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

Should you visit Tilcara or Punta Arenas?

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 Punta Arenas can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Tilcara or Punta Arenas?


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.

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas is in the far south of Chile and has a long history of maritime commerce, oil extraction, and sheep farming. It's the most populated city on the Strait of Magellan and has all the facilities you might need as a traveler, including banks, markets, drugstores and equipment shops. With a population of about 130,000, the city is a comfortable place to spend time. It serves as a base for Antarctic expeditions, although many expeditions also start in Ushuaia, Argentina, and Christchurch New Zealand.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Argentina, The Best Wildlife Tours to Argentina, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Santiago, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Chile.

Which place is cheaper, Punta Arenas or Tilcara?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Tilcara is $8.11, while the average daily cost in Punta Arenas is $64. 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 Punta Arenas in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tilcara $3.20
    Punta Arenas $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tilcara $6.40
    Punta Arenas $64
Compare Hotels in Tilcara and Punta Arenas

Looking for a hotel in Tilcara or Punta Arenas? 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 Punta Arenas

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 Punta Arenas Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tilcara $2.16
    Punta Arenas $1.82
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Tilcara

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

  • Taxi Ride

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Punta Arenas

Also for Punta Arenas, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer from Punta Arenas (city or airport) to Puerto Natales: $267
  • Private Transfer from Punta Arenas Port to Punta Arenas hotels: $65
  • Punta Arenas Airport (PUQ) to Punta Arenas - Arrival Transfer: $50
  • Punta Arenas to Punta Arenas Airport (PUQ) - Departure Transfer: $50
  • Private Transfer Punta Arenas Airport to/from Punta Arenas: $34

Is it cheaper to fly into Tilcara or Punta Arenas?

Prices for flights to both Punta Arenas 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 Meals for one day
    Tilcara $3.35
    Punta Arenas $21
Typical Food Prices in Tilcara

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

  • Sandwich
  • Burger
  • Fruit
  • Sandwich

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

Typical Food Prices in Punta Arenas

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

  • Donut
  • Dinner

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tilcara $1.91
    Punta Arenas $6.52

Tours and Activities in Tilcara

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

  • Bike Adventure through Juella with lunch: $35
  • Full-Day Tour to Laguna de los Pozuelos from Tilcara: $176
  • Private Full Day Tour to Salinas de Grandes and Barrancas: $130
  • Purmamarca Night Experience: $30
  • 2 hours cycling tour trough the rural area: $20
  • Half day mountain bike tour with lunch: $35

Tours and Activities in Punta Arenas

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

  • Bike Tour in Punta Arenas, 100% local tour.: $70
  • Fort Bulnes cruises: $70
  • Full day Torres del Paine from Punta Arenas ,Regular tours: $180
  • King Penguin & Tierra del Fuego Tour: $145
  • King Penguin & Tierra del Fuego Tour: $145
  • Magallanes Forest and Club Andino Tour from Punta Arenas: $290
  • Magallanes Reserva and City Tour. Private Shore Excursion.: $158
  • Magdalena Island Penguin Tour by Boat from Punta Arenas: $153
  • Mountain Bike Adventure in Punta Arenas: $192
  • Pali Aike Full-Day Adventure from Punta Arenas: $300
  • Private City Cruise Tour: $230
  • Private Half Day Punta Arenas City Tour From the Hotel only: $250

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tilcara $1.05
    Punta Arenas $4.92

Typical Alcohol Prices in Punta Arenas

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Punta Arenas:

  • Alcohol

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

Which is Bigger, Tilcara or Punta Arenas?

Punta Arenas has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Tilcara. When comparing the sizes of Tilcara and Punta Arenas, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.