A Travel Price Comparison for Chile Santiago vs. San Pedro de Atacama for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Santiago or San Pedro de Atacama?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Santiago and San Pedro de Atacama. 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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, San Pedro de Atacama 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 San Pedro de Atacama is $56. 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 San Pedro de Atacama 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 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.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Santiago $107
    San Pedro de Atacama $30
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Santiago $214
    San Pedro de Atacama $60

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 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Santiago $13
    San Pedro de Atacama $14
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 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

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.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Santiago $5.24
    San Pedro de Atacama $8.86
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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in San Pedro de Atacama

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

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Santiago or San Pedro de Atacama?

Prices for flights to both San Pedro de Atacama 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.

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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Santiago $46
    San Pedro de Atacama $20

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

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

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


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Santiago $8.14
    San Pedro de Atacama $4.78

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

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


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Santiago and San Pedro de Atacama, we can see that Santiago 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 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 San Pedro de Atacama.

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Santiago vs. San Pedro de Atacama Travel Comparison

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