Should you visit Galapagos Islands or Puerto Natales?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Galapagos Islands or Puerto Natales, 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.
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.
Puerto Natales is a beautiful town located in the Chilean Patagonia on the Senoret Channel. The city is often used as a base camp for trips to the surrounding national parks due to their plentiful restaurant options and access to internet. Puerto Natales is also known for being the base city to the Torres del Paine National Park, which was named the 5th most beautiful place in the world by National Geographic.
Which city is cheaper, Puerto Natales 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 Puerto Natales is $86. 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 Puerto Natales in more detail.
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.
Puerto Natales's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $78. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $39.
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.
Puerto Natales food costs typically run travelers around $28 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
Meals for one day
Galapagos Islands $27
Puerto Natales $28
Typical Food prices in Puerto Natales
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Puerto Natales:
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.
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $20 per day to get around in Puerto Natales.
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:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Natales
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Natales:
Shared Transfer From Puerto Natales To Villa Serrano And Lago Grey Round Trip Or One Way:
Puerto Natales Airport Private Transfer:
In Galapagos Islands, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $28 per person, per day.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $30 per person, per day in Puerto Natales. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Tours and Activities in Galapagos Islands
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Galapagos Islands.
4-Day Galapagos Islands Express Tour:
4-Day Galapagos Land Tour Visiting Isabela and Santa Cruz:
4-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
4-Day Budget Isabela Tour:
Galapagos Discovery Tour 4 Days / 3 Nights:
5-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
4-Day Galapagos Tour: Santa Cruz & 2 Uninhabited Islands:
5-Day Galapagos Diving Tour: Accommodation and Full-Day Diving Excursions:
5-Day Guided Galapagos & Los Tuneles Tour:
6-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
6-Day Galapagos Land Tour: Los Tuneles Program:
7-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience:
Tours and Activities in Puerto Natales
Here are a few actual costs in Puerto Natales for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
3-Day Small Group Guided Tour W Trekking -Torres del Paine Highlights Fast track:
5-Day Tour Glaciers of Patagonia from Puerto Natales:
Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers Sightseeing Cruise from Puerto Natales:
Bus ticket from Puerto Natales (Chile) to El Calafate (Argentina):
City Bike Tour in Puerto Natales:
Excursion City Tour By Bike:
Full day tour Torres del Paine:
Full-Day Hiking Tour to the Base of Paine Towers at Torres del Paine National Park:
Full-Day Tour of Torres del Paine National Park from Puerto Natales:
Full-Day Tour to Torres del Paine National Park from Puerto Natales(First Class):
Private Tour: Torres del Paine National Park and Milodon Cave with Lunch:
Puerto Natales Sightseeing Bike Tour:
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.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Puerto Natales may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $18 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Typical Alcohol prices in Puerto Natales
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Puerto Natales:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Galapagos Islands and Puerto Natales, we can see that Galapagos Islands is more expensive. And not only is Puerto Natales much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Puerto Natales would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Puerto Natales 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 Puerto Natales.
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