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

Should you visit El Calafate or Lima?

Should I visit El Calafate or Lima? 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.

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 $74, while the average daily cost in Lima is $60. 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 Lima in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $50 in El Calafate For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $76 for a double occupancy room in Lima.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    El Calafate $25
    Lima $38
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    El Calafate $50
    Lima $76

Food

Food in El Calafate costs travelers about $27 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.

On average, meal and food prices in Lima cost around $14 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $5.60.


  • Food Meals for one day
    El Calafate $27
    Lima $14
Typical Food prices in El Calafate

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


  • Dessert
    $0.11
  • Dinner
    $16
  • Dinner
    $9.73

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 Lima

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.20
  • Ice cream
    $3.41
  • Coffee
    $2.88
  • Donut
    $0.92

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
  • Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • #1 Lima Food Tour and Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • #1 Dancing Horse Show & Dinner Buffet & Barranco Night Tour: $46
  • Delicious Food Tour through Local Markets: $46
  • #1 Peruvian Food Tour through Local Markets (Small Group): $46
  • Dinner at the Huaca Pucllana Restaurant: $49
  • Private Cooking Class With a Local Family in Lima: $52
  • 3–Hour Restaurant Dinner and Show Experience: $55
  • Dinner Show and Exhibition of Peruvian Horse including Pick up & drop off: $55
  • Peruvian Food Tour Through Local Markets: $55
  • Magic Water Circuit, Dinner & Show in Lima: $56

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 $26 per person, per day on transportation in El Calafate.

The cost of a taxi ride in Lima is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.66 per person, per day, on local transportation in Lima.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    El Calafate $26
    Lima $4.66
Typical Local Transportation prices in El Calafate

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


  • Taxi
    $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

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

  • From Calafate: Round-trip transfer to Perito Moreno Glacier: $27
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • 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
    $5.25
  • Taxi Ride
    $5.25
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $3.93

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

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in El Calafate can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $27 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Entertainment and activities in Lima typically cost an average of $6.69 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 $27
    Lima $6.69
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
    $13

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 Lima

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


  • Entrance to Museo Larco (for 2)
    $16
  • Movie Tickets
    $2.23

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

Typically, people visiting El Calafate spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $3.79 on alcoholic beverages in Lima per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    El Calafate $14
    Lima $3.79
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
    $3.38

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
    $7.05
  • Beer
    $3.93
  • Cocktail
    $3.15

Sample the Local Flavors in Lima

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Lima:

  • Lima 3.5-Hour Pisco Pub Crawl: $25
  • Ballestas Islands + Huacachina Oasis + Wine Tour (Unique Experience): $226
  • Mysterious Nazca Lines, Overflight from Ica, Huacachina Oasis & Wine Tour!: $490


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

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El Calafate vs. Lima Travel Comparison

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