A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Sao Paulo vs. El Calafate for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Sao Paulo or El Calafate?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sao Paulo or El Calafate, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Sao Paulo or El Calafate?

Sao Paulo

With a population of around 11 million, and 20 million in the metropolitan area, Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil. It's also one of the wealthiest cities in the southern hemisphere, although you don't have to look far to see the income disparities and inequalities that exist. The city is diverse and culturally rich, with excellent food, music, and entertainment.

El Calafate

Located in Patagonia, El Calafate has become a popular tourist destination in Argentina because of its beautiful setting on the stunningly blue Lago Argentina. The town sits on the southern border of the lake in the southwestern part of the Santa Cruz Province. It's about 320 kilometers from Rio Gallegos.

The rise in popularity of Patagonia as a tourist destination has truly put this small town on the map. You'll find no shortage of trekkers in the town and it makes an excellent base to explore different parts of the Los Glaciares National Park. Popular places to visit include Perito Moreno Glacier, Cerro Chalten, and Cerro Torre.

El Calafate has a cold semi-arid climate. The summers are cool to warm and very dry while the winters are cold and damp. Lago Argentino has a significant influence over the town's climate. The shallow bay where the town is located is usually frozen during the winter months.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

Which place is cheaper, El Calafate or Sao Paulo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sao Paulo is $55, while the average daily cost in El Calafate is $25. 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 Sao Paulo and El Calafate in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sao Paulo $31
    El Calafate $8.41
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sao Paulo $62
    El Calafate $17
Compare Hotels in Sao Paulo and El Calafate

Looking for a hotel in Sao Paulo or El Calafate? 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 Sao Paulo

Hotels in El Calafate

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: Sao Paulo Hotel Prices and El Calafate Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sao Paulo $6.16
    El Calafate $8.67

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sao Paulo

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

  • airport transfer: $119
  • Viracopos Airport VCP to Poços de Caldas Thermal Arrival Transfer: $80
  • Viracopos Airport (VCP) to São Pedro Thermal Arrival Transfer: $38
  • Viracopos Airport (VCP) to Águas de Lindoia-RoundTrip Transfer: $77
  • Viracopos Airport (VCP) to Águas de Lindoia-Arrival Transfer: $38
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in Sao Paulo APT-HTL(GRU): $61
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in São Paulo HTL-APT(GRU): $61
  • Transfer from São Paulo to Port of Santos: $144
  • Transfer VCP airport Viracopos <> GRU airport / Sao Paulo city: $136
  • Transfer GRU airport Guarulhos <> Sao Paulo / Hotel / CGH airport: $67
  • Transfer CGH Airport Congonhas <> Sao Paulo city / Hotel: $38
  • Sao Paulo to Campinas Viracopos Airport (VCP) - Private Transfer: $38

Typical Local Transportation prices in El Calafate

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in El Calafate:

  • Taxi

Hired Cars and Shuttles in El Calafate

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

  • Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier with transfers: $461
  • Kayak in Perito Moreno Glacier without transfers: $336
  • Perito Moreno Glacier Mini Trek with Transfer: $317
  • Full Day Perito Moreno Kayak Experience & Walkway Tour with Transfers: $301
  • South Glacier Pioneers with transfer: $300
  • El Calafate Airport Private Transfer: $117
  • From El Calafate Airport: Round-trip Transfer to El Chaltén: $107
  • Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Calafate): $90
  • Shared transfer to El Calafate -El Chaltén: $75
  • Excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier, with guide and transfer to / from the hotel: $55
  • Roundtrip transfer in Private Car from Calafate Airport (FTE)- Calafate City: $49
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Calafate): $35

Is it cheaper to fly into Sao Paulo or El Calafate?

