Should you visit Cajamarca or El Chalten?
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 Cajamarca and El Chalten can help you decide which place is right for you.
Located in the northern highlands of Peru, Cajamarca is a town of about 100,000 people. The city's mild weather and fertile soil is ideal for agriculture, which is a major industry in the area. The city is also well known for its cheeses and dairy products. Cajamarca is the site of the Battle of Cajamarca which led to the execution of the Inca emperor Atahualpa and the end of the infamous Inca empire. Today, the area is appealing to visitors in part because of its lovely churches, nice hot springs, and interesting Inca Baths.
El Chalten is probably one of the most beautiful areas of Patagonia, especially at the slightest ray of sunshine and one of your cheapest destination while you are travelling in Patagonia. Indeed, you will spend your days hiking and there are no park fees. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor stores but most of them will not accept credit cards so before heading out, get cash in El Calafate or your previous stop. For the beginners, it will be long hikes in a magical setting and for the experts perhaps a week long expedition to the greatest glaciers of the world. To discover the way people live in the pampa, you may also decide to stay at an Estancia. In the stunning Estancia Santa Thelma, about 300km away from El Chalten, you will be able to explore the surroundings by horse, live a unique experience in the middle of the nature and its vast plains occupied by thousands of merino sheep and horses and of course eat a typical meal of the region.
Which city is cheaper, El Chalten or Cajamarca?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Cajamarca is $54, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $73. 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 Cajamarca and El Chalten in more detail.
Cajamarca's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $38. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $19.
The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $64. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
The average traveler spends about $22 per day in Cajamarca for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $27 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $11 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in El Chalten is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
El Chalten $27
The average price of local transportation around Cajamarca is $13 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.
The cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.
Cajamarca's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $20 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 and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $19 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in Cajamarca
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Cajamarca are as follows:
Cajamarca city tour - Private tour:
Inca's Bath - Private tour:
Ventanillas de Otuzco - private tour:
Tour of the Port of Callao and fort Real Felipe:
Cumbemayo, the stone forest - Private tour:
Porcón farm - Private tour:
3-Day Guided Cultural Tour of Cajamarca with Transportation:
Tours and Activities in El Chalten
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for El Chalten are as follows:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
Module Fitz Roy Adventure:
2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre:
2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten:
3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten:
The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in Cajamarca per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
The average person spends about $8.90 on alcoholic beverages in El Chalten per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cajamarca and El Chalten, we can see that El Chalten is more expensive. And not only is Cajamarca much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cajamarca would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cajamarca 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 El Chalten would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in El Chalten than you might in Cajamarca.
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