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 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 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Banos or San Carlos de Bariloche?

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 $35. 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 Banos and San Carlos de Bariloche in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banos $12
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banos $24
    San Carlos de Bariloche $26
Compare Hotels in Banos and San Carlos de Bariloche

Looking for a hotel in Banos or San Carlos de Bariloche? 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 Banos


Hotels in San Carlos de Bariloche


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banos $8.27
    San Carlos de Bariloche $11

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: 1-Way or Round-Trip BRC Airport Transfer: $11
  • 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Banos $12
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13
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
    $0.08
  • Empanadas
    $0.18

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banos $15
    San Carlos de Bariloche $14
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
  • Indigenous People of Patagonia History Tour: $18
  • Cerro Catedral Sightseeing Tour: $22
  • From Bariloche: Chico Circuit & Colonia Suiza Tour: $25
  • Bariloche: 4-Hour Cerro Catedral Base Tour: $34
  • Half Day Small Circuit Tour: Mt Campanario and Llao Llao Peninsula: $35
  • Bariloche Sightseeing Tour: $40
  • Nahuel Huapi National Park AdmissionTicket: $40
  • German Footprint & Nazi presence - Walking Tour in Bariloche: $40
  • Mount Tronador and the Black Glacier Day Tour: $50
  • Bariloche Flavours Tasting Walking Tour: $60
  • Nahuel Huapi Lake Cruise with Victoria Island and Arrayan Forest Walk: $68

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banos $7.79
    San Carlos de Bariloche $8.66
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
    $0.07

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 comparing the travel costs between Banos and San Carlos de Bariloche, we can see that Banos is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Banos vs. San Carlos de Bariloche Travel Comparison

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