Should you visit Cajamarca 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 Cajamarca and La Serena 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.
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 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 La Serena is $91. 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 La Serena 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.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $88 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $28 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.
Meals for one day
La Serena $28
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.
To get around in La Serena, the average visitor spends $21 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.
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:
Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC):
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.
In La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $25 per person, per day.
Tours and Activities in Cajamarca
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Cajamarca are as follows:
3-Day Guided Cultural Tour of Cajamarca with Transportation:
Cajamarca city tour - Private tour:
Cumbemayo, the stone forest - Private tour:
Inca's Bath - Private tour:
Porcón farm - Private tour:
Ventanillas de Otuzco - private tour:
Tour of the Port of Callao and fort Real Felipe:
Tours and Activities in La Serena
For La Serena, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour:
Full day Tour to Elqui Valley:
Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch:
La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum:
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.
Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $24 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cajamarca and La Serena, we can see that La Serena 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 La Serena would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in La Serena than you might in Cajamarca.
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