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

Should you visit Santiago 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 Santiago 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: Santiago or Puerto Varas?

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.

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 in Chile, The Best 2-Week Tours in Chile, The Best Bicycle Tours in Chile, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Chile.


Which place is cheaper, Puerto Varas or Santiago?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Santiago is $141, 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 Santiago and Puerto Varas in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santiago $110
    Puerto Varas $67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santiago $220
    Puerto Varas $134
Compare Hotels in Santiago and Puerto Varas

Looking for a hotel in Santiago 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 Santiago


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: Santiago Hotel Prices and Puerto Varas Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santiago $5.41
    Puerto Varas $21
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Santiago

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


  • Metro Ride
    $1.13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santiago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santiago:

  • Private Departure Transfer from Santiago- Santiago Airport (SCL): $27
  • Arrival Private Transfers : Santiago Airport SCL to Santiago in Luxury Van: $85
  • Arturo Merino Benítez Intl Airport: Shared Transfer: $24
  • Departure Private Transfers : Santiago to Santiago Airport SCL in Luxury Van: $85
  • Departure Transfer - Hotel in Santiago to Santiago International Airport: $35
  • From Farellones/Valle Nevado Roundtrip Transfer: $35
  • From Valle Nevado and Farellones with Transfer: $71
  • Luxury Airport Private Transfer SCL: $90
  • Maipo Valley Wine Tour, Concha y Toro, Private Transfer from Santiago: $167
  • Pick up Santiago Visit Haras de Pirque Winery & Transfer Hotel: $300
  • Private Airport Transfer to/from Portillo Ski Resort: $210
  • Private Round Trip Transfer on Santiago Of Chile City: $55

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Varas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Varas:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Santiago or Puerto Varas?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Varas 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Santiago $13
    Puerto Varas $25
Typical Food Prices in Santiago

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


  • Empanada
    $1.89
  • Hamburger
    $2.50
  • Dinner
    $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santiago

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

  • Sunset Winery Tour with Wine Tastings and Dinner: $45
  • Sunset at Alyan Family Wines Winery with Dinner: $95
  • Traditional Dinner Show in Santiago: $107
  • Sunset Alyan + 6 wines + savory board + rustic dinner + dessert: $119
  • Small-Group Night City Tour: San Cristobal Hill and Dinner Show: $120
  • San Cristobal Hill Night Tour with Dinner Show: $129
  • Private Tour: Santiago at Night with Dinner and Show: $131
  • Private Night City Tour with San Cristobal Hill And Dinner Show: $131
  • 4-Hour Private Night Tour with Dinner and Show: $150
  • Private Dinner and Show with Transfers: $158
  • Traditional Chilean Cooking Class with a Local in Her Santiago Countryside Home: $168

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santiago $47
    Puerto Varas $19

Tours and Activities in Santiago

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

  • Explore Santiago's Soul: Walking In-App Audio Tour: $5.00
  • Santiago Cathedral's Bell Tower Official Tour: $9.00
  • Cable Car Admission Ticket: $15
  • La Paz from the Heights: Walking tour and Three Telefericos.: $20
  • Undurraga Sibaris Tour Ticket: $22
  • Cousiño Macul Official Winery Tour with Tasting: $23
  • Walking tour through Santiago: $26
  • From Valle Nevado and Farellones Small Group Tour: $29
  • History Walking Tour in Chile: $29
  • Private custom tour with a local guide: $33
  • Viña Del Mar, Valparaiso, Casablanca & Reñaca Tour: $34
  • Private Custom Tour with a Local Guide in Santiago de Chile: $34

Tours and Activities in Puerto Varas

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

  • Tour Frutillar: $31
  • Half day Frutillar and Llanquihue Town tour: $34
  • Half day Osorno Volcano tour: $35
  • Half-Day Tour to Frutillar and Llanquihue: $35
  • Todos los Santos Lake and Villa Peulla Tour: $48
  • Todos los Santos Lake and Villa Peulla Tour: $48
  • From Osorno Volcano & Petrohue Falls Day Tour: $49
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in Petrohué River: $50
  • From Puerto Varas or Puerto Montt: Chiloé Island Tour: $60
  • FullDay Chiloe Island Tour Castro and dalcahue: $62
  • Full-Day Tour Chiloe Island: Castro and Dalcahue : $62
  • Peulla Full Day Tour from Puerto Varas: $68

