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

Should you visit Salento or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Should I visit Salento or San Carlos de Bariloche? 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.

Salento

Founded in 1850, Salento is one of the oldest towns in Quindio. This colonial Colombian town has retained much of its old world charm, with its colorful buildings, large square and, of course, the obligatory church. Because the main route between Cali and Bogota which used to pass through Salento was diverted, the town didn't develop as quickly as others in the Quindio region. This gave Salento the opportunity to evolve into a thriving community of craftsmen and artisans as well as remaining one of the region's most prolific coffee producers. Salento is located 24 km northeast of the departmental capital Armenia. However, unlike its colorful neighbor, Armenia itself has very little to offer tourists. Salento attracts those wishing to learn about the coffee regions and for those who simply admire breathtaking scenery, and especially the stunning Cocora Valley.

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 Salento?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Salento is $26, 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 Salento and San Carlos de Bariloche in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $9.09. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Salento the cost is $18 on average.

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
    Salento $9.09
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Salento $18
    San Carlos de Bariloche $38

Food

While meal prices in Salento can vary, the average travelers spends about $7.62 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Salento should cost around $3.05 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Salento is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

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
    Salento $7.62
    San Carlos de Bariloche $20

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 $12 per day to get around in Salento.

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.
    Salento $12
    San Carlos de Bariloche $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salento

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salento:

  • Arrival or Departure Transfer: Armenia Airport, Bus Station / Salento, Filandia: $50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Carlos de Bariloche

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

  • Shared Arrival Transfer: Bariloche Airport to Hotel: $15
  • Bariloche Airport Arrival Shuttle Transfer: $16
  • Bariloche Airport Departure Shuttle Transfer: $16
  • Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Bariloche Airport: $26
  • Bariloche Airport Round Trip Shuttle Transfer: $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: San Carlos De Bariloche Airport (BRC) to Bariloche: $35
  • Private Airport Transfer: Bariloche to San Carlos De Bariloche Airport (BRC): $35
  • Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Bariloche Hotels to Cerro Catedral Ski Resort: $38
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Tambo Viejo: $41
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Bariloche City: $41
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche City to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $41
  • San Carlos de Bariloche Airport Roundtrip Transfer: $48

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

Prices for flights to both San Carlos de Bariloche and Salento 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 $9.49 per person, per day in Salento. 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.
    Salento $9.49
    San Carlos de Bariloche $22

Tours and Activities in Salento

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

  • Permaculture and Traditional Coffee Tour at Momota Salento: $13
  • Cocora Valley & Hummingbirds House Adventure: $50
  • Cocora Valley on a Jeep & Hike Day Tour: $77
  • Coffee Farm Hacienda El Ocaso Half-Day Tour: $79
  • Full-Day Coffee Farm Experience at Finca El Ocaso from Salento: $87
  • Coffee Amusement & Museum Park Day Tour: $101
  • Cocora Valley + Horseback Riding Day Tour: $104
  • Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Filandia Coffee Town (from Salento): $123
  • Santa Rosa de Cabal and Hot Springs Full-Day Tour: $134
  • Full day coffee farm experience at Hacienda San Alberto from Salento: $152
  • Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Coffee Farm Tour (from Salento): $156
  • Wax Palms, Salento and Coffee Private Full Day Tour: $177

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

The average person spends about $9.31 on alcoholic beverages in Salento per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

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
    Salento $9.31
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13

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 Salento and San Carlos de Bariloche, we can see that San Carlos de Bariloche is more expensive. And not only is Salento much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Salento would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Salento 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 San Carlos de Bariloche would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in San Carlos de Bariloche than you might in Salento.

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Salento vs. San Carlos de Bariloche Travel Comparison

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