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

Should you visit Banos or San Pedro de Atacama?

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 Pedro de Atacama. 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 Pedro de Atacama?

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 Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is a gateway to northern Chile. It is a good jumping off point for exploring the area's impressive landscape, most of which is included in the Los Flamencos National Reserve. It is popular with both Chilean and international tourists, and because of its popularity, it is a relatively expensive destination, with many prices comparable to what you might pay in Santiago.

Which place is cheaper, San Pedro de Atacama or Banos?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Banos is $46, while the average daily cost in San Pedro de Atacama is $58. 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 Banos and San Pedro de Atacama in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Banos $16
    San Pedro de Atacama $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Banos $32
    San Pedro de Atacama $62
Compare Hotels in Banos and San Pedro de Atacama

Looking for a hotel in Banos or San Pedro de Atacama? 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 Pedro de Atacama


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: Banos Hotel Prices and San Pedro de Atacama Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Banos $10
    San Pedro de Atacama $9.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro de Atacama

Also for San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Atacama Airport Private Transfer: $129
  • Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer: $34
  • Calama Airport Transfer to Atacama / Airport Lodging: $55
  • Calama Airport: Shared Transfer to/from San Pedro de Atacama: $30
  • Private transfer San Pedro de Atacama - calama airport: $200
  • Private transfer calama airport san Pedro de atcama: $200
  • Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City: $190
  • Stargazing Experience with Transfer: $39
  • Shared Departure Transfer: San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport: $31
  • Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport: $29
  • Transfer to the Puritama Hot Springs: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Banos or San Pedro de Atacama?

Prices for flights to both San Pedro de Atacama 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 $15
    San Pedro de Atacama $14
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 Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Empanadas
    $1.24
  • Lunch
    $10
  • Dinner
    $11
  • Drink
    $0.93
  • Empanada
    $5.16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Private Dinner Under the Stars: $300

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Banos $19
    San Pedro de Atacama $20
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:

  • Adventure and Fun River Rafting in Baños Ecuador: $35
  • 2 Hours Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Banos: $30
  • 3 Hours Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Baños: $40
  • 5-Hour Small-Group Horseback Riding Experience in Baños: $62
  • Adventure Circuit 4 activities in 1. All within an impressive cascade: $25
  • Adventure in Baños 3 Days 2 Nights: $225
  • Animalpark | Theme Park | Tours | funny | Ecuador: $45
  • Animalpark | Theme Park | Tours | naturally fun: $45
  • Baños Ecuador Biking Tour Waterfalls: $43
  • Baths Nature and Adventure 2 Days.: $190
  • Canopy 2000m in 6 Lines | An Adventure Circuit: $45
  • Canopy Ziplining in Puntzan Adventure Park: $26

Typical Entertainment Prices in San Pedro de Atacama

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for San Pedro de Atacama's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Sand Boarding
    $55

Tours and Activities in San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Walking Tour of San Pedro de Atacama Stories and Legends: $25
  • Stargazing Tour with Astronomer in San Pedro de Atacama: $35
  • Tatio Geyser Tour: $39
  • Astronomical Tour with Guide and Pick Up San Pedro de Atacama: $39
  • Tour to Vallecito and Magic Bus: $42
  • Astronomical Tour + Astrophotography in the Atacama desert!: $42
  • Tour to the Valley of the Moon San Pedro de Atacama: $42
  • Etno-Astronomical Small-Group Tour: $43
  • 6-hour tour to Valle del Arcoíris: $44
  • Guided Atacama Desert Stargazing Tour: $44
  • Moon Valley Tour: $44
  • Traditional Ethnoastronomy Tour in San Pedro de Atacama: $44

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Banos $9.74
    San Pedro de Atacama $4.86
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 Pedro de Atacama

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in San Pedro de Atacama:


  • Alcohol
    $24


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Banos Expensive? and Is San Pedro de Atacama Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Banos or San Pedro de Atacama?

Banos has a larger population, and is about 5 times larger than the population of San Pedro de Atacama. When comparing the sizes of Banos and San Pedro de Atacama, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.