A Travel Price Comparison for Argentina Tilcara vs. San Carlos de Bariloche for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tilcara or San Carlos de Bariloche?

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 San Carlos de Bariloche 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.

San Carlos de Bariloche

Set in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina, San Carlos de Bariloche is the biggest city in the Lake District. Bariloche is popular for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and trekking, swimming, fishing and horseback riding in the summertime.

No matter the time of year, there is something for everyone in Bariloche. Skiing season begins from June to October while fishing season is from November to April. Summer is from December to March, but visiting during low seasons (Spring in October to December and Autumn in late-April to mid-June) also has its benefits when it comes to saving cash and avoiding crowds.

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Patagonia.

Which city is cheaper, San Carlos de Bariloche 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 San Carlos de Bariloche is $52. 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 San Carlos de Bariloche 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $38 for a double occupancy room in San Carlos de Bariloche.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tilcara $23
    San Carlos de Bariloche $19
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tilcara $46
    San Carlos de Bariloche $38

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.

The average traveler spends about $20 per day in San Carlos de Bariloche for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Tilcara $24
    San Carlos de Bariloche $20
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 San Carlos de Bariloche

Some typical examples of dining costs in San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:


  • Pastries
    $0.12
  • Empanadas
    $0.28

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in San Carlos de Bariloche

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in San Carlos de Bariloche.

  • Night hiking in the woods with headlamps & Candlelit dinner: $70
  • Half-Day Bariloche Highlights with Cooking Class & Beer Tasting -Private Service: $274

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 San Carlos de Bariloche is $16 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
    San Carlos de Bariloche $16
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 San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific examples of transportation prices in San Carlos de Bariloche:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Bariloche Airport BRC to Bariloche City by Minivan: $292
  • Departure Private Transfer Bariloche City to Bariloche Airport BRC by Minivan: $292
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to San Martín de los Andes: $270
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Villa Traful: $187
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Pampa Linda: $187
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Hotel Tronador: $187
  • Private Transfer from Cascada Los Alerces to Bariloche (BRC) Airport: $187
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Cascada Los Alerces: $187
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Villa La Angostura: $156
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Ruca Malen: $156
  • Private Transfer from Bariloche (BRC) Airport to Lago Correntoso: $156
  • Arrival Private Transfer Bariloche Airport BRC to Bariloche City by SUV: $150

Is it cheaper to fly into Tilcara or San Carlos de Bariloche?

Prices for flights to both San Carlos de Bariloche 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.

San Carlos de Bariloche's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $22 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
    San Carlos de Bariloche $22

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 San Carlos de Bariloche

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for San Carlos de Bariloche are as follows:

  • "Brazo Tristeza" Lake Experience - Shared Service: $158
  • 1.5-Hour Lago Gutierrez Paddle Boarding Tour from Bariloche: $80
  • 4-Day Bariloche & Lake district Classic Tour: $659
  • 4-day Bariloche Adventure - Trekking Cerro Llao Llao & Kayaking Lago Mascardi: $903
  • 5-Day Adventure Trip in Bariloche: $995
  • 6-Days Unique Experience Lake Crossing & Mountains Region!: $1,150
  • 7-Day Bariloche & Mendoza Adventure: Trekking, Kayaking, Horseback riding & Wine: $1,326
  • Bariloche 3 tours Classic package: $250
  • Bariloche 3 tours with adrenaline: $280
  • Bariloche 3 tours with adventure: $290
  • Bariloche Circuito Grande Sightseeing Tour: $96
  • Bariloche Civic Center Walking Tour: $5.00

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.

The average person spends about $13 on alcoholic beverages in San Carlos de Bariloche per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tilcara $7.52
    San Carlos de Bariloche $13

Typical Alcohol prices in San Carlos de Bariloche

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in San Carlos de Bariloche from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $0.11

Sample the Local Flavors in San Carlos de Bariloche

Also in San Carlos de Bariloche, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • City Tour, Nature Hiking & visit to a Local Microbrewery in Bariloche: $281


When comparing the travel costs between Tilcara and San Carlos de Bariloche, we can see that Tilcara is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in South America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Tilcara vs. San Carlos de Bariloche Travel Comparison

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