A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Medellin vs. San Carlos de Bariloche for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Medellin or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Should I visit Medellin or San Carlos de Bariloche? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Medellin

In addition to big improvements in public safety, Medellin has witnessed a huge surge in urban development projects, including Colombia's first metro system and cable cars to service poorer neighborhoods located high on the mountain sides. There is an abundance of parks, libraries, museums and public spaces with many cultural events taking place. Many travelers also enjoy visiting the surrounding villages, where life is simple and landscapes and nature reserves are wonderful. Medellin has now become one of the "it" cities in the world, with tons of tourists visiting and foreigners settling and retiring here. Beautiful mountains, warm weather, friendly locals, and a vibrant culture are just a few of the reasons why you should visit Medellin.

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 Medellin?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Medellin is $16, 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 Medellin and San Carlos de Bariloche in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $3.62. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Medellin the cost is $7.24 on average.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $38 for a double occupancy room in San Carlos de Bariloche.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Medellin $3.62
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Medellin $7.24
    San Carlos de Bariloche $38

Food

Food in Medellin costs travelers about $6.40 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

The average traveler spends about $20 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Medellin $6.40
    San Carlos de Bariloche $20
Typical Food prices in Medellin

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Medellin:


  • Lunch
    $2.09

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Medellin

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

  • Medellin Local Flavours: Night Street Private Food Tour: $50
  • Half-day Medellín Street Food tour with a local guide: $65
  • Homemade Paisa Dinner at a Local's Home in Medellín: $69
  • Homemade Paisa Dinner at a Local's Home in Medellín: $69
  • Community project cooking class and Medellin social transformation tour: $70
  • Private Market Tour and Colombian Cooking Lesson With a Local Family in Medellin: $80
  • Withlocals LIVE Meditation and Online Cooking for a Healthy Mind and Body: $93
  • Medellín Food Tour: $94
  • food tour: $97
  • Sabaneta and Envigado Best Local Food Tour from Medellin: $99
  • Full Day Private Medellin City, Street Art and Food Tour: $104
  • Private Market Tour & Colombian Cooking Lesson with a Local in her Medellín Home: $111

Typical Food prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

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


  • Pastries
    $0.12
  • Empanadas
    $0.28

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: $70
  • Half-Day Bariloche Highlights with Cooking Class & Beer Tasting -Private Service: $274

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Medellin is $2.39 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.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Medellin $2.39
    San Carlos de Bariloche $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Medellin

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


  • Taxi
    $1.64

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Medellin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Medellin:

  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: José María Córdova Airport: $16
  • History and Street Art Tour in Comuna 13 with Private Transfer: $18
  • Transfer in Private Car from El Poblado to Medellin Jose Maria Cordoba Airport: $22
  • Hotel to Airport Transportation in Medellin (transfer service): $25
  • Medellin Airport Pick-up (transfer service): $25
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Medellin to Jose Maria Córdova Int. Airport (MDE): $27
  • Private Arrival Transfer: MDE Medellin Airport to Medellin City: $28
  • Private Departure Transfer from Medellin City to MDE Medellin Airport: $28
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Medellin City to Medellin Airport (MDE): $38
  • Airport Transfer: $43
  • Private Transfer from Medellín City to José María Córdova (MDE) Airport: $50
  • Medellín Private Transfer from Medellín City to Olaya Herrera (EOH) Airport: $50

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: $292
  • Arrival Private Transfer Bariloche Airport BRC to Bariloche City by SUV: $150
  • Bariloche Airport Arrival Private Transfer: $53
  • Bariloche Airport Arrival Shuttle Transfer: $16
  • Bariloche Airport Departure Private Transfer: $53
  • Bariloche Airport Departure Shuttle Transfer: $16
  • Bariloche Airport Round Trip PrivateTransfer: $106
  • Bariloche Airport Round Trip Shuttle Transfer: $32
  • Bariloche Airport Roundtrip Transfer: $52
  • Departure Private Transfer Bariloche City to Bariloche Airport BRC by Minivan: $292
  • Departure Private Transfer Bariloche City to Bariloche Airport BRC by SUV: $150
  • Private Airport Transfer: Bariloche to San Carlos De Bariloche Airport (BRC): $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Medellin or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Prices for flights to both San Carlos de Bariloche and Medellin 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

Medellin's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $10 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.

San Carlos de Bariloche's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $22 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.
    Medellin $10
    San Carlos de Bariloche $22

Tours and Activities in Medellin

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

  • Medellin Walking Tour with Snacks and Skip The Line Access: $5.00
  • Skip the Line: Museum of Antioquia Admission Ticket: $6.50
  • Virtual Tour: Colonial Santa Fe de Antioquia: $14
  • Comuna 13 Graffiti Tour: $15
  • Comuna 13 Tour Graffiti by Locals Sag Tour Medellin: $17
  • Graffiti tour electrical stairs!: $19
  • Tropical Exotic Fruits Tour in Laureles: $19
  • Storytellers Tours: $21
  • The "not polite to use his name" City Tour: $24
  • Medellín Experience (full inmersion into the Aburrá Valley and its surroundings): $24
  • The North Side - Medellín Downtown Experience: $25
  • Atours - the side b of medellín, a tour for the real city: $25

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:

  • Bariloche Civic Center Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Bariloche Historic District Walking Tour: $16
  • German Footprint Shared Tour: $16
  • Cerro Catedral Sightseeing Tour: $22
  • Bariloche Scenic Circle Tour: $27
  • Half Day Small Circuit Tour: Mt Campanario and Llao Llao Peninsula: $35
  • Bariloche Sightseeing Tour: $40
  • German Footprint & Nazi presence - Walking Tour in Bariloche: $40
  • Nahuel Huapi National Park AdmissionTicket: $40
  • Mount Tronador and the Black Glacier Day Tour: $50
  • Bariloche Flavours Tasting Walking Tour: $60
  • San Martín de los Andes por 7 Lagos Full-Day Tour: $62

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Medellin may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $5.75 per day on alcoholic beverages.

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.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Medellin $5.75
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Medellin

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

  • Live the Nightlife Rooftop Pub Crawl: $20
  • Medellin private bar crawl: $94
  • Medellin Pub Crawl Including Food and City Tour: $145

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
    $0.11

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: $281


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Medellin vs. San Carlos de Bariloche Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.