A Travel Price Comparison for Argentina Puerto Iguazu vs. El Calafate for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Puerto Iguazu or El Calafate?

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

Should I visit Puerto Iguazu or El Calafate? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Puerto Iguazu or El Calafate?

Puerto Iguazu

Puerto Iguazu is located in the northeastern part of Argentina at the border with Paraguay and Brazil. It is a tourist city and travel destination because of its close proximity to Iguazu Falls, which is only 18 kilometers away. Much of the city's infrastructure has grown to maintain the tourist crowds that come to see the falls. The town itself has a population of slightly over 80,000.

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 place is cheaper, El Calafate or Puerto Iguazu?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Iguazu is $8.53, 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 Puerto Iguazu and El Calafate in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Iguazu $3.39
    El Calafate $3.56
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Iguazu $6.78
    El Calafate $7.12
Compare Hotels in Puerto Iguazu and El Calafate

Looking for a hotel in Puerto Iguazu 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 Puerto Iguazu


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: Puerto Iguazu Hotel Prices and El Calafate Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Puerto Iguazu $2.62
    El Calafate $3.67

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Iguazu

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

  • Transfers IGR (ARG) from IGU (BRA) with PasseioTur: $90
  • Transfer from Iguazú Airport to hotels on the Argentine side: $15
  • Transfer In + Transfer Out IGR Airport Puerto Iguazú Hotels Selva de Iryapu: $145
  • One-Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer: $8.00
  • One-Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer: $7.00
  • Puerto Iguazu Airport Shuttle Transfer: $6.85
  • Puerto Iguazú Round-Trip Airport Transfer: $10
  • Iguazu Falls Saver Package! Both sides excursions & transfers : $79
  • Iguazu Falls Argentina Airport Roundtrip Transfer to Hotels: $10
  • Iguazu Airport Private Transfer: $51
  • Iguazú Falls Brazil & Argentina 3-Day In-Out Transfers: $39
  • Argentine and Brazilian Falls with transfers: $43

Typical Local Transportation Prices in El Calafate

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


  • Taxi
    $1.45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

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

  • Transfer to and form Airport El Calafate: $33
  • Transfer iPrivate Vehicle from Calafate Airport (FTE) - Calafate City: $25
  • Transfer from your hotel to El Calafate airport: $7.00
  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel in El Calafate: $7.00
  • Transfer from Calafate Airport to your Stay in Calafate: $20
  • South Glacier Pioneers with transfer: $300
  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $32
  • Shared Transfer Airport - Hotel in El Calafate: $32
  • Roundtrip transfer in Private Car from Calafate Airport (FTE)- Calafate City: $49
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35
  • Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $90

Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Iguazu or El Calafate?

Prices for flights to both El Calafate and Puerto Iguazu 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
    Puerto Iguazu $3.13
    El Calafate $3.86

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Puerto Iguazu

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

  • El Quincho Del Tio Querido - Dinner And Show from Foz do Iguaçu: $48
  • Puerto Iguazú: Madero Tango Show with Optional Dinner: $58
  • Madero Tango Show with Optional Dinner in Iguazu: $58
  • Iguazu Falls: The Argentine Experience Interactive Dinner: $69
  • Churrascaria Rafain - Show and Dinner : $107
  • Experience Guamini Mision Dinner and Tango Show Selva Iriapu Hotels Exclusive: $110
  • Rafain Steakhouse Show - Dinner and Show Included: $115
  • Rafain Steakhouse Dinner & Show: $117
  • The Argentine Experience: wine & dinner experience: $118
  • Dinner Show Rafain Steakhouse Gran Meliá Hotel Exclusive - Private Tour: $120
  • Dinner Show Rafain Steakhouse from Puerto Iguazú Hotels Private Tour: $120
  • From Foz do Iguaçu: Madero Tango with dinner: $123

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
    $1.88
  • Dinner
    $1.11

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
  • Lakes and Caves Tour with Dinner: $118
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo in El Calafate - PM visit with dinner: $186

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Puerto Iguazu $2.79
    El Calafate $3.86

Tours and Activities in Puerto Iguazu

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

  • 3hr Experience Learning to Make an Argentine Asado: $150
  • Argentina: Full-Day Iguazu Falls and Great Adventure Tour: $122
  • Argentine Falls Full-Day Guided Tour One of the 7 Wonders of the World: $23
  • Argentine Falls Package with Great Adventure and Brazilian Falls: $200
  • Argentine Gastronomy Experience in Iguazú: $105
  • Argentinean Side Iguassu Falls - Private Tour Hotels in Puerto Iguazú Exclusive: $140
  • Argentinian Iguazu Falls Full Day Tour: $23
  • Bird Park & Iguassu Brazilian Side From Puerto Iguazú Hotels - Private Tour: $120
  • Brazilian Side Falls: Brazilian Falls Tour with Parque Das Aves:: $120
  • Brazilian Side of Iguassu Falls and Itaipu Dam Full-Day Sightseeing Tour from Puerto Iguazú: $55
  • Brazilian Side of Iguazu Falls Half-Day Sightseeing Tour : $29
  • Brazilian Side of Iguazu Falls Tour from Puerto Iguazu: $55

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
    $1.45

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 Night" Astrotourism in El Calafate: $130
  • "Glaciares Gourmet" - Maria Turquesa Cruiser Navigation (classic): $285
  • "Todo Glaciares" boat tour from El Calafate. : $210
  • 4x4 adventure: $136
  • Alternative tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier: $71
  • Blue Safari Experience: Hiking and Navigation on Glaciers: $180
  • CALAFATE: Panoramic tour: The best balconies of Calafate: $140
  • Cañadón Experience: $130
  • Cañadón Experience: $160
  • Calafate City Tour with Walichu Caves: $61
  • Chalten Full Day Trekking Experience - Laguna de los Tres: $135

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Iguazu $1.34
    El Calafate $1.93

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
    $0.39

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 Tours | Pedestrian City Tour Paired with Wines: $42


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Puerto Iguazu and El Calafate, we can see that El Calafate is more expensive. And not only is Puerto Iguazu much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Puerto Iguazu would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Puerto Iguazu 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 Puerto Iguazu.

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


Which is Bigger, Puerto Iguazu or El Calafate?

Puerto Iguazu has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of El Calafate. When comparing the sizes of Puerto Iguazu 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.