A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Punta del Este vs. San Carlos de Bariloche for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Punta del Este or San Carlos de Bariloche?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Punta del Este or San Carlos de Bariloche, 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.

San Carlos de Bariloche

Set in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina, San Carlos de Bariloche is the biggest city in the Lake District. Bariloche is popular for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and trekking, swimming, fishing and horseback riding in the summertime.

No matter the time of year, there is something for everyone in Bariloche. Skiing season begins from June to October while fishing season is from November to April. Summer is from December to March, but visiting during low seasons (Spring in October to December and Autumn in late-April to mid-June) also has its benefits when it comes to saving cash and avoiding crowds.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

Which city is cheaper, San Carlos de Bariloche 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 $71, while the average daily cost in San Carlos de Bariloche is $52. 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 San Carlos de Bariloche 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 $39, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $78.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $38 for a double occupancy room in San Carlos de Bariloche.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Punta del Este $39
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta del Este $78
    San Carlos de Bariloche $38

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.

The average traveler spends about $19 per day in San Carlos de Bariloche for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Punta del Este $22
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19

Typical Food prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some typical examples of dining costs in San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:


  • Pastries
    $0.12
  • Empanadas
    $0.27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Carlos de Bariloche

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Carlos de Bariloche.

  • Night hiking in the woods with headlamps & Candlelit dinner: $70
  • Half-Day Bariloche Highlights with Cooking Class & Beer Tasting -Private Service: $274

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 $16 per person, per day on transportation in Punta del Este.

The average price of local transportation around San Carlos de Bariloche is $16 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 del Este $16
    San Carlos de Bariloche $16

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Carlos de Bariloche:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Bariloche Airport BRC to Bariloche City by Minivan: $292
  • Departure Private Transfer Bariloche City to Bariloche Airport BRC by Minivan: $292
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to San Martín de los Andes: $270
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Villa Traful: $187
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Pampa Linda: $187
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Hotel Tronador: $187
  • Private Transfer from Cascada Los Alerces to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $187
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Cascada Los Alerces: $187
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Villa La Angostura: $156
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Ruca Malen: $156
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Lago Correntoso: $156
  • Arrival Private Transfer Bariloche Airport BRC to Bariloche City by SUV: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into Punta del Este or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Prices for flights to both San Carlos de Bariloche 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 $7.57 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

San Carlos de Bariloche's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $21 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 del Este $7.57
    San Carlos de Bariloche $21

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

Tours and Activities in San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:

  • "Brazo Tristeza" Lake Experience - Shared Service: $158
  • 1.5-Hour Lago Gutierrez Paddle Boarding Tour from Bariloche: $80
  • 4-Day Bariloche & Lake district Classic Tour: $659
  • 4-day Bariloche Adventure - Trekking Cerro Llao Llao & Kayaking Lago Mascardi: $903
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in Bariloche: $995
  • 6-Days Unique Experience Lake Crossing & Mountains Region!: $1,150
  • 7-Day Bariloche & Mendoza Adventure: Trekking, Kayaking, Horseback riding & Wine: $1,326
  • Bariloche 3 tours Classic package: $250
  • Bariloche 3 tours with adrenaline: $280
  • Bariloche 3 tours with adventure: $290
  • Bariloche Circuito Grande Sightseeing Tour: $96
  • Bariloche Civic Center Walking Tour: $5.00

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 $5.54.

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in San Carlos de Bariloche per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Punta del Este $5.54
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13

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

Typical Alcohol prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in San Carlos de Bariloche from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.11

Sample the Local Flavors in San Carlos de Bariloche

Also in San Carlos de Bariloche, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • City Tour, Nature Hiking & visit to a Local Microbrewery in Bariloche: $281


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

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Punta del Este vs. San Carlos de Bariloche Travel Comparison

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