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

Should you visit Sao Paulo or La Serena?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sao Paulo or La Serena, 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.

La Serena

La Serena is a charming town in Northern Chile. It is Chile's second-oldest city and the thriving capital of Region IV. With its beautiful architecture, its long golden shoreline, dignified stone churches, tree-shaded avenues and pretty plazas, La Serena has everything you could ask for!

Chileans on holidays flood in the city in January and February, though it is fairly peaceful outside the summer rush. Some of the city's architecture is from the colonial era, but most is actually neocolonial thanks to president Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, born in La Serena, and her 'Plan Serena' of the late 1940s.

Which city is cheaper, La Serena 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 La Serena is $88. 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 La Serena 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.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $86 in La Serena For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sao Paulo $23
    La Serena $43
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sao Paulo $46
    La Serena $86

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.

La Serena food costs typically run travelers around $27 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Sao Paulo $11
    La Serena $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 La Serena, the average visitor spends $21 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
    La Serena $21

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sao Paulo

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

  • Transfer: Guarulhos International Airport to Sâo Paulo Hotels: $55
  • Transfer in Private Vehicle from Sao Paulo City to Airport: $25
  • São Paulo x Paraty x São Paulo - Package Transfer IN + OUT: $98
  • São Paulo Hotel Private Minibus Transfer to Guarulhos Airport: $87
  • Private transfer: Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) to Sao Paulo: $86
  • Private Transfer: São Paulo to Congonhas-São Paulo Airport (CGH): $65
  • Private Transfer: Congonhas-São Paulo Airport (CGH) to São Paulo: $65
  • Private Transfer from Vila Olímpia to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $75
  • Private Transfer from Vila Mariana to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $66
  • Private Transfer from Vila Leopoldina to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $81
  • Private Transfer from Vila Andrade to Sao Paulo (GRU) Airport: $85
  • Private Transfer from São Paulo airport to Hotels + quick City tour: $76

Hired Cars and Shuttles in La Serena

Also for La Serena, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Airport Transfer: La Florida Airport (LSC) to La Serena: $26
  • Private Airport Transfer: from La Serena to La Florida Airport (LSC): $26

Is it cheaper to fly into Sao Paulo or La Serena?

Prices for flights to both La Serena 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 La Serena, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $24 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sao Paulo $3.15
    La Serena $24

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 La Serena

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

  • Elqui Valley and Vicuña Private Tour Including Lunch: $263
  • La Serena and Coquimbo Private City Tour Including Lunch and Archeological Museum: $269
  • Full day Tour to Elqui Valley: $90
  • Valle de Elqui Fullday Tour: $58

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.

Typically, people visiting La Serena spend on average $23 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sao Paulo $2.74
    La Serena $23

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

Budget Your Trip

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Sao Paulo vs. La Serena Travel Comparison

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