A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Mar del Plata vs. Rio de Janeiro for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Mar del Plata or Rio de Janeiro?

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 Rio de Janeiro can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Mar del Plata or Rio de Janeiro?

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.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the most popular travel destination in Brazil. It is the second largest city in Brazil and the sixth largest in the Americas. A portion of the city has been designated a World Heritage Site. The peak time to visit is during the city's famous Carnival festival, which is one of the most famous festivals in the world. However, Rio's appeal as a travel destination is apparent year around. The city has a wonderful natural harbour that is surrounded by Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak, and the hills of Tijuca, creating an absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring setting. And you can't miss the beach, either!

Which city is cheaper, Rio de Janeiro 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 Rio de Janeiro is $83. 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 Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mar del Plata $12
    Rio de Janeiro $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mar del Plata $24
    Rio de Janeiro $104
Compare Hotels in Mar del Plata and Rio de Janeiro

Looking for a hotel in Mar del Plata or Rio de Janeiro? 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 Rio de Janeiro


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 Rio de Janeiro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mar del Plata $9.30
    Rio de Janeiro $6.38

Typical Local Transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Taxi Ride
    $2.94

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Private Transfer: Rio de Janeiro to Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport (SDU): $622
  • Private Transfer: Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) to Rio de Janeiro: $622
  • Arrival Private Transfer: GIG or SDU Airport to Arraial do Cabo by Minivan: $481
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Rio GIG or SDU Airport to Angra dos Reis by Minivan: $458
  • Arrival Private Transfer Rio Airport to Buzios or Cabo Frio by Minivan: $428
  • ARMORED Airport Transfer - Rio de Janeiro (COVID-19 Prepared): $387
  • Buzios Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro Including Airport Transfer: $310
  • LOW COST Airport ROUNDTRIP Transfer - Paraty (COVID-19 Prepared): $255
  • Arrival Private Transfer: GIG or SDU Airport to Arraial do Cabo by Sedan Car: $242
  • Buzios Minivan Private Transfer to and from Rio de Janeiro: $240
  • Arrival Private Transfer Rio Airport to Buzios or Cabo Frio by Sedan Car: $223
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Tom Jobim International Airport to São João de Meriti City - One Way: $188

Is it cheaper to fly into Mar del Plata or Rio de Janeiro?

Prices for flights to both Rio de Janeiro 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
    Rio de Janeiro $16

Typical Food prices in Rio de Janeiro

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Popcorn
    $0.59
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.78
  • Hamburger
    $0.98

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rio de Janeiro

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Food Tour Rio de Janeiro: $30
  • Cooking Class for Cacao Lovers: $51
  • Feijoada Food Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off: $55
  • Plant-based Brazilian Flavours Cooking Class: $56
  • Dinner & Rio Scenarium Nightclub Admission with Transfer: $60
  • Private Tour in Rio Scenarium with Dinner: $65
  • Skip the line: Samba Show Admission & Transfer with Dinner Option: $70
  • Dinner and Brazilian Music Show in Rio Scenarium: $70
  • Rio Scenarium Entrance, Dinner, and Open Bar: $72
  • Small-Group Boozy 7-Recipe Brazilian Cooking Class: $75
  • Food Tour Experience in Rio de Janeiro (Small Groups or Private): $80
  • Samba Show Ginga Tropical with Optional Dinner: $86

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mar del Plata $8.45
    Rio de Janeiro $17

Tours and Activities in Rio de Janeiro

Here are a few actual costs in Rio de Janeiro for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 2 Days in Rio: Cultural & Ecologic Tours: $284
  • 2 Days in Rio: Tijuca Forest & Two Brothers Hiking Tours: $265
  • 2 Hour Vidigal Favela Tour Discovery the Most Laidback Favela: $19
  • 3 Hour Sailing Experience in Rio: $39
  • 3-Day Customizable Tour of Rio de Janeiro: $365
  • 4 horas - Tour private: Corcovado e praias: $154
  • 4 hours - Tour Private: Pão de Açúcar e Catedral Metropolitana: $154
  • 4-Day Private Guided Tour from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo – Coastal Trip: $990
  • 4-Days Ilha Grande Experience - Unlocking Brazil's 'Garden of Eden': $1,025
  • 4-hour Rio Downtown Sites & Bites Small Group Tour: $62
  • 4-hour Sum-up Of Rio de Janeiro "Private Tour" – Optional Airport & Port Pick-up: $92
  • 6-hour Classic Rio de Janeiro "Private City Tour" – Optional For Airport Pick-up: $123

