A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Puerto Iguazu vs. Rio de Janeiro for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Puerto Iguazu or Rio de Janeiro?

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

Should I visit Puerto Iguazu or Rio de Janeiro? 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 Rio de Janeiro?

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.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the most popular travel destination in Brazil. It is the second largest city in Brazil and the sixth largest in the Americas. A portion of the city has been designated a World Heritage Site. It's also famous for Carnival, it's gorgeous beaches, and world-famous landmarks. Rio's appeal as a travel destination is apparent year round due to the great weather and plenty of fun activities. The city has a wonderful natural harbor that is surrounded by Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak, and the hills of Tijuca, creating an absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring setting.

Which place is cheaper, Rio de Janeiro 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 Rio de Janeiro is $108. 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 Rio de Janeiro in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Iguazu $3.39
    Rio de Janeiro $68
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Iguazu $6.78
    Rio de Janeiro $136
Compare Hotels in Puerto Iguazu and Rio de Janeiro

Looking for a hotel in Puerto Iguazu or Rio de Janeiro? 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 Rio de Janeiro


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 Rio de Janeiro Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Puerto Iguazu $2.62
    Rio de Janeiro $8.18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Iguazu

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

  • Argentine and Brazilian Falls with transfers: $43
  • Iguazú Falls Brazil & Argentina 3-Day In-Out Transfers: $39
  • Iguazu Airport Private Transfer: $51
  • Iguazu Falls Argentina Airport Roundtrip Transfer to Hotels: $10
  • Iguazu Falls Saver Pack: Both sides of the Falls & transfers: $98
  • Iguazu Falls Saver Package! Both sides excursions & transfers : $79
  • Puerto Iguazú Round-Trip Airport Transfer: $10
  • Puerto Iguazu Airport Shuttle Transfer: $6.85
  • One-Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer: $8.00
  • One-Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer: $7.00
  • Transfer In + Transfer Out IGR Airport Puerto Iguazú Hotels Selva de Iryapu: $145
  • Transfer from Iguazú Airport to hotels on the Argentine side: $15

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Rio de Janeiro

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Taxi Ride
    $3.01

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Visit to Madureira Park in Rio de Janeiro with Transfer: $66
  • Two Brothers Trail- one of the best views of Rio (transfer is included): $58
  • Try find your better than us !Airport transfer in Rio de Janeiro HTL-APT (GIG): $52
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Rio de Janeiro APT-HTL (SDU): $25
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Rio de Janeiro APT-HTL (GIG): $52
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer Rio de Janeiro HTL-APT (SDU): $25
  • Transfer service to / from Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) and Zona Sul: $18
  • Transfer service from/to Rio de Janeiro-Embarkation for Ilha Grande: $90
  • Transfer service from / to Rio de Janeiro / Paraty: $102
  • Transfer service from / to Rio - Barra da Tijuca Airports: $27
  • Transfer service from / to Porto Maravilha - Zona Sul: $19
  • Transfer service from / to International Airport (GIG) - Zona Sul: $22

Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Iguazu or Rio de Janeiro?

Prices for flights to both Rio de Janeiro 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
    Rio de Janeiro $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 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 Rio de Janeiro

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Popcorn
    $0.60
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.80
  • Hamburger
    $1.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rio de Janeiro

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Waterfront Dinner and Live Music in Rio de Janeiro: $46
  • Waterfront Dinner & Live Music Experience: $47
  • Feijoada Food Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off: $80
  • 9-Recipes Boozy Brazilian Cooking Class with Market Tour: $85
  • 9-Recipe Boozy Brazilian Cooking Class: $85
  • Dinner & Rio Scenarium Nightclub Admission with Transfer: $85
  • Food Tour Experience in Rio de Janeiro (Small Groups or Private): $86
  • Copacabana Local Street Bars Food Tour: $93
  • Rio Bar Food Tour with a Local - All Included: $99
  • Rio Bar Food Tour with a Local: $115
  • Rio Scenarium: Fast Track Entrance, Dinner & Open Bar: $115
  • 12 - Guided Scenarium River Tour with Dinner: $120

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Puerto Iguazu $2.79
    Rio de Janeiro $22

Tours and Activities in Puerto Iguazu

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

  • Puerto Iguazú: Iguazú Biocenter Tour: $18
  • Iguazu Falls Argentinian Side Full-Day Tour: $18
  • Argentinian Iguazu Falls Full Day Tour: $23
  • Argentine Falls Full-Day Guided Tour One of the 7 Wonders of the World: $23
  • Hito Tres Fronters and La Aripuca City Tour: $24
  • Private Zip Line and Rappel Adventure in Puerto Iguazú: $25
  • Ciudad del Este Shopping Tour: $27
  • Brazilian Side of Iguazu Falls Half-Day Sightseeing Tour : $29
  • Iguazu Falls Brazilian Side Tour: $31
  • From Guarani Village Tour with brunch: $32
  • Tour to Iguaçu Brazilian Falls from Argentina: $34
  • Iguazu Falls Full Day Tour Argentine Side With Optional Brazilian Falls: $34

Tours and Activities in Rio de Janeiro

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

  • Favelas do Vidigal or Rocinha's experience: $52
  • Ilha Grande Tour Full day - Rio de Janeiro by Rio Eco Trip: $105
  • (Copy of) Maracanã Stadium Football Ticket & Guide: $293
  • 03 - Guided Tour to the Grande Rio Academics Barracão: $96
  • 1 day tour Rio de Janeiro to Christ and Cable car and much more: $103
  • 10-hour Private Tour Rio In One Day: Christ, Sugarloaf, Selarón, Downtown: $260
  • 14 - Guided Tour to Quadra Do Salgueiro with Samba Show: $60
  • 15 - Guided Tour to Santa Marta Favela: $120
  • 16 - Guided Tour to Favela da Rocinha: $60
  • 19 - Guided Tour to the Museum of Tomorrow and Olympic Boulevard: $72
  • 2 Days in Rio: Tijuca Forest & Two Brothers Hiking Tours: $289
  • 2 Hours Paradisiac Sailboat Tour in Rio de Janeiro: $289

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Iguazu $1.34
    Rio de Janeiro $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Rio de Janeiro

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Pub Crawl in Lapa: $17
  • Rio: Pub Crawl in Lapa with Cachaça Tasting and Live Samba: $22
  • Rio de Janeiro Pub Crawl (Lapa district): $35
  • Petropolis City Tour with Imperial Museum and Optional Lunch & Bohemia Brewery: $40
  • Petropolis Bohemia: Historic tour and visit to the Bohemian Brewery: $58
  • Petropolis City Tour + Bohemia Brewery + Lunch: $77
  • Petrópolis City and Brewery Bohemia Tour - Best of Rio's Mountains: $110
  • Brazilian Wine Tasting Evening: $110
  • Rio: Sitio Burle Marx and Cachaça Distillery Private Tour: $125
  • Rio: Sitio Burle Marx and Cachaça Distillery Private Tour: $135


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Puerto Iguazu and Rio de Janeiro, we can see that Rio de Janeiro 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 Rio de Janeiro would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Rio de Janeiro 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 Rio de Janeiro Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Puerto Iguazu or Rio de Janeiro?

Rio de Janeiro has a larger population, and is about 190 times larger than the population of Puerto Iguazu. When comparing the sizes of Puerto Iguazu and Rio de Janeiro, 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.