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 city should you visit? Read on to compare 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. 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.

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.

Which city 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 $56, while the average daily cost in Puerto Varas is $105. 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 Puerto Varas in more detail.



Accommodation

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.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Puerto Varas is $130. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    San Pedro de Atacama $30
    Puerto Varas $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    San Pedro de Atacama $60
    Puerto Varas $130

Food

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.

Puerto Varas food costs typically run travelers around $24 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    San Pedro de Atacama $14
    Puerto Varas $24
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
    $1.52
  • Lunch
    $13
  • Dinner
    $13
  • Drink
    $1.14
  • Empanada
    $6.34

Local Transportation

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.

The average price of local transportation around Puerto Varas is $20 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    San Pedro de Atacama $8.86
    Puerto Varas $20

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro de Atacama

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

  • Atacama Airport Private Transfer: $93
  • Atacama Airport Shuttle Transfer: $30
  • Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama City: $115
  • Shared Transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport: $25
  • Transfer San Pedro de Atacama Hotels to El Loa Airport Shared Service: $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Varas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Varas:

  • Transfer from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $14
  • Puerto Varas Bus Terminal Private Transfer: $39
  • Puerto Varas Airport Shuttle Transfer: $29
  • Puerto Varas Airport Private Transfer: $49
  • Puerto Montt Departure Transfer from Hotel in Puerto Varas: $32
  • Cruce Andino Office Shuttle Transfer from Puerto Varas: $9.69
  • Cruce Andino Office Private Transfer from Puerto Varas: $43

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.





Entertainment

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.

Puerto Varas's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $18 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 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    San Pedro de Atacama $20
    Puerto Varas $18
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
    $67

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:

  • Half day Valle de la Luna, Afternoon Tour: $26
  • Sandboarding Adventure in Death Valley: $29
  • Moon Valley & Death Valley Tour from San Pedro de Atacama: $33
  • Geysers del Tatio Tour: $40
  • Valle del Arcoiris Tour: $40
  • Floating experience in the Hidden Lagoons (Lagunas Escondidas): $41
  • Small-Group Tour to Moon Valley from San Pedro de Atacama: $42
  • Astronomical Tour: $42
  • Puritama Springs - Half Day Tour - San Pedro de Atacama - Typical Tour: $44
  • Atacama Desert Stargazing Tour: $44
  • Moon Valley Tour - Half Day Tour: $45
  • Small-Group tour to Laguna Cejar, Ojos del Salar and Laguna Tebinquinche: $46

Tours and Activities in Puerto Varas

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

  • Chiloe Island Tour from Puerto Varas in Private: $323
  • Frutillar & Llanquihue Private Tour from Puerto Varas: $95
  • Frutillar Bike Tour from Puerto Varas: $69
  • Frutillar Tour: Southern Traditions: $34
  • Full-Day Guided Tour to Villa Peulla from Puerto Varas: $67
  • Full-Day Tour to Petrohue Falls Through the Lake District , Chile: $197
  • Greater Island Chiloe Tour from Puerto Varas: $62
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in Petrohué River: $60
  • Lake Llanquihue Bike Tour in Puerto Varas: $130
  • Osorno Volcano Tour: $26
  • Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano Bike Tour: $120
  • Petrohue Waterfalls & Osorno Volcano Half-Day Tour: $49

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting San Pedro de Atacama spend on average $4.78 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Puerto Varas may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $6.30 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    San Pedro de Atacama $4.78
    Puerto Varas $6.30
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
    $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Puerto Varas

Also in Puerto Varas, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Osorno Volcano & Brewery Tour in Puerto Varas: $64
  • Heritage City Tour and Brewery in Puerto Varas: $150


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.

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San Pedro de Atacama vs. Puerto Varas Travel Comparison

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