Should you visit Florianopolis or El Calafate?
Should I visit Florianopolis or El Calafate? 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.
With a population of almost 500,000, Florianopolis is the capital city of the state of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil. The city is split between mainland Brazil and Santa Catarina Island.
Florianopolis has grown in popularity with tourists recently because of its wonderful scenery, beautiful beaches, and fascinating culture. Many Brazilians have also moved here, leaving behind the big cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Florianopolis has a warm humid subtropical climate. There are summer, winter, spring and fall seasons. Frosts are rare but do occur occasionally. Highs during the warmest months are usually in the high 70s Fahrenheit. Rain is evenly distributed throughout the year and there is no distinct dry season.
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.
Which city is cheaper, El Calafate or Florianopolis?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Florianopolis is $48, while the average daily cost in El Calafate is $74. 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 Florianopolis and El Calafate in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $40 in Florianopolis For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
The average traveler spends about $17 per day in Florianopolis for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street 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.
Meals for one day
El Calafate $27
Typical Food prices in Florianopolis
For Florianopolis, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Florianopolis
For Florianopolis, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Floripa Cooking Class:
Typical Food prices in El Calafate
For El Calafate, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
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:
Gaucho, Dinner and Folklore Full-Day Tour:
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Florianopolis than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $10 on transportation in Florianopolis on average per day.
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.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Florianopolis
Also for Florianopolis, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Shared transfer from Florianópolis airport to Balneário Camboriú:
Private transfer: Florianopolis to Florianopolis International Airport (FLN):
Private transfer: Florianopolis International Airport (FLN) to Florianopolis:
Private transfer: Cali International Airport (CLO) to Cali:
Private Airport Transfer: from Florianopolis to Hercilio Luz Int. Airport (FLN):
Private Airport Transfer: Hercilio Luz Int. Airport (FLN) to Florianopolis:
Typical Local Transportation prices in El Calafate
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in El Calafate:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate
Also for El Calafate, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén:
Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate):
Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate):
Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate):
Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier without transfers:
Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier with transfers:
From Calafate: Round-trip transfer to Perito Moreno Glacier:
El Calafate Airport Private Transfer:
Bus Transfer from El Calafate to El Chalten:
Sightseeing expenses in Florianopolis, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $20 per day, per person.
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.
Typical Entertainment prices in Florianopolis
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Florianopolis's activities, tours, and tickets:
Tours and Activities in Florianopolis
For Florianopolis, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Balneário Camboriú City Tour from Florianópolis:
Blumenau City Tour - departing from Florianópolis:
Blumenau City Tour from Florianópolis:
Campeche Island day tour - Transport and boat crossing:
Florianópolis Full Day City Tour:
North Florianópolis Bike Tour: Mozambique, Santinho and Ingleses Beaches:
Private Day Tour: Florianópolis Island with Professional Pictures:
Private Guided Tour in Florianopolis:
Roteiro Regular - Floripa City Tour Sul e Leste em grupo:
Shared Shuttle between Florianópolis Airport and Hotel with optional City Tour:
Southern Beaches of Florianópolis Bike Tour:
Typical Entertainment prices in El Calafate
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for El Calafate's activities, tours, and tickets:
Tours and Activities in El Calafate
For El Calafate, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
"Glaciares Gourmet" - Maria Turquesa Cruiser Navigation:
13-Day Best of Patagonia Tour from El Calafate to Ushuaia: Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks:
2-Day Perito Moreno Tour with Boat Ride & 4x4 Safari:
2-day El Chalten Hiking Adventure Tour from El Calafate:
2-day tour: Perito Moreno Glacier + Torres del Paine National Park:
3-Day Tour of El Calafate and the Glaciers:
4 Days Tour in El Calafate & Chalten:
4-Days El Calafate Easy Going Experience:
4WD Ride tour to Cerro Frias from El Calafate:
4x4 Adventure Day Trip to Torres del Paine National Park with lunchbox:
5-Day Adventure Trip in El Calafate:
5-Days El Calafate Experience without limits!:
Typically, people visiting Florianopolis spend on average $6.80 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting El Calafate spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typical Alcohol prices in Florianopolis
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Florianopolis from other travelers:
Typical Alcohol prices in El Calafate
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in El Calafate:
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:
Calafate Wine Tour:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Florianopolis and El Calafate, we can see that El Calafate is more expensive. And not only is Florianopolis much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Florianopolis would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Florianopolis 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 Florianopolis.
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