A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Puerto Iguazu vs. Sao Paulo for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Puerto Iguazu or Sao Paulo?

Should I visit Puerto Iguazu or Sao Paulo? 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.

Sao Paulo

With a population of around 11 million, and 20 million in the metropolitan area, Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It's also one of the wealthiest cities in the southern hemisphere, although you don't have to look far to see the income disparities and inequalities that exist. The city is diverse and culturally rich, with excellent food, music, and entertainment.

Which city is cheaper, Sao Paulo or Puerto Iguazu?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Iguazu is $58, while the average daily cost in Sao Paulo is $41. 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 Sao Paulo 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.

The prices for places to stay in Sao Paulo can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $23, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $46.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Iguazu $23
    Sao Paulo $23
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Iguazu $46
    Sao Paulo $46

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 $11 per day in Sao Paulo 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
    Sao Paulo $11

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sao Paulo

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

  • Sao Paulo - Pinheiros Gourmet Food Tour (4 hours tour + 3 dishes included): $45
  • Brazilian Cooking Class: $79
  • Cooking Class in São Paulo: $268
  • Private Food Tour in São Paulo: $278

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.

Sao Paulo's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $4.61 per person, per day on transportation in Sao Paulo.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Puerto Iguazu $18
    Sao Paulo $4.61

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Iguazu

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

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sao Paulo

Also for Sao Paulo, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer: Guarulhos International Airport to Sâo Paulo Hotels: $55
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Sao Paulo City to Airport: $25
  • São Paulo x Paraty x São Paulo - Package Transfer IN + OUT: $98
  • São Paulo Hotel Private Minibus Transfer to Guarulhos Airport: $87
  • Private transfer: Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) to Sao Paulo: $86
  • Private Transfer: São Paulo to Congonhas-São Paulo Airport (CGH): $65
  • Private Transfer: Congonhas-São Paulo Airport (CGH) to São Paulo: $65
  • Private Transfer from Vila Olímpia to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $75
  • Private Transfer from Vila Mariana to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $66
  • Private Transfer from Vila Leopoldina to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $81
  • Private Transfer from Vila Andrade to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $85
  • Private Transfer from São Paulo airport to Hotels + quick City tour: $76

Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Iguazu or Sao Paulo?

Prices for flights to both Sao Paulo 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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Sao Paulo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $3.16 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Puerto Iguazu $19
    Sao Paulo $3.16

Tours and Activities in Puerto Iguazu

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

  • 2-Night Iguassu Falls Sightseeing Tour: $150
  • 2-Night Iguazu Rainforest Experience at Yacutinga Lodge: $608
  • 2-day Iguazu Falls Argentinian Side + City Tour with 3 frontiers landmark: $115
  • 3-Day Iguazu Falls Adventure: Brazil and Argentina: $363
  • 3-Day Iguazu Falls Exploring Tour: $172
  • 3-Day Iguazu Falls Self Guided Exploring Tour: $213
  • 3-Day Tour: Exploring Iguazu Falls in Private Service: $544
  • 3-Days Iguazu Falls Tour of the Argentinian and Brazilian Side: $491
  • 3-Days Private Experience at Iguazu: $790
  • 4-Day Tour to Iguazu Falls by Air from Buenos Aires: $1,058
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in Iguazu: $538
  • 6-Day Iguazu Falls & Ibera Marshlands Luxury Tour: $1,800

Tours and Activities in Sao Paulo

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sao Paulo.

  • 2-Hour Boat and Stand Up Paddle Board Adventure in São Paulo, Brazil: $275
  • 3 Beaches Hiking Santo Amaro Island - Paradise Route Tour from São Paulo: $85
  • 4 Hour Customized "Private Tour" Drinking, Dining and Entertainment: $400
  • 4-Day Private Guided Tour From São Paulo To Rio de Janeiro – Coastal Trip: $990
  • 4-hour Private Tour - Hidden Gems and Top Sights of São Paulo: $105
  • 4-hour Sum-up Private Tour Of São Paulo Including Its Major Attractions: $87
  • 4WD One Day Tour visiting Water Fall and the Big Stone from Sao Paulo: $270
  • 5-hour Private Street Art Tour Of São Paulo – The Coolest Urban Art Scenes: $106
  • 5-hour Private Tour Of São Paulo With Its Main Sights – Optional Airport Pickup: $97
  • 5h City Tour (pick up & delivery within SaoPaulo city): $189
  • 7-hour Private Tour Overview Of São Paulo – Optional For GRU Airport Pickup: $134
  • 8-Day São Paulo Tour: From City to Beaches, Waterfalls & Caves: $2,490

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Puerto Iguazu spend on average $9.09 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Sao Paulo, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $2.75.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Iguazu $9.09
    Sao Paulo $2.75

Sample the Local Flavors in Sao Paulo

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Sao Paulo:

  • 4 Hours Pub Crawl in Vila Madalena: $69


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Puerto Iguazu vs. Sao Paulo Travel Comparison

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