Should you visit Huaraz or El Calafate?
Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Huaraz and El Calafate can help you decide which place is right for you.
Huaraz is a large town in the Cordillera Blanca region of Peru's Central Sierra. Huaraz stands tall at 3100m; travellers from Lima might need a day or two to acclimatize to the change in atmosphere. Nearly wiped out by the earthquake of 1970, the town of 100,000 blends a mix of modern and native culture. Huarez is first and foremost a trekking metropolis. During high season the streets buzz with hundreds of backpackers and adventurers freshly returned from arduous hikes or planning their next expedition. The town has many markets, shops, quality restaurants and hopping bars catering to tourist and local needs. Mountain adventures in the off-season can be equally rewarding, but the vibe is calmer and some places go into hibernation once the rains set in.
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 Huaraz?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Huaraz is $39, 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 Huaraz and El Calafate in more detail.
Huaraz's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $32. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $16.
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.
While meal prices in Huaraz can vary, the average travelers spends about $14 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Huaraz should cost around $5.60 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Huaraz is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
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 Huaraz
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Huaraz:
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:
The cost of a taxi ride in Huaraz is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $7.88 per person, per day, on local transportation in Huaraz.
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.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Huaraz
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Huaraz are as follows:
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:
Bus Transfer from El Calafate to El Chalten:
El Calafate Airport Private Transfer:
From Calafate: Round-trip transfer to Perito Moreno Glacier:
Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier with transfers:
Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier without transfers:
Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate):
Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate):
Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate):
Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén:
Entertainment and activities in Huaraz typically cost an average of $15 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
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 Huaraz
Here are a few typical costs in Huaraz for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:
Tours and Activities in Huaraz
Here are a few actual costs in Huaraz for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
"WAROMA eco tours peru" 10 day hike in the huayhuash mountain range.:
CORDILLERA BLANCA CIRCUIT the virgin non Touristic route:
Discover a world of Adventure: Climbing Pisco (4 days):
From Chavín de Huantar fullday tour:
From Llanganuco Lagoon fullday tour:
From Nevado Pastoruri Tour fullday tour:
Full-Day Llanganuco Lakes Private Tour from Huaraz:
Full-Day Private Tour of Chacas from Huaraz:
Full-Day Private Tour to Callejón de Huaylas and Llanganuco:
Full-Day Private Tour to Laguna 69:
Full-Day Tour to Callejón de Huaylas and Llanganuco:
Full-Day Tour to Lake Paron from Huaraz, Peru:
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:
El Calafate History Museum Tour:
Bamboo Bike self drive tour El Calafate surroundings:
Perito Moreno Glacier Tour with Optional Boat Ride:
Bus ticket to Puerto Natales, Chile:
Perito Moreno Glacier & Optional Boat Cruise:
City Tour in El Calafate with Walichu Caves:
Tour to Punta Walichu and Glaciarium:
Bus Ticket from El Chalten to El Calafate:
El Calafate City Sightseeing Tour Including Walichu Caves:
Bus ticket from El Calafate (Argentina) to Puerto Natales (Chile):
Los Glaciares National Park and Perito Moreno Glacier Tour:
El Calafate Sightseeing Tour with Walichu Caves:
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Huaraz may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $12 per day on alcoholic beverages.
Typically, people visiting El Calafate spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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 Huaraz and El Calafate, we can see that El Calafate is more expensive. And not only is Huaraz much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Huaraz would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Huaraz 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 Huaraz.
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