A Travel Price Comparison for Chile San Pedro de Atacama vs. Puerto Varas for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit San Pedro de Atacama or Puerto Varas?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for San Pedro de Atacama and Puerto Varas. 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: San Pedro de Atacama or Puerto Varas?

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.

Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas is a city in Southern Chile, in the Los Lagos (Lakes) Region, Llanquihue Province. It is a charming town, only 23 km away from Puerto Montt and surrounded by the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes as well as the impressive Llanquihue lake. In terms of landscape, accommodation and activities, Puerto Varas is well served! Kayak, paddle, canyoning, rock climbing, trekking, ski, fishing, you name it! If you decide to stop in that area, we recommend that you stay in Puerto Varas, as it provides the perfect starting point for many memorable excursions in the area.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Santiago, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Chile, The Best Wildlife Tours to Chile, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in Chile.


Which place is cheaper, Puerto Varas 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 $59, while the average daily cost in Puerto Varas is $109. 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 San Pedro de Atacama and Puerto Varas in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Pedro de Atacama $32
    Puerto Varas $67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Pedro de Atacama $64
    Puerto Varas $134
Compare Hotels in San Pedro de Atacama and Puerto Varas

Looking for a hotel in San Pedro de Atacama or Puerto Varas? 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 San Pedro de Atacama


Hotels in Puerto Varas


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: San Pedro de Atacama Hotel Prices and Puerto Varas Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Pedro de Atacama $9.15
    Puerto Varas $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro de Atacama

Also for San Pedro de Atacama, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • 3 Perfect Days in Atacama + Transfer: $250
  • Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer: $38
  • Calama Airport Transfer to Atacama / Airport Lodging: $60
  • Calama Airport: Shared Transfer to/from San Pedro de Atacama: $30
  • Direct Transfer Atacama to Uyuni: $128
  • Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City: $190
  • Puritama Thermal Transfer: $46
  • Stargazing Experience with Transfer: $39
  • Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport: $29
  • Transfer to the Puritama Hot Springs: $60
  • Transfers to San Pedro de Acatama (shared service): $30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Varas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Varas:

  • Transfer from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $50
  • Transfer from Hotel in Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $24
  • Transfer to Puerto Montt Airport: $22
  • Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport - Departure Private Transfer: $21

Is it cheaper to fly into San Pedro de Atacama or Puerto Varas?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Varas 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    San Pedro de Atacama $14
    Puerto Varas $25
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:


  • Empanadas
    $1.26
  • Lunch
    $10
  • Dinner
    $11
  • Drink
    $0.94
  • Empanada
    $5.24

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Pedro de Atacama

For San Pedro de Atacama, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Private Dinner Under the Stars: $300

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Pedro de Atacama $21
    Puerto Varas $19
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:


  • Sand Boarding
    $56

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:

  • Astronomical Tour with Guide and Pick Up San Pedro de Atacama: $39
  • Valle de la Luna: The unmissable tour: $40
  • Stargazing Tour with Astronomer in San Pedro de Atacama: $40
  • Tour to Vallecito and Magic Bus: $42
  • Tour to the Valley of the Moon San Pedro de Atacama: $42
  • Etno-Astronomical Experience: $43
  • 6-hour tour to Valle del Arcoíris: $44
  • Traditional Ethnoastronomy Tour in San Pedro de Atacama: $44
  • Traditional Ethnoastronomy Experience: $44
  • Valle de la Luna Guided Tour: $44
  • Guided Atacama Desert Stargazing Tour: $44
  • Cejar Lagoon Tour: San Pedro de Atacama: $44

Tours and Activities in Puerto Varas

Here are a few actual costs in Puerto Varas for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Adventure Fullday Tour Osorno Volcano and Saltos de Petrohue National Park: $150
  • Classic Chiloe Tour: $150
  • From Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt: Chiloé Island Tour: $60
  • From Osorno Volcano & Petrohue Falls Day Tour: $49
  • Full-Day Osorno Vulcano and Petrohue Falls Small-Group Tour: $80
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in Petrohué River: $50
  • Lake Llanquihue Bike Tour in Puerto Varas: $129
  • Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano Bike Tour: $124
  • Peulla Full Day Tour from Puerto Varas: $68
  • Premium Half Day Shared Tour Sunset at Osorno Volcano: $130
  • Premium Small-Group Half day Tour to Frutillar in Puerto Varas: $144
  • Private Rock Climbing Experience in Northern Patagonia: $100

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Pedro de Atacama $4.94
    Puerto Varas $6.51
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:


  • Alcohol
    $25


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between San Pedro de Atacama and Puerto Varas, we can see that Puerto Varas 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 Puerto Varas would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Varas than you might in San Pedro de Atacama.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is San Pedro de Atacama Expensive? and Is Puerto Varas Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, San Pedro de Atacama or Puerto Varas?

Puerto Varas has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of San Pedro de Atacama. When comparing the sizes of San Pedro de Atacama and Puerto Varas, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.