A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Santiago vs. La Paz for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Santiago or La Paz?

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

La Paz

La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia, has a breathtaking setting. The city is the highest national capital in the world, with an altitude ranging from about 4,058 m (13,313 ft) above sea level in El Alto, where the airport is located, to 3,100 m (10,170 ft) in the lower residential area. The dynamic and chaotic city was built in a canyon created by the Choqueyapu River. La Paz is now a fusion of architectural styles, cultures and beliefs, welcoming everyday new boutique hotels, modern shops, delicious restaurants and reinventing standing establishments. However, generally speaking, Bolivia remains more a backpacker hit than a mainstream tourist destination.

Which city is cheaper, La Paz 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 La Paz is $36. 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 La Paz 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.

Travelers usually pay around $26 for a double occupancy room in La Paz If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santiago $107
    La Paz $13
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santiago $214
    La Paz $26

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.

La Paz food costs typically run travelers around $13 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
    Santiago $13
    La Paz $13
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

Typical Food prices in La Paz

For La Paz, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Fruit
    $0.73

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 La Paz, the average visitor spends $7.59 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
    La Paz $7.59
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 La Paz

Some typical examples of transportation costs in La Paz are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.58

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Paz

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

  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from La Paz City to La Paz El Alto Airport: $20
  • Day Transfer from Airport to Hotel and Cable Car: $20
  • Departure Private Transfer La Paz City to La Paz Airport LPB by Minibus: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer La Paz City to La Paz Airport LPB by S-Cross Sx4: $25
  • Departure Private Transfer La Paz City to La Paz Airport LPB by Minibus: $25
  • Airport Transfer In_ Day: $25
  • Airport Transfer In_night: $25
  • Airport Transfer Out_day: $25
  • Airport Transfer Out_night: $25
  • Bus Station Transfer Out_day: $25
  • Bus Station Transfer Out_night: $25
  • Bus Station Transfer In_day: $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Santiago or La Paz?

Prices for flights to both La Paz 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 La Paz, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $13 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santiago $46
    La Paz $13

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 La Paz

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

  • Virtual City Tour - La Paz: $4.00
  • La Paz City Walking Tour Including Historical Streets: $5.00
  • La Paz City Walking Tour: $5.00
  • La Paz Walking Tour: $5.00
  • Cable Car Tour of La Paz: $8.00
  • La Paz city, nomad bohemian tour: $10
  • Titicaca Lake - Bus Ticket - From La Paz City - Ow: $12
  • Cable Car, Cementery, Shaman and El Alto Adventure in La Paz: $17
  • Private Cable Car City Tour: $18
  • Full Day Tiwanaku Archeological Site Shared Tour: $20
  • Bus City Tour Sightseeing La Paz: $23
  • Tiwanaku and Puma Punku - Shared Tour -: $23

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 La Paz spend on average $8.59 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santiago $8.14
    La Paz $8.59

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 La Paz, we can see that Santiago is more expensive. And not only is La Paz much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to La Paz would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in La Paz 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 La Paz.

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Santiago vs. La Paz Travel Comparison

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