A Travel Price Comparison for Argentina Mar del Plata vs. San Carlos de Bariloche for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Mar del Plata or San Carlos de Bariloche?

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 San Carlos de Bariloche can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Mar del Plata or San Carlos de Bariloche?

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.

San Carlos de Bariloche

Set in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina, San Carlos de Bariloche is the biggest city in the Lake District. Bariloche is popular for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and trekking, swimming, fishing and horseback riding in the summertime.

No matter the time of year, there is something for everyone in Bariloche. Skiing season begins from June to October while fishing season is from November to April. Summer is from December to March, but visiting during low seasons (Spring in October to December and Autumn in late-April to mid-June) also has its benefits when it comes to saving cash and avoiding crowds.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

Which place is cheaper, San Carlos de Bariloche 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 $9.13, while the average daily cost in San Carlos de Bariloche is $7.70. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Mar del Plata and San Carlos de Bariloche in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mar del Plata $3.28
    San Carlos de Bariloche $2.79
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mar del Plata $6.56
    San Carlos de Bariloche $5.58
Compare Hotels in Mar del Plata and San Carlos de Bariloche

Looking for a hotel in Mar del Plata or San Carlos de Bariloche? 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 San Carlos de Bariloche


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 San Carlos de Bariloche Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mar del Plata $2.60
    San Carlos de Bariloche $2.37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Carlos de Bariloche:

  • Transfers to and from San Martín de los Andes: $295
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to San Martín de los Andes: $239
  • Private Transfer from Pampa Linda to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $184
  • Transfers to and from El Bolsón: $172
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Pampa Linda: $165
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Tronador to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $165
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Villa Traful: $165
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Hotel Tronador: $165
  • Private Transfer from Cascada Los Alerces to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $165
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Cascada Los Alerces: $165
  • Bariloche Airport Round Trip PrivateTransfer: $147
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Villa La Angostura: $138

Is it cheaper to fly into Mar del Plata or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Prices for flights to both San Carlos de Bariloche 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 $3.96
    San Carlos de Bariloche $2.89

Typical Food Prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some typical examples of dining costs in San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:


  • Pastries
    $0.01
  • Empanadas
    $0.03

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mar del Plata $2.36
    San Carlos de Bariloche $3.18

Tours and Activities in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:

  • 4-Hour Guided Tour of the Small Circuit: $60
  • Bariloche Circuito Grande Sightseeing Tour: $77
  • Bariloche Horseback Riding Tour with Traditional Argentine Asado: $120
  • Bariloche San Martin de los Andes and Seven Lakes Road Tour: $130
  • Bariloche Sightseeing Tour: $27
  • Bariloche: 4-Hour Cerro Catedral Base Tour: $15
  • Bariloche: Blest Port and Cantaros Waterfall Tour : $127
  • Bariloche: Full-Day El Bolsón and Puelo Lake Tour: $42
  • Bariloche: Half Day Small Circuit Tour - Mt Campanario and Llao Llao Peninsula: $28
  • Cerro Catedral Sightseeing Tour: $27
  • Cerro Catedral Tour in English : $45
  • Cerro Lopez Zipline Adventure from Bariloche: $58

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mar del Plata $1.85
    San Carlos de Bariloche $1.91

Typical Alcohol Prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in San Carlos de Bariloche from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.01


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Mar del Plata and San Carlos de Bariloche, we can see that Mar del Plata is more expensive. And not only is San Carlos de Bariloche much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Carlos de Bariloche would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Carlos de Bariloche 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 Mar del Plata would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Mar del Plata than you might in San Carlos de Bariloche.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Mar del Plata Expensive? and Is San Carlos de Bariloche Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Mar del Plata or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Mar del Plata has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of San Carlos de Bariloche. When comparing the sizes of Mar del Plata and San Carlos de Bariloche, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.