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

Should you visit Arica or El Chalten?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Arica and El Chalten. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Arica

A mixture of coastline, desert and high Andean plateau, Arica is a seaside resort town, known for its surfing beaches located at the tip of Northern Chile. Arica boasts that it is "the land of the eternal spring," but its temperate climate and beaches are not the only reason to visit this small city. Arica's tourism is still principally geared toward domestic visitors and those from southern Peru and La Paz, who flock to its beaches mid-December through February. It is very easy to spend a few days in Arica in the sand, or seeing the sights in town, at a slow pace but the city also offers plenty of fun activities and exciting day trips.

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 Arica?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Arica is $72, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $56. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Arica and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arica $32
    El Chalten $25
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arica $64
    El Chalten $50

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arica $16
    El Chalten $13
Typical Local Transportation prices in Arica

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $2.37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arica

Also for Arica, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Arica Airport Private Transfer: $76

Is it cheaper to fly into Arica or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Arica 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Arica $25
    El Chalten $21

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arica $18
    El Chalten $15

Tours and Activities in Arica

For Arica, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Half day Panoramic City Tour: $23
  • Arica Sightseeing Tour: $41
  • Full Day Tour to Tacna from Arica: $72
  • Arica Private Sightseeing Tour: $76
  • Archeological Sightseeing tour in Arica: $82
  • Private Tour to Tacna from Arica: $165
  • Arica Private City Tour: $262
  • Private Arica and Ancient Cultures Tour: $346
  • 4-Days Unique Experience at the Chilean High Plateau: $1,038

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • 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
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $149
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $225
  • Module Fitz Roy Adventure: $305

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arica $18
    El Chalten $6.87


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arica and El Chalten, we can see that Arica 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 Arica would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arica than you might in El Chalten.

Budget Your Trip

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Arica vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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