspire others to explore the world more deeply and enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle.

Featured image by ckturistando on Unsplash

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