A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Banos vs. San Carlos de Bariloche for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Banos or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Banos and San Carlos de Bariloche. 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. So, let's dig into it.

Banos

Banos (de Agua Santa) is a small city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador under volcano Tungurahua. Its name, which is Spanish for "Baths (of sacred water)," comes from the famous hydrothermal springs in the area. It's equally popular with foreigners as with Ecuadorians, and is known as the adventure capital of Ecuador. The streets are lined with hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, and tour agencies. Although it is very touristy, lots of people love it, more for the activities and surroundings than for the city itself. It is an important hub for outdoor sports and jungle tours.

San Carlos de Bariloche

Set in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina, San Carlos de Bariloche is the biggest city in the Lake District. Bariloche is popular for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and trekking, swimming, fishing and horseback riding in the summertime.

No matter the time of year, there is something for everyone in Bariloche. Skiing season begins from June to October while fishing season is from November to April. Summer is from December to March, but visiting during low seasons (Spring in October to December and Autumn in late-April to mid-June) also has its benefits when it comes to saving cash and avoiding crowds.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

Which city is cheaper, San Carlos de Bariloche or Banos?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Banos is $37, while the average daily cost in San Carlos de Bariloche is $52. 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 Banos and San Carlos de Bariloche in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $24 for a double occupancy room in Banos.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $38 for a double occupancy room in San Carlos de Bariloche.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banos $12
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banos $24
    San Carlos de Bariloche $38

Food

Food in Banos costs travelers about $12 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

The average traveler spends about $20 per day in San Carlos de Bariloche 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Banos $12
    San Carlos de Bariloche $20
Typical Food prices in Banos

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


  • Dinner
    $13
  • Ice cream
    $1.50
  • Coffee
    $2.50

Typical Food prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some typical examples of dining costs in San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:


  • Pastries
    $0.12
  • Empanadas
    $0.28

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Carlos de Bariloche

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Carlos de Bariloche.

  • Night hiking in the woods with headlamps & Candlelit dinner: $70
  • Half-Day Bariloche Highlights with Cooking Class & Beer Tasting -Private Service: $274

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Banos is $8.27 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

The average price of local transportation around San Carlos de Bariloche is $16 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banos $8.27
    San Carlos de Bariloche $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Carlos de Bariloche:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Bariloche Airport BRC to Bariloche City by Minivan: $292
  • Arrival Private Transfer Bariloche Airport BRC to Bariloche City by SUV: $150
  • Bariloche Airport Arrival Private Transfer: $53
  • Bariloche Airport Arrival Shuttle Transfer: $16
  • Bariloche Airport Departure Private Transfer: $53
  • Bariloche Airport Departure Shuttle Transfer: $16
  • Bariloche Airport Round Trip PrivateTransfer: $106
  • Bariloche Airport Round Trip Shuttle Transfer: $32
  • Bariloche Airport Roundtrip Transfer: $52
  • Departure Private Transfer Bariloche City to Bariloche Airport BRC by Minivan: $292
  • Departure Private Transfer Bariloche City to Bariloche Airport BRC by SUV: $150
  • Private Airport Transfer: Bariloche to San Carlos De Bariloche Airport (BRC): $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Banos or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Prices for flights to both San Carlos de Bariloche and Banos 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.





Entertainment

Banos's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

San Carlos de Bariloche's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $22 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banos $15
    San Carlos de Bariloche $22
Typical Entertainment prices in Banos

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


  • Two Rented Bikes for the Day
    $10
  • Cost to see Waterfall
    $2.00
  • Day at the Spa
    $45
  • 2 Bike Rentals (1 Day)
    $10
  • Entrance to Waterfall
    $2.00

Tours and Activities in Banos

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

  • Baños's Top Attractions Pass (Save 10% on tickets): $65
  • Fishing Tour & Local Life in Baños: $90
  • Chimborazo Volcano from Baños private day Tour: $102
  • Adventure in Baños 3 Days 2 Nights: $335

Tours and Activities in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:

  • Bariloche Civic Center Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Bariloche Historic District Walking Tour: $16
  • German Footprint Shared Tour: $16
  • Cerro Catedral Sightseeing Tour: $22
  • Bariloche Scenic Circle Tour: $27
  • Half Day Small Circuit Tour: Mt Campanario and Llao Llao Peninsula: $35
  • Bariloche Sightseeing Tour: $40
  • German Footprint & Nazi presence - Walking Tour in Bariloche: $40
  • Nahuel Huapi National Park AdmissionTicket: $40
  • Mount Tronador and the Black Glacier Day Tour: $50
  • Bariloche Flavours Tasting Walking Tour: $60
  • San Martín de los Andes por 7 Lagos Full-Day Tour: $62

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Banos may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.79 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in San Carlos de Bariloche per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banos $7.79
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13
Typical Alcohol prices in Banos

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Banos from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $4.00

Typical Alcohol prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in San Carlos de Bariloche from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.11

Sample the Local Flavors in San Carlos de Bariloche

Also in San Carlos de Bariloche, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • City Tour, Nature Hiking & visit to a Local Microbrewery in Bariloche: $281


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

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Banos vs. San Carlos de Bariloche Travel Comparison

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