Should you visit Punta del Este or El Chalten?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Punta del Este or El Chalten, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.
Punta del Este
Punta del Este with its many beaches, elegant seaside homes, yacht harbor, high-rise apartment buildings, pricey hotels, ardent night scene and glitzy restaurants is a chic beach resort town in Uruguay. Many tourists come from Brazil and Argentina, on the other side of the Rio de la Plata, to get some nice sun and lay on the beach for a weekend getaway. Punta del Este is more expensive than other areas in Uruguay and has been called the Monaco of South America. Tourist season varies wildly from totally deserted in the winter to very crowded in the summer.
El Chalten is probably one of the most beautiful areas of Patagonia, especially at the slightest ray of sunshine and one of your cheapest destination while you are travelling in Patagonia. Indeed, you will spend your days hiking and there are no park fees. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor stores but most of them will not accept credit cards so before heading out, get cash in El Calafate or your previous stop. For the beginners, it will be long hikes in a magical setting and for the experts perhaps a week long expedition to the greatest glaciers of the world. To discover the way people live in the pampa, you may also decide to stay at an Estancia. In the stunning Estancia Santa Thelma, about 300km away from El Chalten, you will be able to explore the surroundings by horse, live a unique experience in the middle of the nature and its vast plains occupied by thousands of merino sheep and horses and of course eat a typical meal of the region.
Which city is cheaper, El Chalten or Punta del Este?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Punta del Este is $75, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $58. 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 del Este and El Chalten in more detail.
The prices for places to stay in Punta del Este can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $42, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $84.
The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $52. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
Punta del Este'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 $16 per person, per day on transportation in Punta del Este.
The cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $14 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta del Este
Also for Punta del Este, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Arrival Transfer: Punta del Este Airport to Hotel:
Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Punta del Este Airport:
Punta del Este Airport Private Transfer:
Private Transfer to Garzon Restaurant by Francis Mallmann:
Punta del Este Wine Tour, Bodega Garzon, Private Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Punta del Este or El Chalten?
Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Punta del Este 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.
The price of a meal in Punta del Este can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $23 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $9.20 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $21 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $8.40 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in El Chalten is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Punta del Este $23
El Chalten $21
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Punta del Este can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $8.01 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Entertainment and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $16 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in Punta del Este
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Punta del Este.
La Vista 360 Admission Ticket:
Punta del Este City Tour Clasico con Puesta del Sol en Casapueblo:
Punta del Este City Sightseeing Tour:
Art Studio Tour in Punta del Este:
Punta del Este City Tour:
Wine Lovers - Punta Wine Experience:
Punta del Este Special Art Tour:
Punta del Este Shore Excursion: Private Sightseeing Tour of Punta del Este:
Tours and Activities in El Chalten
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for El Chalten are as follows:
2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre:
2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten:
3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
Module Fitz Roy Adventure:
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 del Este, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.87.
The average person spends about $7.11 on alcoholic beverages in El Chalten per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Sample the Local Flavors in Punta del Este
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Punta del Este:
Wine Tasting from Punta del Este:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Punta del Este and El Chalten, we can see that Punta del Este is more expensive. And not only is El Chalten much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to El Chalten would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in El Chalten 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 del Este would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Punta del Este than you might in El Chalten.
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