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

Should you visit Pucon or El Chalten?

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

Pucon

A popular hub for adventure tourism, Pucon is a town in the Lake District of the South American nation of Chile. Located on Lake Villarirca with the snowcapped Villarrica volcano looming above and plenty of forested valleys below, the town has become a home base year-round for a full range of outdoor activities.

Check out our ultimate guide to Traveling in Patagonia.

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.

Which city is cheaper, El Chalten or Pucon?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Pucon is $97, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $70. 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 Pucon and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Pucon is $84. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $62. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Pucon $42
    El Chalten $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Pucon $84
    El Chalten $62

Food

Pucon food costs typically run travelers around $36 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $26 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $10 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in El Chalten is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Pucon $36
    El Chalten $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Pucon

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

  • Learn to Cook Like a Local: Private Cooking Class in a Viña del Mar Home: $83

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Pucon is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $19 per person, per day, on local transportation in Pucon.

The cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Pucon $19
    El Chalten $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pucon

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Pucon:

  • Pucon Temuco Airport Private Transfer: $82
  • Private Transfer from Pucon To Temuco Airport: $123

Is it cheaper to fly into Pucon or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Pucon 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

Entertainment and activities in Pucon typically cost an average of $36 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Entertainment and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $19 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Pucon $36
    El Chalten $19

Tours and Activities in Pucon

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

  • Villarrica Volcanic Caves Park Admission Ticket: $33
  • Sightseeing Tour in Pucon with optional Villarica: $53
  • Pucón Sightseeing City Tour: $72
  • Half Day Tour to The Eyes Of Caburgua from Pucon: $110
  • Mapuche Reserve Horseback Riding Tour in Pucon: $134
  • Full Day Tour to Conguillio National Park from Pucon: $259

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $149
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $225
  • Module Fitz Roy Adventure: $305
  • 2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre: $333
  • 2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten: $553
  • 3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten: $789

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Pucon may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $26 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $8.59 on alcoholic beverages in El Chalten per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Pucon $26
    El Chalten $8.59


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

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Pucon vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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