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

Should you visit Mar del Plata or Santiago?

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 Santiago 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.

Santiago

Santiago is the capital city of Chile. It is centrally located in the long and narrow country, making it a good jumping off point to explore everywhere else. It's convenient location means that you can go skiing in the Andes one day, and hang out at the beach the next.

Santiago has a cool semi-arid climate that is similar to Mediterranean climates. The summers, which are between November and March, are warm and dry. The temperatures climb to around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The winters, between June and August, are humid with cold mornings. The daily highs are around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows stay a few degrees above freezing. Rain is more common in the winter months and the dry season is between December and March.

Which city is cheaper, Santiago 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 $63, while the average daily cost in Santiago is $145. 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 Santiago in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $46 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 $226 for a double occupancy room in Santiago.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mar del Plata $23
    Santiago $113
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mar del Plata $46
    Santiago $226

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.

While meal prices in Santiago can vary, the average travelers spends about $13 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Santiago should cost around $5.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Santiago is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Mar del Plata $27
    Santiago $13

Typical Food prices in Santiago

Some typical examples of dining costs in Santiago are as follows:


  • Empanada
    $2.40
  • Hamburger
    $3.19
  • Dinner
    $33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santiago

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Santiago.

  • Dinner at a Typical Chilean Restaurant with a Traditional Dance Show in Santiago: $73
  • A Bite of Santiago Food Tour: $77
  • Chilean Dinner and Show Experience in Santiago: $77
  • ChileCooks - Food Tours: $91
  • Traditional Dinner Show in Santiago: $96
  • Bali Hai Dinner & Show Including Transport: $97
  • San Cristobal Hill Night City Tour with Dinner Show: $106
  • Traditional Chilean Show with Dinner and Private Transportation in Santiago: $107
  • Chilean Folklore Show and Dinner with Private Transport: $110
  • Small-Group Tour: Night City Tour with Santa Lucia Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Small-Group Night City Tour: San Cristobal Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Private Market Tour and Traditional Chilean Cooking Class in a Local Home: $117

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.

The average price of local transportation around Santiago is $5.52 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mar del Plata $18
    Santiago $5.52

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santiago

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santiago:


  • Metro Ride
    $1.44

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santiago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santiago:

  • Private transfer: Santiago to Santiago Airport (SCL): $622
  • Private Scenic Transfer from Santiago to Mendoza: $283
  • Private Transfer from Santiago or Santiago Airport to Colchagua or Santa Cruz: $259
  • Premium Ski resort transfer: $250
  • Private transfer from San Antonio or Valparaiso Port + Santiago City Tour: $240
  • Private Transfer from Santiago Airport to ValparaĆ­so,ViƱa del Mar or San Antonio: $236
  • Private transfers from the airport to hotels and private homes: $213
  • Transfer from Valparaiso or San Antonio Port + Condor Watching Tour: $203
  • Airport Transfer: $200
  • Transfer Santiago Airport to Valparaiso / ViƱa del Mar (Exclusive & Private): $165
  • Private Transfer: Santiago Hotel to San Antonio Pier: $164
  • Maipo Valley Wine Tour, Concha y Toro, Private Transfer from Santiago: $161

Is it cheaper to fly into Mar del Plata or Santiago?

Prices for flights to both Santiago 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.

Santiago's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $48 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mar del Plata $16
    Santiago $48

Tours and Activities in Santiago

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Santiago are as follows:

  • "Tour Tradicional" ViƱa CousiƱo Macul Oficial espaƱol: $18
  • "Tour Tradicional" ViƱa CousiƱo Macul Oficial portuguĆ©s: $18
  • 13-Day Tour Chile from North to South: $2,330
  • 2-Day Private Hiking Tour to La Paloma Glacier: $363
  • 2-day tour: Santiago City Tour + ViƱa del Mar & Valparaiso: $180
  • 3-Day Chilean Andes Experience: $864
  • 3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour: Chipitin Waterfall, Campfire Night + Tipi Lodging: $190
  • 4-Day Classic Tour of Santiago de Chile visiting ViƱa, Valparaiso and 1 winery: $686
  • 4-Day Tour Best of Santiago: $686
  • 4-Days Deluxe Culinary Experience at Santiago de Chile: $910
  • 6 days tour DonĀ“t miss: $1,227
  • 7-Day Santiago & Easter Island Tour: $1,480

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.

The average person spends about $8.57 on alcoholic beverages in Santiago per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mar del Plata $13
    Santiago $8.57

Sample the Local Flavors in Santiago

Also in Santiago, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Traditional Wine Tour in ViƱa CousiƱo Macul Official English: $18
  • "Premium Wine Tour" ViƱa CousiƱo Macul Official english: $30
  • "Premium Wine Tour" ViƱa CousiƱo Macul Oficial portuguĆ©s: $30
  • Premium Wine Tour in ViƱa CousiƱo Macul Spanish official: $30
  • Half Day Trip to Undurraga Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $40
  • Concha y Toro Traditional Wine Tour from Santiago: $45
  • Half Day Trip to Concha y Toro Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $45
  • Half Day Trip to Santa Rita Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $50
  • Half Day Trip to CousiƱo Macul Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $55
  • half day wine tour to concha y toro from Santiago seasonal offer: $57
  • Concha y Toro Marques Wine Tour from Santiago: $64
  • Premium Wine Tasting in Santiago de Chile: $71


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

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Mar del Plata vs. Santiago Travel Comparison

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