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

Should you visit El Calafate or Copacabana?

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

Should I visit El Calafate or Copacabana? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: El Calafate or Copacabana?

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.

Copacabana

Copacabana, Bolivia, is a small, bright and enchanting town located on the Bolivian shore of Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake. Situated relatively close to the capital of La Paz, it is a popular resort mostly destination for foreign travellers, meaning that you may feel like there are more Argentinians and Americans than locals. Copacabana is the perfect jump-off point for visiting Isla del Sol and Isla de la Luna and makes a pleasant stopover between La Paz and Puno or Cusco. Featuring beautiful nature walks, ancient sites, stunning sunsets and quaint little restaurants, Copacabana is a travelers' favorite destination to soak in the panoramic views, savor freshly caught trucha, and explore what the Incas believed to be the birthplace of their empire.

Which city is cheaper, Copacabana or El Calafate?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in El Calafate is $48, while the average daily cost in Copacabana is $33. 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 El Calafate and Copacabana in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    El Calafate $16
    Copacabana $8.77
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    El Calafate $32
    Copacabana $18
Compare Hotels in El Calafate and Copacabana

Looking for a hotel in El Calafate or Copacabana? 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 El Calafate


Hotels in Copacabana


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    El Calafate $17
    Copacabana $11
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:

  • Bus Transfer from El Calafate to El Chalten: $50
  • El Calafate Airport Private Transfer: $57
  • Private Airport Transfer: $49
  • Transfers Between Airport and Hotels: $26
  • 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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Copacabana

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Copacabana:

  • Private Transfer from La Paz to Uyuni.: $249

Is it cheaper to fly into El Calafate or Copacabana?

Prices for flights to both Copacabana 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    El Calafate $18
    Copacabana $14
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

Typical Food prices in Copacabana

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


  • Lunch
    $3.60
  • Sandwich
    $1.15

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    El Calafate $18
    Copacabana $15
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:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Perito Moreno Glacier Tour with Boat Ride: $70
  • El Calafate City Tour: $74
  • Full day tour to El Chaltèn: $86

Tours and Activities in Copacabana

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

  • 2-Day Moon & Sun Island Tour from La Paz: $147
  • 2-Day Private Tour from La Paz: Lake Titicaca, Copacabana and Sun Island: $553
  • La Paz City Tour - Fullday (FD): $163
  • La Paz and Moon Valley Half-Day Tour: $55
  • Private Tour: La Paz City Sightseeing and Moon Valley: $66
  • Private Tour: Lake Titicaca, Copacabana and Sun Island from La Paz: $311
  • Titicaca Touristic Bus from Copacabana to La Paz_Everyday_1:00 pm: $12

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    El Calafate $8.79
    Copacabana $9.26
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

Typical Alcohol prices in Copacabana

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Copacabana from other travelers:


  • Wine
    $2.88


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between El Calafate and Copacabana, we can see that El Calafate is more expensive. And not only is Copacabana much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Copacabana would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Copacabana 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 Copacabana.

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El Calafate vs. Copacabana Travel Comparison

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