A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Punta Arenas vs. Santa Cruz de la Sierra for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Punta Arenas or Santa Cruz de la Sierra?

Should I visit Punta Arenas or Santa Cruz de la Sierra? 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.

Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, or simply Santa Cruz, is a larger city in the middle of Bolivia. It is also one of the most wealthy cities in the country. The city is also one of the fastest growing in the world. It is famous for its nightlife and it makes an excellent base for exploring many of the tourist attractions in the nearby areas.

Which city is cheaper, Santa Cruz de la Sierra 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 Santa Cruz de la Sierra is $43. 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 Santa Cruz de la Sierra 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $36 for a double occupancy room in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Punta Arenas $31
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $18
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta Arenas $62
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $36

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.

The price of a meal in Santa Cruz de la Sierra can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $16 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $6.40 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Punta Arenas $20
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $16
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 Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Santa Cruz de la Sierra:


  • Snacks
    $3.19
  • Chips
    $0.29
  • Banana
    $0.15
  • Cookies
    $1.31

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.

The average price of local transportation around Santa Cruz de la Sierra is $7.95 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Punta Arenas $1.74
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $7.95

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta Arenas

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

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santa Cruz de la Sierra:


  • Taxi Ride
    $4.35
  • Mini Bus
    $0.58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra:

  • Departure Private Transfer Santa Cruz City to Santa Cruz Airport VVI by Minibus: $55
  • Arrival Private Transfer Santa Cruz Airport VVI to Santa Cruz City by SCross Sx4: $55
  • Departure Private Transfer Santa Cruz to Santa Cruz Airport VVI by S-Cross Sx4: $55
  • Arrival Private Transfer Santa Cruz Airport VVI to Santa Cruz City by Minibus: $55

Is it cheaper to fly into Punta Arenas or Santa Cruz de la Sierra?

Prices for flights to both Santa Cruz de la Sierra 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.

Santa Cruz de la Sierra's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Punta Arenas $6.24
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $15

Tours and Activities in Punta Arenas

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

  • Half day traditional City Tour: $35
  • Punta Arenas Sightseeing Tour: $47
  • Punta Arenas Highlights Shared Tour: $67
  • Small Group Punta Arenas Shore Excursion: Fort Bulnes and City Tour: $71
  • Puntarenas City tour and Mangroove Tour: $87
  • Bus ticket from Punta Arenas (Chile) to Ushuaia (Argentina): $88
  • Full-Day Punta Arenas and Magellan Strait Tour: $95
  • Rainforest Skywalk & Tarcoles River Eco Cruise Tour Puntarenas Shore excursion: $99
  • Punta Arenas Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Tour: $101
  • Full day Punta Arenas (Regular tours): $103
  • Regular Tour of Andino Club Ski Mountain and Chairlift from Punta Arenas, Chile: $103
  • City Tour of Punta Arenas: $110

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.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Santa Cruz de la Sierra may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Punta Arenas $4.70
    Santa Cruz de la Sierra $11
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

Typical Alcohol prices in Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Santa Cruz de la Sierra from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $1.60


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

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Punta Arenas vs. Santa Cruz de la Sierra Travel Comparison

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