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

Should you visit Mendoza or Santiago?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Mendoza and Santiago. 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. So, let's dig into it.

Mendoza

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.

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 Mendoza?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Mendoza is $52, while the average daily cost in Santiago is $137. 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 Mendoza and Santiago in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Mendoza, $40 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Mendoza, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $20, such as in a hostel.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $214 for a double occupancy room in Santiago.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mendoza $20
    Santiago $107
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mendoza $40
    Santiago $214

Food

While meal prices in Mendoza can vary, the average travelers spends about $23 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Mendoza should cost around $9.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Mendoza is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

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
    Mendoza $23
    Santiago $13
Typical Food prices in Mendoza

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


  • Empanadas
    $0.10

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Mendoza

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

  • Gourmet Dinner at Espacio Trapiche: $54
  • Cooking class experience at a Mendoza winery: $145
  • Asado cooking class and dinner in Mendoza city.: $168
  • Winery dinner. Enjoy the best restaurant in a winery: $252

Typical Food prices in Santiago

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


  • Empanada
    $2.28
  • Hamburger
    $3.03
  • Dinner
    $31

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

Mendoza's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $10 per person, per day on transportation in Mendoza.

The average price of local transportation around Santiago is $5.24 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.
    Mendoza $10
    Santiago $5.24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Mendoza

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

  • Mendoza Airport Shuttle Transfer: $11
  • Shared Transfer Mendoza Bus Station / Downtown Hotel: $13
  • Private Airport Transfer: El Plumerillo International Airport (MDZ) to Mendoza: $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: Mendoza to El Plumerillo International Airport (MDZ): $22
  • One Way Transfer - Mendoza Airport to/from Mendoza City: $25
  • Private Transfer in Mendoza: $29
  • Mendoza Airport Arrival Transfer: $55
  • Premium Spa Day & Fango Therapy at Cacheuta Hot Springs with Lunch and Transfers: $93

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santiago

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


  • Metro Ride
    $1.37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santiago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santiago:

  • Transfer from Valparaiso or San Antonio to Santiago+Isla Negra and Wine tour: $139
  • Transfer from Valparaiso or San Antonio Port + Condor Watching Tour: $203
  • Transfer from Valle Nevado, Farellones, Colorado or La Parva ski to Santiago: $83
  • Transfer from Santiago hotels to Arturo Merino Benitez Airport: $21
  • Transfer from Santiago To Valle Nevado, Farellones, Colorado or La Parva ski: $83
  • Transfer Santiago Airport to Valparaiso / Viña del Mar (Exclusive & Private): $165
  • Transfer From The Airport To The Hotel on Santiago City: $62
  • Small group transfer from Valparaiso or San Antonio Port + Santiago City Tour: $133
  • Private Transfer from Airport to Rui Vaz and/or Vice Versa: $37
  • Santiago de Chile Airport Shuttle Transfer: $29
  • Santiago de Chile Airport Private Transfer: $55
  • Santiago Airport Transfers: Santiago to Santiago Airport SCL in Luxury Van: $92

Is it cheaper to fly into Mendoza or Santiago?

Prices for flights to both Santiago 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Mendoza can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $15 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Santiago's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $46 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.
    Mendoza $15
    Santiago $46

Tours and Activities in Mendoza

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

  • Half Day Mendoza City Sightseeing Tour: $15
  • Mendoza City Tour: $15
  • FOLLOW MENDOZA, Walking City & Park tour: $20
  • Villavicencio Natural Reserve Half-Day Tour from Mendoza: $23
  • Mendoza City & General San Martin Park 2.5-Hour Tour: $28
  • Mendoza Half-Day Sightseeing Tour: $29
  • City Tour of Mendoza with Cerro de la Gloria: $32
  • From High Andes Aconcagua Mountain Tour: $32
  • Mendoza walking tour. Visit Mendoza city: $35
  • Wineries tour in Mendoza with La Carrodilla Church: $36
  • Full Day High Mountain Tour from Mendoza: $39
  • From San Rafael Sightseeing and Atuel Canyon Tour: $39

Tours and Activities in Santiago

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

  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial español: $18
  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial portugués: $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 + Viña 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 Viña, 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 Don´t miss: $1,227
  • 7-Day Santiago & Easter Island Tour: $1,480

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Mendoza spend on average $8.79 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $8.14 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
    Mendoza $8.79
    Santiago $8.14
Typical Alcohol prices in Mendoza

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


  • Beer
    $0.06

Sample the Local Flavors in Mendoza

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

  • Vineyards with Wine Tasting in Mendoza: $21
  • Mendoza Wine Tour with Lunch: $80
  • Sunday Wine Tasting Tour and Argentinien BBQ: $80
  • Bike wine tour. Visit 2 of the best wineries: $81
  • Private Uco Valley Tour including Lunch and Wine Tasting from Mendoza: $95
  • Private Lujan Wine Tour with Gourmet Wine-Paired Lunch from Mendoza: $100
  • Mendoza 4-Day Sightseeing and Wine Tour: $103
  • Half day wine tour. Visit 2 wineries in Lujan de Cuyo: $103
  • Private Wine Tasting and Vineyards Tour from Mendoza: $136
  • Deluxe Mendoza Half-Day Wine Tasting Tour: $145
  • Bike wine tours. Visit 3 wineries and enjoy gourmet lunch: $153
  • Luján de Cuyo best Wines- Ultimate Wine Tour: $154

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 Viña Cousiño Macul Official English: $18
  • "Premium Wine Tour" Viña Cousiño Macul Official english: $30
  • "Premium Wine Tour" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial portugués: $30
  • Premium Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño 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 Cousiño 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 Mendoza and Santiago, we can see that Santiago 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 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 Mendoza.

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Mendoza vs. Santiago Travel Comparison

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