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

Should you visit Tilcara or Puerto Varas?

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 Varas 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 Varas

Puerto Varas is a city in Southern Chile, in the Los Lagos (Lakes) Region, Llanquihue Province. It is a charming town, only 23 km away from Puerto Montt and surrounded by the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes as well as the impressive Llanquihue lake. In terms of landscape, accommodation and activities, Puerto Varas is well served! Kayak, paddle, canyoning, rock climbing, trekking, ski, fishing, you name it! If you decide to stop in that area, we recommend that you stay in Puerto Varas, as it provides the perfect starting point for many memorable excursions in the area.

Which city is cheaper, Puerto Varas 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 Varas is $105. 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 Varas 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.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Puerto Varas is $130. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tilcara $23
    Puerto Varas $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tilcara $46
    Puerto Varas $130

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 Varas food costs typically run travelers around $24 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 Varas $24
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

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.

The average price of local transportation around Puerto Varas is $20 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tilcara $15
    Puerto Varas $20
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 Varas

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Puerto Varas:

  • Puerto Varas Airport Private Transfer: $49
  • Cruce Andino Office Private Transfer from Puerto Varas: $43
  • Puerto Varas Bus Terminal Private Transfer: $39
  • Puerto Montt Departure Transfer from Hotel in Puerto Varas: $32
  • Puerto Varas Airport Shuttle Transfer: $29
  • Transfer from Puerto Varas to Puerto Montt Airport: $14
  • Cruce Andino Office Shuttle Transfer from Puerto Varas: $9.69

Is it cheaper to fly into Tilcara or Puerto Varas?

Prices for flights to both Puerto Varas 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.

Puerto Varas's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $18 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tilcara $14
    Puerto Varas $18

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 Varas

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

  • Chiloe Island Tour from Puerto Varas in Private: $323
  • Frutillar & Llanquihue Private Tour from Puerto Varas: $95
  • Frutillar Bike Tour from Puerto Varas: $69
  • Frutillar Tour: Southern Traditions: $34
  • Full-Day Guided Tour to Villa Peulla from Puerto Varas: $67
  • Full-Day Tour to Petrohue Falls Through the Lake District , Chile: $197
  • Greater Island Chiloe Tour from Puerto Varas: $62
  • Half-Day Small-Group Rafting Experience in Petrohu√© River: $60
  • Lake Llanquihue Bike Tour in Puerto Varas: $130
  • Osorno Volcano Tour: $26
  • Petrohue Falls and Osorno Volcano Bike Tour: $120
  • Petrohue Waterfalls & Osorno Volcano Half-Day Tour: $49

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 Varas may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $6.30 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tilcara $7.52
    Puerto Varas $6.30

Sample the Local Flavors in Puerto Varas

Also in Puerto Varas, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Osorno Volcano & Brewery Tour in Puerto Varas: $64
  • Heritage City Tour and Brewery in Puerto Varas: $150


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

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Tilcara vs. Puerto Varas Travel Comparison

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