Should you visit Mar del Plata or San Carlos de Bariloche?
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.
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 city 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 $61, while the average daily cost in San Carlos de Bariloche is $52. 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 San Carlos de Bariloche in more detail.
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.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $38 for a double occupancy room in San Carlos de Bariloche.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Mar del Plata $22
San Carlos de Bariloche $19
Typical double-occupancy room
Mar del Plata
San Carlos de Bariloche
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 $19 per day in San Carlos de Bariloche 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.
Typical Food prices in San Carlos de Bariloche
Some typical examples of dining costs in San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Carlos de Bariloche
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Carlos de Bariloche.
Night hiking in the woods with headlamps & Candlelit dinner:
Half-Day Bariloche Highlights with Cooking Class & Beer Tasting -Private Service:
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 San Carlos de Bariloche is $16 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.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
Mar del Plata $17
San Carlos de Bariloche $16
Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Carlos de Bariloche
Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Carlos de Bariloche:
Arrival Private Transfer Bariloche Airport BRC to Bariloche City by Minivan:
Departure Private Transfer Bariloche City to Bariloche Airport BRC by Minivan:
Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to San MartÃn de los Andes:
Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Villa Traful:
Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Pampa Linda:
Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Hotel Tronador:
Private Transfer from Cascada Los Alerces to Bariloche (BRC) Airport:
Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Cascada Los Alerces:
Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Villa La Angostura:
Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Ruca Malen:
Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Lago Correntoso:
Arrival Private Transfer Bariloche Airport BRC to Bariloche City by SUV:
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.
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.
San Carlos de Bariloche's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $21 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.
Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
Mar del Plata $16
San Carlos de Bariloche $21
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:
"Brazo Tristeza" Lake Experience - Shared Service:
1.5-Hour Lago Gutierrez Paddle Boarding Tour from Bariloche:
4-Day Bariloche & Lake district Classic Tour:
4-day Bariloche Adventure - Trekking Cerro Llao Llao & Kayaking Lago Mascardi:
5-Day Adventure Trip in Bariloche:
6-Days Unique Experience Lake Crossing & Mountains Region!:
7-Day Bariloche & Mendoza Adventure: Trekking, Kayaking, Horseback riding & Wine:
Bariloche 3 tours Classic package:
Bariloche 3 tours with adrenaline:
Bariloche 3 tours with adventure:
Bariloche Circuito Grande Sightseeing Tour:
Bariloche Civic Center Walking Tour:
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.
The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in San Carlos de Bariloche per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
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:
Sample the Local Flavors in San Carlos de Bariloche
Also in San Carlos de Bariloche, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
City Tour, Nature Hiking & visit to a Local Microbrewery in Bariloche:
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.
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