A Travel Price Comparison for Argentina San Carlos de Bariloche vs. El Chalten for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Carlos de Bariloche or El Chalten?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for San Carlos de Bariloche and El Chalten. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, El Chalten or San Carlos de Bariloche?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in San Carlos de Bariloche is $52, 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 San Carlos de Bariloche and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $38 for a double occupancy room in San Carlos de Bariloche.

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.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19
    El Chalten $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Carlos de Bariloche $38
    El Chalten $62

Food

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.

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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Carlos de Bariloche $20
    El Chalten $26
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

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.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Carlos de Bariloche $16
    El Chalten $17

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 San Carlos de Bariloche or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten and San Carlos de Bariloche 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

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 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Carlos de Bariloche $22
    El Chalten $19

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

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $149
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $225
  • Module Fitz Roy Adventure: $305
  • 2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre: $333
  • 2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten: $553
  • 3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten: $789

Alcohol

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.

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.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13
    El Chalten $8.59
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 San Carlos de Bariloche and El Chalten, we can see that El Chalten is more expensive. And not only is San Carlos de Bariloche much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Carlos de Bariloche would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Carlos de Bariloche 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 El Chalten would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in El Chalten than you might in San Carlos de Bariloche.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

More City Comparisons
Share This Page
Pin This Page
San Carlos de Bariloche vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.