Should you visit San Pedro de Atacama or Punta Arenas?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for San Pedro de Atacama and Punta Arenas. 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.
Punta Arenas is in the far south of Chile and has a long history of maritime commerce, oil extraction, and sheep farming. It's the most populated city on the Strait of Magellan and has all the facilities you might need as a traveler, including banks, markets, drugstores and equipment shops. With a population of about 130,000, the city is a comfortable place to spend time. It serves as a base for Antarctic expeditions, although many expeditions also start in Ushuaia, Argentina, and Christchurch New Zealand.
Which city is cheaper, Punta Arenas 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 Punta Arenas is $61. 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 Punta Arenas 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 $62 in Punta Arenas 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.
While meal prices in Punta Arenas can vary, the average travelers spends about $20 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Punta Arenas should cost around $8.00 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Punta Arenas is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
San Pedro de Atacama $14
Punta Arenas $20
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:
Typical Food prices in Punta Arenas
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Punta Arenas:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Punta Arenas
For Punta Arenas, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Punta Arenas Small Group Sightseeing and food Tour with a Local Guide:
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.
Punta Arenas'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 $1.74 per person, per day on transportation in Punta Arenas.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
San Pedro de Atacama $8.86
Punta Arenas $1.74
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 Punta Arenas
Also for Punta Arenas, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Transfer from Punta Arenas Hotel to Punta Arenas Airport:
Transfer from Punta Arenas (city or airport) to Puerto Natales:
Private Airport Transfer: from Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ):
Private Airport Transfer: Punta Arenas Ibanez Airport (PUQ) to Punta Arenas:
Bus transfer from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia:
Arrival Transfer: Punta Arenas Airport to Hotel:
Is it cheaper to fly into San Pedro de Atacama or Punta Arenas?
Prices for flights to both Punta Arenas 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Punta Arenas can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $6.24 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
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 Punta Arenas
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Punta Arenas.
4-Day Private Tour to Patagonia: Torres del Paine, Glaciers & Penguins:
Bus ticket from Punta Arenas (Chile) to Ushuaia (Argentina):
City Tour of Punta Arenas:
FULL DAY KING PENGUIN COLONY (private tours):
FULL DAY KING PENGUIN COLONY (regular tours):
Full Day Torres del Paine Private tour, departing from Punta Arenas:
Full Day Torres del Paine, From Punta Arenas (Private Tours):
Full day Punta Arenas (Regular tours):
Full day Torres del Paine from Punta Arenas ,Regular tours:
Full-Day Punta Arenas and Magellan Strait Tour:
Full-day experience in Chilean Antártica:
Isla Tortuga Catamarán Cruises from San Jose:
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 Punta Arenas, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.70.
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:
Typical Alcohol prices in Punta Arenas
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Punta Arenas:
Sample the Local Flavors in Punta Arenas
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Punta Arenas:
Punta Arenas Small Group Beers & Brewery Tour with a Local Guide:
When comparing the travel costs between San Pedro de Atacama and Punta Arenas, we can see that Punta Arenas is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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