A Travel Price Comparison for Argentina Mendoza vs. El Chalten for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Mendoza or El Chalten?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Mendoza and El Chalten. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Mendoza or El Chalten?


Mendoza is a city in western Argentina and more precisely in the desertic Cuyo region. Mendoza is the center of the Argentinian wine industry and is famed around the world for its vineyards and wine production. Spread across the valley of the Rio Mendoza and in the foothills of the Andean mountain range, Mendoza is also near the Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas. The bustling and scenic city of wide, leafy avenues, atmospheric plazas and cosmopolitan cafes spoils visitors with unique natural attractions and historical landmarks. If you can, visit Mendoza during the harvest festival at the end of February. There are many events and festivals in Mendoza and they are usually free. Each has a different theme, and they usually have a stage with singing and dancing and booths that sell food around a plaza. Seventy percent of Argentina's wines are produced here, and Mendoza is especially known for its world-famous malbecs.

El Chalten

El Chalten is probably one of the most beautiful areas of Patagonia, especially at the slightest ray of sunshine and one of your cheapest destination while you are travelling in Patagonia. Indeed, you will spend your days hiking and there are no park fees. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor stores but most of them will not accept credit cards so before heading out, get cash in El Calafate or your previous stop. For the beginners, it will be long hikes in a magical setting and for the experts perhaps a week long expedition to the greatest glaciers of the world. To discover the way people live in the pampa, you may also decide to stay at an Estancia. In the stunning Estancia Santa Thelma, about 300km away from El Chalten, you will be able to explore the surroundings by horse, live a unique experience in the middle of the nature and its vast plains occupied by thousands of merino sheep and horses and of course eat a typical meal of the region.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Camping Tours in Argentina, The Best Luxury Tours to Argentina, The Best Budget Tours to Argentina, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Argentina.

Which place is cheaper, El Chalten or Mendoza?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Mendoza is $6.97, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $9.41. 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 Mendoza and El Chalten in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mendoza $2.65
    El Chalten $4.19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mendoza $5.30
    El Chalten $8.38
Compare Hotels in Mendoza and El Chalten

Looking for a hotel in Mendoza or El Chalten? 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 Mendoza

Hotels in El Chalten

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: Mendoza Hotel Prices and El Chalten Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mendoza $1.38
    El Chalten $2.24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mendoza

Also for Mendoza, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Shared 1-Way or Round Trip MDZ Airport Transfer: $10
  • One-Way Private Transfer from Airport: $25
  • Shared Transfer Mendoza Bus Station / Downtown Hotel: $27
  • Mendoza to Mendoza Intl Airport (MDZ)- Departure Private Transfer: $27
  • Private Transfer Lujan de Cuyo or Maipu to Mendoza Airport MDZ : $30
  • Private 1-Way or Round-Trip MDZ Airport Transfer: $34
  • Mendoza Private Airport Transfers: $35
  • One Way Shared Transfer Mendoza Airport/Downtown Hotel: $40
  • Las Leñas to Mendoza Int Airport (MDZ)-Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Mendoza Int Airport (MDZ) to Las Leñas - Arrival Private Transfer: $44
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Mendoza Airport MDZ to Valle de Uco: $80
  • Departure Private Transfer Valle de Uco to Mendoza Airport MDZ : $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Mendoza or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Mendoza 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 Meals for one day
    Mendoza $3.11
    El Chalten $3.47
Typical Food Prices in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Empanadas

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Bar Safari: 4 Best Mendoza’s Bars in 1 night. + Full Dinner: $93
  • Argentinian Cooking class in Grazie Mille Winery in Valle de Uco: $95
  • Horseback Riding at Sunset and Dinner at an Estancia in Mendoza: $150
  • Horseback Riding at Sunset and Dinner in Mendoza: $160
  • Trip to the Marañon Art Park from Mendoza. Dinner in Uspallata: $170
  • Empanadas Cooking Class in a local's kitchen: $200

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mendoza $1.97
    El Chalten $2.52

Tours and Activities in Mendoza

For Mendoza, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Mendoza Walking Tour: The history of the City and main Park!: $14
  • Un walking tour de la fascinante historia del vino mendocino: $15
  • Tour autoguiado en bicicleta por Luján de Cuyo (Mendoza): $19
  • Malbec Experience in Bodega Tierras Altas: $20
  • Mendoza City Tour: $20
  • Renacer Winery Experience: $25
  • City tour with visit to General San Martin Park: $29
  • Half-Day Sightseeing City Tour: $29
  • Historical City Walking Tour: $33
  • Mendoza City Tour: $33
  • Mendoza Highlights: Half-Day City Tour: $36
  • Half-Day Sightseeing Tour: $36

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • 3 Hours Grilled Lamb Experience in Estancia Bonanza: $55
  • Chalten Kayak Experience: $240
  • Rafting experience on the Rio de las Vueltas in Patagonia: $120
  • Rio de las Vueltas Rafting Experience - El Chalten: $120

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mendoza $1.18
    El Chalten $1.15
Typical Alcohol Prices in Mendoza

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Mendoza:

  • Beer

Sample the Local Flavors in Mendoza

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Mendoza:

  • Classic Wine Tasting: $34
  • Half-Day Wine Tour with Tastings: $42
  • Premium Wine Tasting: $52
  • Vineyards with Wine Tasting in Mendoza: $53
  • Argentinean Asado with Local Host and Wine Tasting: $99
  • Wine Tour with Lunch and Transport in Mendoza: $100
  • Full Day Wine Tour with 3 Course Lunch: $107
  • Full-Day Private Luján De Cuyo Wine Tour from Mendoza: $144
  • Private Maipu Valley Wine Tour from Mendoza: $159
  • wine tours in wine country mendoza Argentina: $160
  • All Day, Small Group, Luxury Wine Tour with Gourmet Lunch: $180
  • Private Wine Tour, Tastings and Lunch with Pairings: $180

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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Mendoza Expensive? and Is El Chalten Expensive?.