A Travel Price Comparison for Chile Santiago vs. Arica for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Santiago or Arica?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Santiago and Arica. 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.

Santiago

Santiago is the capital city of Chile. It is centrally located in the long and narrow country, making it a good jumping off point to explore everywhere else. It's convenient location means that you can go skiing in the Andes one day, and hang out at the beach the next.

Santiago has a cool semi-arid climate that is similar to Mediterranean climates. The summers, which are between November and March, are warm and dry. The temperatures climb to around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The winters, between June and August, are humid with cold mornings. The daily highs are around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows stay a few degrees above freezing. Rain is more common in the winter months and the dry season is between December and March.

Arica

A mixture of coastline, desert and high Andean plateau, Arica is a seaside resort town, known for its surfing beaches located at the tip of Northern Chile. Arica boasts that it is "the land of the eternal spring," but its temperate climate and beaches are not the only reason to visit this small city. Arica's tourism is still principally geared toward domestic visitors and those from southern Peru and La Paz, who flock to its beaches mid-December through February. It is very easy to spend a few days in Arica in the sand, or seeing the sights in town, at a slow pace but the city also offers plenty of fun activities and exciting day trips.

Which city is cheaper, Arica or Santiago?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Santiago is $137, while the average daily cost in Arica is $77. 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 Santiago and Arica in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $214 for a double occupancy room in Santiago.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Arica, $68 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Arica, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $34, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santiago $107
    Arica $34
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santiago $214
    Arica $68

Food

While meal prices in Santiago can vary, the average travelers spends about $13 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Santiago should cost around $5.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Santiago is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

Food in Arica costs travelers about $27 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Santiago $13
    Arica $27
Typical Food prices in Santiago

Some typical examples of dining costs in Santiago are as follows:


  • Empanada
    $2.28
  • Hamburger
    $3.03
  • Dinner
    $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santiago

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Santiago.

  • Dinner at a Typical Chilean Restaurant with a Traditional Dance Show in Santiago: $73
  • A Bite of Santiago Food Tour: $77
  • Chilean Dinner and Show Experience in Santiago: $77
  • ChileCooks - Food Tours: $91
  • Traditional Dinner Show in Santiago: $96
  • Bali Hai Dinner & Show Including Transport: $97
  • San Cristobal Hill Night City Tour with Dinner Show: $106
  • Traditional Chilean Show with Dinner and Private Transportation in Santiago: $107
  • Chilean Folklore Show and Dinner with Private Transport: $110
  • Small-Group Tour: Night City Tour with Santa Lucia Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Small-Group Night City Tour: San Cristobal Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Private Market Tour and Traditional Chilean Cooking Class in a Local Home: $117

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Santiago is $5.24 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.

To get around in Arica, the average visitor spends $17 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santiago $5.24
    Arica $17
Typical Local Transportation prices in Santiago

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Santiago:


  • Metro Ride
    $1.37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santiago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santiago:

  • Transfer from Valparaiso or San Antonio to Santiago+Isla Negra and Wine tour: $139
  • Transfer from Valparaiso or San Antonio Port + Condor Watching Tour: $203
  • Transfer from Valle Nevado, Farellones, Colorado or La Parva ski to Santiago: $83
  • Transfer from Santiago hotels to Arturo Merino Benitez Airport: $21
  • Transfer from Santiago To Valle Nevado, Farellones, Colorado or La Parva ski: $83
  • Transfer Santiago Airport to Valparaiso / Viña del Mar (Exclusive & Private): $165
  • Transfer From The Airport To The Hotel on Santiago City: $62
  • Small group transfer from Valparaiso or San Antonio Port + Santiago City Tour: $133
  • Private Transfer from Airport to Rui Vaz and/or Vice Versa: $37
  • Santiago de Chile Airport Shuttle Transfer: $29
  • Santiago de Chile Airport Private Transfer: $55
  • Santiago Airport Transfers: Santiago to Santiago Airport SCL in Luxury Van: $92

Typical Local Transportation prices in Arica

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arica are as follows:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $2.54

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arica

Also for Arica, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Arica Airport Private Transfer: $76

Is it cheaper to fly into Santiago or Arica?

Prices for flights to both Arica and Santiago 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

Santiago's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $46 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.

In Arica, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santiago $46
    Arica $19

Tours and Activities in Santiago

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

  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial español: $18
  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial portugués: $18
  • 13-Day Tour Chile from North to South: $2,330
  • 2-Day Private Hiking Tour to La Paloma Glacier: $363
  • 2-day tour: Santiago City Tour + Viña del Mar & Valparaiso: $180
  • 3-Day Chilean Andes Experience: $864
  • 3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour: Chipitin Waterfall, Campfire Night + Tipi Lodging: $190
  • 4-Day Classic Tour of Santiago de Chile visiting Viña, Valparaiso and 1 winery: $686
  • 4-Day Tour Best of Santiago: $686
  • 4-Days Deluxe Culinary Experience at Santiago de Chile: $910
  • 6 days tour Don´t miss: $1,227
  • 7-Day Santiago & Easter Island Tour: $1,480

Tours and Activities in Arica

For Arica, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Half day Panoramic City Tour: $23
  • Arica Sightseeing Tour: $41
  • Full Day Tour to Tacna from Arica: $72
  • Arica Private Sightseeing Tour: $76
  • Archeological Sightseeing tour in Arica: $82
  • Private Tour to Tacna from Arica: $165
  • Arica Private City Tour: $262
  • Private Arica and Ancient Cultures Tour: $346
  • 4-Days Unique Experience at the Chilean High Plateau: $1,038

Alcohol

The average person spends about $8.14 on alcoholic beverages in Santiago per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting Arica spend on average $19 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santiago $8.14
    Arica $19

Sample the Local Flavors in Santiago

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

  • Traditional Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño Macul Official English: $18
  • "Premium Wine Tour" Viña Cousiño Macul Official english: $30
  • "Premium Wine Tour" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial portugués: $30
  • Premium Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño Macul Spanish official: $30
  • Half Day Trip to Undurraga Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $40
  • Concha y Toro Traditional Wine Tour from Santiago: $45
  • Half Day Trip to Concha y Toro Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $45
  • Half Day Trip to Santa Rita Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $50
  • Half Day Trip to Cousiño Macul Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $55
  • half day wine tour to concha y toro from Santiago seasonal offer: $57
  • Concha y Toro Marques Wine Tour from Santiago: $64
  • Premium Wine Tasting in Santiago de Chile: $71


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Santiago and Arica, we can see that Santiago is more expensive. And not only is Arica much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Arica would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Arica 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 Santiago would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Santiago than you might in Arica.

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Santiago vs. Arica Travel Comparison

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