A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Punta Arenas vs. La Paz for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Punta Arenas or La Paz?

Should I visit Punta Arenas or La Paz? 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.

La Paz

La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia, has a breathtaking setting. The city is the highest national capital in the world, with an altitude ranging from about 4,058 m (13,313 ft) above sea level in El Alto, where the airport is located, to 3,100 m (10,170 ft) in the lower residential area. The dynamic and chaotic city was built in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River. La Paz is now a fusion of architectural styles, cultures and beliefs, welcoming everyday new boutique hotels, modern shops, delicious restaurants and reinventing standing establishments. However, generally speaking, Bolivia remains more a backpacker hit than a mainstream tourist destination.

Which city is cheaper, La Paz 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 La Paz is $36. 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 La Paz 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.

Travelers usually pay around $26 for a double occupancy room in La Paz If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Punta Arenas $31
    La Paz $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta Arenas $62
    La Paz $26

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.

La Paz food costs typically run travelers around $13 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
    Punta Arenas $20
    La Paz $13
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

Typical Food prices in La Paz

For La Paz, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Fruit
    $0.73

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 La Paz, the average visitor spends $7.59 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
    La Paz $7.59

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta Arenas

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

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in La Paz

Some typical examples of transportation costs in La Paz are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Paz

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

  • Private Transfer: La Paz to El Alto International Airport (LPB): $622
  • La Paz Airport Transfer One Way: $373
  • La Paz International Airport (LAP) to La Paz hotels -Round-Trip Private Transfer: $157
  • La Paz hotels to La Paz International Airport (LAP) - Departure Private Transfer: $78
  • La Paz International Airport (LAP) to La Paz hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $78
  • Private Transfer from Airport to your Hotel in La Paz City: $70
  • Private Transfer From Bus Station to Hotel in La Paz City: $62
  • Private Transfer From your Hotel to Bus Station in La Paz City: $62
  • Private Transfer From Hotel to Airport in La Paz City: $62
  • Private Transfer From Bus Station to your Hotel in La Paz City: $49
  • Private Transfer from your Hotel to Airport in La Paz City: $49
  • Private Transfer from Airport to your Hotel in La Paz City: $49

Is it cheaper to fly into Punta Arenas or La Paz?

Prices for flights to both La Paz 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 La Paz, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $13 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Punta Arenas $6.24
    La Paz $13

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 La Paz

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

  • 1 Day Espiritu Santo Island Wonders, Sea Lions and Paddleboard Adventure: $390
  • 1-4 Private Group Rate Tour: Espiritu Santo Island, Sea Lions and Paddleboarding: $739
  • 2 Days: Private Tour to Parque Nacional Sajama from La Paz: $545
  • 2-Day Private Lake Titicaca and Sun Island Tour from La Paz: $482
  • 4 Days Bolivia Private Luxury Tour with English Guide from La Paz Bolivia: $1,538
  • 4 Days Bolivia: Group tour with English Guide from La Paz Bolivia: $696
  • 4-Day Bolivian Amazon Pampas Adventure from La Paz: $774
  • 5 Day Death Road + Uyuni Salt Flats Tour: $442
  • 5-Day Bolivian Amazon Pampas Adventure from La Paz: $729
  • 5-Day Uyuni Salt Flats and Desert Adventure from La Paz: $492
  • 6 Days Private Best of Bolivia Tour from La Paz with Flights VIP: $1,898
  • 6-Day Bolivia Private Tour: La Paz-Uyuni Salt Flats-Lake Titicaca-Tihuanacu: $1,846

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.

Typically, people visiting La Paz spend on average $8.59 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Punta Arenas $4.70
    La Paz $8.59
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 La Paz, we can see that Punta Arenas is more expensive. And not only is La Paz much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to La Paz would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in La Paz 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 Punta Arenas would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Punta Arenas than you might in La Paz.

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Punta Arenas vs. La Paz Travel Comparison

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