Should you visit San Pedro de Atacama or Iquique?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for San Pedro de Atacama and Iquique. 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 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.
Located in a golden crescent of coastline, the beautiful beach city with an ocean that's several shades of blue and a historic centre that offers the perfect balance of culture and relaxation is counted among Chile's premier beach resorts. The city is home to the duty free zone called "Zofri" and a growing number of high rise resort hotels along its beaches. Slightly more expensive and polluted than neighboring population centers, such as Arica, Iquique and its chaotic duty-free shopping zone (zona franca) have become the perfect summer holiday destination for Chilean families.
Which city is cheaper, Iquique or San Pedro de Atacama?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in San Pedro de Atacama is $56, while the average daily cost in Iquique is $93. 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 Pedro de Atacama and Iquique in more detail.
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.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $82 in Iquique For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
On average, meal and food prices in Iquique cost around $33 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $13.
Meals for one day
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:
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.
To get around in Iquique, the average visitor spends $22 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.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
San Pedro de Atacama $8.86
Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro de Atacama
Also for San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City:
Atacama Airport Private Transfer:
Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer:
Transfer San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport Shared Service:
Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Iquique
Also for Iquique, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Private Airport Transfer: Iquique to Diego Aracena International Airport (IQQ):
Private Airport Transfer: Diego Aracena International Airport (IQQ) to Iquique:
Is it cheaper to fly into San Pedro de Atacama or Iquique?
Prices for flights to both Iquique and San Pedro de Atacama 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.
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.
In Iquique, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $26 per person, per day.
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:
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:
2- day tour Quitor & Tulor + Moon & Death Valley in Atacama:
4-Day Uyuni Salt Flats & Desert Adventure from San Pedro de Atacama:
4-Days Experience at Uyuni Salt Flat From San Pedro de Atacama:
8-Days Unique Experience in San Pedro de Atacama & Easter Island:
Altiplanic Lagoons and Piedras Rojas Tour - Full Day Tour - Private Option:
Ancestral Caravan with Sandra Flores - Half Day Special Tour - Local Community:
Archaeological Tour in Atacama:
Archaeological Tour, Quitor, Tulor, Coyo and San Pedro:
Astronomic Tour Experience from San Pedro de Atacama:
Tours and Activities in Iquique
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Iquique.
Pintados Geoglyphs Humberstone and Salar Grande tour:
Typically, people visiting San Pedro de Atacama spend on average $4.78 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Iquique, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $20.
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:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Pedro de Atacama and Iquique, we can see that Iquique is more expensive. And not only is San Pedro de Atacama much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to San Pedro de Atacama would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in San Pedro de Atacama 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 Iquique would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Iquique than you might in San Pedro de Atacama.
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