Should you visit Cali or El Chalten?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Cali and El Chalten can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
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 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 Cali?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Cali is $20, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $70. 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 Cali and El Chalten in more detail.
Travelers usually pay around $9.80 for a double occupancy room in Cali If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $62. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
Cali food costs typically run travelers around $7.02 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.
While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $26 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $10 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 $26
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cali
For Cali, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Culinary Journeys: Cooking Workshop + Dinner Party:
Night City Tour in Cali + Dinner:
Dinner Show in Cali:
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cali than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $4.59 on transportation in Cali on average per day.
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.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Cali
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Cali:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cali
Also for Cali, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Transfer in Cali:
Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Alfonso Bonilla Aragón Airport:
Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport (CLO):
Transfer in Private Minivan from Cali City to Cali Airport (CLO):
Private Airport Transfer: from Cali to Alfonso B. Aragon Airport (CLO):
Private transfer: Cali to Cali International Airport (CLO):
Private Transfer to / from Buenaventura:
Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by 2x4 Vehicle:
Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by 2x4 Vehicle:
Arrival Private Transfer from Cali Airport CLO to Cali City by Minivan:
Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minivan:
Departure Private Transfer from Cali City to Cali Airport CLO by Minibus:
Is it cheaper to fly into Cali or El Chalten?
Prices for flights to both El Chalten 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.
Sightseeing expenses in Cali, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $8.66 per day, per person.
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 Cali
For Cali, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
RiCo Salsa Tour: Cali Real:
Cali City Tour:
Walking Tour in the Historic Center of Cali City:
Private City Tour:
Historical Walking Cali City Tour 3H:
Private City Tour And Shopping:
Skip the Line: Show de Salsa Ticket:
Cali City Tour - The Best Of Cali In Comfort:
Alameda Market Fruit Tour:
Private Salsa Lesson Experience with Locals:
sightseeing paragliding adventure:
Private City Tour in Cali:
Tours and Activities in El Chalten
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for El Chalten are as follows:
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:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
Module Fitz Roy Adventure:
Typically, people visiting Cali spend on average $6.92 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $8.59 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 Cali and El Chalten, we can see that El Chalten is more expensive. And not only is Cali much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cali would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cali 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 Cali.
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