Prices for flights to both El Calafate and Sao Paulo 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 Meals for one day
    Sao Paulo $15
    El Calafate $9.11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sao Paulo

For Sao Paulo, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Private Traditional Brazilian or Paulistano Cooking Class with a Chef: $130
  • Authentic Brazilian Cooking Experience in SP: Barbecue & Moqueca: $149
  • Food Tour SP: Municipal Market and Brazilian Sweets: $210
  • Helicopter Tour with Romantic Dinner on Terrace Italia: $678
  • Private Helicopter Tour - Romantic Lunch or Dinner At Itália Terrace Restaurant: $1,090

Typical Food prices in El Calafate

For El Calafate, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:

  • Dessert
  • Dinner
  • Dinner

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in El Calafate

For El Calafate, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Argentine Dinner with Live Music Folklore -Estancia 25 de Mayo: $48
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo Tour with Dinner & Transfer: $67
  • Country Afternoon with Dinner Show - Estancia 25 de Mayo: $100
  • Private Country Afternoon with Horseback Riding Initiation and Dinner Show: $125
  • Estancia 25 de Mayo in El Calafate - PM visit with dinner: $186

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sao Paulo $4.22
    El Calafate $9.10

Tours and Activities in Sao Paulo

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Sao Paulo.

  • Personalized Layover São Paulo Day Tour Experience from Guarulhos Airport : $190
  • 2 Hours Private São Paulo Museum of Modern Art Tour: $240
  • 2–Day Adventure in Brotas from São Paulo – The Capital of Adventure: $1,010
  • 2-Hour Boat and Stand Up Paddle Board Adventure in São Paulo, Brazil: $360
  • 3 Beaches Hiking Santo Amaro Island - Paradise Route Tour from São Paulo: $109
  • 3H CITY TOUR (pick up / delivery within Sao Paulo city limits): $156
  • 4-Day Private Guided Tour From São Paulo To Rio de Janeiro – Coastal Trip: $1,690
  • 4-Hour Private Tour in Sao Paulo: $240
  • 4-hour Sum-up Private Tour Of São Paulo Including Its Major Attractions : $126
  • 4WD One Day Tour visiting Water Fall and the Big Stone from Sao Paulo: $290
  • 5-hour Pelé Private Tour: The King of Football : $140
  • 5-hour Private Street Art Tour Of São Paulo – The Coolest Urban Art Scenes: $148

Typical Entertainment prices in El Calafate

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for El Calafate's activities, tours, and tickets:

  • Glacerium Museum

Tours and Activities in El Calafate

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

  • "Calafate Night" Astrotourism in El Calafate: $130
  • "Glaciares Gourmet" - Maria Turquesa Cruiser Navigation (classic): $285
  • "Todo Glaciares" boat tour from El Calafate. : $165
  • 13-Day Best of Patagonia Tour from El Calafate to Ushuaia: Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks: $2,440
  • 2 Days Private Horseback Riding Tour through Patagonia: $325
  • 2-Days and 1 Night Experience El Calafate with Airfare from Buenos Aires: $1,174
  • 3-Day Tour of El Calafate and the Glaciers: $359
  • 4 Day Tour to El Calafate by Air from Buenos Aires : $1,590
  • 4-Days El Calafate Adventure - Hiking Patagonia Forests & Perito Moreno Glacier!: $1,227
  • 4x4 adventure through the Balconies of Calafate: $59
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in El Calafate: $2,340
  • 6-Day Best of El Calafate & Ushuaia tour: $1,014

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sao Paulo $3.67
    El Calafate $4.56

Sample the Local Flavors in Sao Paulo

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Sao Paulo:

  • São Paulo Nightlife: Pub Crawl in the City that Never Sleeps!: $35
  • Wine Tour in São Roque by car - tour with local guides: $94
  • 4 Hours Pub Crawl in Vila Madalena: $150
  • PREMIUM TOUR in SÃO ROQUE - Wine Tour: $167

Typical Alcohol prices in El Calafate

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in El Calafate:

  • Beer
  • Alcohol

Sample the Local Flavors in El Calafate

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in El Calafate:

  • Calafate Wine Tours | Pedestrian City Tour Paired with Wines: $40

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

Which is Bigger, Sao Paulo or El Calafate?

Sao Paulo is bigger, and its population is about 1252.7 times larger than the population of El Calafate. When comparing the population of Sao Paulo vs. El Calafate, 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 and the activities that interest you.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Sao Paulo vs. El Calafate Travel Comparison

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