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santiago $8.41
    Puerto Varas $6.51

Sample the Local Flavors in Santiago

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

  • Premium Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño Macul Spanish official: $37
  • Undurraga Winery Tour with Entry and Wine Tasting: $50
  • Concha y Toro Ticket and Tour with Wine Tasting: $50
  • Undurraga Wine Tasting Tour from Santiago: $62
  • Undurraga Wine tour: $63
  • Half Day Trip to Undurraga Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $70
  • Premium Wine Tasting in Santiago de Chile: $77
  • From Concha y Toro Marqués Half-Day Wine Tasting: $89
  • Private Tour: Undurraga Vineyard Experience with Premium Wine Tasting: $92
  • From Maipo Valley Wine Tour: $99
  • Concha y Toro semi-private tour with 3 wine tastings: $99
  • Maipo Valley Wine Tour with 4 vineyards from Santiago.: $99


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Santiago and Puerto Varas, we can see that Santiago is more expensive. And not only is Puerto Varas much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Puerto Varas would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Puerto Varas 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 Puerto Varas.

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


Which is Bigger, Santiago or Puerto Varas?

Santiago has a larger population, and is about 190 times larger than the population of Puerto Varas. When comparing the sizes of Santiago 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.


When is the best time to visit Santiago or Puerto Varas?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Santiago or Puerto Varas in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Santiago and Puerto Varas.

Santiago is a little warmer than Puerto Varas in the summer. The daily temperature in Santiago averages around 21°C (70°F) in January, and Puerto Varas fluctuates around 16°C (60°F).

In January, Santiago usually receives less rain than Puerto Varas. Santiago gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Puerto Varas receives 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Santiago 21°C (70°F) 
    Puerto Varas 16°C (60°F)

Should I visit Santiago or Puerto Varas in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Santiago as well as Puerto Varas.

In the autumn, Santiago is a little warmer than Puerto Varas. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Santiago in April average around 15°C (59°F), and Puerto Varas averages at about 11°C (51°F).

It's quite rainy in Puerto Varas. Santiago usually gets less rain in April than Puerto Varas. Santiago gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Puerto Varas receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Santiago 15°C (59°F) 
    Puerto Varas 11°C (51°F)

Should I visit Santiago or Puerto Varas in the Winter?

Both Puerto Varas and Santiago are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.

In July, Santiago is generally a little warmer than Puerto Varas. Daily temperatures in Santiago average around 9°C (48°F), and Puerto Varas fluctuates around 7°C (45°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Puerto Varas. In July, Santiago usually receives less rain than Puerto Varas. Santiago gets 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Puerto Varas receives 229 mm (9 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Santiago 9°C (48°F) 
    Puerto Varas 7°C (45°F)

Should I visit Santiago or Puerto Varas in the Spring?

Both Puerto Varas and Santiago during the spring are popular places to visit.

Santiago is a little warmer than Puerto Varas in the spring. The daily temperature in Santiago averages around 15°C (59°F) in October, and Puerto Varas fluctuates around 11°C (51°F).

Puerto Varas gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Santiago usually gets less rain in October than Puerto Varas. Santiago gets 10 mm (0.4 in) of rain, while Puerto Varas receives 121 mm (4.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Santiago 15°C (59°F) 
    Puerto Varas 11°C (51°F)

Typical Weather for Puerto Varas and Santiago

Santiago Puerto Varas
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 21°C (70°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 16°C (60°F) 90 mm (3.5 in)
Feb 20°C (68°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 15°C (59°F) 93 mm (3.7 in)
Mar 18°C (64°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 99 mm (3.9 in)
Apr 15°C (59°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 11°C (51°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)
May 12°C (54°F) 50 mm (2 in) 9°C (49°F) 234 mm (9.2 in)
Jun 9°C (48°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 8°C (46°F) 224 mm (8.8 in)
Jul 9°C (48°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 7°C (45°F) 229 mm (9 in)
Aug 10°C (50°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 8°C (46°F) 209 mm (8.2 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 20 mm (0.8 in) 9°C (47°F) 146 mm (5.7 in)
Oct 15°C (59°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 11°C (51°F) 121 mm (4.8 in)
Nov 17°C (63°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 12°C (54°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
Dec 20°C (68°F) 10 mm (0.4 in) 14°C (58°F) 103 mm (4.1 in)