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

Should you visit Puerto Varas or La Serena?

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 La Serena 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 La Serena?

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.

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, 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 $110, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $88. 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 La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Puerto Varas $68
    La Serena $42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Puerto Varas $136
    La Serena $84
Compare Hotels in Puerto Varas and La Serena

Looking for a hotel in Puerto Varas or La Serena? 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 La Serena


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 La Serena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Puerto Varas $21
    La Serena $21

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

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Puerto Varas $25
    La Serena $27

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Puerto Varas $19
    La Serena $24

Tours and Activities in Puerto Varas

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

  • Classic Chiloe Tour: $150
  • From Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt: Chiloé Island Tour: $60
  • From Osorno Volcano & Petrohue Falls Day Tour: $49
  • Frutillar & Llanquihue Private Tour from Puerto Varas: $123
  • Full-Day Osorno Vulcano and Petrohue Falls Small-Group Tour: $80
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in Petrohué River: $52
  • 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
  • Full-Day Tour Chiloe Island: Castro and Dalcahue : $62

Tours and Activities in La Serena

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

  • Full Day History and Flavors Tour in the Elqui Valley: $48
  • La Serena and Coquimbo City Tour (SIB): $66
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Guided City Tour: $76
  • Elqui Valley Full Day Tour: magical towns, pisco and mountains: $80
  • Full day Tour to Elqui Valley : $80
  • Elqui Valley Tour from La Serena: $120
  • La Serena & Coquimbo City Tour - Short excursion for cruise ships: $128
  • Dama Island or Chañaral Navigation Tour Humboldt Penguin Reserve: $135
  • Tour to the internationally renowned Pangue Observatory: $139
  • Tour to Valle del Encanto Archeology, Petroglyphs, Flora, Fauna and Springs: $140
  • Elqui Valley Grand-Tour: $150
  • Elqui Valley: Pisco Tour, Wine, Beer: $174

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Puerto Varas $6.59
    La Serena $23


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.

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 La Serena Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Puerto Varas or La Serena?

La Serena has a larger population, and is about 6 times larger than the population of Puerto Varas. When comparing the sizes of Puerto Varas and La Serena, 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.


When is the best time to visit Puerto Varas or La Serena?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Puerto Varas or La Serena in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Puerto Varas as well as La Serena.

In January, Puerto Varas is generally cooler than La Serena. Daily temperatures in Puerto Varas average around 16°C (60°F), and La Serena fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in La Serena. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Puerto Varas this time of the year. In the summer, Puerto Varas often gets less sunshine than La Serena. Puerto Varas gets 204 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while La Serena receives 247 hours of full sun.

Puerto Varas usually gets more rain in January than La Serena. Puerto Varas gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Puerto Varas 16°C (60°F) 
    La Serena 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Puerto Varas or La Serena in the Autumn?

Both La Serena and Puerto Varas are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

Puerto Varas is cooler than La Serena in the autumn. The daily temperature in Puerto Varas averages around 11°C (51°F) in April, and La Serena fluctuates around 15°C (59°F).

Puerto Varas usually receives less sunshine than La Serena during autumn. Puerto Varas gets 104 hours of sunny skies, while La Serena receives 159 hours of full sun in the autumn.

It's quite rainy in Puerto Varas. In April, Puerto Varas usually receives more rain than La Serena. Puerto Varas gets 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Puerto Varas 11°C (51°F) 
    La Serena 15°C (59°F)

Should I visit Puerto Varas or La Serena in the Winter?

Both La Serena and Puerto Varas during the winter are popular places to visit.

In the winter, Puerto Varas is much colder than La Serena. Typically, the winter temperatures in Puerto Varas in July average around 7°C (45°F), and La Serena averages at about 12°C (54°F).

In the winter, Puerto Varas often gets less sunshine than La Serena. Puerto Varas gets 67 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while La Serena receives 160 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Puerto Varas. Puerto Varas usually gets more rain in July than La Serena. Puerto Varas gets 229 mm (9 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Puerto Varas 7°C (45°F) 
    La Serena 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Puerto Varas or La Serena in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Puerto Varas and La Serena.

In October, Puerto Varas is generally cooler than La Serena. Daily temperatures in Puerto Varas average around 11°C (51°F), and La Serena fluctuates around 14°C (57°F).

Puerto Varas usually receives less sunshine than La Serena during spring. Puerto Varas gets 151 hours of sunny skies, while La Serena receives 190 hours of full sun in the spring.

Puerto Varas gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Puerto Varas usually receives more rain than La Serena. Puerto Varas gets 121 mm (4.8 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Puerto Varas 11°C (51°F) 
    La Serena 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for La Serena and Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas La Serena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 16°C (60°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 18°C (64°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Feb 15°C (59°F) 93 mm (3.7 in) 18°C (64°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 13°C (55°F) 99 mm (3.9 in) 17°C (63°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Apr 11°C (51°F) 143 mm (5.6 in) 15°C (59°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
May 9°C (49°F) 234 mm (9.2 in) 13°C (55°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Jun 8°C (46°F) 224 mm (8.8 in) 12°C (54°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Jul 7°C (45°F) 229 mm (9 in) 12°C (54°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Aug 8°C (46°F) 209 mm (8.2 in) 12°C (54°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Sep 9°C (47°F) 146 mm (5.7 in) 13°C (55°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Oct 11°C (51°F) 121 mm (4.8 in) 14°C (57°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Nov 12°C (54°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 15°C (59°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Dec 14°C (58°F) 103 mm (4.1 in) 17°C (63°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)