A Travel Price Comparison for Argentina Puerto Iguazu vs. San Carlos de Bariloche for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Puerto Iguazu or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Should I visit Puerto Iguazu or San Carlos de Bariloche? 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

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.

San Carlos de Bariloche

Set in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina, San Carlos de Bariloche is the biggest city in the Lake District. Bariloche is popular for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and trekking, swimming, fishing and horseback riding in the summertime.

No matter the time of year, there is something for everyone in Bariloche. Skiing season begins from June to October while fishing season is from November to April. Summer is from December to March, but visiting during low seasons (Spring in October to December and Autumn in late-April to mid-June) also has its benefits when it comes to saving cash and avoiding crowds.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

Which city is cheaper, San Carlos de Bariloche or Puerto Iguazu?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Iguazu is $57, while the average daily cost in San Carlos de Bariloche is $52. 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 San Carlos de Bariloche in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $46 in Puerto Iguazu For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $38 for a double occupancy room in San Carlos de Bariloche.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Iguazu $23
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Iguazu $46
    San Carlos de Bariloche $38

Food

The average traveler spends about $21 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.

The average traveler spends about $19 per day in San Carlos de Bariloche 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Puerto Iguazu $21
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19

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: $27
  • Foz do Iguaçu Folkloric Show with Dinner from Puerto Iguazú: $30
  • Foz do Iguacu: 2-Hour Rafain Churrascaria Show with Dinner: $55
  • Skip the Line: Dinner Tango Show in Iguazu Falls Ticket: $59
  • Folkloric Show with Dinner at Rafain Churrascaria: $63
  • Rafain Steakhouse Show - Dinner and Show Included: $69
  • Tio Querido Ranch Dinner and Show: $69
  • Dinner Tango Show in Iguazú Falls: $85
  • Creative Cooking Class and Dinner with Wine in Iguazu: $87
  • Tio Querido Dinner and Folk Show in Puerto Iguazú: $90
  • Skip the Line: Dinner Samba Show Ticket in Rafain (brazilian side): $99
  • Full day Iguazu Falls Argentinian side + Tango Show (no dinner): $110

Typical Food prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some typical examples of dining costs in San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:


  • Pastries
    $0.12
  • Empanadas
    $0.27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Carlos de Bariloche

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Carlos de Bariloche.

  • Night hiking in the woods with headlamps & Candlelit dinner: $70
  • Half-Day Bariloche Highlights with Cooking Class & Beer Tasting -Private Service: $274

Local Transportation

To get around in Puerto Iguazu, the average visitor spends $18 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 average price of local transportation around San Carlos de Bariloche is $16 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Puerto Iguazu $18
    San Carlos de Bariloche $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Iguazu

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

  • Iguassu Falls Argentina Airport R/T Transfer to Hotels: $21
  • Puerto Iguazu Airport Shuttle Transfer: $30
  • Private 1-Way Airport Transfer: Downtown Foz do Iguaçu: $39
  • Iguazu Airport Private Transfer: $63
  • Iguazú Falls Brazil & Argentina 3-Day In-Out Transfers: $65
  • Iguazu: Transfer from Argentina Side: $95
  • Private One-Way Airport Transfer: $98
  • Iguazu Falls Pass: Transfers in/out + Visit to Iguazu Falls Argentininan Side: $110
  • Iguazu Falls: Day Tour including transfers and guided tour: $245

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Carlos de Bariloche:

  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Bariloche Hotels to Cerro Catedral Ski Resort: $38
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Bariloche Airport: $26
  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Bariloche Airport to Hotel: $15
  • San Carlos de Bariloche Airport Roundtrip Transfer: $48
  • Private transfer: Bariloche Airport (BRC) to San Carlos de Bariloche: $149
  • Private Transfer: San Carlos de Bariloche to Bariloche Airport (BRC): $133
  • Private Transfer from Tom Wesley to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $62
  • Private Transfer from Puerto Pañuelo to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $83
  • Private Transfer from Playa Bonita to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $52
  • Private Transfer from Lago Moreno to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $52
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Llao Llao to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $83
  • Private Transfer from Hotel Catedral to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $52

Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Iguazu or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Prices for flights to both San Carlos de Bariloche 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.





Entertainment

In Puerto Iguazu, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.

San Carlos de Bariloche's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $21 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Puerto Iguazu $19
    San Carlos de Bariloche $21

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: $10
  • Guira Oga Wild Animals Shelter Admission Ticket: $10
  • Ciudad del Este Shopping Tour: $17
  • Brazilian Side of Iguassu Falls Half-Day Sightseeing Tour from Puerto Iguazú: $20
  • Visit to San Ignacio Ruins and Wanda Mines Full day Tour: $21
  • Shopping Tour to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay: $21
  • Sightseeing Tour of the Argentinian and Brazilian Sides of Iguassu Falls: $23
  • Iguassu Falls Half Day Tour –Brazilian side: $24
  • Iguassu Falls Full Day Tour – Argentina Side: $24
  • Iguazu Falls Brazilian Side Half Day Trip with Itaipu Dam Tour Option: $24
  • Iguazu Falls Argentinian Side Full Day Tour with optional Boat Ride: $24
  • Guarani Village Tour From Puerto Iguassu: $25

Tours and Activities in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:

  • "Brazo Tristeza" Lake Experience - Shared Service: $158
  • 1.5-Hour Lago Gutierrez Paddle Boarding Tour from Bariloche: $80
  • 4-Day Bariloche & Lake district Classic Tour: $659
  • 4-day Bariloche Adventure - Trekking Cerro Llao Llao & Kayaking Lago Mascardi: $903
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in Bariloche: $995
  • 6-Days Unique Experience Lake Crossing & Mountains Region!: $1,150
  • 7-Day Bariloche & Mendoza Adventure: Trekking, Kayaking, Horseback riding & Wine: $1,326
  • Bariloche 3 tours Classic package: $250
  • Bariloche 3 tours with adrenaline: $280
  • Bariloche 3 tours with adventure: $290
  • Bariloche Circuito Grande Sightseeing Tour: $96
  • Bariloche Civic Center Walking Tour: $5.00

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Puerto Iguazu spend on average $9.03 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in San Carlos de Bariloche per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Iguazu $9.03
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13

Typical Alcohol prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in San Carlos de Bariloche from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.11

Sample the Local Flavors in San Carlos de Bariloche

Also in San Carlos de Bariloche, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • City Tour, Nature Hiking & visit to a Local Microbrewery in Bariloche: $281


When comparing the travel costs between Puerto Iguazu and San Carlos de Bariloche, we can see that Puerto Iguazu is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Puerto Iguazu vs. San Carlos de Bariloche Travel Comparison

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