Should you visit Colonia del Sacramento or La Serena?
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 La Serena 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.
La Serena is a charming town in Northern Chile. It is Chile's second-oldest city and the thriving capital of Region IV. With its beautiful architecture, its long golden shoreline, dignified stone churches, tree-shaded avenues and pretty plazas, La Serena has everything you could ask for!
Chileans on holidays flood in the city in January and February, though it is fairly peaceful outside the summer rush. Some of the city's architecture is from the colonial era, but most is actually neocolonial thanks to president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, born in La Serena, and her 'Plan Serena' of the late 1940s.
Which city is cheaper, La Serena 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 $47, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $81. 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 La Serena 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.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $78 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Colonia del Sacramento $24
La Serena $39
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.
La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $25 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.
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.
To get around in La Serena, the average visitor spends $19 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.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
Colonia del Sacramento $12
La Serena $19
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:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Serena
Also for La Serena, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC):
Private Airport Transfer: La Florida Airport (LSC) to La Serena:
Is it cheaper to fly into Colonia del Sacramento or La Serena?
Prices for flights to both La Serena 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.
In Colonia del Sacramento, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $16 per person, per day.
In La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $22 per person, per day.
Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
Colonia del Sacramento $16
La Serena $22
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:
Colonia del Sacramento City Tour:
Full Day Birdwatching and Nature Tour:
Half day city tour in Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay:
Half day city tour in Montevideo:
Tours and Activities in La Serena
For La Serena, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch:
La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum:
Full day Tour to Elqui Valley:
Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour:
Typically, people visiting Colonia del Sacramento spend on average $4.04 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Colonia del Sacramento and La Serena, we can see that La Serena 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 La Serena would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in La Serena than you might in Colonia del Sacramento.
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