Should you visit Puerto Iguazu or El Chalten?
Should I visit Puerto Iguazu or El Chalten? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
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 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 Puerto Iguazu?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Iguazu is $48, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $58. 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 Puerto Iguazu and El Chalten in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $38 in Puerto Iguazu For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $52. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
To get around in Puerto Iguazu, the average visitor spends $15 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
The cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $14 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Iguazu
Also for Puerto Iguazu, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
One-Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer:
Puerto Iguazu Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Iguazu Airport Private Transfer:
Iguazu: Transfer from Argentina Side:
Iguazu Falls Pass: Transfers in/out + Visit to Iguazu Falls Argentininan Side:
Iguazu Falls: Day Tour including transfers and guided tour:
Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Iguazu or El Chalten?
Prices for flights to both El Chalten 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.
The average traveler spends about $18 per day in Puerto Iguazu for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $21 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $8.40 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.
Meals for one day
Puerto Iguazu $18
El Chalten $21
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:
Foz do Iguaçu Folkloric Show with Dinner from Puerto Iguazú:
Skip the Line: Dinner Tango Show in Iguazu Falls Ticket:
Folkloric Show with Dinner at Rafain Churrascaria:
Rafain Steakhouse Show - Dinner and Show Included:
Dinner Tango Show in Iguazú Falls:
Creative Cooking Class and Dinner with Wine in Iguazu:
Tio Querido Dinner and Folk Show in Puerto Iguazú:
Skip the Line: Dinner Samba Show Ticket in Rafain (brazilian side):
Full day Iguazu Falls Argentinian side + Tango Show (no dinner):
Full day Iguazu Falls Argentinian Side + Dinner Tango Show:
Visit to Iguazu Falls Brazilian Side + Dinner Samba Show in Rafain:
In Puerto Iguazu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $16 per person, per day.
Entertainment and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $16 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in Puerto Iguazu
For Puerto Iguazu, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Iguazú Biocenter Tour:
Guira Oga Wild Animals Shelter Admission Ticket:
Ciudad del Este Shopping Tour:
Brazilian Side of Iguassu Falls Half-Day Sightseeing Tour from Puerto Iguazú:
From Foz do Iguaçu: Ciudad del Este Shopping Tour:
Visit to San Ignacio Ruins and Wanda Mines Full day Tour:
Sightseeing Tour of the Argentinian and Brazilian Sides of Iguassu Falls:
Iguazu Falls Argentinian Side Full Day Tour with optional Boat Ride:
Iguazu Falls Brazilian Side Half Day Trip with Itaipu Dam Tour Option:
Parque Das Aves from Puerto Iguazu with optional Iguazú Falls Tour:
Brazilian Side of Iguassu Falls and Itaipu Dam Full-Day Sightseeing Tour from Puerto Iguazú:
Iguazu Falls Full Day Tour Argentine Side:
Tours and Activities in El Chalten
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for El Chalten are as follows:
2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre:
2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten:
3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
Module Fitz Roy Adventure:
Typically, people visiting Puerto Iguazu spend on average $7.52 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $7.11 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.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Puerto Iguazu and El Chalten, we can see that El Chalten 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 Chalten would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in El Chalten than you might in Puerto Iguazu.
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