Should you visit Colonia del Sacramento 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 Colonia del Sacramento and El Chalten can help you decide which place is right for you.
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 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 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 $48, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $72. 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 Colonia del Sacramento and El Chalten in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $48 in Colonia del Sacramento For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $64. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Colonia del Sacramento $24
El Chalten $32
Typical double-occupancy room
Colonia del Sacramento
While meal prices in Colonia del Sacramento can vary, the average travelers spends about $13 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Colonia del Sacramento should cost around $5.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Colonia del Sacramento is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $27 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $11 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.
To get around in Colonia del Sacramento, the average visitor spends $12 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
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.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
Colonia del Sacramento $12
El Chalten $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:
Colonia Bus Terminal Private Transfer:
In Colonia del Sacramento, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $17 per person, per day.
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.
Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
Colonia del Sacramento $17
El Chalten $19
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:
Half day city tour in Montevideo:
Colonia del Sacramento City Tour:
Half day city tour in Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay:
Full Day Birdwatching and Nature Tour:
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 Colonia del Sacramento spend on average $4.13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $8.83 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 Colonia del Sacramento and El Chalten, we can see that El Chalten is more expensive. And not only is Colonia del Sacramento much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Colonia del Sacramento would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Colonia del Sacramento 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 Colonia del Sacramento.
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