A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Ushuaia vs. Santiago for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Ushuaia or Santiago?

Should I visit Ushuaia or Santiago? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Ushuaia

Ushuaia is a city on the Tierra del Fuego island of Argentina on the Beagle Strait. The city is considered to be one of the southernmost cities in the world and is often used as a base for cruises to Antarctica. Ushuaia's close proximity to Antarctica and their amazing hiking trails have made it a popular tourist destination over the past few decades.

Santiago

Santiago is the capital city of Chile. It is centrally located in the long and narrow country, making it a good jumping off point to explore everywhere else. It's convenient location means that you can go skiing in the Andes one day, and hang out at the beach the next.

Santiago has a cool semi-arid climate that is similar to Mediterranean climates. The summers, which are between November and March, are warm and dry. The temperatures climb to around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The winters, between June and August, are humid with cold mornings. The daily highs are around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows stay a few degrees above freezing. Rain is more common in the winter months and the dry season is between December and March.

Which city is cheaper, Santiago or Ushuaia?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Ushuaia is $81, while the average daily cost in Santiago is $137. 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 Ushuaia and Santiago in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $80 in Ushuaia For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $214 for a double occupancy room in Santiago.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ushuaia $40
    Santiago $107
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ushuaia $80
    Santiago $214

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Ushuaia cost around $15 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 $6.00.

While meal prices in Santiago can vary, the average travelers spends about $13 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Santiago should cost around $5.20 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Santiago is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Ushuaia $15
    Santiago $13
Typical Food prices in Ushuaia

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $0.52

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ushuaia

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

  • Meeting with Beavers and Lagoon Tour with Dinner: $176

Typical Food prices in Santiago

Some typical examples of dining costs in Santiago are as follows:


  • Empanada
    $2.28
  • Hamburger
    $3.03
  • Dinner
    $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Santiago

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Santiago.

  • Dinner at a Typical Chilean Restaurant with a Traditional Dance Show in Santiago: $73
  • A Bite of Santiago Food Tour: $77
  • Chilean Dinner and Show Experience in Santiago: $77
  • ChileCooks - Food Tours: $91
  • Traditional Dinner Show in Santiago: $96
  • Bali Hai Dinner & Show Including Transport: $97
  • San Cristobal Hill Night City Tour with Dinner Show: $106
  • Traditional Chilean Show with Dinner and Private Transportation in Santiago: $107
  • Chilean Folklore Show and Dinner with Private Transport: $110
  • Small-Group Tour: Night City Tour with Santa Lucia Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Small-Group Night City Tour: San Cristobal Hill and Dinner Show: $116
  • Private Market Tour and Traditional Chilean Cooking Class in a Local Home: $117

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Santiago is $5.24 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.
    Ushuaia -
    Santiago $5.24
Typical Local Transportation prices in Ushuaia

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Ushuaia are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $0.31

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ushuaia

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

  • Ushuaia Airport Shared Transfer: $7.30
  • Private Airport Transfer: Malvinas Argentinas Int. Airport (USH) to Ushuaia: $14
  • Private Airport Transfer: Ushuaia to Malvinas Argentinas International (USH): $14
  • Ushuaia Airport Arrival Transfer: $15
  • Ushuaia Airport Departure Transfer: $18
  • Transfer Cerro Castor (Round Trip): $19
  • Shared Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Ushuaia): $22
  • Private Transfer Hotel-Bus Station or Bus Station-Hotel (Ushuaia): $27
  • Transfer Ushuaia Airport - Hotel in Ushuaia - Ushuaia Airport: $35
  • Transfer Ushuaia Airport - Hotel in Ushuaia - Ushuaia Airport: $35
  • Shared Round-Trip Airport Transfer: $38
  • Private Transfer Airport-Hotel-Airport (Ushuaia): $54

Typical Local Transportation prices in Santiago

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


  • Metro Ride
    $1.37

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Santiago

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Santiago:

