A Travel Price Comparison for Chile La Serena vs. Arica for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit La Serena or Arica?

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 Serena and Arica can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: La Serena or Arica?

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.

Arica

A mixture of coastline, desert and high Andean plateau, Arica is a seaside resort town, known for its surfing beaches located at the tip of Northern Chile. Arica boasts that it is "the land of the eternal spring," but its temperate climate and beaches are not the only reason to visit this small city. Arica's tourism is still principally geared toward domestic visitors and those from southern Peru and La Paz, who flock to its beaches mid-December through February. It is very easy to spend a few days in Arica in the sand, or seeing the sights in town, at a slow pace but the city also offers plenty of fun activities and exciting day trips.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Sightseeing Tours in Chile, The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in Chile, The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Chile, and The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in Chile.


Which place is cheaper, Arica or La Serena?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in La Serena is $88, while the average daily cost in Arica is $80. 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 Serena and Arica in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    La Serena $42
    Arica $36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    La Serena $84
    Arica $72
Compare Hotels in La Serena and Arica

Looking for a hotel in La Serena or Arica? 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 Serena


Hotels in Arica


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 Serena Hotel Prices and Arica Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    La Serena $21
    Arica $18

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Arica

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arica are as follows:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $2.12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arica

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

  • Private Transfer from Arica Hotels to Arica Cruise Port: $24
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica city hotels: $22
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica Hotels: $24
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica Airport (ARI): $28
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica Airport (ARI): $31
  • Private Transfer from Arica City hotels to Arica Cruise Port: $22
  • Private Transfer from Arica Airport (ARI) to Arica Cruise Port : $28
  • Private Transfer from Arica Airport (ARI) to Arica Cruise Port: $31
  • Arica Airport Private Transfer: $96

Is it cheaper to fly into La Serena or Arica?

Prices for flights to both Arica and La Serena 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 Serena $27
    Arica $29

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    La Serena $24
    Arica $20

Tours and Activities in La Serena

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

  • Tour to the internationally renowned Pangue Observatory: $139
  • Dama Island or Chañaral Navigation Tour Humboldt Penguin Reserve: $135
  • Elqui Valley Full Day Tour: magical towns, pisco and mountains: $80
  • Elqui Valley Grand-Tour: $150
  • Elqui Valley Tour from La Serena: $120
  • Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch: $183
  • Elqui Valley: Pisco Tour, Wine, Beer: $174
  • Full Day History and Flavors Tour in the Elqui Valley: $48
  • La Serena & Coquimbo City Tour - Short excursion for cruise ships: $128
  • La Serena and Coquimbo City Tour (SIB): $66
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Guided City Tour: $76
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch, Shore Excursion: $194

Tours and Activities in Arica

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

  • Archaeological Tour: $32
  • Archeological Sightseeing tour in Arica: $153
  • Arica Private Sightseeing Tour : $150
  • Half day Panoramic City Tour: $49
  • Private Tour to Tacna from Arica: $287

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    La Serena $23
    Arica $20


When comparing the travel costs between La Serena and Arica, we can see that La Serena 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.

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


Which is Bigger, La Serena or Arica?

Arica has a larger population, and is about 20% larger than the population of La Serena. When comparing the sizes of La Serena and Arica, 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.