Should you visit Cajamarca 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 Cajamarca and San Pedro de Atacama 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.
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 Cajamarca?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Cajamarca is $50, 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 Cajamarca and San Pedro de Atacama in more detail.
Cajamarca's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $34. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $17.
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.
The average traveler spends about $20 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.
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.
Meals for one day
San Pedro de Atacama $14
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:
The average price of local transportation around Cajamarca is $12 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.
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.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
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:
Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport:
Transfer San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport Shared Service:
Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Atacama Airport Private Transfer:
Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City:
Is it cheaper to fly into Cajamarca or San Pedro de Atacama?
Prices for flights to both San Pedro de Atacama and Cajamarca 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.
Cajamarca's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $19 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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
Half day Valle de la Luna, Afternoon Tour:
Sandboarding Adventure in Death Valley:
Moon Valley & Death Valley Tour from San Pedro de Atacama:
Geysers del Tatio Tour:
Valle del Arcoiris Tour:
Floating experience in the Hidden Lagoons (Lagunas Escondidas):
Small-Group Tour to Moon Valley from San Pedro de Atacama:
Puritama Springs - Half Day Tour - San Pedro de Atacama - Typical Tour:
Atacama Desert Stargazing Tour:
Moon Valley Tour - Half Day Tour:
Small-Group tour to Laguna Cejar, Ojos del Salar and Laguna Tebinquinche:
The average person spends about $12 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 San Pedro de Atacama spend on average $4.78 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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:
When comparing the travel costs between Cajamarca and San Pedro de Atacama, we can see that San Pedro de Atacama is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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