  • Private transfer: Santiago to Santiago Airport (SCL): $622
  • Private Scenic Transfer from Santiago to Mendoza: $283
  • Private Transfer from Santiago or Santiago Airport to Colchagua or Santa Cruz: $259
  • Premium Ski resort transfer: $250
  • Private transfer from San Antonio or Valparaiso Port + Santiago City Tour: $240
  • Private Transfer from Santiago Airport to Valparaíso,Viña del Mar or San Antonio: $236
  • Private transfers from the airport to hotels and private homes: $213
  • Transfer from Valparaiso or San Antonio Port + Condor Watching Tour: $203
  • Airport Transfer: $200
  • Transfer Santiago Airport to Valparaiso / Viña del Mar (Exclusive & Private): $165
  • Private Transfer: Santiago Hotel to San Antonio Pier: $164
  • Maipo Valley Wine Tour, Concha y Toro, Private Transfer from Santiago: $161

Is it cheaper to fly into Ushuaia or Santiago?

Prices for flights to both Santiago and Ushuaia 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

In Ushuaia, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $89 per person, per day.

Santiago's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $46 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.
    Ushuaia $89
    Santiago $46

Tours and Activities in Ushuaia

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

  • Ushuaia Double Decker Bus Tour: $16
  • Estancia Harberton Museum Admission Ticket: $25
  • Tierra del Fuego National Park Admission Ticket: $25
  • Tierra del Fuego National Park Half-Day Tour with Optional End of the World Train Ride: $32
  • City Tour: $32
  • City Tour "Bajo Cero" + Mini Trekking + Thematic Gallery: $37
  • Ushuaia City Half-Day Tour with optional Museums: $39
  • Ushuaia City Tour with Museums: $39
  • Double-Decker Sightseeing Tour: $39
  • Ushuaia-End of the World tour -National Park 4 hours (shared tour-): $40
  • Tierra Del Fuego National Park Tour: $42
  • City Tour of Ushuaia: $51

Tours and Activities in Santiago

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

  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial español: $18
  • "Tour Tradicional" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial portugués: $18
  • 13-Day Tour Chile from North to South: $2,330
  • 2-Day Private Hiking Tour to La Paloma Glacier: $363
  • 2-day tour: Santiago City Tour + Viña del Mar & Valparaiso: $180
  • 3-Day Chilean Andes Experience: $864
  • 3-in-1 Discovery Combo Tour: Chipitin Waterfall, Campfire Night + Tipi Lodging: $190
  • 4-Day Classic Tour of Santiago de Chile visiting Viña, Valparaiso and 1 winery: $686
  • 4-Day Tour Best of Santiago: $686
  • 4-Days Deluxe Culinary Experience at Santiago de Chile: $910
  • 6 days tour Don´t miss: $1,227
  • 7-Day Santiago & Easter Island Tour: $1,480

Alcohol

The average person spends about $8.14 on alcoholic beverages in Santiago per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ushuaia -
    Santiago $8.14
Typical Alcohol prices in Ushuaia

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Ushuaia are as follows:


  • Wine
    $0.46
  • Beer
    $0.10

Sample the Local Flavors in Santiago

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

  • Traditional Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño Macul Official English: $18
  • "Premium Wine Tour" Viña Cousiño Macul Official english: $30
  • "Premium Wine Tour" Viña Cousiño Macul Oficial portugués: $30
  • Premium Wine Tour in Viña Cousiño Macul Spanish official: $30
  • Half Day Trip to Undurraga Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $40
  • Concha y Toro Traditional Wine Tour from Santiago: $45
  • Half Day Trip to Concha y Toro Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $45
  • Half Day Trip to Santa Rita Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $50
  • Half Day Trip to Cousiño Macul Vineyard from Santiago - Wine Tasting Included: $55
  • half day wine tour to concha y toro from Santiago seasonal offer: $57
  • Concha y Toro Marques Wine Tour from Santiago: $64
  • Premium Wine Tasting in Santiago de Chile: $71


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ushuaia and Santiago, we can see that Santiago is more expensive. And not only is Ushuaia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ushuaia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ushuaia 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 Santiago would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Santiago than you might in Ushuaia.

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Ushuaia vs. Santiago Travel Comparison

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