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

Should you visit El Calafate or Valparaiso?

Should I visit El Calafate or Valparaiso? 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.

Valparaiso

Valparaiso, often referred to as Valpo, is an attractive city on the Pacific Coast in Chile. The city has a population of about 300,000 and is only 120 kilometers west of Santiago. The city's main industries aside from tourism include shipping and petroleum refining.

Valparaiso is popular with travelers because of its bohemian culture and brightly colored homes. It also offers some wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean. Although the city is short on specific sights, the atmosphere and beautiful setting make it a wonderful place to visit.

Valparaiso has a mild Mediterranean climate that is comparable to San Francisco or Santa Barbara. The summer is dry but fog is common year around. Rain can be heavy during the winter season and snow falls occasionally in the highest parts of the city. Winds can also be strong during the winter months.

Which city is cheaper, Valparaiso 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 Valparaiso is $64. 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 Valparaiso 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $68 for a double occupancy room in Valparaiso.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    El Calafate $24
    Valparaiso $34
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    El Calafate $48
    Valparaiso $68

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.

On average, meal and food prices in Valparaiso cost around $22 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 $8.80.


  • Food Meals for one day
    El Calafate $26
    Valparaiso $22
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 Valparaiso

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


  • Empanada
    $2.28

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Valparaiso

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

  • Chilean Cuisine Cooking Class with Traditional Market Tour: $85
  • A unique oportunity to take part in a Mapuche cooking class in Nature: $102

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 Valparaiso is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $4.68 per person, per day, on local transportation in Valparaiso.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    El Calafate $25
    Valparaiso $4.68
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 Valparaiso

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.80

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Valparaiso

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Valparaiso:

  • private transfer valparaiso pier to the airport: $125
  • Valparaiso Airport Private Transfer: $113
  • Transfers from Valparaiso or Viña del Mar to Santiago: $85
  • Transfer between Valparaiso and Santiago Hotels: $91
  • Transfer between Valparaiso and San Antonio port: $80
  • Transfer between Valparaiso and SCL Airport: $80
  • Private Transfer from Valparaíso to Arturo Merino Benítez (SCL) Airport: $270
  • Private Transfer from Valparaiso Hotel or port To Santiago Airport or Hotel: $92
  • Private Transfer from San Antonio Port to Valparaiso or Viña del Mar.: $133
  • Pick up at the Pier and Valparaiso -Viña del Mar and transfer to the Airport: $190
  • Maipo Valley 'Concha y Toro' Wine Tour Private Transfer from Valparaiso: $254

Is it cheaper to fly into El Calafate or Valparaiso?

Prices for flights to both Valparaiso 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 Valparaiso typically cost an average of $18 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
    Valparaiso $18
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 Valparaiso

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


  • Boat Tour
    $5.07

Tours and Activities in Valparaiso

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

  • Beer Tour in Valparaiso: $67
  • Build your own tour - enjoy 3 fun activities of your choice around Valparaiso.: $120
  • City Tour Valparaíso and Viña del Mar: $129
  • Enjoy the amazing Casablanca Valley, Horseback ride and Wineries Tour: $160
  • Famous Valparaíso! Premium Walking Tour with a Native Guide: $40
  • Full Day Tour: $102
  • Gastronomic Tour in Valparaiso: $115
  • Half-Day Chilean Pacific Coast Tour: Viña del Mar, Reñaca and Concón: $62
  • Half-Day Horseback Riding Tour from Valparaíso: $91
  • Half-Day Valparaiso City Highlights Tour: $54
  • Heritage Tour covering the monuments and buildings of the European colonies: $26
  • Hiking Cerro El Mauco + Horseriding + 4x4 Jorney Ritoque Sand Dunes PRIVATE TOUR: $198

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 Valparaiso may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $7.54 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    El Calafate $13
    Valparaiso $7.54
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 Valparaiso

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


  • Beer
    $1.20

Sample the Local Flavors in Valparaiso

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Valparaiso:

  • Verso Wine Tasting: $20
  • Half day private wine tour at Casablanca valley: $160
  • Isla Negra Neruda Museum Tour And Casa Blanca Valley Wine Tour (PRIVATE TOUR)): $179
  • Emiliana Vineyard Organic Wine Tour in Valparaiso: $194
  • Private Wine Tour in Valparaíso: $223


When comparing the travel costs between El Calafate and Valparaiso, 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.

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El Calafate vs. Valparaiso Travel Comparison

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