Should you visit Salta or La Serena?
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 La Serena 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.
La Serena is a charming town in Northern Chile. It is Chile's second-oldest city and the thriving capital of Region IV. With its beautiful architecture, its long golden shoreline, dignified stone churches, tree-shaded avenues and pretty plazas, La Serena has everything you could ask for!
Chileans on holidays flood in the city in January and February, though it is fairly peaceful outside the summer rush. Some of the city's architecture is from the colonial era, but most is actually neocolonial thanks to president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, born in La Serena, and her 'Plan Serena' of the late 1940s.
Which city is cheaper, La Serena 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 La Serena is $84. 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 La Serena 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.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $82 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $26 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
Meals for one day
La Serena $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.
To get around in La Serena, the average visitor spends $20 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.
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:
Shared Departure Transfer: Salta Hotels to Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport:
Shared Arrival Transfer: Martín Miguel de Güemes International Airport to Salta:
One-Way or Round Trip Airport Transfer:
Salta City Tour & Round Trip Transfers airport - hotel:
Salta Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Salta Airport Private Transfer:
Private Airport Transfer: Salta to Martin Miguel de Guemes Int. Airport (SLA):
Private Airport Transfer: Martin Miguel de Guemes Int. Airport (SLA) to Salta:
Humahuaca, 7-color Hill & round trip transfers airport - hotel in Salta:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Serena
Also for La Serena, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC):
Private Airport Transfer: La Florida Airport (LSC) to La Serena:
Is it cheaper to fly into Salta or La Serena?
Prices for flights to both La Serena 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.
In La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.
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:
2-Day Calchaquí Valley Tour to Cachi and Cafayate:
2-day tour: Humahuaca Canyon + Cachi and Calchaquies Valleys:
2-day tour: Humahuaca Canyon + Cafayate Wine Country:
3-Days Salta, Purmamarca & Salinas Grandes Private Experience:
3-day Overland Adventure in Tolar Grande, Salta:
4 x 4 Safari Tour to Puna, Salt Falts and Purmamarca from Salta:
4-Days Discovering Amazing Salta - Nature & Adventure:
4-Days Tour of Salta Cafayate and Humahuaca:
5-Day Adventure Trip in Salta:
6-Day Tour in Salta, Purmamarca, Humahuaca, Tolar Grande & Salt flats!:
6-day Tour in Salta y Jujuy - Best of The Northwest:
7-Day Tour in Salta, the Calchaqui Valley and Cafayate and San Pedro de Atacama:
Tours and Activities in La Serena
For La Serena, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch:
La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum:
Full day Tour to Elqui Valley:
Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour:
Typically, people visiting Salta spend on average $9.62 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $22 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Salta and La Serena, we can see that La Serena is more expensive. And not only is Salta much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Salta would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Salta 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 La Serena would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in La Serena than you might in Salta.
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