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

Should you visit Galapagos Islands or Salta?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Galapagos Islands or Salta, 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.

Salta

Located in the heart of the famous Northwest region of Argentina, at 1200m of elevation and at the foot of the Cerro San Bernardo, Salta is the largest city of the region and perhaps the most beautiful colonial city of Argentina. Founded in 1582 by the Spanish, Salta was an important stop for merchants who followed the usual trade road through Bolivia and Peru. Argentines call this city nestled in the foothills of the Andes and surrounded by mountains, of just over half a million inhabitants, Salta La Linda (Salta the Beautiful) and it's easy to see why. Young and traditional at the same time, Salta and its renowned museums, plaza side cafes and live musica folklorica of its bustling penas, is a sophisticated and lively city day and night.

Which city is cheaper, Salta 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 Salta is $68. 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 Salta 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.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $48 in Salta For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Galapagos Islands $52
    Salta $24
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Galapagos Islands $104
    Salta $48

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 Salta 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 Salta 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 Salta is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


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

Typical Food prices in Salta

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


  • Emplanadas
    $0.05
  • Ice Cream
    $0.06
  • Lunch
    $5.92
  • Coffee
    $1.22

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.

To get around in Salta, the average visitor spends $28 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Galapagos Islands $43
    Salta $28

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Salta

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.05

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salta

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

  • Humahuaca, 7-color Hill & round trip transfers airport - hotel in Salta: $127
  • Salta City Tour & Round Trip Transfers airport - hotel: $62
  • Salta Airport Private Transfer: $50
  • Private Airport Transfer: Martin Miguel de Guemes Int. Airport (SLA) to Salta: $30
  • Private Airport Transfer: Salta to Martin Miguel de Guemes Int. Airport (SLA): $30
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Salta Hotels to Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport: $27
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport to Salta: $19
  • Salta Airport Shuttle Transfer: $9.97
  • One-Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer: $5.50

Is it cheaper to fly into Galapagos Islands or Salta?

Prices for flights to both Salta 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.

In Salta, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $24 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Galapagos Islands $28
    Salta $24

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Salta

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Salta's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Gondola Ride
    $0.15
  • Pool
    $0.51
  • Wine and Cheese night
    $37

Tours and Activities in Salta

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

  • 2-Day Calchaquí Valley Tour to Cachi and Cafayate: $318
  • 2-day tour: Humahuaca Canyon + Cachi and Calchaquies Valleys: $165
  • 2-day tour: Humahuaca Canyon + Cafayate Wine Country: $165
  • 3-Days Salta, Purmamarca & Salinas Grandes Private Experience: $625
  • 3-day Overland Adventure in Tolar Grande, Salta: $1,240
  • 4 x 4 Safari Tour to Puna, Salt Falts and Purmamarca from Salta: $120
  • 4-Days Discovering Amazing Salta - Nature & Adventure: $645
  • 4-Days Tour of Salta Cafayate and Humahuaca: $808
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in Salta: $527
  • 6-Day Tour in Salta, Purmamarca, Humahuaca, Tolar Grande & Salt flats!: $1,813
  • 6-day Tour in Salta y Jujuy - Best of The Northwest: $1,095
  • 7-Day Tour in Salta, the Calchaqui Valley and Cafayate and San Pedro de Atacama: $1,292

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 Salta spend on average $9.62 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Galapagos Islands $12
    Salta $9.62

Typical Alcohol prices in Salta

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


  • Beer
    $0.10
  • Alcohol
    $3.06

Sample the Local Flavors in Salta

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Salta:

  • Full-day Cafayate, Lerma Valley, and Wine Tasting from Salta: $24
  • From Cafayate Day Trip with Wine Tasting: $25
  • From Full-Day Tour to Cafayate with Wine Tasting: $27
  • Luxury Colome wine tour: $806


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

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Galapagos Islands vs. Salta Travel Comparison

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