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

Should you visit Sao Paulo or El Chalten?

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

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 Chalten

El Chalten is probably one of the most beautiful areas of Patagonia, especially at the slightest ray of sunshine and one of your cheapest destination while you are travelling in Patagonia. Indeed, you will spend your days hiking and there are no park fees. There are restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor stores but most of them will not accept credit cards so before heading out, get cash in El Calafate or your previous stop. For the beginners, it will be long hikes in a magical setting and for the experts perhaps a week long expedition to the greatest glaciers of the world. To discover the way people live in the pampa, you may also decide to stay at an Estancia. In the stunning Estancia Santa Thelma, about 300km away from El Chalten, you will be able to explore the surroundings by horse, live a unique experience in the middle of the nature and its vast plains occupied by thousands of merino sheep and horses and of course eat a typical meal of the region.

Which city is cheaper, El Chalten or Sao Paulo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sao Paulo is $40, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $70. 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 Sao Paulo and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Sao Paulo can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $23, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $46.

The average price for accommodation for two people in El Chalten is $62. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sao Paulo $23
    El Chalten $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sao Paulo $46
    El Chalten $62

Food

The average traveler spends about $11 per day in Sao Paulo for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

While meal prices in El Chalten can vary, the average travelers spends about $26 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in El Chalten should cost around $10 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in El Chalten is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Sao Paulo $11
    El Chalten $26

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:

  • Sao Paulo - Pinheiros Gourmet Food Tour (4 hours tour + 3 dishes included): $45
  • Brazilian Cooking Class: $79
  • Cooking Class in São Paulo: $268
  • Private Food Tour in São Paulo: $278

Local Transportation

Sao Paulo'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 $4.50 per person, per day on transportation in Sao Paulo.

The cost of a taxi ride in El Chalten is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 per person, per day, on local transportation in El Chalten.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sao Paulo $4.50
    El Chalten $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sao Paulo

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: Sao Paulo/Congonhas Airport (CGH) to Sao Paulo: $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Sao Paulo to Sao Paulo/Congonhas Airport (CGH): $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: Sao Paulo-Guarulhos Int. Airport (GRU) to Sao Paulo: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: Sao Paulo to Sao Paulo-Guarulhos Int. Airport (GRU): $23
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Sao Paulo City to Airport: $25
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport: $28
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Congonhas Airport to São Paulo Hotels: $30
  • Private Departure Transfer: São Paulo Hotels to Congonhas Airport: $30
  • CGH Airport transfer Sao Paulo city / Hotel: $38
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Guarulhos International Airport to São Paulo Hotels: $40
  • Private Departure Transfer: São Paulo Hotels to Guarulhos International Airport: $40
  • Private Arrival Transfer from São Paulo Guarulhos Airport to São Paulo City: $41

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

Prices for flights to both El Chalten 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Sao Paulo can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $3.09 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Entertainment and activities in El Chalten typically cost an average of $19 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sao Paulo $3.09
    El Chalten $19

Tours and Activities in Sao Paulo

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

  • Downtown São Paulo: An audio tour tracing the city's epic history: $5.00
  • Virtual Live Tour of Sao Paulo Graffiti Hosted by Artist: $25
  • Street art is not for lazy tourists :P: $25
  • São Paulo Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $31
  • Discover Sao Paulo History Guided Tour: $31
  • Paulista Avenue Walking Tour: $31
  • Private São Paulo Historic Center Walking Tour: $45
  • Small Group Highlights Tour in São Paulo: $49
  • City Tour Meet São Paulo Half-Day: $50
  • Alternative City Tour: $50
  • Rain Forest Trail - Cantareira Natural Park day tour from São Paulo: $58
  • Embu das Artes Largest Handicraft Fair Tour from São Paulo: $58

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • 2-Day Chalten Adventure tour: Laguna de los Tres, Mount Fitz Roy & Cerro Torre: $333
  • 2-Day Hiking Tour of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre from El Chalten: $553
  • 3-Day Eco-Lodge Trekking Tour at Los Glaciares National Park from El Chalten: $789
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $149
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $225
  • Module Fitz Roy Adventure: $305

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Sao Paulo, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $2.69.

The average person spends about $8.53 on alcoholic beverages in El Chalten per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sao Paulo $2.69
    El Chalten $8.53

Sample the Local Flavors in Sao Paulo

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

  • 4 Hours Pub Crawl in Vila Madalena: $69


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

Budget Your Trip

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Sao Paulo vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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