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 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.

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.

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.

Which city 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 $83, while the average daily cost in Puerto Varas is $105. 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 Puerto Varas 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.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Puerto Varas is $130. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cafayate $31
    Puerto Varas $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cafayate $62
    Puerto Varas $130

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.

Puerto Varas food costs typically run travelers around $24 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
    Puerto Varas $24
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.

The average price of local transportation around Puerto Varas is $20 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cafayate $17
    Puerto Varas $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Varas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Varas:

  • Puerto Varas Airport Private Transfer: $49
  • Cruce Andino Office Private Transfer from Puerto Varas: $43
  • Puerto Varas Bus Terminal Private Transfer: $39
  • Puerto Montt Departure Transfer from Hotel in Puerto Varas: $32
  • Puerto Varas Airport Shuttle Transfer: $29
  • Transfer from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $14
  • Cruce Andino Office Shuttle Transfer from Puerto Varas: $9.69

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.





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.

Puerto Varas's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $18 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cafayate $37
    Puerto Varas $18

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

Tours and Activities in Puerto Varas

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

  • Chiloe Island Tour from Puerto Varas in Private: $323
  • Frutillar & Llanquihue Private Tour from Puerto Varas: $95
  • Frutillar Bike Tour from Puerto Varas: $69
  • Frutillar Tour: Southern Traditions: $34
  • Full-Day Guided Tour to Villa Peulla from Puerto Varas: $67
  • Full-Day Tour to Petrohue Falls Through the Lake District , Chile: $197
  • Greater Island Chiloe Tour from Puerto Varas: $62
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in Petrohu√© River: $60
  • Lake Llanquihue Bike Tour in Puerto Varas: $130
  • Osorno Volcano Tour: $26
  • Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano Bike Tour: $120
  • Petrohue Waterfalls & Osorno Volcano Half-Day Tour: $49

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.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Puerto Varas may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $6.30 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cafayate $34
    Puerto Varas $6.30

Sample the Local Flavors in Puerto Varas

Also in Puerto Varas, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Osorno Volcano & Brewery Tour in Puerto Varas: $64
  • Heritage City Tour and Brewery in Puerto Varas: $150


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.

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Cafayate vs. Puerto Varas Travel Comparison

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