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

Should you visit El Calafate or Arequipa?

Should I visit El Calafate or Arequipa? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

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.

Arequipa

Sitting in the middle of the Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu volcanoes of Peru is the enchanting city of Arequipa. With 468 years of history, the city is full of Spanish colonial architecture. Known to locals as the "white city," the city center, Plaza de Armas, is quite the sight with buildings of sillar white stone made from the rocks of the surrounding volcanoes.

Which city is cheaper, Arequipa or El Calafate?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in El Calafate is $71, while the average daily cost in Arequipa is $34. 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 El Calafate and Arequipa in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $48 in El Calafate For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $17. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Arequipa the cost is $34 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    El Calafate $24
    Arequipa $17
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    El Calafate $48
    Arequipa $34

Food

Food in El Calafate costs travelers about $26 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.

The average traveler spends about $9.71 per day in Arequipa for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    El Calafate $26
    Arequipa $9.71
Typical Food prices in El Calafate

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


  • Dessert
    $0.10
  • Dinner
    $16
  • Dinner
    $9.39

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
  • Gaucho, Dinner and Folklore Full-Day Tour: $165

Typical Food prices in Arequipa

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Arequipa:


  • Coke
    $0.37
  • Lunch
    $2.56
  • Ice Cream
    $0.97
  • Fruit
    $0.73
  • Ice Cream
    $0.85

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Arequipa

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Arequipa.

  • Skip the Line: Dinner and Typical Dances Show Ticket: $23
  • Peruvian Cooking Experience in Arequipa: $28
  • Peruvian cooking class + PiscoSour class + visit the local market *Whatsapp for more información: $55
  • Curious Monkey -Arequipa Streets, Walking Food Tour: $55
  • Curious Monkey- Arequipa Market and Streets, Walking Food Tour: $56
  • Peruvian Cooking Class in arequipa: $64
  • A 3-hour Guided Food Tour with 5 Iconic Restaurants of Arequipa: $67
  • Peruvian market tour, cooking class, and dinner in Arequipa: $67
  • 3-hour guided food tour / 5 iconic restaurants of Arequipa: $72
  • Food tour in Arequipa: $207

Local Transportation

El Calafate's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $25 per person, per day on transportation in El Calafate.

The cost of a taxi ride in Arequipa is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.40 per person, per day, on local transportation in Arequipa.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    El Calafate $25
    Arequipa $4.40
Typical Local Transportation prices in El Calafate

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


  • Taxi
    $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

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

  • Bus Transfer from El Calafate to El Chalten: $50
  • El Calafate Airport Private Transfer: $57
  • From Calafate: Round-trip transfer to Perito Moreno Glacier: $27
  • Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier with transfers: $461
  • Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier without transfers: $336
  • Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $90
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75

Typical Local Transportation prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $1.22
  • Bus Ride
    $0.39
  • Taxi Ride
    $0.85

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arequipa

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Arequipa:

  • transfer Airport - Hotel: $21
  • Transfer in private minivan from Arequipa city to Rodríguez Ballón Airport (AQP): $20
  • Transfer in private minivan from Arequipa city to Rodríguez Ballón Airport (AQP): $16
  • Private Transfer from Arequipa to Alfredo Rodríguez Ballón (AQP) Airport: $40
  • Private Transfer from Arequipa Airport to City Center or Viceversa: $29
  • Private Departure Transfer: Arequipa Hotel to Airport: $14
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Arequipa Airport to Hotel: $14
  • One-Way Transfer between Arequipa Airport and City Centre: $54
  • Full day tour including transfer to Puno / Colca Canyon: $87
  • Departure Private Transfer from Arequipa City to Arequipa Airport AQP by Minivan: $31
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Sedan Car: $19
  • Departure Private Transfer Arequipa Arequipa City to Airport AQP by Minibus: $40

Is it cheaper to fly into El Calafate or Arequipa?

Prices for flights to both Arequipa and El Calafate 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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in El Calafate can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $26 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Entertainment and activities in Arequipa typically cost an average of $13 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.
    El Calafate $26
    Arequipa $13
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
    $12

Tours and Activities in El Calafate

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

  • El Calafate History Museum Tour: $11
  • Bamboo Bike self drive tour El Calafate surroundings: $15
  • Perito Moreno Glacier Tour with Optional Boat Ride: $38
  • Bus ticket to Puerto Natales, Chile: $44
  • Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise: $44
  • City Tour in El Calafate with Walichu Caves: $48
  • Tour to Punta Walichu and Glaciarium: $48
  • Bus Ticket from El Chalten to El Calafate: $50
  • El Calafate City Sightseeing Tour Including Walichu Caves: $53
  • Bus ticket from El Calafate (Argentina) to Puerto Natales (Chile): $56
  • Los Glaciares National Park and Perito Moreno Glacier Tour: $61
  • El Calafate Sightseeing Tour with Walichu Caves: $68

Typical Entertainment prices in Arequipa

Here are a few typical costs in Arequipa for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Monastery Entry
    $2.44
  • Salsa Class
    $2.44
  • Movie Ticket
    $2.66
  • Hot Springs
    $2.44

Tours and Activities in Arequipa

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

  • 2 Day - Colca Canyon and Condor Tour from Arequipa, Peru - Group Service: $221
  • 2 days 1 night Colca Canyon tour from Arequipa: $78
  • 2-Day Colca Valley Tour: $153
  • 2-Day Group Tour to Colca Canyon from Arequipa: $210
  • 2-Day Group Tour to Colca Canyon from Arequipa to Puno: $318
  • 2-Days Canyon Colca Small-Group Tour from Arequipa: $100
  • 2days: Private Tour Trekking in the Colca Canyon: $250
  • 3-day Colca Canyon Trek Adventure: $1,160
  • 3days Private tour trekking into Colca Canyon: $390
  • 4 days tour to Arequipa and Colca Canyon: $469
  • 4-Day Tour: Arequipa and the Colca Canyon: $617
  • 4-Days Tour to Cotahuasi Canyon in Arequipa: $612

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting El Calafate spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Arequipa may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    El Calafate $13
    Arequipa $11
Typical Alcohol prices in El Calafate

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


  • Beer
    $0.08
  • Alcohol
    $3.26

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Arequipa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Arequipa are as follows:


  • Beer
    $2.19


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

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El Calafate vs. Arequipa Travel Comparison

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