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

Should you visit La Plata or El Calafate?

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

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 La Plata and El Calafate can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: La Plata or El Calafate?

La Plata

Just over an hour from Buenos Aires, the bustling university city of La Plata is notable for being South America's first planned city. Indeed, also known as the City of Diagonal, La Plata's intricate grid system includes diagonal streets that run through it, contributing to easy navigation but confusing intersections.La Plata is the Capital of the Province of Buenos Aires, the main Argentine state, so you will find lots of elaborate government buildings alongside leafy green plazas in this laid back as well as active city. La Plata is a happening university town with a population of over 700,000. You can walk the width of it in under an hour, stopping at trendy craft beer bars, local music joints, and great restaurants along the way. Also, football is a religion in Argentina and if you're looking for some local atmosphere, La Plata is the place to go! Two of Argentina's biggest football teams, Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata and Estudiantes de La Plata challenge each other each year. If you are around during that special day for the city, you will witness thousands of fans wearing the relevant colours heading off to watch the match and parade by calle 7.

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.

Which place is cheaper, El Calafate or La Plata?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in La Plata is $8.97, 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 La Plata and El Calafate in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    La Plata $3.61
    El Calafate $3.56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    La Plata $7.22
    El Calafate $7.12
Compare Hotels in La Plata and El Calafate

Looking for a hotel in La Plata 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 La Plata


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: La Plata Hotel Prices and El Calafate Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    La Plata $2.57
    El Calafate $3.67

Typical Local Transportation Prices in El Calafate

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


  • Taxi
    $1.45

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
  • South Glacier Pioneers with transfer: $300
  • Mini trekking Perito Moreno with Footbridges visit and Transfer: $299
  • El Calafate Airport Private Transfer: $107
  • Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $90
  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75
  • Excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier, with guide and transfer to / from the hotel: $55
  • Roundtrip transfer in Private Car from Calafate Airport (FTE)- Calafate City: $49
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • Transfer to and form Airport El Calafate: $33
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • Shared Transfer Airport - Hotel in El Calafate: $32

Is it cheaper to fly into La Plata or El Calafate?

Prices for flights to both El Calafate and La Plata 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
    La Plata $3.51
    El Calafate $3.86
Typical Food Prices in La Plata

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to La Plata:


  • Ice Cream
    $0.01

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
    $1.88
  • Dinner
    $1.11

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
  • Country Afternoon with Dinner Show - Estancia 25 de Mayo: $100
  • Lakes and Caves Tour with Dinner: $118
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo in El Calafate - PM visit with dinner: $186

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    La Plata $2.25
    El Calafate $3.86
Typical Entertainment Prices in La Plata

For La Plata, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Sciencias Naturales Museum Entrance Fee
    $0.01

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
    $1.45

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 Night" Astrotourism in El Calafate: $130
  • "Glaciares Gourmet" - Maria Turquesa Cruiser Navigation (classic): $285
  • "Todo Glaciares" boat tour from El Calafate. : $210
  • 4x4 adventure: $136
  • Alternative tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier: $71
  • Blue Safari Experience: Hiking and Navigation on Glaciers: $180
  • CALAFATE: Panoramic tour: The best balconies of Calafate: $140
  • Cañadón Experience: $130
  • Cañadón Experience: $160
  • Calafate City Tour with Walichu Caves: $61
  • Chalten Full Day Trekking Experience - Laguna de los Tres: $135

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    La Plata $1.25
    El Calafate $1.93

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
    $0.39

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 Tours | Pedestrian City Tour Paired with Wines: $42


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

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


Which is Bigger, La Plata or El Calafate?

La Plata has a larger population, and is about 90 times larger than the population of El Calafate. When comparing the sizes of La Plata 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.