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mar del Plata $6.62
    Rio de Janeiro $9.68

Sample the Local Flavors in Rio de Janeiro

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Pub Crawl Rio de Janeiro: $11
  • Pub Crawl in Lapa: $19
  • Skip the line: Ipanema Pub Crawl: $28
  • Beautiful Imperial Petropolis City Tour Optional Lunch & Bohemia Brewery: $34
  • Rio By Night Tour: Pub Crawl Experiencing Music, Dancing, Drinks & Local Culture: $105
  • Petrópolis City and Brewery Bohemia Tour - Best of Rio's Mountains: $135
  • Rio: Sitio Burle Marx and Cachaça Distillery Private Tour: $160


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


When is the best time to visit Mar del Plata or Rio de Janeiro?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Mar del Plata or Rio de Janeiro in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Mar del Plata as well as Rio de Janeiro.

In January, Mar del Plata is generally cooler than Rio de Janeiro. Temperatures in Mar del Plata average around 20°C (69°F), and Rio de Janeiro stays around 26°C (79°F).

It's quite rainy in Rio de Janeiro. Mar del Plata usually gets less rain in January than Rio de Janeiro. Mar del Plata gets 96 mm (3.8 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 114 mm (4.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Mar del Plata 20°C (69°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Mar del Plata or Rio de Janeiro in the Autumn?

Both Rio de Janeiro and Mar del Plata are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.


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Mar del Plata is much colder than Rio de Janeiro in the autumn. The temperature in Mar del Plata is usually 15°C (59°F) in April, and Rio de Janeiro stays around 25°C (77°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Rio de Janeiro. In April, Mar del Plata usually receives less rain than Rio de Janeiro. Mar del Plata gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 137 mm (5.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Mar del Plata 15°C (59°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Mar del Plata or Rio de Janeiro in the Winter?

Both Rio de Janeiro and Mar del Plata during the winter are popular places to visit.


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In the winter, Mar del Plata is much colder than Rio de Janeiro. Typically, the winter temperatures in Mar del Plata in July are around 9°C (47°F), and Rio de Janeiro is about 21°C (70°F).

Mar del Plata usually gets more rain in July than Rio de Janeiro. Mar del Plata gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Mar del Plata 9°C (47°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Mar del Plata or Rio de Janeiro in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Mar del Plata and Rio de Janeiro.

In October, Mar del Plata is generally much colder than Rio de Janeiro. Temperatures in Mar del Plata average around 13°C (56°F), and Rio de Janeiro stays around 23°C (73°F).

In October, Mar del Plata usually receives less rain than Rio de Janeiro. Mar del Plata gets 78 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Rio de Janeiro receives 88 mm (3.5 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Mar del Plata 13°C (56°F) 
    Rio de Janeiro 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Rio de Janeiro and Mar del Plata

Mar del Plata Rio de Janeiro
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 20°C (69°F) 96 mm (3.8 in) 26°C (79°F) 114 mm (4.5 in)
Feb 20°C (68°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 27°C (81°F) 105 mm (4.1 in)
Mar 18°C (65°F) 97 mm (3.8 in) 26°C (79°F) 103 mm (4.1 in)
Apr 15°C (59°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 25°C (77°F) 137 mm (5.4 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 23°C (73°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Jun 9°C (48°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 22°C (72°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Jul 9°C (47°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Aug 9°C (49°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 22°C (72°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Sep 11°C (51°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 22°C (72°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)
Oct 13°C (56°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 23°C (73°F) 88 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 16°C (61°F) 75 mm (3 in) 24°C (75°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)
Dec 19°C (66°F) 88 mm (3.5 in) 25°C (77°F) 169 mm (6.7 in)


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Mar del Plata vs. Rio de Janeiro Travel Comparison

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