Should you visit Humahuaca or El Chalten?
Should I visit Humahuaca or El Chalten? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
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 Serranía 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 Chalten is probably one of the most beautiful areas of Patagonia, especially at the slightest ray of sunshine and one of your cheapest destination while you are travelling in Patagonia. Indeed, you will spend your days hiking and there are no park fees. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor stores but most of them will not accept credit cards so before heading out, get cash in El Calafate or your previous stop. For the beginners, it will be long hikes in a magical setting and for the experts perhaps a week long expedition to the greatest glaciers of the world. To discover the way people live in the pampa, you may also decide to stay at an Estancia. In the stunning Estancia Santa Thelma, about 300km away from El Chalten, you will be able to explore the surroundings by horse, live a unique experience in the middle of the nature and its vast plains occupied by thousands of merino sheep and horses and of course eat a typical meal of the region.
Which city is cheaper, El Chalten or Humahuaca?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Humahuaca is $47, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $70. 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 Humahuaca and El Chalten in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $34 in Humahuaca For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $62. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
The price of a meal in Humahuaca can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $19 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $7.60 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $26 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $10 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in El Chalten is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
El Chalten $26
Humahuaca'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 $15 per person, per day on transportation in Humahuaca.
The cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.
Is it cheaper to fly into Humahuaca or El Chalten?
Prices for flights to both El Chalten 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Humahuaca can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $18 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Entertainment and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $19 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in El Chalten
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for El Chalten are as follows:
2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre:
2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten:
3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
Module Fitz Roy Adventure:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Humahuaca, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $8.20.
The average person spends about $8.59 on alcoholic beverages in El Chalten per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Humahuaca and El Chalten, we can see that El Chalten 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 Chalten would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in El Chalten than you might in Humahuaca.
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