A Travel Price Comparison for Argentina Humahuaca vs. El Calafate for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Humahuaca or El Calafate?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Humahuaca or El Calafate? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Humahuaca or El Calafate?

Humahuaca

Located in the northwest region of Argentina, Humahuaca is a town nearly 3000m high in elevation, found on the border of the rio Grande. It is the largest settlement with the biggest population along the famous quebrada de Humahuaca gorge, but it has managed to keep its authenticity with its cobblestoned streets, adobe houses, quaint plazas filled with inhabitants of Andean traits and handicraft shops. If you have the chance to visit Humahuaca in February, during the carnival, you will appreciate how traditions are kept alive in this part of Argentina. Humahuaca has become a popular tourist destination in Argentina because of its beautiful setting next to the spectacular SerranĂ­a de Hornocal (colored mountains). While most visitors rapidly make their way through Humahuaca before continuing to the other two main Quebrada towns, Pumamarca and Tilcara, some enjoy spending a night or two there. Indeed, the town offers a perfect starting point to visit the region and has a few interesting landmarks not to miss, such as the historic church and Soto Avendano's Independence Monument. If you decide to stay in Humahuaca, remember that nights get chilly and ask the tourist office for any information (in the Cabildo, on the main square, opened Monday to Friday from 7h to 21h and Saturday from 9h to 12h and 13h to 16h and only Sunday mornings).

El Calafate

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Buenos Aires, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Argentina, The Best Adventure Tours to Argentina, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Argentina.


Which place is cheaper, El Calafate or Humahuaca?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Humahuaca is $6.83, while the average daily cost in El Calafate is $10. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Humahuaca and El Calafate in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Humahuaca $2.45
    El Calafate $3.48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Humahuaca $4.90
    El Calafate $6.96
Compare Hotels in Humahuaca and El Calafate

Looking for a hotel in Humahuaca or El Calafate? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Humahuaca


Hotels in El Calafate


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: El Calafate Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Humahuaca $2.11
    El Calafate $3.59

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Humahuaca

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

  • From Salta: 2-Day Cachi and Humahuaca Tour with Transfer: $66

Typical Local Transportation Prices in El Calafate

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in El Calafate:


  • Taxi
    $1.41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

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

  • Perito Moreno Glacier Mini Trek with Transfer: $456
  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75
  • Private Airport Transfer: $64
  • Excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier, with guide and transfer to / from the hotel: $60
  • Roundtrip transfer in Private Car from Calafate Airport (FTE)- Calafate City: $49
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • Shared Transfer from El Calafate Airport to downtown Hotel: $15
  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel in El Calafate: $12
  • Transfers Between Airport and Hotels: $12

Is it cheaper to fly into Humahuaca or El Calafate?

Prices for flights to both El Calafate and Humahuaca 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Humahuaca $2.67
    El Calafate $3.77

Typical Food Prices in El Calafate

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


  • Dessert
    $0.01
  • Dinner
    $1.83
  • Dinner
    $1.08

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:

  • Argentine Dinner with Live Music Folklore -Estancia 25 de Mayo: $48
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo Tour with Dinner & Transfer: $126
  • Lakes and Caves Tour with Dinner: $143
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo Experience with Dinner from Calafate: $155
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo in El Calafate - PM visit with dinner: $186

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Humahuaca $2.60
    El Calafate $3.76

Tours and Activities in Humahuaca

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

  • Hornocal: Full-Day Tour to the Hill of Seven Colors: $70

Typical Entertainment Prices in El Calafate

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


  • Glacerium Museum
    $1.41

Tours and Activities in El Calafate

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

  • Argentine Cuisine Experience in El Calafate: $65
  • CALAFATE: Panoramic tour: The best balconies of Calafate: $190
  • Cañadón Experience: $189
  • Calafate City Tour with Walichu Caves: $78
  • Chalten Full Day Trekking Experience - Laguna de los Tres: $180
  • Darwin Experience: $274
  • Darwin Experience - kayaks & adventure: $230
  • El Calafate Balconies Experience - Tour in FWD vehicle: $192
  • El Calafate Balconies Experience - Tour in FWD vehicle: $164
  • El Calafate Balconies Experience: 3-Hour 4WD Tour: $117
  • El Calafate Balcony in 4WD Experience with Optional Quads: $169
  • El Calafate Boat Tour to the Glaciers + Lunch(Glaciares Gourmet) : $299

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Humahuaca $1.18
    El Calafate $1.89

Typical Alcohol Prices in El Calafate

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


  • Beer
    $0.01
  • Alcohol
    $0.38


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Humahuaca Expensive? and Is El Calafate Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Humahuaca or El Calafate?

Humahuaca has a larger population, and is about 42% larger than the population of El Calafate. When comparing the sizes of Humahuaca and El Calafate, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.