A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Buenos Aires, Argentina vs. El Calafate

Should you visit Buenos Aires, Argentina or El Calafate?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Buenos Aires, Argentina and El Calafate can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, federal capital of Argentina, also known as "The City of Tango", is best known for its energetic and unpredictable character. Like a restless child, Buenos Aires is a dynamic and modern city full of surprises. While its French-style palaces, rooftop restaurants, wide avenues and green plazas resemble European-style architecture, Buenos Aires preserves its musical, literary and culinary traditions. You can't miss dining in front of a Tango show, walking around the colourful streets of La Boca and visiting the renowned Recoleta Cemetery, designed by Argentina's most important architects and home to hundreds of illustrious corpses.

El Calafate

Located in Patagonia, El Calafate has become a popular tourist destination in Argentina because of its beautiful setting on the stunningly blue Lago Argentina. The town sits on the southern border of the lake in the southwestern part of the Santa Cruz Province. It's about 320 kilometers from Rio Gallegos.

The rise in popularity of Patagonia as a tourist destination has truly put this small town on the map. You'll find no shortage of trekkers in the town and it makes an excellent base to explore different parts of the Los Glaciares National Park. Popular places to visit include Perito Moreno Glacier, Cerro Chalten, and Cerro Torre.

El Calafate has a cold semi-arid climate. The summers are cool to warm and very dry while the winters are cold and damp. Lago Argentino has a significant influence over the town's climate. The shallow bay where the town is located is usually frozen during the winter months.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

Which city is cheaper, El Calafate or Buenos Aires, Argentina?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Buenos Aires, Argentina is $74, while the average daily cost in El Calafate is $73. 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 Buenos Aires, Argentina and El Calafate in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Buenos Aires, Argentina is $58. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $50 in El Calafate For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $29
    El Calafate $25
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $58
    El Calafate $50

Food

In Buenos Aires, Argentina travelers spend around $24 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

Food in El Calafate costs travelers about $27 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 Meals for one day
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $24
    El Calafate $27
Typical Food prices in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Buenos Aires, Argentina:


  • Lunch
    $0.23
  • Cup of Coffee
    $0.13
  • Empandas
    $0.17
  • Espresso
    $0.08
  • Dinner (Pizza)
    $0.14
  • Ice Cream
    $0.13
  • Breakfast at Airport
    $0.34
  • Dinner (Sandwiches)
    $0.09
  • Sweets
    $0.06
  • Hot Dog
    $0.07
  • Breakfast (Take-Away)
    $0.12
  • Lunch for 2
    $1.49
  • Cake and Coffee
    $4.80
  • Dinner
    $17
  • Powerade
    $1.05
  • Lunch
    $7.55
  • Dinner
    $11
  • Chocolate
    $28

Typical Food prices in El Calafate

For El Calafate, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dessert
    $0.10
  • Dinner
    $16
  • Dinner
    $9.65

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in El Calafate

For El Calafate, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Visit to Estancia Alice El Galpon, Dinner and Folkloric Show: $120
  • Gaucho, Dinner and Folklore Full-Day Tour: $165

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Buenos Aires, Argentina is $11 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.

El Calafate'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 $26 per person, per day on transportation in El Calafate.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $11
    El Calafate $26
Typical Local Transportation prices in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Buenos Aires, Argentina:


  • Taxi from Airport
    $1.21
  • Local Bus
    $0.03
  • Metro Ride
    $0.02
  • Taxi to airport
    $0.31
  • Taxi
    $0.84

Typical Local Transportation prices in El Calafate

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in El Calafate:


  • Taxi
    $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

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

  • Bus Transfer from El Calafate to El Chalten: $50
  • El Calafate Airport Private Transfer: $57
  • From Calafate: Round-trip transfer to Perito Moreno Glacier: $27
  • Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier with transfers: $461
  • Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier without transfers: $336
  • Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $90
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75

Entertainment

Buenos Aires, Argentina's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $24 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 El Calafate can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $27 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $24
    El Calafate $27
Typical Entertainment prices in Buenos Aires, Argentina

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


  • Entry to Japanese Gardens (for 2)
    $0.34
  • Movie Ticket
    $0.16
  • Tango Class
    $0.26
  • Bar entrance
    $5.24

Typical Entertainment prices in El Calafate

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for El Calafate's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Glacerium Museum
    $13

Tours and Activities in El Calafate

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

  • El Calafate History Museum Tour: $11
  • Bamboo Bike self drive tour El Calafate surroundings: $15
  • Perito Moreno Glacier Tour with Optional Boat Ride: $38
  • Bus ticket to Puerto Natales, Chile: $44
  • Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise: $44
  • City Tour in El Calafate with Walichu Caves: $48
  • Tour to Punta Walichu and Glaciarium: $48
  • Bus Ticket from El Chalten to El Calafate: $50
  • El Calafate City Sightseeing Tour Including Walichu Caves: $53
  • Bus ticket from El Calafate (Argentina) to Puerto Natales (Chile): $56
  • Los Glaciares National Park and Perito Moreno Glacier Tour: $61
  • El Calafate Sightseeing Tour with Walichu Caves: $68

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Buenos Aires, Argentina may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting El Calafate spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $13
    El Calafate $13
Typical Alcohol prices in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Buenos Aires, Argentina from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.10
  • Beer (0.66L)
    $0.18
  • Cocktail
    $0.27
  • Alcohol
    $6.03

Typical Alcohol prices in El Calafate

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in El Calafate:


  • Beer
    $0.08
  • Alcohol
    $3.36

Sample the Local Flavors in El Calafate

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in El Calafate:

  • Calafate Wine Tour | City Tour Peatonal Maridado con Vinos: $38
  • Calafate Wine Tour: $48


When comparing the travel costs between Buenos Aires, Argentina and El Calafate, we can see that Buenos Aires, Argentina 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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Buenos Aires, Argentina vs. El Calafate Travel Comparison

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