A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Cali vs. El Calafate for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Cali or El Calafate?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Cali and El Calafate can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Cali or El Calafate?

Cali

Cali is Colombia's third largest city. Founded in 1536, can be explored on foot: walk under the shade of trees along the riverbank, admire the architecture of churches and other national monuments, and visit the city's many museums. Being the salsa capital of the world, Cali is primarily a destination for salsa and party but it also offers some great days out in the nearby natural surroundings. In Cali, travelers can enjoy music festivals, learn about sugarcane farming, and take in the mountainous landscapes.

El Calafate

Located in Patagonia, El Calafate has become a popular tourist destination in Argentina because of its beautiful setting on the stunningly blue Lago Argentina. The town sits on the southern border of the lake in the southwestern part of the Santa Cruz Province. It's about 320 kilometers from Rio Gallegos.

The rise in popularity of Patagonia as a tourist destination has truly put this small town on the map. You'll find no shortage of trekkers in the town and it makes an excellent base to explore different parts of the Los Glaciares National Park. Popular places to visit include Perito Moreno Glacier, Cerro Chalten, and Cerro Torre.

El Calafate has a cold semi-arid climate. The summers are cool to warm and very dry while the winters are cold and damp. Lago Argentino has a significant influence over the town's climate. The shallow bay where the town is located is usually frozen during the winter months.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Bogota, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Colombia, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Argentina, and The Best Adventure Tours to Argentina.


Which place is cheaper, El Calafate or Cali?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cali is $25, while the average daily cost in El Calafate is $10. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cali and El Calafate in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cali $6.16
    El Calafate $3.42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cali $12
    El Calafate $6.84
Compare Hotels in Cali and El Calafate

Looking for a hotel in Cali or El Calafate? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cali


Hotels in El Calafate


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cali Hotel Prices and El Calafate Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cali $5.76
    El Calafate $3.53
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Cali

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cali:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.02

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cali

Also for Cali, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Cali City- Cali Airport (CLO): $25
  • Transfer in Private Car from Cali Airport (CLO) -Cali City: $22
  • RoundTrip Transfer in Private Minivan Cali Airport (CLO) - Cali City: $51
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport : $17
  • From Cali Airport: One-way Privater Transfer to Cali: $58
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minibus: $171
  • National Park Waterfalls Tour with Lunch & Transfer: $114
  • City Highlights Private Bus Tour with Transfer: $149
  • Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airpot One Way Transfer: $19
  • Cali to Popayan Private Transfer: $272
  • Alfonso B.Aragon Airport (CLO) to Cali/Palmira-RoundTrip Transfer: $48
  • Alfonso Aragon Airport CLO to Cali Palmira Arrival Transfer: $24

Typical Local Transportation Prices in El Calafate

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in El Calafate:


  • Taxi
    $1.39

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

Also for El Calafate, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel in El Calafate: $14
  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75
  • Shared Transfer from El Calafate Airport to downtown Hotel: $15
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • Roundtrip transfer in Private Car from Calafate Airport (FTE)- Calafate City: $49
  • Round trip transfer to Moreno Glacier: $50
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • Excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier, with guide and transfer to / from the hotel: $60
  • Transfers Between Airport and Hotels: $12
  • Private Airport Transfer: $64
  • Perito Moreno Glacier Mini Trek with Transfer: $456
  • Laguna de Los Tres Transfer & Self-Guided Hike: $101

Is it cheaper to fly into Cali or El Calafate?

Prices for flights to both El Calafate and Cali 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cali $8.77
    El Calafate $3.71

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cali

For Cali, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Alameda Market Cali Food Tour: $14
  • Street Food Tour: $21
  • Alameda Market Food Tour: $55
  • Flavors of Food tour at the local market: $59
  • Patio Santo Style Rumba Dinner: $168

Typical Food Prices in El Calafate

For El Calafate, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Dessert
    $0.01
  • Dinner
    $1.81
  • Dinner
    $1.07

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in El Calafate

For El Calafate, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Argentine Dinner with Live Music Folklore -Estancia 25 de Mayo: $48
  • Country Afternoon with Dinner Show - Estancia 25 de Mayo: $100
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo Tour with Dinner & Transfer: $126
  • Lakes and Caves Tour with Dinner: $138
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo Experience with Dinner from Calafate: $155
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo in El Calafate - PM visit with dinner: $186

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cali $11
    El Calafate $3.71

Tours and Activities in Cali

For Cali, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 4 Hours Private River Tour to Pance Cali Colombia : $60
  • A day to enjoy nature and have an adventure in the Jordan river: $65
  • Cali ATV tours - Take your adrenaline to the maximum on the road: $159
  • Cali Bike Park Tour: $95
  • Cali Bike Tour: $32
  • Cali City Tour - The Best Of Cali In Comfort: $53
  • Cali City Tour by 3 Hours (transportation + guide): $180
  • Cali City Tour by 5 Hours (transportation + guide): $248
  • Cali City Tour by 8 Hours (transportation + guide): $370
  • Cali Downtown Walking Tour: $56
  • Cali Mountain Bike Tour: $95
  • Cali Salsa & Resistance Street Art Tour: $16

Typical Entertainment Prices in El Calafate

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for El Calafate's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Glacerium Museum
    $1.39

Tours and Activities in El Calafate

For El Calafate, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Argentine Cuisine Experience in El Calafate: $65
  • CALAFATE: Panoramic tour: The best balconies of Calafate: $190
  • Cañadón Experience: $189
  • Calafate City Tour with Walichu Caves: $78
  • Chalten Full Day Trekking Experience - Laguna de los Tres: $180
  • Darwin Experience - kayaks & adventure: $230
  • Discover La Leona Petrified Forest: Guided Hiking Tour: $190
  • El Calafate Balconies Experience - Tour in FWD vehicle: $192
  • El Calafate Balconies Experience - Tour in FWD vehicle: $164
  • El Calafate Balconies Experience: 3-Hour 4WD Tour: $117
  • El Calafate Balcony in 4WD Experience: $169
  • El Calafate Balcony in 4WD Experience with Optional Quads: $121

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cali $8.68
    El Calafate $1.86

Typical Alcohol Prices in El Calafate

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in El Calafate:


  • Beer
    $0.01
  • Alcohol
    $0.37


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cali Expensive? and Is El Calafate Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cali or El Calafate?

Cali has a larger population, and is about 300 times larger than the population of El Calafate. When comparing the sizes of Cali and El Calafate, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.