A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Quito vs. Puerto Natales for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Quito or Puerto Natales?

Should I visit Quito or Puerto Natales? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Quito

Nestled between two mountain ranges lies the world's highest capital city, Quito, Ecuador. For history lovers, Quito is a very desirable destination as it's home to the Quito Historic Center – one of the largest and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas.

Even though Quito is full of people – in fact, it's the second most populous city in the country – very few of its inhabitants speak English. Luckily, however, the citizens of Quito tend to speak a slower and more clear Spanish than surrounding areas. This is the perfect place to practice what you read in your Intro to Spanish book.

Before visiting Quito, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, give yourself a few days to grow accustomed to the elevation. Staying 9,350 feet above sea level takes some getting used to. Second, don't be fooled into thinking that just because you're visiting a town on the equator that you'll need all your summer clothes. Because of the city's elevation, the area keeps a relatively cool climate year round.

Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales is a beautiful town located in the Chilean Patagonia on the Senoret Channel. The city is often used as a base camp for trips to the surrounding national parks due to their plentiful restaurant options and access to internet. Puerto Natales is also known for being the base city to the Torres del Paine National Park, which was named the 5th most beautiful place in the world by National Geographic.

Which city is cheaper, Puerto Natales or Quito?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Quito is $41, while the average daily cost in Puerto Natales is $82. 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 Quito and Puerto Natales in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $18. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Quito the cost is $36 on average.

Puerto Natales's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $74. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $37.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Quito $18
    Puerto Natales $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Quito $36
    Puerto Natales $74

Food

In Quito travelers spend around $16 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

Puerto Natales food costs typically run travelers around $27 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
    Quito $16
    Puerto Natales $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Quito

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

  • Quito Like a Local Cooking Class: $75
  • Ecuadorian Cooking Classes Rooftop (English): $78
  • Quito Best Markets and Local Food Tour: $81
  • Quito Top Ecuadorian Food Tour and Canelazo at “La Ronda”: $87
  • Quito Cooking Class: $89
  • Jacchigua Show Including Dinner + Transfer: $90
  • Ecuadorian Cooking Class in Quito + Local Market Tour & Exotic Fruit Tasting: $102
  • Quito Culinary Tour and Cooking Class: $105
  • Gourmet Cooking Class in Historic Quito + Market Tour with Chef Pancho: $120
  • Cooking Class at the Andes & Roses (PRIVATE DAY TOUR): $149

Typical Food prices in Puerto Natales

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Puerto Natales:


  • Cake
    $1.27
  • Dinner
    $22
  • Coke
    $1.27

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Quito is $5.59 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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $19 per day to get around in Puerto Natales.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Quito $5.59
    Puerto Natales $19
Typical Local Transportation prices in Quito

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


  • Taxi from Bus Terminal to Hotel
    $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Quito

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Quito:

  • 2-Night Quito Experience: Transfer, Tour and Mariscal Accommodation: $140
  • 7-Day Tour of Galapagos and Quito Including Hotel and Transfers: $1,240
  • 8-Day Tour of Galapagos and Quito Including Hotels and Transfers: $1,318
  • Airport Transfer Service in Quito City: $27
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City in 4x4 vehicle: $42
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City in a Minibus: $25
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Quito Airport (UIO) to Quito City in a Minivan: $70
  • Departure Private Transfer: Quito City to Quito Airport (UIO) in 4x4 vehicle: $42
  • Departure Private Transfer: Quito City to Quito Airport (UIO) in a Minibus: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer: Quito City to Quito Airport (UIO) in a Minivan: $70
  • English & Spanish Speaking Transfer Service In & Out All Ecuador: $48
  • Express Transfer: Mariscal Sucre Airport to Quito: $44

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Natales

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Natales:

  • Puerto Natales Airport Private Transfer: $19
  • Shared Transfer From Puerto Natales To Villa Serrano And Lago Grey Round Trip Or One Way: $55

Is it cheaper to fly into Quito or Puerto Natales?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Natales and Quito 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

Quito's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $13 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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $28 per person, per day in Puerto Natales. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Quito $13
    Puerto Natales $28
Typical Entertainment prices in Quito

Here are a few typical costs in Quito for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Entrance to Guyasimine Museum for Two
    $8.00

Tours and Activities in Quito

Here are a few actual costs in Quito for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Skip the Line: La Compañia Church Admission Ticket: $5.50
  • Skip the Line: Capilla del Hombre and Guayasamin's Museum Ticket: $10
  • Tour Guide and Driver: $10
  • Quito City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off: $12
  • Quito 3-Hour City Tour at Night: $15
  • Quito at Night & Urban Legends Tour - "Small Group": $15
  • The Original Quito City Tour in Trolley with Hotel Pick-up - "Small Group": $15
  • Quito Hop-on Hop-off City Bus Tour: $15
  • 1914 Original Trolley City Tour of Quito: $15
  • Equatorial Monument: 3-Hour Tour from Quito: $19
  • Middle of the World Tour With Tickets - "Small Group": $19
  • Original Quito City Tour in Trolley: $20

Tours and Activities in Puerto Natales

Here are a few actual costs in Puerto Natales for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Bus ticket to El Calafate, Argentina: $44
  • Excursion City Tour By Bike: $45
  • Bus ticket from Puerto Natales (Chile) to El Calafate (Argentina): $56
  • Puerto Natales Sightseeing Bike Tour: $60
  • City Bike Tour in Puerto Natales: $66
  • Full day tour Torres del Paine: $67
  • Full day tour Torres del Paine: $71
  • Full-Day Tour to Torres del Paine National Park from Puerto Natales(First Class): $98
  • Full-Day Tour of Torres del Paine National Park from Puerto Natales: $155
  • Full-Day Hiking Tour to the Base of Paine Towers at Torres del Paine National Park: $160
  • Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers Sightseeing Cruise from Puerto Natales: $173
  • Private Tour: Torres del Paine National Park and Milodon Cave with Lunch: $372

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Quito may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $14 per day on alcoholic beverages.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Puerto Natales may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $17 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Quito $14
    Puerto Natales $17
Typical Alcohol prices in Quito

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Quito from other travelers:


  • Beers for Two
    $9.00

Typical Alcohol prices in Puerto Natales

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Puerto Natales:


  • Alcohol
    $15


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

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Quito vs. Puerto Natales Travel Comparison

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