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

Should you visit Sao Paulo or Galapagos Islands?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sao Paulo or Galapagos Islands, 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.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a small archipelago of islands belonging to Ecuador in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The Galapagos archipelago is world-renowned for its unique and fearless wildlife, much of which was inspiration for Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. Thanks to a lack of natural predators, friendly wildlife such as sea lions and gigantic sea tortoises let visitors get up close. This archipelago of about 19 islands and many smaller islets found over 620 miles off Ecuador's coast in the Pacific Ocean is a double World Heritage site, where both land and sea are protected. Each island boasts its own unique landscape, ranging from black, volcanic rocks to white sand beaches and gemstone-blue waters. There is no bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands but the busiest months for tourism tend to be June, July and August, as well as mid-December to mid-January. This is when prices are at their highest.

Which city is cheaper, Galapagos Islands or Sao Paulo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sao Paulo is $41, while the average daily cost in Galapagos Islands is $111. 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 Galapagos Islands 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 prices for places to stay in Galapagos Islands can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $52, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $104.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sao Paulo $23
    Galapagos Islands $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sao Paulo $46
    Galapagos Islands $104

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.

The average traveler spends about $27 per day in Galapagos Islands 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Sao Paulo $11
    Galapagos Islands $27

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 $4.60 per person, per day on transportation in Sao Paulo.

To get around in Galapagos Islands, the average visitor spends $43 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.
    Sao Paulo $4.60
    Galapagos Islands $43

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sao Paulo

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

  • Creative & Natural Transfer São Paulo-Paraty: $375
  • Private São Paulo Airport - Hotels Transfer In or Out: $200
  • Private Transfer from Congonhas Airport (CGH) to Campinas Airport (VCP): $190
  • Private Transfer from Sao Paulo City to Campinas Airport (VCP): $190
  • Private Transfer from Congonhas Airport (CGH) to Viracopos Airport (VCP): $190
  • Private Transfer from Congonhas Airport (CGH) to Santos Port: $190
  • Private Arrival Transfer: São Paulo Airport to Santos Cruise Terminal: $186
  • Private Departure Transfer from Santos Cruise Terminal to São Paulo Airport: $186
  • Private Transfer from Congonhas Airport (CGH) to Jundiai: $153
  • Private Transfer from Gru Airport to Port or City of Santos: $125
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport to Guarulhos City - One Way: $122
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport to São Paulo City - One Way: $122

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Galapagos Islands

Also for Galapagos Islands, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer In from Baltra Airport to Hotels in Santa Cruz Island: $115

Is it cheaper to fly into Sao Paulo or Galapagos Islands?

Prices for flights to both Galapagos Islands 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 $3.15 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

In Galapagos Islands, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $28 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sao Paulo $3.15
    Galapagos Islands $28

Tours and Activities in Sao Paulo

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

  • 2-Hour Boat and Stand Up Paddle Board Adventure in São Paulo, Brazil: $275
  • 3 Beaches Hiking Santo Amaro Island - Paradise Route Tour from São Paulo: $85
  • 4 Hour Customized "Private Tour" Drinking, Dining and Entertainment: $400
  • 4-Day Private Guided Tour From São Paulo To Rio de Janeiro – Coastal Trip: $990
  • 4-hour Private Tour - Hidden Gems and Top Sights of São Paulo: $105
  • 4-hour Sum-up Private Tour Of São Paulo Including Its Major Attractions: $87
  • 4WD One Day Tour visiting Water Fall and the Big Stone from Sao Paulo: $270
  • 5-hour Private Street Art Tour Of São Paulo – The Coolest Urban Art Scenes: $106
  • 5-hour Private Tour Of São Paulo With Its Main Sights – Optional Airport Pickup: $97
  • 5h City Tour (pick up & delivery within SaoPaulo city): $189
  • 7-hour Private Tour Overview Of São Paulo – Optional For GRU Airport Pickup: $134
  • 8-Day São Paulo Tour: From City to Beaches, Waterfalls & Caves: $2,490

Tours and Activities in Galapagos Islands

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Galapagos Islands.

  • 4-Day Budget Isabela Tour: $1,106
  • 4-Day Galapagos Islands Express Tour: $714
  • 4-Day Galapagos Land Tour Visiting Isabela and Santa Cruz: $876
  • 4-Day Galapagos Tour: Santa Cruz & 2 Uninhabited Islands: $1,239
  • 4-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience: $1,090
  • 5 days in Galapagos | Bonita Tourist Superior Cruise | Northern Itinerary 2021: $2,287
  • 5-Day Cruise of Galapagos Islands: $2,849
  • 5-Day Galapagos Diving Tour: Accommodation and Full-Day Diving Excursions: $1,286
  • 5-Day Guided Galapagos & Los Tuneles Tour: $1,289
  • 5-Day Tour Galapagos Multisport: $1,599
  • 5-day Galapagos on a Budget Experience: $1,195
  • 6 Days in Galapagos | Eco Galaxy First Class Cruise | Western Itinerary 2021: $4,590

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 $2.74.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Galapagos Islands, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $12.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sao Paulo $2.74
    Galapagos Islands $12

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 Galapagos Islands, we can see that Galapagos Islands 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 Galapagos Islands would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Galapagos Islands than you might in Sao Paulo.

Budget Your Trip

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Sao Paulo vs. Galapagos Islands Travel Comparison

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