A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers El Calafate vs. Lake Titicaca (Puno) for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit El Calafate or Lake Titicaca (Puno)?

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

Should I visit El Calafate or Lake Titicaca (Puno)? 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno)?

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.

Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Lake Titicaca, which directly translates to "puma stone" in Quechua, is located high in the Andes Mountains straddling Peru and Bolivia, with about 60% of the lake in Peru and 40% in Bolivia. Among the lake are three main islands, the most popular of which are the Uros Islands, also known as the floating islands, where the Uros people live on totora reeds that grow in the lake.

Which city is cheaper, Lake Titicaca (Puno) 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) is $42. 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 Lake Titicaca (Puno) in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    El Calafate $16
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $20
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    El Calafate $32
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $40

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    El Calafate $17
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $7.93
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:

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Lake Titicaca (Puno):


  • Taxi
    $0.77

Is it cheaper to fly into El Calafate or Lake Titicaca (Puno)?

Prices for flights to both Lake Titicaca (Puno) 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
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $12
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 Lake Titicaca (Puno)

Some typical examples of dining costs in Lake Titicaca (Puno) are as follows:


  • Tamales
    $1.41

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    El Calafate $18
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $22
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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    El Calafate $8.79
    Lake Titicaca (Puno) $9.68
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 El Calafate and Lake Titicaca (Puno), we can see that El Calafate 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

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El Calafate vs. Lake Titicaca (Puno) Travel Comparison

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