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

Should you visit Puerto Varas or La Serena?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Puerto Varas and La Serena can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

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.

La Serena

La Serena is a charming town in Northern Chile. It is Chile's second-oldest city and the thriving capital of Region IV. With its beautiful architecture, its long golden shoreline, dignified stone churches, tree-shaded avenues and pretty plazas, La Serena has everything you could ask for!

Chileans on holidays flood in the city in January and February, though it is fairly peaceful outside the summer rush. Some of the city's architecture is from the colonial era, but most is actually neocolonial thanks to president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, born in La Serena, and her 'Plan Serena' of the late 1940s.

Which city is cheaper, La Serena or Puerto Varas?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Puerto Varas is $105, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $84. 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 Varas and La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Puerto Varas is $130. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $82 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Varas $65
    La Serena $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Varas $130
    La Serena $82

Food

Puerto Varas food costs typically run travelers around $24 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.

La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $26 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Puerto Varas $24
    La Serena $26

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Puerto Varas is $20 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

To get around in La Serena, the average visitor spends $20 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Puerto Varas $20
    La Serena $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Varas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Varas:

  • Transfer from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $14
  • Puerto Varas Bus Terminal Private Transfer: $39
  • Puerto Varas Airport Shuttle Transfer: $29
  • Puerto Varas Airport Private Transfer: $49
  • Puerto Montt Departure Transfer from Hotel in Puerto Varas: $32
  • Cruce Andino Office Shuttle Transfer from Puerto Varas: $9.69
  • Cruce Andino Office Private Transfer from Puerto Varas: $43

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Serena

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: La Florida Airport (LSC) to La Serena: $26
  • Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC): $26

Is it cheaper to fly into Puerto Varas or La Serena?

Prices for flights to both La Serena 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.





Entertainment

Puerto Varas's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $18 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

In La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Puerto Varas $18
    La Serena $23

Tours and Activities in Puerto Varas

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

  • Chiloe Island Tour from Puerto Varas in Private: $323
  • Frutillar & Llanquihue Private Tour from Puerto Varas: $95
  • Frutillar Bike Tour from Puerto Varas: $69
  • Frutillar Tour: Southern Traditions: $34
  • Full-Day Guided Tour to Villa Peulla from Puerto Varas: $67
  • Full-Day Tour to Petrohue Falls Through the Lake District , Chile: $197
  • Greater Island Chiloe Tour from Puerto Varas: $62
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in PetrohuĂ© River: $60
  • Lake Llanquihue Bike Tour in Puerto Varas: $130
  • Osorno Volcano Tour: $26
  • Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano Bike Tour: $120
  • Petrohue Waterfalls & Osorno Volcano Half-Day Tour: $49

Tours and Activities in La Serena

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

  • Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour: $58
  • Full day Tour to Elqui Valley: $90
  • Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch: $263
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum: $269

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Puerto Varas may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $6.30 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $22 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Varas $6.30
    La Serena $22

Sample the Local Flavors in Puerto Varas

Also in Puerto Varas, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Osorno Volcano & Brewery Tour in Puerto Varas: $64
  • Heritage City Tour and Brewery in Puerto Varas: $150


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Puerto Varas and La Serena, we can see that Puerto Varas is more expensive. And not only is La Serena much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to La Serena would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in La Serena 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 La Serena.

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Puerto Varas vs. La Serena Travel Comparison

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