A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers La Plata vs. La Serena for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit La Plata or La Serena?

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 La Serena can help you decide which place is right for you.

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.

La Serena

La Serena is a charming town in Northern Chile. It is Chile's second-oldest city and the thriving capital of Region IV. With its beautiful architecture, its long golden shoreline, dignified stone churches, tree-shaded avenues and pretty plazas, La Serena has everything you could ask for!

Chileans on holidays flood in the city in January and February, though it is fairly peaceful outside the summer rush. Some of the city's architecture is from the colonial era, but most is actually neocolonial thanks to president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, born in La Serena, and her 'Plan Serena' of the late 1940s.

Which city is cheaper, La Serena or La Plata?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in La Plata is $60, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $81. 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 La Plata and La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $48 in La Plata For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $78 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    La Plata $24
    La Serena $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    La Plata $48
    La Serena $78

Food

On average, meal and food prices in La Plata cost around $23 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $9.20.

La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $25 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    La Plata $23
    La Serena $25
Typical Food prices in La Plata

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


  • Ice Cream
    $0.12

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in La Plata than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $17 on transportation in La Plata on average per day.

To get around in La Serena, the average visitor spends $19 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    La Plata $17
    La Serena $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Plata

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

  • La Plata hotels to El Palomar Airport (EPA) - Departure Private Transfer: $75

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Serena

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: La Florida Airport (LSC) to La Serena: $26
  • Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC): $26

Is it cheaper to fly into La Plata or La Serena?

Prices for flights to both La Serena 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in La Plata, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $15 per day, per person.

In La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $22 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    La Plata $15
    La Serena $22
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
    $0.06

Tours and Activities in La Serena

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

  • Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch: $263
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum: $269
  • Full day Tour to Elqui Valley: $90
  • Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour: $58

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In La Plata, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $8.39.

Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    La Plata $8.39
    La Serena $21


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between La Plata and La Serena, we can see that La Serena 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 La Serena would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in La Serena than you might in La Plata.

Budget Your Trip

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La Plata vs. La Serena Travel Comparison

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