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

Should you visit Colonia del Sacramento or El Calafate?

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

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 Colonia del Sacramento and El Calafate can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Colonia del Sacramento or El Calafate?

Colonia del Sacramento

Colonia del Sacramento is in the Rio de la Plata region of Uruguay. It is filled with old colonial buildings and cobbled streets, and is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Colonia del Sacramento was founded in 1680 by the Portuguese, sandwiched in between the Portuguese colony of Brazil and the Spanish Viceroyalty of the River Plate, later Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brazil. Its strategic position and use as a smuggling port meant that its sovereignty was constantly contested and the city changed hands several times between Spain and Portugal. The irresistibly picturesque town's charm and its proximity to Buenos Aires draw thousands of Argentine and other visitors on weekends and in summer. Prices rise in these periods and it can be difficult to find a room so make sure to book your trip well in advance.

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.

Which city is cheaper, El Calafate or Colonia del Sacramento?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Colonia del Sacramento is $51, while the average daily cost in El Calafate is $48. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Colonia del Sacramento and El Calafate in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Colonia del Sacramento $26
    El Calafate $16
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Colonia del Sacramento $52
    El Calafate $32
Compare Hotels in Colonia del Sacramento and El Calafate

Looking for a hotel in Colonia del Sacramento 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 Colonia del Sacramento


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Colonia del Sacramento $13
    El Calafate $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Colonia del Sacramento

Also for Colonia del Sacramento, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Colonia Port Terminal Private Transfer: $15
  • Colonia Bus Terminal Private Transfer: $15

Typical Local Transportation prices in El Calafate

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


  • Taxi
    $8.21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

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

  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $90
  • Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier without transfers: $336
  • Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier with transfers: $461
  • Transfers Between Airport and Hotels: $26
  • Private Airport Transfer: $49
  • El Calafate Airport Private Transfer: $57
  • Bus Transfer from El Calafate to El Chalten: $50

Is it cheaper to fly into Colonia del Sacramento or El Calafate?

Prices for flights to both El Calafate and Colonia del Sacramento 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
    Colonia del Sacramento $14
    El Calafate $18

Typical Food prices in El Calafate

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


  • Dessert
    $0.07
  • Dinner
    $11
  • Dinner
    $6.30

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:

  • Visit to Estancia Alice El Galpon, Dinner and Folkloric Show: $120

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Colonia del Sacramento $18
    El Calafate $18

Tours and Activities in Colonia del Sacramento

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

  • Colonia Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour: $26
  • Colonia del Sacramento City Tour: $63
  • From Buenos Aires: Colonia Ferry Tickets and Optional Tour: $81
  • Full Day Birdwatching and Nature Tour: $200
  • Half day city tour in Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay: $65
  • Half day city tour in Montevideo: $52

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
    $8.21

Tours and Activities in El Calafate

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

  • "Glaciares Gourmet" - Maria Turquesa Cruiser Navigation: $180
  • 13-Day Best of Patagonia Tour from El Calafate to Ushuaia: Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks: $1,704
  • 2-day El Chalten Hiking Adventure Tour from El Calafate: $406
  • 2-day tour: Perito Moreno Glacier + Torres del Paine National Park: $215
  • 3-Day Tour of El Calafate and the Glaciers: $255
  • 4 Days Tour in El Calafate & Chalten: $190
  • 4-Days El Calafate Easy Going Experience: $965
  • 4WD Ride tour to Cerro Frias from El Calafate: $99
  • 4x4 Adventure Day Trip to Torres del Paine National Park with lunchbox: $165
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in El Calafate: $1,151
  • 5-Days El Calafate Experience without limits!: $1,426
  • 5-Days Pearls from Argentina and Chilean Patagonia Experience!: $1,345

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Colonia del Sacramento $4.39
    El Calafate $8.79

Typical Alcohol prices in El Calafate

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


  • Beer
    $0.05
  • Alcohol
    $2.19

Sample the Local Flavors in El Calafate

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in El Calafate:

  • Calafate Wine Tour | City Tour Peatonal Maridado con Vinos: $38
  • Calafate Wine Tour: $48


When comparing the travel costs between Colonia del Sacramento and El Calafate, we can see that Colonia del Sacramento 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.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Colonia del Sacramento vs. El Calafate Travel Comparison

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