Should you visit Puerto Madryn or El Chalten?
Should I visit Puerto Madryn 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 Madryn is mostly known as the gateway to Peninsula Valdes, welcoming tourists who come for whale watching. The Peninsula Valdes is a nature reserve designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site; 97 km long and 63 km wide, it is connected to the continent by an isthmus of 35 km from which we can see both gulfs, San Jose at north and the Nuevo at south.
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 Madryn?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Madryn is $99, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $70. 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 Madryn and El Chalten in more detail.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $37. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Puerto Madryn the cost is $74 on average.
The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $62. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
Food in Puerto Madryn costs travelers about $40 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $26 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $10 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 Madryn $40
El Chalten $26
While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $23 per day to get around in Puerto Madryn.
The cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Madryn
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Madryn:
Puerto Madryn Trelew Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Puerto Madryn Airport Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Madryn or El Chalten?
Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Puerto Madryn 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.
Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $41 per person, per day in Puerto Madryn. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.
Entertainment and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $19 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Typical Entertainment prices in Puerto Madryn
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Puerto Madryn are as follows:
Whale Watching for Two
Tours and Activities in Puerto Madryn
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Puerto Madryn are as follows:
City Tour and Sea Lions at Punta Loma from Puerto Madryn:
Puerto Madryn Gulf Sightseeing Cruise:
Shore Excursion Punta Loma Sea Lions Reserve Including Puerto Madryn City Tour:
punta tombo tour:
Chubut Welsh Colonies Tour:
Peninsula Valdes Tour from Puerto Madryn With optional Whale Watching:
Puerto Madryn City Tour & Punta Loma HD Tour:
Full Day Tour to Florentino Ameghino Dam from Puerto Madryn:
Punta Tombo Tour, the Penguin Experience:
Discover Valdes Peninsula Day Tour:
Cruise Shore excursion to Punta Tombo:
Shore Tours for Cruise passengers to Punta Tombo + City tours:
Tours and Activities in El Chalten
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for El Chalten are as follows:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
Module Fitz Roy Adventure:
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:
The average person spends about $22 on alcoholic beverages in Puerto Madryn per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
The average person spends about $8.59 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 Madryn and El Chalten, we can see that Puerto Madryn is more expensive. And not only is El Chalten much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to El Chalten would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in El Chalten 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 Madryn would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Madryn than you might in El Chalten.
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