Should you visit La Serena or Arica?
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.
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.
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.
Which city 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 $84, while the average daily cost in Arica is $77. 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 Serena and Arica in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $82 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Arica, $68 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Arica, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $34, such as in a hostel.
La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $26 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 in Arica costs travelers about $27 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Meals for one day
La Serena $26
To get around in La Serena, the average visitor spends $20 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.
To get around in Arica, the average visitor spends $17 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.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Serena
Also for La Serena, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC):
Private Airport Transfer: La Florida Airport (LSC) to La Serena:
Typical Local Transportation prices in Arica
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arica are as follows:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arica
Also for Arica, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Arica Airport Private Transfer:
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.
In La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.
In Arica, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.
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:
La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum:
Full day Tour to Elqui Valley:
Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour:
Tours and Activities in Arica
For Arica, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
4-Days Unique Experience at the Chilean High Plateau:
Archeological Sightseeing tour in Arica:
Arica Private City Tour:
Arica Private Sightseeing Tour:
Arica Sightseeing Tour:
Half day Panoramic City Tour:
Full Day Tour to Tacna from Arica:
Private Arica and Ancient Cultures Tour:
Private Tour to Tacna from Arica:
Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $22 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Arica spend on average $19 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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.
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