A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers La Serena vs. Santa Cruz de la Sierra for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit La Serena or Santa Cruz de la Sierra?

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 Santa Cruz de la Sierra can help you decide which place is right for you.

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.

Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, or simply Santa Cruz, is a larger city in the middle of Bolivia. It is also one of the most wealthy cities in the country. The city is also one of the fastest growing in the world. It is famous for its nightlife and it makes an excellent base for exploring many of the tourist attractions in the nearby areas.

Which city is cheaper, Santa Cruz de la Sierra 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 Santa Cruz de la Sierra is $43. 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 Santa Cruz de la Sierra in more detail.



Accommodation

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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $36 for a double occupancy room in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    La Serena $41
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    La Serena $82
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $36

Food

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.

The price of a meal in Santa Cruz de la Sierra can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $16 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $6.40 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    La Serena $26
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $16

Typical Food prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Santa Cruz de la Sierra:


  • Snacks
    $3.19
  • Chips
    $0.29
  • Banana
    $0.15
  • Cookies
    $1.31

Local Transportation

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.

The average price of local transportation around Santa Cruz de la Sierra is $7.95 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    La Serena $20
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $7.95

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santa Cruz de la Sierra:


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.35
  • Mini Bus
    $0.58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra:

  • Departure Private Transfer Santa Cruz to Santa Cruz Airport VVI by S-Cross Sx4: $55
  • Departure Private Transfer Santa Cruz City to Santa Cruz Airport VVI by Minibus: $55
  • Arrival Private Transfer Santa Cruz Airport VVI to Santa Cruz City by SCross Sx4: $55
  • Arrival Private Transfer Santa Cruz Airport VVI to Santa Cruz City by Minibus: $55

Is it cheaper to fly into La Serena or Santa Cruz de la Sierra?

Prices for flights to both Santa Cruz de la Sierra 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.





Entertainment

In La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.

Santa Cruz de la Sierra's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    La Serena $23
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $15

Tours and Activities in La Serena

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

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

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $22 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Santa Cruz de la Sierra may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    La Serena $22
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $11

Typical Alcohol prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Santa Cruz de la Sierra from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $1.60


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

Budget Your Trip

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La Serena vs. Santa Cruz de la Sierra Travel Comparison

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