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

Should you visit Tena or El Chalten?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Tena and El Chalten can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Tena

Tena is the capital of the Napo Province, an attractive and quiet city in the Amazon rainforest, and is known as the "cinnamon capital" of Ecuador. Tena has a friendly population, lots of backpacker infrastructure, a gorgeous setting surrounded by jungle-covered hills and a high concentration of surrounding rivers where white-water lovers from around the world come to paddle and kayak. The town provides a gateway to exploration into Ecuador's most accessible part of the great Amazon rainforest, which does not leave visitors disappointed. Beyond being a base for discovering the jungle and its wildlife, Tena is also a hub for adventure sports which are abundant in the area. Tena is a charming place where many travelers find themselves hanging around quite happily before or after a trip into the rainforest.

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 Tena?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tena is $41, 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 Tena and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Tena is $38. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

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
    Tena $19
    El Chalten $31
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tena $38
    El Chalten $62

Food

Tena food costs typically run travelers around $12 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.

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
    Tena $12
    El Chalten $26

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $13 per day to get around in Tena.

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.
    Tena $13
    El Chalten $17

Is it cheaper to fly into Tena or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Tena 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $12 per person, per day in Tena. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

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.
    Tena $12
    El Chalten $19

Tours and Activities in Tena

Here are a few actual costs in Tena for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 3 or 4 Day Amazon Napo Adventure: $392

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $149
  • El Chalten Rafting Experience: $225
  • Module Fitz Roy Adventure: $305
  • 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

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Tena may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $8.26 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $8.59 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
    Tena $8.26
    El Chalten $8.59


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tena and El Chalten, we can see that El Chalten is more expensive. And not only is Tena much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Tena would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Tena 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 Tena.

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Tena vs. El Chalten Travel Comparison

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