A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Punta del Este vs. La Serena for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Punta del Este or La Serena?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Punta del Este or La Serena, 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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, La Serena 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 $69, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $81. 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 La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation

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 $38, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $76.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $78 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Punta del Este $38
    La Serena $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta del Este $76
    La Serena $78

Food

The price of a meal in Punta del Este can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $22 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $8.80 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $25 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 del Este $22
    La Serena $25

Local Transportation

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 $15 per person, per day on transportation in Punta del Este.

To get around in La Serena, the average visitor spends $19 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 del Este $15
    La Serena $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta del Este

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

  • Punta del Este Wine Tour, Bodega Garzon, Private Transfer: $338
  • Punta del Este Airport Private Transfer: $45
  • Private Transfer to Garzon Restaurant by Francis Mallmann: $269
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Punta del Este Airport: $40
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Punta del Este Airport to Hotel: $40

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Serena

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: La Florida Airport (LSC) to La Serena: $26
  • Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC): $26

Is it cheaper to fly into Punta del Este or La Serena?

Prices for flights to both La Serena 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Punta del Este can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $7.42 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

In La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $22 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Punta del Este $7.42
    La Serena $22

Tours and Activities in Punta del Este

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

  • Art Studio Tour in Punta del Este: $75
  • La Vista 360 Admission Ticket: $10
  • Punta del Este City Sightseeing Tour: $33
  • Punta del Este City Tour: $93
  • Punta del Este City Tour Clasico con Puesta del Sol en Casapueblo: $25
  • Punta del Este Shore Excursion: Private Sightseeing Tour of Punta del Este: $188
  • Punta del Este Special Art Tour: $185
  • Wine Lovers - Punta Wine Experience: $150

Tours and Activities in La Serena

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

  • Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch: $263
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum: $269
  • Full day Tour to Elqui Valley: $90
  • Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour: $58

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 del Este, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.43.

Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Punta del Este $5.43
    La Serena $21

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: $128


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

Budget Your Trip

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Punta del Este vs. La Serena Travel Comparison

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