Should you visit Puerto Madryn or San Pedro de Atacama?
Should I visit Puerto Madryn or San Pedro de Atacama? 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.
San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama is a gateway to northern Chile. It is a good jumping off point for exploring the area's impressive landscape, most of which is included in the Los Flamencos National Reserve. It is popular with both Chilean and international tourists, and because of its popularity, it is a relatively expensive destination, with many prices comparable to what you might pay in Santiago.
Which city is cheaper, San Pedro de Atacama 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 San Pedro de Atacama is $56. 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 San Pedro de Atacama 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.
For a normal double-occupancy room in San Pedro de Atacama, $60 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in San Pedro de Atacama, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $30, such as in a hostel.
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.
Food in San Pedro de Atacama costs travelers about $14 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.
Meals for one day
Puerto Madryn $40
San Pedro de Atacama $14
Typical Food prices in San Pedro de Atacama
For San Pedro de Atacama, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
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.
San Pedro de Atacama'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 $8.86 per person, per day on transportation in San Pedro de Atacama.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
Puerto Madryn $23
San Pedro de Atacama $8.86
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:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro de Atacama
Also for San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport:
Transfer San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport Shared Service:
Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Atacama Airport Private Transfer:
Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City:
Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Madryn or San Pedro de Atacama?
Prices for flights to both San Pedro de Atacama 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in San Pedro de Atacama can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $20 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
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:
3-Day Atlantic Patagonia Wild Nature Experience at Bahia Bustamante Lodge:
Chubut Welsh Colonies Tour:
City Tour and Sea Lions at Punta Loma from Puerto Madryn:
Cruise Shore excursion to Punta Tombo:
Cruise shore excursion to Peninsula Valdes:
Discover Valdes Peninsula Day Tour:
Excursion Sib Tour to the valley of the Chubut river:
Florentino Ameghino Dam Day Tour:
Full Day Tour to Florentino Ameghino Dam from Puerto Madryn:
Full Day Tour to Punta Ninfas from Puerto Madryn:
Patagonia Ranch and El Pedral Penguin Colony Tour from Puerto Madryn:
Peninsula Valdes & Estancia San Lorenzo Full Day Tour:
Typical Entertainment prices in San Pedro de Atacama
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for San Pedro de Atacama's activities, tours, and tickets:
Tours and Activities in San Pedro de Atacama
For San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Half day Valle de la Luna, Afternoon Tour:
Sandboarding Adventure in Death Valley:
Moon Valley & Death Valley Tour from San Pedro de Atacama:
Geysers del Tatio Tour:
Valle del Arcoiris Tour:
Floating experience in the Hidden Lagoons (Lagunas Escondidas):
Small-Group Tour to Moon Valley from San Pedro de Atacama:
Puritama Springs - Half Day Tour - San Pedro de Atacama - Typical Tour:
Atacama Desert Stargazing Tour:
Moon Valley Tour - Half Day Tour:
Small-Group tour to Laguna Cejar, Ojos del Salar and Laguna Tebinquinche:
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.
Typically, people visiting San Pedro de Atacama spend on average $4.78 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typical Alcohol prices in San Pedro de Atacama
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in San Pedro de Atacama:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Puerto Madryn and San Pedro de Atacama, we can see that Puerto Madryn is more expensive. And not only is San Pedro de Atacama much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Pedro de Atacama would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Pedro de Atacama 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 San Pedro de Atacama.
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