A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Tilcara vs. Puerto Natales for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tilcara or Puerto Natales?

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 Puerto Natales can help you decide which place is right for you.

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.

Puerto Natales

Puerto Natales is a beautiful town located in the Chilean Patagonia on the Senoret Channel. The city is often used as a base camp for trips to the surrounding national parks due to their plentiful restaurant options and access to internet. Puerto Natales is also known for being the base city to the Torres del Paine National Park, which was named the 5th most beautiful place in the world by National Geographic.

Which city is cheaper, Puerto Natales or Tilcara?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tilcara is $58, while the average daily cost in Puerto Natales is $82. 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 Tilcara and Puerto Natales in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $46 in Tilcara For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Puerto Natales's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $74. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $37.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tilcara $23
    Puerto Natales $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tilcara $46
    Puerto Natales $74

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Tilcara cost around $24 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $9.60.

Puerto Natales 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
    Tilcara $24
    Puerto Natales $27
Typical Food prices in Tilcara

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


  • Sandwich
    $0.05
  • Burger
    $0.10
  • Fruit
    $0.08
  • Sandwich
    $0.10

Typical Food prices in Puerto Natales

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Puerto Natales:


  • Cake
    $1.27
  • Dinner
    $22
  • Coke
    $1.27

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Tilcara than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $15 on transportation in Tilcara on average per day.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $19 per day to get around in Puerto Natales.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tilcara $15
    Puerto Natales $19
Typical Local Transportation prices in Tilcara

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.05

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Puerto Natales

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Natales:

  • Shared Transfer From Puerto Natales To Villa Serrano And Lago Grey Round Trip Or One Way: $55
  • Puerto Natales Airport Private Transfer: $19

Is it cheaper to fly into Tilcara or Puerto Natales?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Natales 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Tilcara, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $14 per day, per person.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $28 per person, per day in Puerto Natales. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tilcara $14
    Puerto Natales $28

Tours and Activities in Tilcara

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

  • Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour to Juella from Tilcara: $58
  • Full-Day Tour to Laguna de los Pozuelos from Tilcara: $135

Tours and Activities in Puerto Natales

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

  • 3-Day Small Group Guided Tour W Trekking -Torres del Paine Highlights Fast track: $1,931
  • 5-Day Tour Glaciers of Patagonia from Puerto Natales: $1,048
  • Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers Sightseeing Cruise from Puerto Natales: $173
  • Bus ticket from Puerto Natales (Chile) to El Calafate (Argentina): $56
  • City Bike Tour in Puerto Natales: $66
  • Excursion City Tour By Bike: $45
  • Full day tour Torres del Paine: $71
  • Full-Day Hiking Tour to the Base of Paine Towers at Torres del Paine National Park: $160
  • Full-Day Tour of Torres del Paine National Park from Puerto Natales: $155
  • Full-Day Tour to Torres del Paine National Park from Puerto Natales(First Class): $98
  • Private Tour: Torres del Paine National Park and Milodon Cave with Lunch: $372
  • Puerto Natales Sightseeing Bike Tour: $60

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 Tilcara, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.52.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Puerto Natales may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $17 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tilcara $7.52
    Puerto Natales $17

Typical Alcohol prices in Puerto Natales

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Puerto Natales:


  • Alcohol
    $15


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tilcara and Puerto Natales, we can see that Puerto Natales 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 Puerto Natales would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Puerto Natales than you might in Tilcara.

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Tilcara vs. Puerto Natales Travel Comparison

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