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?

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

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.

Which city 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 $46, while the average daily cost in El Calafate is $71. 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 Montevideo and El Calafate in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $56 for a double occupancy room in Montevideo If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $48 in El Calafate For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Montevideo $28
    El Calafate $24
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Montevideo $56
    El Calafate $48

Food

Food in Montevideo costs travelers about $9.73 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.

Food in El Calafate costs travelers about $26 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Montevideo $9.73
    El Calafate $26

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.: $75
  • El Milongon Dinner & Show: Candombe, Tango & Folklore in Montevideo: $105

Typical Food prices in El Calafate

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


  • Dessert
    $0.10
  • Dinner
    $16
  • Dinner
    $9.39

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:

  • Visit to Estancia Alice El Galpon, Dinner and Folkloric Show: $120
  • Gaucho, Dinner and Folklore Full-Day Tour: $165

Local Transportation

Montevideo'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 $5.29 per person, per day on transportation in Montevideo.

El Calafate'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 $25 per person, per day on transportation in El Calafate.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Montevideo $5.29
    El Calafate $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Montevideo

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

  • Transfer MV Uruguay: $37
  • Transfer Airport to Hotel Regular: $20
  • TRANSFER IN/OUT (Airport, Port (MVD) - Hotel in MVD - Airport, Port (MVD)): $20
  • TRANSFER IN - OUT (Airport or Port / Hotel) - private transfer: $25
  • Private transfer: Montevideo Airport (MVD) to Montevideo: $622
  • Private Transfer Montevideo Airport: $20
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Montevideo Airport: $70
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Montevideo Airport to Hotel: $70
  • Private Airport Transfer: Montevideo to Carrasco International Airport (MVD): $40
  • Private Airport Transfer: Carrasco International Airport (MVD) to Montevideo: $40
  • PACK 3: Transfer in - Tour Montevideo - Punta del Este - Colonia - Transfer out: $190
  • PACK 2: Transfer in - Tour Montevideo - Punta del Este - Transfer out: $110

Typical Local Transportation prices in El Calafate

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


  • Taxi
    $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

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

  • Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier with transfers: $461
  • Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier without transfers: $336
  • Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $90
  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75
  • El Calafate Airport Private Transfer: $57
  • Bus Transfer from El Calafate to El Chalten: $50
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • From Calafate: Round-trip transfer to Perito Moreno Glacier: $27

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.





Entertainment

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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in El Calafate can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $26 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Montevideo $15
    El Calafate $26

Tours and Activities in Montevideo

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

  • 2-day Uruguay Pass: City Tour Montevideo + Excursion to Punta del Este: $142
  • 2-day Uruguay Pass: Montevideo City Tour + Excursion to Colonia de Sacramento: $185
  • BEST Cruise Passanger - Shared Tours: $45
  • Best Private & Personalized City Tour for cruise passengers (full day): $170
  • Best Private Montevideo Shore Excursion: City Tour. Optional WineTasting Tour.: $145
  • Best-Tours: $1,090
  • Bouza Winery Tour from Montevideo with Tastings and Tapas (Esp, Eng, Port): $75
  • City Tour Montevideo: $25
  • City Tour Montevideo: $28
  • Colonia del Sacramento - Full day tour from Montevideo: $75
  • Colonia del Sacramento - Full day tour from Montevideo: $70
  • Discover Montevideo Private Tour with a Local: $75

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
    $12

Tours and Activities in El Calafate

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

  • "Glaciares Gourmet" - Maria Turquesa Cruiser Navigation: $180
  • 13-Day Best of Patagonia Tour from El Calafate to Ushuaia: Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks: $1,704
  • 2-Day Perito Moreno Tour with Boat Ride & 4x4 Safari: $243
  • 2-day El Chalten Hiking Adventure Tour from El Calafate: $406
  • 2-day tour: Perito Moreno Glacier + Torres del Paine National Park: $215
  • 3-Day Tour of El Calafate and the Glaciers: $255
  • 4 Days Tour in El Calafate & Chalten: $190
  • 4-Days El Calafate Easy Going Experience: $965
  • 4WD Ride tour to Cerro Frias from El Calafate: $99
  • 4x4 Adventure Day Trip to Torres del Paine National Park with lunchbox: $165
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in El Calafate: $1,151
  • 5-Days El Calafate Experience without limits!: $1,426

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting El Calafate spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Montevideo -
    El Calafate $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Montevideo

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

  • Wine Tasting Tour - from Montevideo: $75
  • Private Winery Tour + Wine Tasting (Minimum 4 people): $80
  • Montevideo and Wine Tasting Tour - for cruise passengers: $89
  • Wine tasting - Uruguayan Tannat in Montevideo: $103
  • Private Visit to Uruguayan Winery + Lunch + Wine tasting (minimum 5 people): $105
  • Juanico Wine Tour Lunch: $120
  • Pack 5: Tour Montevideo, Punta del Este & Wine Tasting Tour: $145
  • Guided Private Wine Tour with Tasting and Lunch: $182
  • Private Wine Tours by Wine Explorers Uruguay: $205
  • Private Montevideo Wine Tour & Flight Tour: $259

Typical Alcohol prices in El Calafate

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


  • Beer
    $0.08
  • Alcohol
    $3.26

Sample the Local Flavors in El Calafate

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

  • Calafate Wine Tour | City Tour Peatonal Maridado con Vinos: $38
  • Calafate Wine Tour: $48


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

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Montevideo vs. El Calafate Travel Comparison

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