A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cafayate vs. La Serena for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cafayate or La Serena?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Cafayate and La Serena can help you decide which place is right for you.

Cafayate

Cafayate is located in the province of Salta, in the central zone of the Valles Calchaquies. The small town has about 12,000 residents and is 1,329 kilometers from Buenos Aires.

People head to the small town of Cafayate to explore its vineyards and unique rock formations. It has become an important tourist destination in the area and there is a large golf course under construction just outside of town.

Cafayate is an important wine production center. The wines in the area thrive from the low humidity mild weather of the valleys. The town receives less than 250 millimeters of precipitation a year.

La Serena

La Serena is a charming town in Northern Chile. It is Chile's second-oldest city and the thriving capital of Region IV. With its beautiful architecture, its long golden shoreline, dignified stone churches, tree-shaded avenues and pretty plazas, La Serena has everything you could ask for!

Chileans on holidays flood in the city in January and February, though it is fairly peaceful outside the summer rush. Some of the city's architecture is from the colonial era, but most is actually neocolonial thanks to president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, born in La Serena, and her 'Plan Serena' of the late 1940s.

Which city is cheaper, La Serena or Cafayate?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cafayate is $83, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $84. 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 Cafayate and La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $62 in Cafayate For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $82 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cafayate $31
    La Serena $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cafayate $62
    La Serena $82

Food

While meal prices in Cafayate can vary, the average travelers spends about $34 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Cafayate should cost around $14 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Cafayate is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $26 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Cafayate $34
    La Serena $26
Typical Food prices in Cafayate

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Cafayate:


  • Dinner (Empanadas)
    $0.21
  • Sandwich
    $0.09
  • Pizza
    $0.16

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cafayate than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $17 on transportation in Cafayate on average per day.

To get around in La Serena, the average visitor spends $20 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cafayate $17
    La Serena $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Serena

Also for La Serena, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Airport Transfer: La Florida Airport (LSC) to La Serena: $26
  • Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC): $26

Is it cheaper to fly into Cafayate or La Serena?

Prices for flights to both La Serena and Cafayate 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Cafayate, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $37 per day, per person.

In La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cafayate $37
    La Serena $23

Tours and Activities in Cafayate

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cafayate.

  • Cachi Full-Day Tour: $58
  • Cafayate and Calchaqui Valley Winery Tour: $50
  • From Salta: Full-Day Wine and Valley Tour to Cafayate: $53
  • Half-Day Wine Road Premium Tour From Cafayate: $109
  • Quebrada De Las Conchas Bike Tour from Cafayate: $182
  • Tour Quebrada De Las Conchas - Cafayate - Salta: $27

Tours and Activities in La Serena

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

  • Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch: $263
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum: $269
  • Full day Tour to Elqui Valley: $90
  • Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour: $58

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Cafayate, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $34.

Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $22 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cafayate $34
    La Serena $22


When comparing the travel costs between Cafayate and La Serena, we can see that La Serena 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.

Budget Your Trip

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Cafayate vs. La Serena Travel Comparison

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