A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Arequipa vs. El Chalten for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Arequipa or El Chalten?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Arequipa or El Chalten? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Arequipa or El Chalten?


Sitting in the middle of the Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu volcanoes of Peru is the enchanting city of Arequipa. With 468 years of history, the city is full of Spanish colonial architecture. Known to locals as the "white city," the city center, Plaza de Armas, is quite the sight with buildings of sillar white stone made from the rocks of the surrounding volcanoes.

El Chalten

El Chalten is probably one of the most beautiful areas of Patagonia, especially at the slightest ray of sunshine and one of your cheapest destination while you are travelling in Patagonia. Indeed, you will spend your days hiking and there are no park fees. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor stores but most of them will not accept credit cards so before heading out, get cash in El Calafate or your previous stop. For the beginners, it will be long hikes in a magical setting and for the experts perhaps a week long expedition to the greatest glaciers of the world. To discover the way people live in the pampa, you may also decide to stay at an Estancia. In the stunning Estancia Santa Thelma, about 300km away from El Chalten, you will be able to explore the surroundings by horse, live a unique experience in the middle of the nature and its vast plains occupied by thousands of merino sheep and horses and of course eat a typical meal of the region.

Which place is cheaper, El Chalten or Arequipa?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Arequipa is $45, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $24. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Arequipa and El Chalten in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arequipa $22
    El Chalten $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arequipa $44
    El Chalten $22
Compare Hotels in Arequipa and El Chalten

Looking for a hotel in Arequipa or El Chalten? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Arequipa

Hotels in El Chalten

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Arequipa Hotel Prices and El Chalten Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arequipa $5.77
    El Chalten $5.81
Typical Local Transportation prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arequipa are as follows:

  • Taxi Ride
  • Bus Ride
  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arequipa

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Arequipa:

  • Arequipa Airport Departure Transfer: $13
  • Arequipa Airport Arrival Transfer: $13
  • Private Transfer from Alfredo Rodríguez Ballón Airport to Hotel: $20
  • transfer Airport - Hotel: $21
  • Airport Private Transfer: $25
  • Arequipa Bus Station Departure Transfer: $25
  • Arequipa Airport Private Transfer: $25
  • Arequipa Bus Station Arrival Transfer : $25
  • 1-Way Airport Private Transfer: $31
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Arequipa city to Airport (AQP): $34
  • Transfer in private Vehicle from Airport (AQP) to Arequipa city: $34
  • Transfer Between Arequipa's Airport and Hotels: $35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Chalten

Some specific examples of transportation prices in El Chalten:

  • From El Calafate: Full-Day Private Transfer to El Chaltén: $527

Is it cheaper to fly into Arequipa or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Arequipa change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Arequipa $13
    El Chalten $8.99
Typical Food prices in Arequipa

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Arequipa:

  • Coke
  • Lunch
  • Ice Cream
  • Fruit
  • Ice Cream

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arequipa

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Arequipa.

  • Skip the Line: Dinner and Typical Dances Show Ticket: $25
  • Peruvian Cooking Experience in Arequipa: $28
  • Peruvian Cooking Class: $38
  • Peruvian Cooking Class: $38
  • Peruvian Cooking Class in arequipa: $50
  • Private Cooking Class in Arequipa: $65
  • Guided Food Tour in Arequipa City: $69
  • 3-hour guided food tour / 5 iconic restaurants of Arequipa: $72
  • Arequipa Ancestral Cuisine and City and Food Tour: $79
  • A 3-hour Guided Food Tour with 4 Iconic Restaurants of Arequipa: $79
  • Arequipa Food Tour: Ancestral Cuisine & City Tour: $79
  • Peruvian cooking class + PiscoSour class + visit the local market: $85

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arequipa $18
    El Chalten $6.54
Typical Entertainment prices in Arequipa

Here are a few typical costs in Arequipa for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:

  • Monastery Entry
  • Salsa Class
  • Movie Ticket
  • Hot Springs

Tours and Activities in Arequipa

Here are a few actual costs in Arequipa for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Arequipa Tasting Tour: $8.00
  • Tour Around The City Arequipa In Bus: $10
  • Museo Santuarios Andinos Arequipa Admission Ticket: $11
  • Half Day Tour of the Sillar Route in Arequipa: $12
  • Ticket for Planetarium and Star Observatory: $15
  • Small-Group Arequipa Countryside Tour Including La Mansion del Fundador -Mirabus: $15
  • Monasterio de Santa Catalina Admission Ticket: $16
  • Tour por la Ruta del Sillar, el Origen de Arequipa: $16
  • From Mirabus City Tour | Yanahuara Viewpoint |: $16
  • Countryside Tour Arequipa: $18
  • City and Country Tour: $18
  • From Panoramic Tour of Arequipa: $20

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for El Chalten are as follows:

  • 3 Hours Grilled Lamb Experience in Estancia Bonanza: $55
  • Rafting experience on the Rio de las Vueltas in Patagonia: $145
  • Rio de las Vueltas Rafting Experience - El Chalten: $145
  • 2-Day Self-guided Adventure Laguna de los Tres, Fitz Roy & Torre Mt: $325
  • Full day 1 night Laguna De Los Tres and Eco Domes Experience: $400
  • 2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten: $700
  • 3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten: $900

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arequipa $15
    El Chalten $2.99
Typical Alcohol prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Arequipa are as follows:

  • Beer

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arequipa and El Chalten, we can see that Arequipa is more expensive. And not only is El Chalten much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to El Chalten would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in El Chalten and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Arequipa would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arequipa than you might in El Chalten.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Arequipa vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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