A Travel Price Comparison for Chile Punta Arenas vs. Iquique for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Punta Arenas or Iquique?

Should I visit Punta Arenas or Iquique? 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.

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas is in the far south of Chile and has a long history of maritime commerce, oil extraction, and sheep farming. It's the most populated city on the Strait of Magellan and has all the facilities you might need as a traveler, including banks, markets, drugstores and equipment shops. With a population of about 130,000, the city is a comfortable place to spend time. It serves as a base for Antarctic expeditions, although many expeditions also start in Ushuaia, Argentina, and Christchurch New Zealand.

Iquique

Located in a golden crescent of coastline, the beautiful beach city with an ocean that's several shades of blue and a historic centre that offers the perfect balance of culture and relaxation is counted among Chile's premier beach resorts. The city is home to the duty free zone called "Zofri" and a growing number of high rise resort hotels along its beaches. Slightly more expensive and polluted than neighboring population centers, such as Arica, Iquique and its chaotic duty-free shopping zone (zona franca) have become the perfect summer holiday destination for Chilean families.

Which city is cheaper, Iquique or Punta Arenas?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Punta Arenas is $61, while the average daily cost in Iquique is $93. 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 Punta Arenas and Iquique in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $62 in Punta Arenas For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $82 in Iquique For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Punta Arenas $31
    Iquique $41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta Arenas $62
    Iquique $82

Food

While meal prices in Punta Arenas can vary, the average travelers spends about $20 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Punta Arenas should cost around $8.00 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Punta Arenas is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

On average, meal and food prices in Iquique cost around $33 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $13.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Punta Arenas $20
    Iquique $33
Typical Food prices in Punta Arenas

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Punta Arenas:


  • Donut
    $1.27
  • Dinner
    $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Punta Arenas

For Punta Arenas, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Punta Arenas Small Group Sightseeing and food Tour with a Local Guide: $76

Local Transportation

Punta Arenas'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 $1.74 per person, per day on transportation in Punta Arenas.

To get around in Iquique, the average visitor spends $22 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.
    Punta Arenas $1.74
    Iquique $22

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta Arenas

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

  • Transfer from Punta Arenas (city or airport) to Puerto Natales: $250
  • Bus transfer from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia: $169
  • Arrival Transfer: Punta Arenas Airport to Hotel: $33
  • Transfer from Punta Arenas Hotel to Punta Arenas Airport: $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ) to Punta Arenas: $29
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ): $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Iquique

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: Diego Aracena International Airport (IQQ) to Iquique: $34
  • Private Airport Transfer: Iquique to Diego Aracena International Airport (IQQ): $34

Is it cheaper to fly into Punta Arenas or Iquique?

Prices for flights to both Iquique and Punta Arenas 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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Punta Arenas can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $6.24 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

In Iquique, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $26 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Punta Arenas $6.24
    Iquique $26

Tours and Activities in Punta Arenas

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Punta Arenas.

  • 4-Day Private Tour to Patagonia: Torres del Paine, Glaciers & Penguins: $2,200
  • Bus ticket from Punta Arenas (Chile) to Ushuaia (Argentina): $88
  • City Tour of Punta Arenas: $110
  • FULL DAY KING PENGUIN COLONY (private tours): $410
  • FULL DAY KING PENGUIN COLONY (regular tours): $174
  • Full Day Torres del Paine Private tour, departing from Punta Arenas: $323
  • Full Day Torres del Paine, From Punta Arenas (Private Tours): $410
  • Full day Punta Arenas (Regular tours): $103
  • Full day Torres del Paine from Punta Arenas ,Regular tours: $133
  • Full-Day Punta Arenas and Magellan Strait Tour: $95
  • Full-day experience in Chilean Ant├írtica: $7,052
  • Isla Tortuga Catamar├ín Cruises from San Jose: $173

Tours and Activities in Iquique

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Iquique.

  • Pintados Geoglyphs Humberstone and Salar Grande tour: $100

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Punta Arenas, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.70.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Iquique, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $20.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Punta Arenas $4.70
    Iquique $20
Typical Alcohol prices in Punta Arenas

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Punta Arenas:


  • Alcohol
    $8.88

Sample the Local Flavors in Punta Arenas

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Punta Arenas:

  • Punta Arenas Small Group Beers & Brewery Tour with a Local Guide: $68


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

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Punta Arenas vs. Iquique Travel Comparison

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