A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Montevideo vs. El Calafate for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Montevideo or El Calafate?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Montevideo and El Calafate can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Montevideo or El Calafate?

Montevideo

As the morning sun tinges the calm waters of the Rio de la Plata with a golden hue, the Rambla and its city awakens to life with new adventures for those near and far. From tanning on the luxurious beaches to peering into Uruguayan history at local museums, one can be far from bored while staying in Montevideo. Combining the quaintness of the countryside with the excitement of urban life, this city holds a unique trait that cannot easily be replicated.

El Calafate

Located in Patagonia, El Calafate has become a popular tourist destination in Argentina because of its beautiful setting on the stunningly blue Lago Argentina. The town sits on the southern border of the lake in the southwestern part of the Santa Cruz Province. It's about 320 kilometers from Rio Gallegos.

The rise in popularity of Patagonia as a tourist destination has truly put this small town on the map. You'll find no shortage of trekkers in the town and it makes an excellent base to explore different parts of the Los Glaciares National Park. Popular places to visit include Perito Moreno Glacier, Cerro Chalten, and Cerro Torre.

El Calafate has a cold semi-arid climate. The summers are cool to warm and very dry while the winters are cold and damp. Lago Argentino has a significant influence over the town's climate. The shallow bay where the town is located is usually frozen during the winter months.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Cultural Tours in Uruguay, The Best Adventure Tours to Uruguay, The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Argentina, and The Best Adventure Tours to Argentina.


Which place is cheaper, El Calafate or Montevideo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Montevideo is $63, while the average daily cost in El Calafate is $10. 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 Montevideo and El Calafate in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Montevideo $39
    El Calafate $3.42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Montevideo $78
    El Calafate $6.84
Compare Hotels in Montevideo and El Calafate

Looking for a hotel in Montevideo or El Calafate? 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 Montevideo


Hotels in El Calafate


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: Montevideo Hotel Prices and El Calafate Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Montevideo $7.32
    El Calafate $3.53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Montevideo

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

  • Transfer in private vehicle from Montevideo City - Montevideo Airport (MVD): $21
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Montevideo Airport (MVD) -Montevideo City: $21
  • Transfer from Montevideo to Carrasco Airport: $45
  • Transfer from Montevideo to Carrasco Airport: $20
  • Transfer from Carrasco International Aiport to Montevideo: $45
  • TRANSFER FROM OR TO THE AIRPORT (4 to 12 paxs): $80
  • Private Transfer from or to Carrasco Airport in Montevideo: $120
  • Private Transfer from Montevideo Cruise Port to Montevideo city: $29
  • Private Transfer from Carrasco Airport (MVD) to Montevideo Port: $29
  • Shared 1-Way or Round Trip MVD Airport Transfer: $35
  • Private 1-Way or Round Trip MVD Airport Transfer: $45
  • Carrasco International Airport (MVD) to Montevideo hotels - Round-Trip Transfer: $98

Typical Local Transportation Prices in El Calafate

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in El Calafate:


  • Taxi
    $1.39

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

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

  • Perito Moreno Glacier Mini Trek with Transfer: $456
  • Laguna de Los Tres Transfer & Self-Guided Hike: $101
  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75
  • Private Airport Transfer: $64
  • Excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier, with guide and transfer to / from the hotel: $60
  • Round trip transfer to Moreno Glacier: $50
  • Roundtrip transfer in Private Car from Calafate Airport (FTE)- Calafate City: $49
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • Shared Transfer from El Calafate Airport to downtown Hotel: $15
  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel in El Calafate: $14
  • Transfers Between Airport and Hotels: $12

Is it cheaper to fly into Montevideo or El Calafate?

Prices for flights to both El Calafate and Montevideo 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Montevideo $13
    El Calafate $3.71

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Montevideo

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

  • The best Montevideo Dinner Show. Tango and Candombe. El Milongon.: $85
  • El Milongon Dinner & Show: Candombe, Tango & Folklore in Montevideo: $98

Typical Food Prices in El Calafate

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


  • Dessert
    $0.01
  • Dinner
    $1.81
  • Dinner
    $1.07

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in El Calafate

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

  • Argentine Dinner with Live Music Folklore -Estancia 25 de Mayo: $48
  • Country Afternoon with Dinner Show - Estancia 25 de Mayo: $100
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo Tour with Dinner & Transfer: $126
  • Lakes and Caves Tour with Dinner: $138
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo Experience with Dinner from Calafate: $155
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo in El Calafate - PM visit with dinner: $186

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Montevideo $21
    El Calafate $3.71

Tours and Activities in Montevideo

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Montevideo.

  • Colonia del Sacramento - Regular Tour: $65
  • Audio Guided Tour in Montevideo City for Cruisers: $26
  • Best Private & Personalized Tour of Montevideo: $200
  • Best Private Montevideo Shore Excursion: City Tour. Optional WineTasting Tour.: $165
  • Best Private Tour of Montevideo for Cruise Passengers: $250
  • Best Shared Tour of Montevideo for Cruise Passengers: $110
  • Best Shared Tour of Montevideo for Cruise Passengers : $110
  • Best custom Montevideo Private Tour in Electric SUV! (BMW Option): $120
  • City Tour de Montevideo con ingreso al Palacio Legislativo: $65
  • City Tour of Montevideo: $40
  • City Tour, the best option for small groups: $160
  • Discover Mix of Sightseeing & City Attractions!: $140

Typical Entertainment Prices in El Calafate

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for El Calafate's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Glacerium Museum
    $1.39

Tours and Activities in El Calafate

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

  • Argentine Cuisine Experience in El Calafate: $65
  • CALAFATE: Panoramic tour: The best balconies of Calafate: $190
  • Cañadón Experience: $189
  • Calafate City Tour with Walichu Caves: $78
  • Chalten Full Day Trekking Experience - Laguna de los Tres: $180
  • Darwin Experience - kayaks & adventure: $230
  • Discover La Leona Petrified Forest: Guided Hiking Tour: $190
  • El Calafate Balconies Experience - Tour in FWD vehicle: $192
  • El Calafate Balconies Experience - Tour in FWD vehicle: $164
  • El Calafate Balconies Experience: 3-Hour 4WD Tour: $117
  • El Calafate Balcony in 4WD Experience: $169
  • El Calafate Balcony in 4WD Experience with Optional Quads: $121

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Montevideo -
    El Calafate $1.86

Sample the Local Flavors in Montevideo

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

  • Half Day Tour at Pizzorno Winery with Lunch and Wine Tasting: $120
  • Wine tour - Lunch & Tasting with Wine Explorers: $198
  • Wine Tasting & Countryside Lunch Experience: $210

Typical Alcohol Prices in El Calafate

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


  • Beer
    $0.01
  • Alcohol
    $0.37


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

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


Which is Bigger, Montevideo or El Calafate?

Montevideo has a larger population, and is about 160 times larger than the population of El Calafate. When comparing the sizes of Montevideo and El Calafate, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.