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?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Punta del Este or La Serena, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Punta del Este or La Serena?

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 $77, while the average daily cost in La Serena is $72. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Punta del Este and La Serena in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Punta del Este $43
    La Serena $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta del Este $86
    La Serena $70
Compare Hotels in Punta del Este and La Serena

Looking for a hotel in Punta del Este or La Serena? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Punta del Este


Hotels in La Serena


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Punta del Este Hotel Prices and La Serena Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Punta del Este $17
    La Serena $17

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Punta del Este $24
    La Serena $22

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Punta del Este $8.26
    La Serena $20

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 Spanish Tour from La Serena: $160
  • 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
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Punta del Este $6.05
    La Serena $19

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 comparing the travel costs between Punta del Este and La Serena, we can see that Punta del Este is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Punta del Este or La Serena?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Punta del Este or La Serena in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Punta del Este and La Serena.

In the summer, Punta del Este is a little warmer than La Serena. Typically, the summer temperatures in Punta del Este in January are around 23°C (73°F), and La Serena is about 18°C (64°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in La Serena this time of the year. In Punta del Este, it's very sunny this time of the year. Punta del Este usually receives more sunshine than La Serena during summer. Punta del Este gets 296 hours of sunny skies, while La Serena receives 247 hours of full sun in the summer.

In January, Punta del Este usually receives more rain than La Serena. Punta del Este gets 75 mm (3 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 4 mm (0.2 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Punta del Este 23°C (73°F) 
    La Serena 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Punta del Este or La Serena in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Punta del Este as well as La Serena.

In April, Punta del Este is generally a little warmer than La Serena. Temperatures in Punta del Este average around 17°C (63°F), and La Serena stays around 15°C (59°F).

In the autumn, Punta del Este often gets around the same amount of sunshine as La Serena. Punta del Este gets 171 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while La Serena receives 159 hours of full sun.

Punta del Este usually gets more rain in April than La Serena. Punta del Este gets 84 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Punta del Este 17°C (63°F) 
    La Serena 15°C (59°F)

Should I visit Punta del Este or La Serena in the Winter?

Both La Serena and Punta del Este are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.

Punta del Este is cooler than La Serena in the winter. The temperature in Punta del Este is usually 10°C (50°F) in July, and La Serena stays around 12°C (54°F).

Punta del Este usually receives less sunshine than La Serena during winter. Punta del Este gets 135 hours of sunny skies, while La Serena receives 160 hours of full sun in the winter.

In July, Punta del Este usually receives more rain than La Serena. Punta del Este gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Punta del Este 10°C (50°F) 
    La Serena 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Punta del Este or La Serena in the Spring?

Both La Serena and Punta del Este during the spring are popular places to visit.

In the spring, Punta del Este is a little warmer than La Serena. Typically, the spring temperatures in Punta del Este in October are around 16°C (61°F), and La Serena is about 14°C (57°F).

It's quite sunny in Punta del Este. In the spring, Punta del Este often gets more sunshine than La Serena. Punta del Este gets 248 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while La Serena receives 190 hours of full sun.

Punta del Este usually gets more rain in October than La Serena. Punta del Este gets 85 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while La Serena receives 5 mm (0.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Punta del Este 16°C (61°F) 
    La Serena 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for La Serena and Punta del Este

Punta del Este La Serena
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 23°C (73°F) 75 mm (3 in) 18°C (64°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Feb 22°C (72°F) 85 mm (3.3 in) 18°C (64°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Mar 20°C (68°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 17°C (63°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Apr 17°C (63°F) 84 mm (3.3 in) 15°C (59°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 91 mm (3.6 in) 13°C (55°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Jun 11°C (52°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 12°C (54°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Jul 10°C (50°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 12°C (54°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Aug 11°C (52°F) 94 mm (3.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Sep 13°C (55°F) 93 mm (3.7 in) 13°C (55°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Oct 16°C (61°F) 85 mm (3.3 in) 14°C (57°F) 5 mm (0.2 in)
Nov 19°C (66°F) 87 mm (3.4 in) 15°C (59°F) 4 mm (0.2 in)
Dec 21°C (70°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 17°C (63°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)


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Punta del Este vs. La Serena Travel Comparison

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