A Travel Price Comparison for Chile Puerto Varas vs. Arica for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Puerto Varas or Arica?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Puerto Varas and Arica can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Puerto Varas or Arica?

Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas is a city in Southern Chile, in the Los Lagos (Lakes) Region, Llanquihue Province. It is a charming town, only 23 km away from Puerto Montt and surrounded by the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes as well as the impressive Llanquihue lake. In terms of landscape, accommodation and activities, Puerto Varas is well served! Kayak, paddle, canyoning, rock climbing, trekking, ski, fishing, you name it! If you decide to stop in that area, we recommend that you stay in Puerto Varas, as it provides the perfect starting point for many memorable excursions in the area.


A mixture of coastline, desert and high Andean plateau, Arica is a seaside resort town, known for its surfing beaches located at the tip of Northern Chile. Arica boasts that it is "the land of the eternal spring," but its temperate climate and beaches are not the only reason to visit this small city. Arica's tourism is still principally geared toward domestic visitors and those from southern Peru and La Paz, who flock to its beaches mid-December through February. It is very easy to spend a few days in Arica in the sand, or seeing the sights in town, at a slow pace but the city also offers plenty of fun activities and exciting day trips.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Chile, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Santiago, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Chile, and The Best Wildlife Tours to Chile.

Which place is cheaper, Arica or Puerto Varas?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Varas is $109, while the average daily cost in Arica is $79. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Puerto Varas and Arica in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Varas $67
    Arica $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Varas $134
    Arica $70
Compare Hotels in Puerto Varas and Arica

Looking for a hotel in Puerto Varas or Arica? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Puerto Varas

Hotels in Arica

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Puerto Varas Hotel Prices and Arica Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Puerto Varas $21
    Arica $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Varas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Varas:

  • Transfer from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $50
  • Transfer from Hotel in Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $24
  • Transfer to Puerto Montt Airport: $22
  • Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $21

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Arica

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arica are as follows:

  • Short Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arica

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

  • Arica Airport Private Transfer: $85
  • Private Transfer from Arica Airport (ARI) to Arica Cruise Port: $30
  • Private Transfer from Arica Airport (ARI) to Arica Cruise Port : $27
  • Private Transfer from Arica City hotels to Arica Cruise Port: $22
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica Airport (ARI): $27
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica Airport (ARI): $30
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica Hotels: $24
  • Private Transfer from Arica Cruise Port to Arica city hotels: $22
  • Private Transfer from Arica Hotels to Arica Cruise Port: $24

Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Varas or Arica?

Prices for flights to both Arica and Puerto Varas 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Puerto Varas $25
    Arica $28

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Puerto Varas $19
    Arica $20

Tours and Activities in Puerto Varas

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

  • Adventure Fullday Tour Osorno Volcano and Saltos de Petrohue National Park: $150
  • Classic Chiloe Tour: $150
  • From Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt: Chiloé Island Tour: $60
  • From Osorno Volcano & Petrohue Falls Day Tour: $49
  • Full-Day Osorno Vulcano and Petrohue Falls Small-Group Tour: $80
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in Petrohué River: $50
  • Lake Llanquihue Bike Tour in Puerto Varas: $129
  • Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano Bike Tour: $124
  • Peulla Full Day Tour from Puerto Varas: $68
  • Premium Half Day Shared Tour Sunset at Osorno Volcano: $130
  • Premium Small-Group Half day Tour to Frutillar in Puerto Varas: $144
  • Private Rock Climbing Experience in Northern Patagonia: $100

Tours and Activities in Arica

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

  • Archaeological Tour: $32
  • Half day Panoramic City Tour: $49
  • Archeological Sightseeing tour in Arica: $103
  • Arica Private Sightseeing Tour : $134
  • Private Tour to Tacna from Arica: $256

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Varas $6.51
    Arica $19

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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Puerto Varas Expensive? and Is Arica Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Puerto Varas or Arica?

Arica has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Puerto Varas. When comparing the sizes of Puerto Varas and Arica, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.