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

Should you visit Mar del Plata or Puerto Varas?

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 Puerto Varas 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.

Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas is a city in Southern Chile, in the Los Lagos (Lakes) Region, Llanquihue Province. It is a charming town, only 23 km away from Puerto Montt and surrounded by the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes as well as the impressive Llanquihue lake. In terms of landscape, accommodation and activities, Puerto Varas is well served! Kayak, paddle, canyoning, rock climbing, trekking, ski, fishing, you name it! If you decide to stop in that area, we recommend that you stay in Puerto Varas, as it provides the perfect starting point for many memorable excursions in the area.

Which city is cheaper, Puerto Varas 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 $61, while the average daily cost in Puerto Varas is $103. 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 Puerto Varas in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $44 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 Puerto Varas is $128. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mar del Plata $22
    Puerto Varas $64
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mar del Plata $44
    Puerto Varas $128

Food

In Mar del Plata travelers spend around $27 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.

Puerto Varas food costs typically run travelers around $23 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 Meals for one day
    Mar del Plata $27
    Puerto Varas $23

Local Transportation

To get around in Mar del Plata, 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.

The average price of local transportation around Puerto Varas is $20 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.
    Mar del Plata $17
    Puerto Varas $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Varas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Varas:

  • Puerto Varas Airport Private Transfer: $49
  • Cruce Andino Office Private Transfer from Puerto Varas: $43
  • Puerto Varas Bus Terminal Private Transfer: $39
  • Puerto Montt Departure Transfer from Hotel in Puerto Varas: $32
  • Puerto Varas Airport Shuttle Transfer: $29
  • Transfer from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $14
  • Cruce Andino Office Shuttle Transfer from Puerto Varas: $9.69

Is it cheaper to fly into Mar del Plata or Puerto Varas?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Varas 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.





Entertainment

In Mar del Plata, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $16 per person, per day.

Puerto Varas's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $18 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.
    Mar del Plata $16
    Puerto Varas $18

Tours and Activities in Puerto Varas

Here are a few actual costs in Puerto Varas for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Chiloe Island Tour from Puerto Varas in Private: $323
  • Frutillar & Llanquihue Private Tour from Puerto Varas: $95
  • Frutillar Bike Tour from Puerto Varas: $69
  • Frutillar Tour: Southern Traditions: $34
  • Full-Day Guided Tour to Villa Peulla from Puerto Varas: $67
  • Full-Day Tour to Petrohue Falls Through the Lake District , Chile: $197
  • Greater Island Chiloe Tour from Puerto Varas: $62
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in PetrohuĂ© River: $60
  • Lake Llanquihue Bike Tour in Puerto Varas: $130
  • Osorno Volcano Tour: $26
  • Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano Bike Tour: $120
  • Petrohue Waterfalls & Osorno Volcano Half-Day Tour: $49

Alcohol

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 $12.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Puerto Varas may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $6.19 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mar del Plata $12
    Puerto Varas $6.19

Sample the Local Flavors in Puerto Varas

Also in Puerto Varas, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Osorno Volcano & Brewery Tour in Puerto Varas: $64
  • Heritage City Tour and Brewery in Puerto Varas: $150


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Mar del Plata and Puerto Varas, we can see that Puerto Varas 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 Puerto Varas would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Varas than you might in Mar del Plata.

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Mar del Plata vs. Puerto Varas Travel Comparison

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