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

Should you visit Cafayate or Puerto Varas?

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

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 Puerto Varas can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Cafayate or Puerto Varas?


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.

Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas is a city in Southern Chile, in the Los Lagos (Lakes) Region, Llanquihue Province. It is a charming town, only 23 km away from Puerto Montt and surrounded by the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes as well as the impressive Llanquihue lake. In terms of landscape, accommodation and activities, Puerto Varas is well served! Kayak, paddle, canyoning, rock climbing, trekking, ski, fishing, you name it! If you decide to stop in that area, we recommend that you stay in Puerto Varas, as it provides the perfect starting point for many memorable excursions in the area.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Buenos Aires, The Best 2-Week Tours from Buenos Aires, The Best G Adventures Tours to Chile, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Santiago.

Which place is cheaper, Puerto Varas or Cafayate?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cafayate is $11, while the average daily cost in Puerto Varas is $114. 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 Cafayate and Puerto Varas in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cafayate $4.31
    Puerto Varas $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cafayate $8.62
    Puerto Varas $142
Compare Hotels in Cafayate and Puerto Varas

Looking for a hotel in Cafayate or Puerto Varas? 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 Cafayate

Hotels in Puerto Varas

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: Cafayate Hotel Prices and Puerto Varas Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cafayate $2.33
    Puerto Varas $22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Varas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Varas:

  • Puerto Varas Airport Private Transfer: $62
  • Transfer from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $50
  • Puerto Varas Airport Shuttle Transfer: $38
  • Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport (PMC) - Departure Transfer: $33
  • Transfer from Hotel in Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $24
  • Puerto Varas Bus Terminal Private Transfer: $23
  • Transfer to Puerto Montt Airport: $22
  • Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $21
  • Cruce Andino Office Shuttle Transfer from Puerto Varas: $17

Is it cheaper to fly into Cafayate or Puerto Varas?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Varas 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Cafayate $4.69
    Puerto Varas $26
Typical Food Prices in Cafayate

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

  • Dinner (Empanadas)
  • Sandwich
  • Pizza

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cafayate $5.05
    Puerto Varas $20

Tours and Activities in Cafayate

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

  • Tour Quebrada De Las Conchas - Cafayate - Salta: $25
  • From Salta: Full-Day Wine and Valley Tour to Cafayate: $52
  • Unveiling Premium Wine Road Adventure: $73
  • From Salta: Cafayate, Humahuaca & Salinas Grandes 3-Day Tour: $106
  • From Salta: Cafayate, Salinas Grandes, & Hornocal Tour: $128
  • From Salta: Local Landscape, Winery, and Culture Tour: $134
  • From Salta: Cafayate, Cachi, & Hornocal 3-Day Tour: $136

Tours and Activities in Puerto Varas

Here are a few actual costs in Puerto Varas for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Adventure Fullday Tour Osorno Volcano and Saltos de Petrohue National Park: $150
  • Classic Chiloe Tour: $150
  • From Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt: Chiloé Island Tour: $60
  • From Osorno Volcano & Petrohue Falls Day Tour: $50
  • Frutillar & Llanquihue Private Tour from Puerto Varas: $123
  • Frutillar Bike Tour from Puerto Varas: $79
  • Full-Day Osorno Vulcano and Petrohue Falls Small-Group Tour: $80
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in Petrohué River: $52
  • Lake Llanquihue Bike Tour in Puerto Varas: $129
  • Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano Bike Tour: $124
  • Peulla Full Day Tour from Puerto Varas: $68
  • Premium Full Day Shared Tour Osorno Volcano and Petrohue Falls: $185

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cafayate $4.74
    Puerto Varas $6.84

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cafayate and Puerto Varas, we can see that Puerto Varas is more expensive. And not only is Cafayate much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cafayate would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cafayate 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 Puerto Varas would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Varas than you might in Cafayate.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cafayate Expensive? and Is Puerto Varas Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Cafayate or Puerto Varas?

Puerto Varas has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Cafayate. When comparing the sizes of Cafayate and Puerto Varas, 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.