A Travel Price Comparison for Argentina Salta vs. El Chalten for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Salta or El Chalten?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

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.

Where Should I go: Salta or El Chalten?

Salta

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

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Photography Tours in Argentina, The Best Luxury Tours to Argentina, The Best Budget Tours to Argentina, and The Best Tours for Seniors to Argentina.


Which place 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 $9.34, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $9.65. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Salta and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Salta $3.37
    El Chalten $4.30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Salta $6.74
    El Chalten $8.60
Compare Hotels in Salta and El Chalten

Looking for a hotel in Salta or El Chalten? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Salta


Hotels in El Chalten


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Salta Hotel Prices and El Chalten Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Salta $3.89
    El Chalten $2.30
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Salta

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Salta are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.01

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: $5.50
  • Round Trip Shared Transfer Salta Airport/Downtown Hotel: $9.00
  • Salta Airport One-Way or Round-Trip Transfers: $20
  • From Cafayate and Hornocal 2-Day Tour with Transfer: $88
  • From Salinas and Hornocal 2-Day Tour with Transfer: $99
  • Full Day Tour Cafayate + Humahuaca + Transfer in/out: $136
  • 3-Day:Cafayate, Cachi, Salinas Grandes Including Transfer In/Out : $178
  • Yungas : full day with gauchos - transfer inc. from Salta: $240

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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Salta $3.17
    El Chalten $3.56
Typical Food Prices in Salta

For Salta, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Emplanadas
    $0.01
  • Ice Cream
    $0.01
  • Lunch
    $0.65
  • Coffee
    $0.14

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Salta $3.30
    El Chalten $2.59
Typical Entertainment Prices in Salta

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Salta's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Gondola Ride
    $0.02
  • Pool
    $0.06
  • Wine and Cheese night
    $4.03

Tours and Activities in Salta

For Salta, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 4-Hour Guided Highlights City Tour: $15
  • From City Tour and San Lorenzo on a half-day tour: $16
  • From City Tour of the city on a half-day ride: $18
  • Salta City Half Day Tour: $20
  • Half-Day City Tour of Salta: $23
  • From Full-day tour to Cachi and Los Cardones National Park: $27
  • From Full-Day Tour to Cafayate, Land of Wines: $27
  • From Cachi and Los Cardones National Park Tour: $27
  • City Tour and sorroundings: $28
  • Best of Guided City Tour: $31
  • Guided Half-Day City Tour with Cathedral and Museum: $31
  • Full-Day Tour Cafayate Calchaqui Valleys with Wine: $32

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • 3 Hours Grilled Lamb Experience in Estancia Bonanza: $55
  • Rafting experience on the Rio de las Vueltas in Patagonia: $120
  • Rio de las Vueltas Rafting Experience - El Chalten: $120

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Salta $1.33
    El Chalten $1.18
Typical Alcohol Prices in Salta

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Salta are as follows:


  • Beer
    $0.01
  • Alcohol
    $0.34

Sample the Local Flavors in Salta

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Salta:

  • From Cafayate Day Trip with Wine Tasting: $30
  • Full-day Cafayate, Lerma Valley, and Wine Tasting from Salta: $30
  • From Full-Day Tour to Cafayate with Wine Tasting: $33
  • Full-Day Private Calchaquí Valley & Cafayate Wine Tour from Salta: $202


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.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Salta Expensive? and Is El Chalten Expensive?.