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 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.

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 Argentinas 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 $62, while the average daily cost in Rio de Janeiro is $81. 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 Rio de Janeiro 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 Rio de Janeiro is $100. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mar del Plata $22
    Rio de Janeiro $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mar del Plata $44
    Rio de Janeiro $100

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.

The average traveler spends about $15 per day in Rio de Janeiro for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Mar del Plata $27
    Rio de Janeiro $15

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
    $0.57
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.76
  • Hamburger
    $0.95

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
  • Small-Group Boozy 7-Recipe Brazilian Cooking Class: $75
  • Brazilian Food And Caipirinhas Cooking Class: $75
  • Food Tour Experience in Rio de Janeiro (Small Groups or Private): $80
  • Secret Food Tours Rio de Janeiro: $82

Local Transportation

To get around in Mar del Plata, the average visitor spends $18 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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.22 per day to get around in Rio de Janeiro.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mar del Plata $18
    Rio de Janeiro $6.22

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
    $2.86

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
  • Tandem Skydiving with Transfers: $617
  • 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
  • Rio de Janeiro Airport to Búzios Transfer: $360
  • Private Transfer to Paraty: $341
  • Buzios Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro Including Airport Transfer: $310
  • Rio de Janeiro & Angra Private Transfer Business Sedan: $310
  • Private Transfer from Rio to Búzios: $300

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.





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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $17 per person, per day in Rio de Janeiro. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mar del Plata $16
    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 Urban Arts Walking Tour: $43
  • 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

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 $13.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Rio de Janeiro may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $9.43 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mar del Plata $13
    Rio de Janeiro $9.43

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
  • 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.

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Mar del Plata vs. Rio de Janeiro Travel Comparison

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