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

Should you visit Salento or San Pedro de Atacama?

Should I visit Salento or San Pedro de Atacama? 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 Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is a gateway to northern Chile. It is a good jumping off point for exploring the area's impressive landscape, most of which is included in the Los Flamencos National Reserve. It is popular with both Chilean and international tourists, and because of its popularity, it is a relatively expensive destination, with many prices comparable to what you might pay in Santiago.

Which city is cheaper, San Pedro de Atacama 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 Pedro de Atacama is $56. 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 Pedro de Atacama 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.

For a normal double-occupancy room in San Pedro de Atacama, $60 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in San Pedro de Atacama, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $30, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Salento $9.09
    San Pedro de Atacama $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Salento $18
    San Pedro de Atacama $60

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.

Food in San Pedro de Atacama costs travelers about $14 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Salento $7.62
    San Pedro de Atacama $14

Typical Food prices in San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Empanadas
    $1.52
  • Lunch
    $13
  • Dinner
    $13
  • Drink
    $1.14
  • Empanada
    $6.34

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.

San Pedro de Atacama'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 $8.86 per person, per day on transportation in San Pedro de Atacama.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Salento $12
    San Pedro de Atacama $8.86

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 Pedro de Atacama

Also for San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport: $25
  • Transfer San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport Shared Service: $26
  • Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer: $30
  • Atacama Airport Private Transfer: $93
  • Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City: $115

Is it cheaper to fly into Salento or San Pedro de Atacama?

Prices for flights to both San Pedro de Atacama 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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in San Pedro de Atacama can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $20 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Salento $9.49
    San Pedro de Atacama $20

Tours and Activities in Salento

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

  • 3-Day Coffee Tour by Bike in Salento: $962
  • 5 Day Coffee Culture Experience: $1,059
  • Cocora Valley & Hummingbirds House Adventure: $50
  • Cocora Valley + Horseback Riding Day Tour: $104
  • Cocora Valley on a Jeep & Hike Day Tour: $77
  • Coffee Amusement & Museum Park Day Tour: $101
  • Coffee Farm Hacienda El Ocaso Half-Day Tour: $79
  • Coffee Tour at Hacienda Venecia near Salento: $215
  • Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Coffee Farm Tour (from Salento): $156
  • Full Day Tour of Cocora Valley, Salento, and Filandia Coffee Town (from Salento): $123
  • Full day coffee farm experience at Hacienda San Alberto from Salento: $152
  • Full-Day Coffee Farm Experience at Finca El Ocaso from Salento: $87

Typical Entertainment prices in San Pedro de Atacama

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for San Pedro de Atacama's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Sand Boarding
    $67

Tours and Activities in San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Half day Valle de la Luna, Afternoon Tour: $26
  • Sandboarding Adventure in Death Valley: $29
  • Moon Valley & Death Valley Tour from San Pedro de Atacama: $33
  • Geysers del Tatio Tour: $40
  • Valle del Arcoiris Tour: $40
  • Floating experience in the Hidden Lagoons (Lagunas Escondidas): $41
  • Small-Group Tour to Moon Valley from San Pedro de Atacama: $42
  • Astronomical Tour: $42
  • Puritama Springs - Half Day Tour - San Pedro de Atacama - Typical Tour: $44
  • Atacama Desert Stargazing Tour: $44
  • Moon Valley Tour - Half Day Tour: $45
  • Small-Group tour to Laguna Cejar, Ojos del Salar and Laguna Tebinquinche: $46

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.

Typically, people visiting San Pedro de Atacama spend on average $4.78 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Salento $9.31
    San Pedro de Atacama $4.78

Typical Alcohol prices in San Pedro de Atacama

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in San Pedro de Atacama:


  • Alcohol
    $30


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

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Salento vs. San Pedro de Atacama Travel Comparison

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