A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Rio de Janeiro vs. San Carlos de Bariloche for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Rio de Janeiro or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Rio de Janeiro and San Carlos de Bariloche can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the most popular travel destination in Brazil. It is the second largest city in Brazil and the sixth largest in the Americas. A portion of the city has been designated a World Heritage Site. The peak time to visit is during the city's famous Carnival festival, which is one of the most famous festivals in the world. However, Rio's appeal as a travel destination is apparent year around. The city has a wonderful natural harbour that is surrounded by Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak, and the hills of Tijuca, creating an absolutely breathtaking and awe-inspiring setting. And you can't miss the beach, either!

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 Rio de Janeiro?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Rio de Janeiro is $81, 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 Rio de Janeiro and San Carlos de Bariloche in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Rio de Janeiro is $100. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

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
    Rio de Janeiro $50
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Rio de Janeiro $100
    San Carlos de Bariloche $38

Food

The average traveler spends about $15 per day in Rio de Janeiro 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.

The average traveler spends about $20 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
    Rio de Janeiro $15
    San Carlos de Bariloche $20
Typical Food prices in Rio de Janeiro

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Popcorn
    $0.57
  • Corn on the Cob
    $0.76
  • Hamburger
    $0.95

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rio de Janeiro

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Rio de Janeiro.

  • Food Tour Rio de Janeiro: $30
  • Cooking Class for Cacao Lovers: $51
  • Feijoada Food Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off: $55
  • Plant-based Brazilian Flavours Cooking Class: $56
  • Dinner & Rio Scenarium Nightclub Admission with Transfer: $60
  • Private Tour in Rio Scenarium with Dinner: $65
  • Skip the line: Samba Show Admission & Transfer with Dinner Option: $70
  • Dinner and Brazilian Music Show in Rio Scenarium: $70
  • Small-Group Boozy 7-Recipe Brazilian Cooking Class: $75
  • Brazilian Food And Caipirinhas Cooking Class: $75
  • Food Tour Experience in Rio de Janeiro (Small Groups or Private): $80
  • Secret Food Tours Rio de Janeiro: $82

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
    $0.28

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

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.22 per day to get around in Rio de Janeiro.

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.
    Rio de Janeiro $6.22
    San Carlos de Bariloche $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Rio de Janeiro:


  • Taxi Ride
    $2.86

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rio de Janeiro

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Private Departure Transfer from Rio de Janeiro City or Copacabana to SDU Airport: $19
  • Executive Transfers - Rio de Janeiro - Santos Dumont Airport SDU: $20
  • Private Airport Transfer: Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) to Rio de Janeiro: $21
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Rio de Janeiro to Santos Dumont Airport (SDU): $21
  • Private Departure Transfer from Rio de Janeiro City or Copacabana to GIG Airport: $22
  • Shared Transfer from hotels to Rio de Janeiro airport: $22
  • Shared Transfer from Airport to hotels in Rio de Janeiro: $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: Galeao International Airport (GIG) to Rio de Janeiro: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: Rio de Janeiro to Galeao International Airport (GIG): $23
  • Galeão Airport Shared Transfers: $23
  • Rio de Janeiro to Santos Dumont Shared Airport Transfer: $23
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport to City: $23

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
  • Arrival Private Transfer Bariloche Airport BRC to Bariloche City by SUV: $150
  • Bariloche Airport Arrival Private Transfer: $53
  • Bariloche Airport Arrival Shuttle Transfer: $16
  • Bariloche Airport Departure Private Transfer: $53
  • Bariloche Airport Departure Shuttle Transfer: $16
  • Bariloche Airport Round Trip PrivateTransfer: $106
  • Bariloche Airport Round Trip Shuttle Transfer: $32
  • Bariloche Airport Roundtrip Transfer: $52
  • Departure Private Transfer Bariloche City to Bariloche Airport BRC by Minivan: $292
  • Departure Private Transfer Bariloche City to Bariloche Airport BRC by SUV: $150
  • Private Airport Transfer: Bariloche to San Carlos De Bariloche Airport (BRC): $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Rio de Janeiro or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Prices for flights to both San Carlos de Bariloche and Rio de Janeiro 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $17 per person, per day in Rio de Janeiro. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

San Carlos de Bariloche's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $22 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.
    Rio de Janeiro $17
    San Carlos de Bariloche $22

Tours and Activities in Rio de Janeiro

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

  • Rio Line Panoramic City Tour - Boulevard Route: $10
  • Inside Rio Photography Walking Tour: $10
  • Hiking Tour to Pedra do Telégrafo (Telegraph Stone): $12
  • Carnival Backstage Tour - Visit a traditional Samba School: $16
  • Rocinha Lucky Tour: $16
  • Rio Street Art Experience 2 Hours: $19
  • Half-Day Downtown Walking Tour: $19
  • 2 Hour Vidigal Favela Tour Discovery the Most Laidback Favela: $19
  • Favela Tour -The path of Michael Jackson in Rio: $20
  • Historical Downtown and Lapa - Walking Tour: $20
  • Private Walking and Cultural Tour Rocinha-Rio de Janeiro: $25
  • Boat Tour Guanabara Bay - Rio de Janeiro - Sightseeing: $25

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:

  • Bariloche Civic Center Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Bariloche Historic District Walking Tour: $16
  • German Footprint Shared Tour: $16
  • Cerro Catedral Sightseeing Tour: $22
  • Bariloche Scenic Circle Tour: $27
  • Half Day Small Circuit Tour: Mt Campanario and Llao Llao Peninsula: $35
  • Bariloche Sightseeing Tour: $40
  • German Footprint & Nazi presence - Walking Tour in Bariloche: $40
  • Nahuel Huapi National Park AdmissionTicket: $40
  • Mount Tronador and the Black Glacier Day Tour: $50
  • Bariloche Flavours Tasting Walking Tour: $60
  • San Martín de los Andes por 7 Lagos Full-Day Tour: $62

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Rio de Janeiro may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $9.43 per day on alcoholic beverages.

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
    Rio de Janeiro $9.43
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Rio de Janeiro

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Rio de Janeiro:

  • Pub Crawl Rio de Janeiro: $11
  • Skip the line: Ipanema Pub Crawl: $28
  • Beautiful Imperial Petropolis City Tour Optional Lunch & Bohemia Brewery: $34
  • Rio By Night Tour: Pub Crawl Experiencing Music, Dancing, Drinks & Local Culture: $105
  • Petrópolis City and Brewery Bohemia Tour - Best of Rio's Mountains: $135
  • Rio: Sitio Burle Marx and Cachaça Distillery Private Tour: $160

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 Rio de Janeiro and San Carlos de Bariloche, we can see that Rio de Janeiro 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 Rio de Janeiro would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Rio de Janeiro than you might in San Carlos de Bariloche.

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Rio de Janeiro vs. San Carlos de Bariloche Travel Comparison

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