A Travel Price Comparison for Argentina Tilcara vs. El Chalten for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tilcara or El Chalten?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Tilcara and El Chalten can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Tilcara or El Chalten?

Tilcara

Tilcara signifies shooting star in Quechua. At 2465m of altitude, the little town of Tilcara is one of the most animated place of the area of the quebrada de humahuaca. Many South American backpackers and tourists from all around the world come to visit Tilcara and its pucara, the forteresse built by the Incas at the top of the hill, providing a stunning walk around the town. Tilcara hosts many festivals for different occasions such as the celebration of the Pachamama in August, the semana santa (Holy Week) in April, and the Enero Tilcareno, held in January as its name indicates, which is probably the busiest month of the year for the little town. If you enjoy concerts, parades and folklorique parties then definitely try to visit Tilcara during a festival month and avoid them if you prefer a calm and more relaxed holiday. There are many available activities around Tilcara including horseback riding, VTT, and you could also even try a ride in a caravan pulled by llamas.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Argentina, The Best Wildlife Tours to Argentina, The Best Eco Tours in Argentina, and The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Argentina.


Which place is cheaper, El Chalten or Tilcara?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tilcara is $8.25, while the average daily cost in El Chalten is $9.93. 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 Tilcara and El Chalten in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tilcara $3.25
    El Chalten $4.42
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tilcara $6.50
    El Chalten $8.84
Compare Hotels in Tilcara and El Chalten

Looking for a hotel in Tilcara or El Chalten? 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 Tilcara


Hotels in El Chalten


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: Tilcara Hotel Prices and El Chalten Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tilcara $2.19
    El Chalten $2.37
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Tilcara

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Tilcara:


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.01

Is it cheaper to fly into Tilcara or El Chalten?

Prices for flights to both El Chalten and Tilcara 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
  • Food Meals for one day
    Tilcara $3.41
    El Chalten $3.66
Typical Food Prices in Tilcara

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Tilcara:


  • Sandwich
    $0.01
  • Burger
    $0.01
  • Fruit
    $0.01
  • Sandwich
    $0.01

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tilcara

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

  • Northern Argentine cooking experience: $70

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tilcara $1.95
    El Chalten $2.66

Tours and Activities in Tilcara

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

  • 2 hours cycling tour trough the rural area: $20
  • Purmamarca Night Experience: $30
  • Serranías del Hornocal + Citytour Humahuaca: $30
  • Bike Adventure through Juella with lunch: $35
  • Half day mountain bike tour with lunch: $35
  • Private Full Day Tour to Salinas de Grandes and Barrancas: $130
  • Full-Day Tour to Laguna de los Pozuelos from Tilcara: $162

Tours and Activities in El Chalten

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

  • 3 Hours Grilled Lamb Experience in Estancia Bonanza: $55
  • Rafting experience on the Rio de las Vueltas in Patagonia: $90
  • Rio de las Vueltas Rafting Experience - El Chalten: $90

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tilcara $1.07
    El Chalten $1.22


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Tilcara Expensive? and Is El Chalten Expensive?.