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

Should you visit Castro 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 Castro and El Chalten can help you decide which place is right for you.

Castro

The capital of Chiloe, modern and dynamic, has succeeded in keeping its authenticity even though it now has many gigantic supermarkets, hotels and other touristic infrastructures. It is located on the island's eastern coast, halfway between Ancud in the north and Quellon in the south, and is a convenient base for exploring the stunning sites in the region of Chiloe Island. The tourist information is located on the town square in front of the church.

El Chalten

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 Castro?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Castro is $85, 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 Castro and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation

Castro's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $72. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $36.

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.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Castro $36
    El Chalten $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Castro $72
    El Chalten $62

Food

Food in Castro costs travelers about $35 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.

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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Castro $35
    El Chalten $26

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Castro is $19 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Castro $19
    El Chalten $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Castro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Castro:

  • Chiloe Airport Private Transfer: $83

Is it cheaper to fly into Castro or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Castro 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.





Entertainment

Castro'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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Castro $20
    El Chalten $19

Tours and Activities in Castro

Here are a few actual costs in Castro for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Highlights of Chiloe Island Self-guided Audio Tour by VoiceMap: $5.34
  • Castro Sightseeing Tour in Chiloe: $63
  • Coastal Villages Tour of Chiloé from Castro: $99
  • Bosque Piedra Reserve Tour: $100
  • Quinchao Island Full Day Tour in Chiloe: $124
  • Chaiguen Adventure Park in Chiloe: $139
  • Full Day Private Chiloe National Park Tour Following "The Darwin´s Route": $155
  • Pier of Light Full Day Tour in Chiloe: $170
  • Lemuy Island Tour from Castro: $178
  • Chiloé National Park Private Tour from Castro: $222

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: $149
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $225
  • Module Fitz Roy Adventure: $305
  • 2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre: $333
  • 2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten: $553
  • 3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten: $789

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Castro may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $17 per day on alcoholic beverages.

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.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Castro $17
    El Chalten $8.59


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

Budget Your Trip

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Castro vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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