Should you visit Banos or San Pedro de Atacama?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare 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. So, let's dig into it.
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 city 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 $37, while the average daily cost in San Pedro de Atacama is $61. 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 Pedro de Atacama in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $24 for a double occupancy room in Banos.
For a normal double-occupancy room in San Pedro de Atacama, $66 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in San Pedro de Atacama, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $33, such as in a hostel.
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.
Food in San Pedro de Atacama costs travelers about $15 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.
Meals for one day
San Pedro de Atacama $15
Typical Food prices in Banos
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Banos:
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:
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.
San Pedro de Atacama's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $9.64 per person, per day on transportation in San Pedro de Atacama.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
San Pedro de Atacama $9.64
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:
Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City:
Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport:
Transfer San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport Shared Service:
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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in San Pedro de Atacama can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Typical Entertainment prices in Banos
Here are a few typical costs in Banos for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Tours and Activities in Banos
Here are a few actual costs in Banos for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Adventure in Baños 3 Days 2 Nights:
Baños's Top Attractions Pass (Save 10% on tickets):
Chimborazo Volcano from Baños private day Tour:
Fishing Tour & Local Life in Baños:
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:
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:
Half day Valle de la Luna, Afternoon Tour:
Sandboarding Adventure in Death Valley:
Moon Valley & Death Valley Tour from San Pedro de Atacama:
Geysers del Tatio Tour:
Valle del Arcoiris Tour:
Floating experience in the Hidden Lagoons (Lagunas Escondidas):
Small-Group Tour to Moon Valley from San Pedro de Atacama:
Puritama Springs - Half Day Tour - San Pedro de Atacama - Typical Tour:
Atacama Desert Stargazing Tour:
Moon Valley Tour - Half Day Tour:
Small-Group tour to Laguna Cejar, Ojos del Salar and Laguna Tebinquinche:
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.
Typically, people visiting San Pedro de Atacama spend on average $5.20 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typical Alcohol prices in Banos
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Banos from other travelers:
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:
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.
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