A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Puerto Natales vs. El Chalten for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Puerto Natales or El Chalten?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Puerto Natales and El Chalten can help you decide which place is right for you.

Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales is a beautiful town located in the Chilean Patagonia on the Senoret Channel. The city is often used as a base camp for trips to the surrounding national parks due to their plentiful restaurant options and access to internet. Puerto Natales is also known for being the base city to the Torres del Paine National Park, which was named the 5th most beautiful place in the world by National Geographic.

El Chalten

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 Natales?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Natales is $82, 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 Natales and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation

Puerto Natales's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $74. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $37.

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.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Natales $37
    El Chalten $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Natales $74
    El Chalten $62

Food

Puerto Natales food costs typically run travelers around $27 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Puerto Natales $27
    El Chalten $26
Typical Food prices in Puerto Natales

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Puerto Natales:


  • Cake
    $1.27
  • Dinner
    $22
  • Coke
    $1.27

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $19 per day to get around in Puerto Natales.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Puerto Natales $19
    El Chalten $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Natales

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Natales:

  • Puerto Natales Airport Private Transfer: $19
  • Shared Transfer From Puerto Natales To Villa Serrano And Lago Grey Round Trip Or One Way: $55

Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Natales or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Puerto Natales 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $28 per person, per day in Puerto Natales. 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Puerto Natales $28
    El Chalten $19

Tours and Activities in Puerto Natales

Here are a few actual costs in Puerto Natales for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Bus ticket to El Calafate, Argentina: $44
  • Excursion City Tour By Bike: $45
  • Bus ticket from Puerto Natales (Chile) to El Calafate (Argentina): $56
  • Puerto Natales Sightseeing Bike Tour: $60
  • City Bike Tour in Puerto Natales: $66
  • Full day tour Torres del Paine: $67
  • Full day tour Torres del Paine: $71
  • Full-Day Tour to Torres del Paine National Park from Puerto Natales(First Class): $98
  • Full-Day Tour of Torres del Paine National Park from Puerto Natales: $155
  • Full-Day Hiking Tour to the Base of Paine Towers at Torres del Paine National Park: $160
  • Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers Sightseeing Cruise from Puerto Natales: $173
  • Private Tour: Torres del Paine National Park and Milodon Cave with Lunch: $372

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: $149
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $225
  • Module Fitz Roy Adventure: $305
  • 2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre: $333
  • 2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten: $553
  • 3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten: $789

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Puerto Natales may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $17 per day on alcoholic beverages.

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.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Natales $17
    El Chalten $8.59
Typical Alcohol prices in Puerto Natales

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Puerto Natales:


  • Alcohol
    $15


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Puerto Natales and El Chalten, we can see that Puerto Natales 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 Natales would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Natales than you might in El Chalten.

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Puerto Natales vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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