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

Should you visit El Calafate or Lima?

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

Should I visit El Calafate or Lima? 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.

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.

Lima

Lima, the capital city of Peru, is likely to be your point of entry for the country. Lima was founded in 1535 and was the seat of the Spanish rule for 300 years. It's a surprisingly modern city despite its rich history, but many beautiful churches and colonial architecture remain today. There are also large slum areas that highlight the poverty that exists in the city. The city and its surrounding metropolitan area have a population of about 8.5 million people, many of whom came from the Andes Mountains in search of work. Unfortunately the work opportunities are limited and the poverty is obvious as you arrive in Lima.

Which city is cheaper, Lima or El Calafate?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in El Calafate is $54, while the average daily cost in Lima is $58. 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 Lima in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    El Calafate $18
    Lima $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    El Calafate $36
    Lima $74

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    El Calafate $19
    Lima $4.33
Typical Local Transportation prices in El Calafate

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


  • Taxi
    $9.30

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 Lima

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $5.13
  • Taxi Ride
    $5.13
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.85

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lima

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Lima:

  • Transfer from the Airport to Hotel/Airbnb Miraflores/San Isidro/Barranco: $13
  • Transfer from lima airport: $20
  • Transfer from Lima city to the airport: $20
  • Transfer from Hotel/Airbnb Miraflores/San Isidro/Barranco to Airport: $13
  • Round trip private transfer to Lima Airport: $80
  • Round Trip Transfer from and to the Airport in Miraflores/Barranco/Sani: $25
  • QuickLlama: Door-to-door transfer from Miraflores to Lima Airport: $6.00
  • Private transfer in medium van to Lima Airport (QuickLlama Airport Shuttle): $40
  • Private transfer in medium van from Lima Airport (QuickLlama Airport Shuttle): $40
  • Private transfer in large van from Lima Airport (QuickLlama Airport Shuttle): $60
  • Private transfer from Lima city to Paracas (price per vehicle): $480
  • Private transfer from Lima Airport to Paracas (price per vehicle): $490

Is it cheaper to fly into El Calafate or Lima?

Prices for flights to both Lima 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 $20
    Lima $13
Typical Food prices in El Calafate

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


  • Dessert
    $0.08
  • Dinner
    $12
  • Dinner
    $7.13

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 Lima

Some typical examples of dining costs in Lima are as follows:


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.10
  • Ice cream
    $3.33
  • Coffee
    $2.82
  • Donut
    $0.90

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lima

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

  • Virtual Peruvian Cooking Class "Lomo Saltado": $18
  • Cooking Workshop and Water Circuit Tour: $45
  • #1 Lima Food Tour and Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • #1 Peruvian Food Tour through Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • Delicious Food Tour through Local Markets: $46
  • #1 Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • Dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant: $49
  • Private Cooking Class With a Local Family in Lima: $52
  • Half-Day Fountains Tour with Dinner & Folklore Show: $53
  • Peruvian Food Tour Through Local Markets: $55
  • Dinner Show and Exhibition of Peruvian Horse including Pick up & drop off: $55

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    El Calafate $20
    Lima $6.55
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
    $9.30

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Lima

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Lima are as follows:


  • Entrance to Museo Larco (for 2)
    $15
  • Movie Tickets
    $2.18

Tours and Activities in Lima

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Lima are as follows:

  • #1 Artsy & Cultural Barranco Walking tour (Small Group): $30
  • #1 Artsy Barranco & Lima City Tour (Small Group): $60
  • #1 Beautiful Fountains Park & Light Show - Night Tour (Small Group): $30
  • #1 City Tour by Night & Magic Fountains Park - Light Show (Small Group): $34
  • #1 City Tour in Lima from the Airport (private service): $46
  • #1 Lima City Tour - Lunch & Pachacamac Archaeological site (Small Group): $80
  • #1 Lima Walking City Tour (Small Group): $30
  • #1 Lunahuana Valley & Rafting Experience - from Lima (Small Group): $140
  • #1 Miraflores, Barranco & San Isidro Tour (Small Group): $34
  • #1 Sandboarding - Buggy Tour & Huacachina Oasis - from Lima (Small Group): $146
  • #1 The Gold Museum of Peru & Lima City tour (Small Group): $80
  • #1 The Gold Museum of Peru Tour (Small Group): $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    El Calafate $9.95
    Lima $4.26
Typical Alcohol prices in El Calafate

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


  • Beer
    $0.06
  • Alcohol
    $2.48

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 Lima

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


  • Bottle of Wine
    $6.90
  • Beer
    $3.85
  • Cocktail
    $3.08

Sample the Local Flavors in Lima

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Lima:

  • Ballestas Islands + Huacachina Oasis + Wine Tour (Unique Experience): $226
  • Mysterious Nazca Lines, Overflight from Ica, Huacachina Oasis & Wine Tour!: $490


When comparing the travel costs between El Calafate and Lima, we can see that Lima 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.

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El Calafate vs. Lima Travel Comparison

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