Should you visit Mar del Plata or El Chalten?
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 Mar del Plata and El Chalten can help you decide which place is right for you.
Mar del Plata
Mar del Plata is found only 404 km southeast of the city of Buenos Aires, on the Atlantic coast. Today Mar Del Plata is Argentina‘s most well known beach resort. It has successfully married the two worlds of beach and city into a fun, cosmopolitan urban center with the presence of highly developed tourist infrastructure. Founded in 1874, Mar del Plata was at first mainly an industrial and commercial center before becoming a vacation destination for Argentinians. For a peaceful trip and intimate oceanfront promenades, avoid visiting Mar del Plata during summer time, as the gorgeous arced coastline will be crawling with visitors. But the city is more than just beaches. It also offers some culture, lively nightlife, and great food.
El Chalten is probably one of the most beautiful areas of Patagonia, especially at the slightest ray of sunshine and one of your cheapest destination while you are travelling in Patagonia. Indeed, you will spend your days hiking and there are no park fees. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor stores but most of them will not accept credit cards so before heading out, get cash in El Calafate or your previous stop. For the beginners, it will be long hikes in a magical setting and for the experts perhaps a week long expedition to the greatest glaciers of the world. To discover the way people live in the pampa, you may also decide to stay at an Estancia. In the stunning Estancia Santa Thelma, about 300km away from El Chalten, you will be able to explore the surroundings by horse, live a unique experience in the middle of the nature and its vast plains occupied by thousands of merino sheep and horses and of course eat a typical meal of the region.
Which city is cheaper, El Chalten or Mar del Plata?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Mar del Plata is $51, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $58. 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 Mar del Plata and El Chalten in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $36 in Mar del Plata For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $52. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
To get around in Mar del Plata, the average visitor spends $15 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 cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $14 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.
Is it cheaper to fly into Mar del Plata or El Chalten?
Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Mar del 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.
In Mar del Plata travelers spend around $22 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $21 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $8.40 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in El Chalten is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Mar del Plata $22
El Chalten $21
In Mar del Plata, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $13 per person, per day.
Entertainment and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $16 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in El Chalten
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for El Chalten are as follows:
2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre:
2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten:
3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
Module Fitz Roy Adventure:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Mar del Plata, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $10.
The average person spends about $7.11 on alcoholic beverages in El Chalten per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When comparing the travel costs between Mar del Plata and El Chalten, we can see that El Chalten 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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