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

Should you visit Buenos Aires, Argentina or El Calafate?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

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

Where Should I go: Buenos Aires, Argentina or El Calafate?

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 $48, while the average daily cost in El Calafate is $48. 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 Buenos Aires, Argentina and El Calafate in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $19
    El Calafate $16
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $38
    El Calafate $32

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $7.46
    El Calafate $17
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
    $0.79
  • Local Bus
    $0.02
  • Metro Ride
    $0.02
  • Taxi to airport
    $0.21
  • Taxi
    $0.55

Typical Local Transportation prices in El Calafate

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


  • Taxi
    $8.21

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
  • Private Airport Transfer: $49
  • Transfers Between Airport and Hotels: $26
  • 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

Is it cheaper to fly into Buenos Aires, Argentina or El Calafate?

Prices for flights to both El Calafate and Buenos Aires, Argentina 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
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $15
    El Calafate $18
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
    $0.15
  • Cup of Coffee
    $0.09
  • Empandas
    $0.11
  • Espresso
    $0.05
  • Dinner (Pizza)
    $0.09
  • Ice Cream
    $0.08
  • Breakfast at Airport
    $0.22
  • Dinner (Sandwiches)
    $0.06
  • Sweets
    $0.04
  • Hot Dog
    $0.05
  • Breakfast (Take-Away)
    $0.08
  • Lunch for 2
    $0.97
  • Cake and Coffee
    $3.14
  • Dinner
    $11
  • Powerade
    $0.68
  • Lunch
    $4.93
  • Dinner
    $7.17
  • Chocolate
    $18

Typical Food prices in El Calafate

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


  • Dessert
    $0.07
  • Dinner
    $11
  • Dinner
    $6.30

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $16
    El Calafate $18
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)
    $0.22
  • Movie Ticket
    $0.10
  • Tango Class
    $0.17
  • Bar entrance
    $3.42

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
    $8.21

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
  • 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
  • Perito Moreno Glacier Tour with Boat Ride: $70
  • El Calafate City Tour: $74
  • Full day tour to El Chaltèn: $86

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Buenos Aires, Argentina $8.54
    El Calafate $8.79
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
    $0.07
  • Beer (0.66L)
    $0.12
  • Cocktail
    $0.18
  • Alcohol
    $3.94

Typical Alcohol prices in El Calafate

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


  • Beer
    $0.05
  • Alcohol
    $2.19

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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