Should you visit Ilha Grande or San Carlos de Bariloche?
Should I visit Ilha Grande or San Carlos de Bariloche? 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.
Ilha Grande is a large, beautiful, island located off the southeast coast of Brazil. The island has few inhabitants, resulting in mostly unadulterated beaches and landscapes. There are over a dozen trails and beaches to explore, some of which have been called the best beaches in Brazil. Due to the limited number of inhabitants, ATMs are sparse on the island, so be sure to have cash with you before getting there.
San Carlos de Bariloche
Set in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina, San Carlos de Bariloche is the biggest city in the Lake District. Bariloche is popular for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and trekking, swimming, fishing and horseback riding in the summertime.
No matter the time of year, there is something for everyone in Bariloche. Skiing season begins from June to October while fishing season is from November to April. Summer is from December to March, but visiting during low seasons (Spring in October to December and Autumn in late-April to mid-June) also has its benefits when it comes to saving cash and avoiding crowds.
Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.
Which city is cheaper, San Carlos de Bariloche or Ilha Grande?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Ilha Grande is $53, while the average daily cost in San Carlos de Bariloche is $52. 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 Ilha Grande and San Carlos de Bariloche in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $58 in Ilha Grande For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $38 for a double occupancy room in San Carlos de Bariloche.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Ilha Grande $29
San Carlos de Bariloche $19
Typical double-occupancy room
San Carlos de Bariloche
Ilha Grande food costs typically run travelers around $16 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.
The average traveler spends about $20 per day in San Carlos de Bariloche 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.
Typical Food prices in San Carlos de Bariloche
Some typical examples of dining costs in San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Carlos de Bariloche
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Carlos de Bariloche.
Night hiking in the woods with headlamps & Candlelit dinner:
Half-Day Bariloche Highlights with Cooking Class & Beer Tasting -Private Service:
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Ilha Grande than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $14 on transportation in Ilha Grande on average per day.
The average price of local transportation around San Carlos de Bariloche is $16 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
Ilha Grande $14
San Carlos de Bariloche $16
Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Carlos de Bariloche
Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Carlos de Bariloche:
Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Bariloche Hotels to Cerro Catedral Ski Resort:
Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Bariloche Airport:
Shared Arrival Transfer: Bariloche Airport to Hotel:
San Carlos de Bariloche Airport Roundtrip Transfer:
Private transfer: Bariloche Airport (BRC) to San Carlos de Bariloche:
Private Transfer: San Carlos de Bariloche to Bariloche Airport (BRC):
Private Transfer from Tom Wesley to Bariloche (BRC) Airport:
Private Transfer from Puerto Pañuelo to Bariloche (BRC) Airport:
Private Transfer from Playa Bonita to Bariloche (BRC) Airport:
Private Transfer from Lago Moreno to Bariloche (BRC) Airport:
Private Transfer from Hotel Llao Llao to Bariloche (BRC) Airport:
Private Transfer from Hotel Catedral to Bariloche (BRC) Airport:
Is it cheaper to fly into Ilha Grande or San Carlos de Bariloche?
Prices for flights to both San Carlos de Bariloche and Ilha Grande 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 expenses in Ilha Grande, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $5.16 per day, per person.
San Carlos de Bariloche's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $22 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
Ilha Grande $5.16
San Carlos de Bariloche $22
Tours and Activities in San Carlos de Bariloche
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:
"Brazo Tristeza" Lake Experience - Shared Service:
1.5-Hour Lago Gutierrez Paddle Boarding Tour from Bariloche:
4-Day Bariloche & Lake district Classic Tour:
4-day Bariloche Adventure - Trekking Cerro Llao Llao & Kayaking Lago Mascardi:
5-Day Adventure Trip in Bariloche:
6-Days Unique Experience Lake Crossing & Mountains Region!:
7-Day Bariloche & Mendoza Adventure: Trekking, Kayaking, Horseback riding & Wine:
Bariloche 3 tours Classic package:
Bariloche 3 tours with adrenaline:
Bariloche 3 tours with adventure:
Bariloche Circuito Grande Sightseeing Tour:
Bariloche Civic Center Walking Tour:
Typically, people visiting Ilha Grande spend on average $8.28 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in San Carlos de Bariloche per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Typical Alcohol prices in San Carlos de Bariloche
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in San Carlos de Bariloche from other travelers:
Sample the Local Flavors in San Carlos de Bariloche
Also in San Carlos de Bariloche, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
City Tour, Nature Hiking & visit to a Local Microbrewery in Bariloche:
When comparing the travel costs between Ilha Grande and San Carlos de Bariloche, we can see that Ilha Grande is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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