Should you visit Salta or El Chalten?
Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Salta and El Chalten can help you decide which place is right for you.
Located in the heart of the famous Northwest region of Argentina, at 1200m of elevation and at the foot of the Cerro San Bernardo, Salta is the largest city of the region and perhaps the most beautiful colonial city of Argentina. Founded in 1582 by the Spanish, Salta was an important stop for merchants who followed the usual trade road through Bolivia and Peru. Argentines call this city nestled in the foothills of the Andes and surrounded by mountains, of just over half a million inhabitants, Salta La Linda (Salta the Beautiful) and it's easy to see why. Young and traditional at the same time, Salta and its renowned museums, plaza side cafes and live musica folklorica of its bustling penas, is a sophisticated and lively city day and night.
El Chalten is probably one of the most beautiful areas of Patagonia, especially at the slightest ray of sunshine and one of your cheapest destination while you are travelling in Patagonia. Indeed, you will spend your days hiking and there are no park fees. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor stores but most of them will not accept credit cards so before heading out, get cash in El Calafate or your previous stop. For the beginners, it will be long hikes in a magical setting and for the experts perhaps a week long expedition to the greatest glaciers of the world. To discover the way people live in the pampa, you may also decide to stay at an Estancia. In the stunning Estancia Santa Thelma, about 300km away from El Chalten, you will be able to explore the surroundings by horse, live a unique experience in the middle of the nature and its vast plains occupied by thousands of merino sheep and horses and of course eat a typical meal of the region.
Which city is cheaper, El Chalten or Salta?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Salta is $68, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $70. 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 Salta and El Chalten in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $48 in Salta For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $62. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.
While meal prices in Salta can vary, the average travelers spends about $23 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Salta should cost around $9.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Salta is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $26 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $10 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in El Chalten is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
El Chalten $26
Typical Food prices in Salta
For Salta, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
To get around in Salta, the average visitor spends $28 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
The cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Salta
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Salta are as follows:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salta
Also for Salta, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
One-Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer:
Salta Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Shared Arrival Transfer: Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport to Salta:
Shared Departure Transfer: Salta Hotels to Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport:
Private Airport Transfer: Martin Miguel de Guemes Int. Airport (SLA) to Salta:
Private Airport Transfer: Salta to Martin Miguel de Guemes Int. Airport (SLA):
Salta Airport Private Transfer:
Salta City Tour & Round Trip Transfers airport - hotel:
Humahuaca, 7-color Hill & round trip transfers airport - hotel in Salta:
Is it cheaper to fly into Salta or El Chalten?
Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Salta 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.
In Salta, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $24 per person, per day.
Entertainment and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $19 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Typical Entertainment prices in Salta
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Salta's activities, tours, and tickets:
Wine and Cheese night
Tours and Activities in Salta
For Salta, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Salta City Half Day Tour:
citytour salta y alrededores:
Salta City Sightseeing Tour:
Salta City Tour:
Half-Day Tour of Salta:
4-Hour Walking Tour:
Full-Day Tour Cafayate Calchaqui Valleys with Wine:
One Day Tour of Cachi and Calchaquí Valleys from Salta:
Half Day Salta City Tour:
Full-Day Tour to Humahuaca Gorge from Salta:
Salta City Half-Day Tour:
Full-Day Tour Salinas Grandes, Purmamarca whith trekking and More from Salta:
Tours and Activities in El Chalten
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for El Chalten are as follows:
2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre:
2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten:
3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
El Chalten Rafting Experience:
Module Fitz Roy Adventure:
Typically, people visiting Salta spend on average $9.62 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
The average person spends about $8.59 on alcoholic beverages in El Chalten per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Typical Alcohol prices in Salta
Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Salta are as follows:
Sample the Local Flavors in Salta
Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Salta:
Full-day Cafayate, Lerma Valley, and Wine Tasting from Salta:
From Cafayate Day Trip with Wine Tasting:
From Full-Day Tour to Cafayate with Wine Tasting:
Luxury Colome wine tour:
When comparing the travel costs between Salta and El Chalten, we can see that El Chalten is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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