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

Should you visit Mar del Plata or La Serena?

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 Mar del Plata and La Serena can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Mar del Plata or La Serena?

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.

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 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 $33, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $82. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Mar del Plata and La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mar del Plata $12
    La Serena $40
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mar del Plata $24
    La Serena $80
Compare Hotels in Mar del Plata and La Serena

Looking for a hotel in Mar del Plata or La Serena? 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 Mar del Plata


Hotels in La Serena


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: Mar del Plata Hotel Prices and La Serena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mar del Plata $9.30
    La Serena $19

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 Mar del Plata or La Serena?

Prices for flights to both La Serena 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Mar del Plata $14
    La Serena $25

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mar del Plata $8.45
    La Serena $22

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 Spanish Tour from La Serena: $160
  • 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
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mar del Plata $6.62
    La Serena $21


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


When is the best time to visit Mar del Plata or La Serena?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Mar del Plata or La Serena in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Mar del Plata and La Serena.

Mar del Plata is a little warmer than La Serena in the summer. The temperature in Mar del Plata is usually 20°C (69°F) in January, and La Serena stays around 18°C (64°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in La Serena this time of the year. In Mar del Plata, it's very sunny this time of the year. Mar del Plata usually receives less sunshine than La Serena during summer. Mar del Plata gets 221 hours of sunny skies, while La Serena receives 247 hours of full sun in the summer.

In January, Mar del Plata usually receives more rain than La Serena. Mar del Plata gets 96 mm (3.8 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Mar del Plata 20°C (69°F) 
    La Serena 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Mar del Plata or La Serena in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Mar del Plata as well as La Serena.

In the autumn, Mar del Plata is around the same temperature as La Serena. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Mar del Plata in April are around 15°C (59°F), and La Serena is about 15°C (59°F).

Mar del Plata usually gets more rain in April than La Serena. Mar del Plata gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Mar del Plata 15°C (59°F) 
    La Serena 15°C (59°F)

Should I visit Mar del Plata or La Serena in the Winter?

Both La Serena and Mar del Plata are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.

In July, Mar del Plata is generally cooler than La Serena. Temperatures in Mar del Plata average around 9°C (47°F), and La Serena stays around 12°C (54°F).

In July, Mar del Plata usually receives more rain than La Serena. Mar del Plata gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Mar del Plata 9°C (47°F) 
    La Serena 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Mar del Plata or La Serena in the Spring?

Both La Serena and Mar del Plata during the spring are popular places to visit.

Mar del Plata is around the same temperature as La Serena in the spring. The temperature in Mar del Plata is usually 13°C (56°F) in October, and La Serena stays around 14°C (57°F).

In the spring, Mar del Plata often gets less sunshine than La Serena. Mar del Plata gets 175 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while La Serena receives 190 hours of full sun.

Mar del Plata usually gets more rain in October than La Serena. Mar del Plata gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Mar del Plata 13°C (56°F) 
    La Serena 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for La Serena and Mar del Plata

Mar del Plata La Serena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 20°C (69°F) 96 mm (3.8 in) 18°C (64°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Feb 20°C (68°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 18°C (64°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 18°C (65°F) 97 mm (3.8 in) 17°C (63°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Apr 15°C (59°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 15°C (59°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 13°C (55°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Jun 9°C (48°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 12°C (54°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Jul 9°C (47°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 12°C (54°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Aug 9°C (49°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 12°C (54°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Sep 11°C (51°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 13°C (55°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Oct 13°C (56°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 14°C (57°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Nov 16°C (61°F) 75 mm (3 in) 15°C (59°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Dec 19°C (66°F) 88 mm (3.5 in) 17°C (63°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)


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Mar del Plata vs. La Serena Travel Comparison

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