A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cafayate vs. San Pedro de Atacama for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cafayate or San Pedro de Atacama?

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 San Pedro de Atacama 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.

San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is a gateway to northern Chile. It is a good jumping off point for exploring the area's impressive landscape, most of which is included in the Los Flamencos National Reserve. It is popular with both Chilean and international tourists, and because of its popularity, it is a relatively expensive destination, with many prices comparable to what you might pay in Santiago.

Which city is cheaper, San Pedro de Atacama 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 San Pedro de Atacama is $56. 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 San Pedro de Atacama 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.

For a normal double-occupancy room in San Pedro de Atacama, $60 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in San Pedro de Atacama, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $30, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cafayate $31
    San Pedro de Atacama $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cafayate $62
    San Pedro de Atacama $60

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.

Food in San Pedro de Atacama costs travelers about $14 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
    Cafayate $34
    San Pedro de Atacama $14
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

Typical Food prices in San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Empanadas
    $1.52
  • Lunch
    $13
  • Dinner
    $13
  • Drink
    $1.14
  • Empanada
    $6.34

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.

San Pedro de Atacama'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 $8.86 per person, per day on transportation in San Pedro de Atacama.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cafayate $17
    San Pedro de Atacama $8.86

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro de Atacama

Also for San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City: $115
  • Atacama Airport Private Transfer: $93
  • Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer: $30
  • Transfer San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport Shared Service: $26
  • Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport: $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Cafayate or San Pedro de Atacama?

Prices for flights to both San Pedro de Atacama 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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in San Pedro de Atacama can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $20 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cafayate $37
    San Pedro de Atacama $20

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

Typical Entertainment prices in San Pedro de Atacama

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for San Pedro de Atacama's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Sand Boarding
    $67

Tours and Activities in San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 2- day tour Quitor & Tulor + Moon & Death Valley in Atacama: $129
  • 4-Day Uyuni Salt Flats & Desert Adventure from San Pedro de Atacama: $357
  • 4-Days Experience at Uyuni Salt Flat From San Pedro de Atacama: $1,953
  • 8-Days Unique Experience in San Pedro de Atacama & Easter Island: $1,680
  • Altiplanic Lagoons and Piedras Rojas Tour - Full Day Tour - Private Option: $157
  • Ancestral Caravan with Sandra Flores - Half Day Special Tour - Local Community: $86
  • Archaeological Tour in Atacama: $49
  • Archaeological Tour, Quitor, Tulor, Coyo and San Pedro: $62
  • Archeological Tour: $59
  • Astronomic Tour Experience from San Pedro de Atacama: $65
  • Astronomic tour: $47
  • Astronomical Tour: $42

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 San Pedro de Atacama spend on average $4.78 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cafayate $34
    San Pedro de Atacama $4.78

Typical Alcohol prices in San Pedro de Atacama

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in San Pedro de Atacama:


  • Alcohol
    $30


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

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Cafayate vs. San Pedro de Atacama Travel Comparison

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