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

Should you visit Punta del Este or Santiago?

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

Santiago

Santiago is the capital city of Chile. It is centrally located in the long and narrow country, making it a good jumping off point to explore everywhere else. It's convenient location means that you can go skiing in the Andes one day, and hang out at the beach the next.

Santiago has a cool semi-arid climate that is similar to Mediterranean climates. The summers, which are between November and March, are warm and dry. The temperatures climb to around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The winters, between June and August, are humid with cold mornings. The daily highs are around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows stay a few degrees above freezing. Rain is more common in the winter months and the dry season is between December and March.

Which city is cheaper, Santiago 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 Santiago is $145. 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 Santiago 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $226 for a double occupancy room in Santiago.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Punta del Este $38
    Santiago $113
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Punta del Este $76
    Santiago $226

Food

The price of a meal in Punta del Este can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $21 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $8.40 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 Santiago can vary, the average travelers spends about $13 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Santiago should cost around $5.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Santiago is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Punta del Este $21
    Santiago $13

Typical Food prices in Santiago

Some typical examples of dining costs in Santiago are as follows:


  • Empanada
    $2.40
  • Hamburger
    $3.19
  • Dinner
    $33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santiago

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Santiago.

  • Dinner at a Typical Chilean Restaurant with a Traditional Dance Show in Santiago: $73
  • A Bite of Santiago Food Tour: $77
  • Chilean Dinner and Show Experience in Santiago: $77
  • ChileCooks - Food Tours: $91
  • Traditional Dinner Show in Santiago: $96
  • Bali Hai Dinner & Show Including Transport: $97
  • San Cristobal Hill Night City Tour with Dinner Show: $106
  • Traditional Chilean Show with Dinner and Private Transportation in Santiago: $107
  • Chilean Folklore Show and Dinner with Private Transport: $110
  • Small-Group Tour: Night City Tour with Santa Lucia Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Small-Group Night City Tour: San Cristobal Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Private Market Tour and Traditional Chilean Cooking Class in a Local Home: $117

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.

The average price of local transportation around Santiago is $5.52 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 $15
    Santiago $5.52

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santiago

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santiago:


  • Metro Ride
    $1.44

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santiago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santiago:

  • Private transfer: Santiago to Santiago Airport (SCL): $622
  • Private Scenic Transfer from Santiago to Mendoza: $283
  • Private Transfer from Santiago or Santiago Airport to Colchagua or Santa Cruz: $259
  • Premium Ski resort transfer: $250
  • Private transfer from San Antonio or Valparaiso Port + Santiago City Tour: $240
  • Private Transfer from Santiago Airport to Valparaíso,Viña del Mar or San Antonio: $236
  • Private transfers from the airport to hotels and private homes: $213
  • Transfer from Valparaiso or San Antonio Port + Condor Watching Tour: $203
  • Airport Transfer: $200
  • Transfer Santiago Airport to Valparaiso / Viña del Mar (Exclusive & Private): $165
  • Private Transfer: Santiago Hotel to San Antonio Pier: $164
  • Maipo Valley Wine Tour, Concha y Toro, Private Transfer from Santiago: $161

Is it cheaper to fly into Punta del Este or Santiago?

Prices for flights to both Santiago 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 $7.38 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Santiago's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $48 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 $7.38
    Santiago $48

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 Santiago

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Santiago are as follows:

  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial español: $18
  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial portugués: $18
  • 13-Day Tour Chile from North to South: $2,330
  • 2-Day Private Hiking Tour to La Paloma Glacier: $363
  • 2-day tour: Santiago City Tour + Viña del Mar & Valparaiso: $180
  • 3-Day Chilean Andes Experience: $864
  • 3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour: Chipitin Waterfall, Campfire Night + Tipi Lodging: $190
  • 4-Day Classic Tour of Santiago de Chile visiting Viña, Valparaiso and 1 winery: $686
  • 4-Day Tour Best of Santiago: $686
  • 4-Days Deluxe Culinary Experience at Santiago de Chile: $910
  • 6 days tour Don´t miss: $1,227
  • 7-Day Santiago & Easter Island Tour: $1,480

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 $5.41.

The average person spends about $8.57 on alcoholic beverages in Santiago 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 $5.41
    Santiago $8.57

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Santiago

Also in Santiago, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Traditional Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño Macul Official English: $18
  • "Premium Wine Tour" Viña Cousiño Macul Official english: $30
  • "Premium Wine Tour" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial portugués: $30
  • Premium Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño Macul Spanish official: $30
  • Half Day Trip to Undurraga Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $40
  • Concha y Toro Traditional Wine Tour from Santiago: $45
  • Half Day Trip to Concha y Toro Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $45
  • Half Day Trip to Santa Rita Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $50
  • Half Day Trip to Cousiño Macul Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $55
  • half day wine tour to concha y toro from Santiago seasonal offer: $57
  • Concha y Toro Marques Wine Tour from Santiago: $64
  • Premium Wine Tasting in Santiago de Chile: $71


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Punta del Este and Santiago, we can see that Santiago 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 Santiago would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Santiago than you might in Punta del Este.

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Punta del Este vs. Santiago Travel Comparison

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