Should you visit Mar del Plata or Punta del Este?
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 Punta del Este 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.
Punta del Este
Punta del Este with its many beaches, elegant seaside homes, yacht harbor, high-rise apartment buildings, pricey hotels, ardent night scene and glitzy restaurants is a chic beach resort town in Uruguay. Many tourists come from Brazil and Argentina, on the other side of the Rio de la Plata, to get some nice sun and lay on the beach for a weekend getaway. Punta del Este is more expensive than other areas in Uruguay and has been called the Monaco of South America. Tourist season varies wildly from totally deserted in the winter to very crowded in the summer.
Which city is cheaper, Punta del Este 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 $58, while the average daily cost in Punta del Este is $68. 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 Punta del Este in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $42 in Mar del Plata For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
The prices for places to stay in Punta del Este can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $38, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $76.
In Mar del Plata travelers spend around $25 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.
The price of a meal in Punta del Este can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $21 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $8.40 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
Meals for one day
Mar del Plata $25
Punta del Este $21
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.
Punta del Este's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $15 per person, per day on transportation in Punta del Este.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta del Este
Also for Punta del Este, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Punta del Este Wine Tour, Bodega Garzon, Private Transfer:
Private Transfer to Garzon Restaurant by Francis Mallmann:
Punta del Este Airport Private Transfer:
Private Arrival Transfer: Punta del Este Airport to Hotel:
Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Punta del Este Airport:
Is it cheaper to fly into Mar del Plata or Punta del Este?
Prices for flights to both Punta del Este 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, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $15 per person, per day.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Punta del Este can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $7.27 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Punta del Este
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Punta del Este.
Art Studio Tour in Punta del Este:
La Vista 360 Admission Ticket:
Punta del Este City Sightseeing Tour:
Punta del Este City Tour:
Punta del Este City Tour Clasico con Puesta del Sol en Casapueblo:
Punta del Este Shore Excursion: Private Sightseeing Tour of Punta del Este:
Punta del Este Special Art Tour:
Wine Lovers - Punta Wine Experience:
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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Punta del Este, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.32.
Sample the Local Flavors in Punta del Este
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Punta del Este:
Wine Tasting from Punta del Este:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Mar del Plata and Punta del Este, we can see that Punta del Este 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 Punta del Este would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Punta del Este than you might in Mar del Plata.
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