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

Should you visit Arequipa or El Chalten?

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

Arequipa

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 city 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 $35, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $72. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Arequipa and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $18. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Arequipa the cost is $36 on average.

The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $64. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arequipa $18
    El Chalten $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arequipa $36
    El Chalten $64

Food

The average traveler spends about $10 per day in Arequipa for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $27 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $11 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in El Chalten is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Arequipa $10
    El Chalten $27
Typical Food prices in Arequipa

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


  • Coke
    $0.38
  • Lunch
    $2.68
  • Ice Cream
    $1.02
  • Fruit
    $0.77
  • Ice Cream
    $0.89

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: $23
  • Peruvian Cooking Experience in Arequipa: $28
  • Peruvian cooking class + PiscoSour class + visit the local market *Whatsapp for more información: $55
  • Curious Monkey -Arequipa Streets, Walking Food Tour: $55
  • Curious Monkey- Arequipa Market and Streets, Walking Food Tour: $56
  • Peruvian Cooking Class in arequipa: $64
  • A 3-hour Guided Food Tour with 5 Iconic Restaurants of Arequipa: $67
  • Peruvian market tour, cooking class, and dinner in Arequipa: $67
  • 3-hour guided food tour / 5 iconic restaurants of Arequipa: $72
  • Food tour in Arequipa: $207

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Arequipa is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.61 per person, per day, on local transportation in Arequipa.

The cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arequipa $4.61
    El Chalten $17
Typical Local Transportation prices in Arequipa

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.28
  • Bus Ride
    $0.41
  • Taxi Ride
    $0.89

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arequipa

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Arequipa:

  • Arequipa Airport Arrival Transfer: $13
  • Arequipa Airport Departure Transfer: $13
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Arequipa Airport to Hotel: $14
  • Private Departure Transfer: Arequipa Hotel to Airport: $14
  • Transfer in private minivan from Arequipa city to Rodríguez Ballón Airport (AQP): $16
  • Airport transfer Arequipa / From airport to hotel: $19
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Sedan Car: $19
  • Transfer in private minivan from Arequipa city to Rodríguez Ballón Airport (AQP): $20
  • transfer Airport - Hotel: $21
  • Arequipa private departure bus station transfer: $22
  • Private Transfer from Arequipa Airport to City Center or Viceversa: $29
  • Departure Private Transfer from Arequipa City to Arequipa Airport AQP by Minivan: $31

Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Arequipa typically cost an average of $14 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Entertainment and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $19 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arequipa $14
    El Chalten $19
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
    $2.55
  • Salsa Class
    $2.55
  • Movie Ticket
    $2.78
  • Hot Springs
    $2.55

Tours and Activities in Arequipa

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

  • Museo Santuarios Andinos Arequipa Admission Ticket: $7.00
  • Tour Around The City Arequipa In Bus: $10
  • Monasterio de Santa Catalina Admission Ticket: $12
  • Small-Group Arequipa Countryside Tour Including La Mansion del Fundador -Mirabus: $15
  • Arequipa Historical Downtown Tour: $18
  • Tour Colca Full Day Promotional Price: $22
  • San Camilo Market Tour: $25
  • City tour & Countryside Tour Bus: $25
  • Private Walking Tour Arequipa: $26
  • Arequipa E-Bike Tour: $27
  • Walking Tour Arequipa: $36
  • Colca Canyon Tour 2 Days: $38

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $149
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $225
  • Module Fitz Roy Adventure: $305
  • 2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre: $333
  • 2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten: $553
  • 3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten: $789

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Arequipa may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $12 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $8.83 on alcoholic beverages in El Chalten per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arequipa $12
    El Chalten $8.83
Typical Alcohol prices in Arequipa

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


  • Beer
    $2.30


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arequipa and El Chalten, we can see that El Chalten is more expensive. And not only is Arequipa much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Arequipa would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Arequipa 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 El Chalten would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in El Chalten than you might in Arequipa.

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Arequipa vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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