A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Galapagos Islands vs. Mendoza for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Galapagos Islands or Mendoza?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Galapagos Islands or Mendoza, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands belonging to Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Galapagos archipelago is world-renowned for its unique and fearless wildlife, much of which was inspiration for Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. Thanks to a lack of natural predators, friendly wildlife such as sea lions and gigantic sea tortoises let visitors get up close. This archipelago of about 19 islands and many smaller islets found over 620 miles off Ecuador's coast in the Pacific Ocean is a double World Heritage site, where both land and sea are protected. Each island boasts its own unique landscape, ranging from black, volcanic rocks to white sand beaches and gemstone-blue waters. There is no bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands but the busiest months for tourism tend to be June, July and August, as well as mid-December to mid-January. This is when prices are at their highest.

Mendoza

Mendoza is a city in western Argentina and more precisely in the desertic Cuyo region. Mendoza is the center of the Argentinian wine industry and is famed around the world for its vineyards and wine production. Spread across the valley of the Rio Mendoza and in the foothills of the Andean mountain range, Mendoza is also near the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. The bustling and scenic city of wide, leafy avenues, atmospheric plazas and cosmopolitan cafes spoils visitors with unique natural attractions and historical landmarks. If you can, visit Mendoza during the harvest festival at the end of February. There are many events and festivals in Mendoza and they are usually free. Each has a different theme, and they usually have a stage with singing and dancing and booths that sell food around a plaza. Seventy percent of Argentina's wines are produced here, and Mendoza is especially known for its world-famous malbecs.

Which city is cheaper, Mendoza or Galapagos Islands?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Galapagos Islands is $111, while the average daily cost in Mendoza is $52. 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 Galapagos Islands and Mendoza in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Galapagos Islands can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $52, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $104.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Mendoza, $40 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Mendoza, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $20, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Galapagos Islands $52
    Mendoza $20
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Galapagos Islands $104
    Mendoza $40

Food

The average traveler spends about $27 per day in Galapagos Islands 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.

While meal prices in Mendoza can vary, the average travelers spends about $23 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Mendoza should cost around $9.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Mendoza is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Galapagos Islands $27
    Mendoza $23

Typical Food prices in Mendoza

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


  • Empanadas
    $0.10

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Gourmet Dinner at Espacio Trapiche: $54
  • Cooking class experience at a Mendoza winery: $145
  • Asado cooking class and dinner in Mendoza city.: $168
  • Winery dinner. Enjoy the best restaurant in a winery: $252

Local Transportation

To get around in Galapagos Islands, the average visitor spends $43 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

Mendoza'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 $10 per person, per day on transportation in Mendoza.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Galapagos Islands $43
    Mendoza $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Galapagos Islands

Also for Galapagos Islands, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer In from Baltra Airport to Hotels in Santa Cruz Island: $115

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mendoza

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

  • Premium Spa Day & Fango Therapy at Cacheuta Hot Springs with Lunch and Transfers: $93
  • Mendoza Airport Arrival Transfer: $55
  • Private Transfer in Mendoza: $29
  • One Way Transfer - Mendoza Airport to/from Mendoza City: $25
  • Private Airport Transfer: El Plumerillo International Airport (MDZ) to Mendoza: $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: Mendoza to El Plumerillo International Airport (MDZ): $22
  • Shared Transfer Mendoza Bus Station / Downtown Hotel: $13
  • Mendoza Airport Shuttle Transfer: $11

Is it cheaper to fly into Galapagos Islands or Mendoza?

Prices for flights to both Mendoza and Galapagos Islands 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

In Galapagos Islands, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $28 per person, per day.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Mendoza can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $15 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Galapagos Islands $28
    Mendoza $15

Tours and Activities in Galapagos Islands

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Galapagos Islands.

  • 4-Day Budget Isabela Tour: $1,106
  • 4-Day Galapagos Islands Express Tour: $714
  • 4-Day Galapagos Land Tour Visiting Isabela and Santa Cruz: $876
  • 4-Day Galapagos Tour: Santa Cruz & 2 Uninhabited Islands: $1,239
  • 4-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience: $1,090
  • 5 days in Galapagos | Bonita Tourist Superior Cruise | Northern Itinerary 2021: $2,287
  • 5-Day Cruise of Galapagos Islands: $2,849
  • 5-Day Galapagos Diving Tour: Accommodation and Full-Day Diving Excursions: $1,286
  • 5-Day Guided Galapagos & Los Tuneles Tour: $1,289
  • 5-Day Tour Galapagos Multisport: $1,599
  • 5-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience: $1,195
  • 6 Days in Galapagos | Eco Galaxy First Class Cruise | Western Itinerary 2021: $4,590

Tours and Activities in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 3-Days Getaway for Wine lovers - Mendoza Experience!: $670
  • 360º Tour: Vintage classic driving in the Uco Valley.: $97
  • 4-Day Semi-private Mendoza Wine Experience: $718
  • 4-Days of Adventure at Mendoza - Beauty & Adrenaline: $705
  • 4-day Semi-private Tour of Mendoza Andes & Wine: $570
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in Mendoza: $766
  • 5-Day Private Tour of Mendoza: $1,290
  • 7-Day Mendoza & Bariloche Adventure: Horseback riding, Wine, Trekking & Kayaking: $1,326
  • 7-Day Mendoza & Santiago de Chile Adventure tour: $1,863
  • Aconcagua hiking tour Quebrada del Durazno: $148
  • Adrenalin Canopy Tour Mendoza River: $74
  • Amazing High mountain tour to Aconcagua: $180

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Galapagos Islands, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $12.

Typically, people visiting Mendoza spend on average $8.79 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Galapagos Islands $12
    Mendoza $8.79

Typical Alcohol prices in Mendoza

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


  • Beer
    $0.06

Sample the Local Flavors in Mendoza

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Mendoza:

  • Vineyards with Wine Tasting in Mendoza: $21
  • Mendoza Wine Tour with Lunch: $80
  • Sunday Wine Tasting Tour and Argentinien BBQ: $80
  • Bike wine tour. Visit 2 of the best wineries: $81
  • Private Uco Valley Tour including Lunch and Wine Tasting from Mendoza: $95
  • Private Lujan Wine Tour with Gourmet Wine-Paired Lunch from Mendoza: $100
  • Mendoza 4-Day Sightseeing and Wine Tour: $103
  • Half day wine tour. Visit 2 wineries in Lujan de Cuyo: $103
  • Private Wine Tasting and Vineyards Tour from Mendoza: $136
  • Deluxe Mendoza Half-Day Wine Tasting Tour: $145
  • Bike wine tours. Visit 3 wineries and enjoy gourmet lunch: $153
  • Luján de Cuyo best Wines- Ultimate Wine Tour: $154


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Galapagos Islands and Mendoza, we can see that Galapagos Islands is more expensive. And not only is Mendoza much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Mendoza would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Mendoza 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 Galapagos Islands would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Galapagos Islands than you might in Mendoza.

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Galapagos Islands vs. Mendoza Travel Comparison

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